Large Levelwind Reels

Discussion in 'Fishing Reel Review' started by peewee williams, Jun 7, 2006.

  1. peewee williams

    peewee williams New Member

    Messages:
    3,111
    State:
    Pembroke,Georgia
    I have 3 large level wind reels as I am unable to control my line by hand.I am asking,as they are fairly new and I have not been inside them yet.I still do fairly well with the old things as they just seem to come back naturally.New things now give me a fit.I am asking if anyone is familiar with the gearing and such in the drive train for the levelwind on the following reels.I hear talk of the plastic gears and other parts in many levelwinds.I wonder what is in mine. #1 is a Mitchell Riptide 4/0 GL reel rated for 550 yds.of 38 lb.line. #2 is a Penn 345 GTI 5/0 reel rated for 350 yds.of 50 lb.line. #3 is a Lever drag Shimano Charter Special 2000 LD rated for 300 yds.of 20 lb.line.Shimano claims on their website a "Max drag at full w/Freespool 33 lbs.At Strike 22 lbs.of drag".On the reel box it makes the claim "New super strong levelwind.Beefed up for heavy duty fishing.Our strongest levelwind ever".I added this info on this reel,as I wonder if it would possibly make a good reel for using "Braid" on.If so,what test and what (lbs. on the floor) maximum drag setting on it or any of the reels? My limit is 7 1/2 lbs.,but I have some offspring that believe that they are oxen.Any knowledge,thoughts or ideas would be appreciated.Thanks,peewee-williams
     
  2. Anguluva

    Anguluva New Member

    Messages:
    10
    State:
    Sri Lanka
    Of the 3 reels you mention I have the Shimano Charter Special 2000LD and a Penn 320 GT2. I have not opened up the Penn (yet) and have used it for 16 months in the sea catching some very hard fighting fish such as Giant Trevally (probably the worlds hardest fighting fish for its weight) and Spanish Mackerel (one of the fastest running fish once hooked - 250 yards against a drag in about 15 seconds) and have so far not had any problems with the level wind. In certain conditions I have cast lures too with this reel and the non disengaging level wind has performed flawlessly.

    The Charter Special (original Japanese made) is now over 15 years old and has been stripped and cleaned a few times. The large levelwind gear cog that connects the spool (brass cog) to the levelwinder worm gear (brass cog) is made of plastic and has not yet been replaced. I have been using reels with plastic cogs/gears in the levelwind mechanism for decades and they are very durable. However, remember to keep the worm gear of the winder very clean and free from grit/sand and lubed with a light oil at all times (3 in 1 oil or 'sewing machine oil' is ideal).
    The big benefit of plastic is that it is lighter than steel or brass and therefore has a lot less resistance (inertia) when the reel is in freespool. This is important when controlling a cast, since it greatly reduces the start up time of the spool at the begining of the cast and poses no added momentum at the end of the cast when thumbing the reel to slow it down.
    It is pertinent to note that there is no 'load' or 'effort' that the levelwind gears have to bear even when reeling large lures or fish in with a heavy drag setting as all it does is connect the spool to the levelwind worm gear and leveling the line across the spool bears no strain.
    However, as in all levelwinds one has to replace the pawl (small bolt type thingy with a v groove that runs along the worm gear under the levelwinder) on a regular basis (costs a few cents so when ordering order a few of them).

    Also, if your finger happens to get caught between the level winder and the frame when a big fish runs, the plastic gears will 'give' and save you a fractured thumb :smile2: .
     

  3. peewee williams

    peewee williams New Member

    Messages:
    3,111
    State:
    Pembroke,Georgia
    Thanks.My Shimano is newer and they claim a newer and "beefed up"levelwind.I was hoping to find people that were familure with any of these reels.Thanks again.I enjoyed hearing from you.peewee-williams