Vintage zebco 33 drag

Discussion in 'Fishing Reel Review' started by astutzman, Sep 3, 2006.

  1. astutzman

    astutzman New Member

    Messages:
    243
    State:
    Collinsville, IL
    I was out rummaging in the back of an antiques store the other day and came across an old zebco 33 for two bucks that I couldn't pass up. I'm not sure how old it is, but there're no stickers, or labels, and the only text on it is "Zebco 33" on the metal front piece and "made in usa" under the seat. It came on a heddon pole that was made in the early 60's, but I'm not sure if the reel is that old or not.

    Anyway, I cleaned it up and started to look at it, and i can't seem to get the drag to work. none of the levers or knobs are labeled, but there's a furled knob on the left side down near the reel seat that has "on---> off<---" on it. Does anybody know if this is the drag? i crank all the way to one side and the other and I can't seem to get the reel to strip line off. Also, if anyone knows how i can find out how old this thing is, let me know.
     
  2. Cheryl

    Cheryl Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    5,010
    State:
    TN
    My guess is late 60's or early 70's. That is the exact pole my Dad gave me before he passed away and he has been gone for 14 years. Let's see the day before he passed away, I turned 34, and he had it for at least 6-8 years prior, I think. Heck I have CRS. Don't ask me, too much. LMAO

    Take care.
    Cheryl
     

  3. Kutter

    Kutter New Member

    Messages:
    5,379
    State:
    Arnold, MO
    I bought my first reel, a Zebco 33, in 1966. It cost about $10. The last one I bought, in around 1996, cost about $10 also. Hmmmm.
    Yes, it sounds like the drag. if those reels had one drawback, it was the poor drag, in my opinion. They have a tendency to "lock" up, either always on or always off. Sometimes, I could save the reel by cleaning and oiling, but not often. Probably owned a few dozen over those years and the drag in all but one case, was the reason for pitching them out. The other one was a reel I used when white bass (sandy) fishing in TX. One day, instead of a white bass, I caught a full blown large striper. When it grabbed the lure and ran, the reel bushings got too hot and the reel was ruined.
     
  4. astutzman

    astutzman New Member

    Messages:
    243
    State:
    Collinsville, IL
    I played around with it a bit more this morning, and finally got the spool to spin off line in the lightest drag setting. You're right, the drag is pretty hit or miss on this model. i was originally planning on using it for fishing, but maybe i'll just put it up on the wall now for decoration, it being so old.

    Thanks for the info guys.
     
  5. catter5000

    catter5000 New Member

    Messages:
    198
    State:
    TULSA,OK
    I have several old Zebco reels,and found out from people at Zebco many years ago that the drag is just very touchy.It only takes a very small adjustment to make a big change.I have caught several large,10/15 pound fish on them and have never had a problem. Like mentioned earlier these reels are like any reel,they need to be cleaned and lubed .
    Cheryl,sorry to here of your disease,you know CRS.I have the advanced version of this....RCRS Doc says they have a cure but I can't remember what it is? probably can't afford it either?
    ALLEN
     
  6. peewee williams

    peewee williams New Member

    Messages:
    3,111
    State:
    Pembroke,Georgia
    The knurledThese and many other reel drags are ruined by storing for years with the drag on.They also freeze up with time if they are stored needing cleaning and lubing.I would disassemble,clean and lube it.Do not force anything that will not move with out trying a penetrating oil and at least a weeks soaking.You can put it in a can,glass or steel bowl to do this.A gentile tapping several times a day can help.Also.Set it in the hot sun or dash of your Auto by day.Put it in your freezer by night.You can do this every day as you go to work.The repeated expansion and contraction will help the penetrating oil to work.I have done all of this for weeks on badly corroded stuff and BOOM.One day it moved when I tried it.Force is your main enemy.You will not be able to save everything that you try.As for age.Zebco has made so many that they may not know.luck.peewee-williams