Fixed-Spool Reels

This is the page for the fixed-spool reels I've owned, used and surprisingly often, passed on. A summary until I've sorted all this out...

I started out with an Intrepid Challenger in 1974, which served me for many years but it vanished during the first degree. [In 2009 I got a good one for the heck of it]. The second fixed-spool I owned was the Abu Cardinal 40, one of the original stern drag (when it was new) reels that came out around 1978 or thereabouts. I had 4 spools and carried 3lb, 6lb, 8lb, 10lb lines for all occasions. It served me faithfully until about 2004 when the gears just got so worn the reel stopped rotating freely. I still have the bits, sans paint and will one-day re-assemble it into a gunmetal grey reel.

In the interim came by two cheap second hand reels, a Cardinal Bronco and a Diawa AG1650CT, both with one spool and these, loaded with 12lb mono, were my pike fishing reels in the 1990s. Neither reel was great, the Bronco was an affront to the Cardinal brand and both eventually got sold at Romsey for £1.50 each (I now have a pragmatic view of what something is worth, i.e. it's only worth what people will pay and even £5 was too much for those reels, for two years running).

In 1990 or so, I literally picked up a Ceratec ML2C - a small fixed spool, nice rear drag and ceramic line roller. This was residing in a patch of long grass on a swim at Jubilee Lake in Thatcham. Despite me placing a card on the lakes notice board, no-one ever called for it. I used it for the rare occasions that require really light tackle.

When the Cardinal 40 started to grind to a halt, I moved onto a Shimano Sedona 4000 GTE in 2005. Used to dowdy tackle by preference, I painted over the chrome parts with matt green enamel...and later in 2005 I bought a Shimano 3000, with extra spools to provide different line strengths to suit the majority of my fishing, without the bother of carrying more than two reels.

In 2008 I got converted to the Cardinal 44x, which is a wonderful reel. It had all the nostalgia of using my Cardinal 40 but was just better. I enjoyed it so much I bought another and consequently have about 8 spare spools. I liked them so much I spent a few months acquiring a couple of Cardinal 66's for Leviathan fishing. They're old but do what I want without frippery…and a year later I found a pair of '66s on an internet auction site, with metal bale arms and indulged in those.

When in 2012 I discovered Cardinal 66x's, with their cream and brown colour scheme and faster retrieve I was in reel Nirvana. The line lay is not quite as good as the ‘66, so I load spools with a '66. I've also changed the drag washers in the '66x's for carbon fibre ones, which has helped and re-profiled the lip of the spools which added 20% to casting range. I‘ve also shimmed one or two on the internal bits to reduce play in the gearing and carefully shimmed the bale arm screws so that the gap between the plastic and the spool casing isn’t ‘just the right size’ for line to get trapped behind. Seldom without them now.

Centrepin reels are on a different pageBecause I wanted them to be..

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Fixed-Spool Reels  The Intrepid Challenger. Good design, let down by poor materials. My first reel for all that, and I rather liked it. I was given this for the birthday (I think) in Cyprus along with the Marco fishing rod. It was a good reel for the time, including a nice folding handle, double bale-arm springs and a separate line-roller on the bale-arm. It included a slipping clutch mechanism that was embedded into the spools themselves and set using the decorative ‘nut’ that also kept the spool on. I didn’t even realise it had such until about two years later…

It didn’t get used in Cyprus and heavy use in Anglesey wore a groove in the line roller which was hard chrome plated brass – once thought chrome the line went through the brass in no time. I obtained a spare spool, as the received wisdom was that one used 12lb line for sea fishing and 3lb for coarse. The spool took an almost impractical amount of 12lb line (best part of 200 yards) so, as one of the bale springs had also gone (I’d ‘fixed’ it by shortening the spring wire a half-turn and bending a new tag-end on it) I ordered new springs and rollers by post and fitted them.

The Intrepid Challenger reel The Intrepid Challenger reel The Intrepid Challenger reel The Intrepid Challenger reel

It’s so close to being far better, it’s almost annoying. I used it until around 1978, when the Cardinal 40 came along and although it’s not often used now, the noise and the action are kind of embedded in the firmware.

To date the Intrepid Challenger has been used at least once on 13th July 2017. but one never knows...

This space deliberately blankThis space deliberately blankCarpio CarpioI am content to wait. I am well used to it...(and back to the top of the page)Carpio CarpioWatch for magpies on your path. Throw salt over your left shoulder. Walk around ladders.Carpio CarpioWatch for magpies on your path. Throw salt over your left shoulder. Walk around ladders.Carpio CarpioWatch for magpies on your path. Throw salt over your left shoulder. Walk around ladders.Carpio CarpioWatch for magpies on your path. Throw salt over your left shoulder. Walk around ladders.Carpio CarpioWatch for magpies on your path. Throw salt over your left shoulder. Walk around ladders.Carpio CarpioWatch for magpies on your path. Throw salt over your left shoulder. Walk around ladders.Carpio CarpioWatch for magpies on your path. Throw salt over your left shoulder. Walk around ladders.Carpio CarpioWatch for magpies on your path. Throw salt over your left shoulder. Walk around ladders.Carpio CarpioWatch for magpies on your path. Throw salt over your left shoulder. Walk around ladders.Carpio CarpioWatch for magpies on your path. Throw salt over your left shoulder. Walk around ladders.Carpio CarpioWatch for magpies on your path. Throw salt over your left shoulder. Walk around ladders.Carpio CarpioWatch for magpies on your path. Throw salt over your left shoulder. Walk around ladders.Carpio CarpioWatch for magpies on your path. Throw salt over your left shoulder. Walk around ladders.Carpio CarpioWatch for magpies on your path. Throw salt over your left shoulder. Walk around ladders.Carpio CarpioWatch for magpies on your path. Throw salt over your left shoulder. Walk around ladders.Carpio CarpioWatch for magpies on your path. Throw salt over your left shoulder. Walk around ladders.Carpio CarpioWatch for magpies on your path. Throw salt over your left shoulder. Walk around ladders.Carpio CarpioWatch for magpies on your path. Throw salt over your left shoulder. Walk around ladders.Carpio CarpioWatch for magpies on your path. Throw salt over your left shoulder. Walk around ladders.Carpio CarpioWatch for magpies on your path. Throw salt over your left shoulder. Walk around ladders.Carpio CarpioWatch for magpies on your path. Throw salt over your left shoulder. Walk around ladders.This space deliberately blankThis space deliberately blank

Fixed-Spool Reels  The Cardinal 40. A step up from the 'Intrepid Challenger'. So that's good.

This finally ground down to a slow crawl around 2004. Around 2016 or so, I thought I might try to renovate it, so stripped it down and removed the paint. I now have a pile of gunmetal-colour bits...

To date the Cardinal 40 has been used twice, the first time on 3rd June 2004 and the last time on 13th August 2004.

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Fixed-Spool Reels  The Cardinal 44x. Like my old Cardinal 40, but better. So that's good.

The Cardinal 44x was first used on 5th January 2008 and has been used on at least 68 occasions, the last being the 28th April 2019.

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Fixed-Spool Reels  The Cardinal 55. An iconic reel. Which I didn't like much, either the feel of it or the way it worked. Many folk do though, so quite easily Sold to the bloke at the back at Romsey Tackle Fair.

The Cardinal 55 was used at least once on 10th May 2011 and was then sold on.

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Fixed-Spool Reels  The Cardinal 66, one brace of. The bigger brother of the Cardinal 44 and I was very pleased to nab a couple from the Bay of Fleas, plus one spare spool.

The Cardinal 66 was first used on 1st May 2008 and has been used on at least 58 occasions, the last being the 16th September 2013.

Other diary and fettling entries relevant to the Cardinal 66.

Fixed-Spool Reels 29th August 2011. Spools, three off. Spare spools are a must for the thinking anotherangler. I like to have about my person three line strengths at least and ideally, six. This is why I'm pleased to have nabbed three metal spools in their iconic red plastic cases.

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Fixed-Spool Reels  The Cardinal 66x. I have used and delighted in my Cardinal '66's for some time and imagine my delight on finding out there's an 'x' version. Today I won one. (66x in brown/cream finish, excellent condition, mechanically perfect , foot stamped product of Sweden no. 770301). Now I want another one...

The Cardinal 66x was first used on 10th March 2008 and has been used on at least 111 occasions, the last being the 12th July 2019.

Other diary and fettling entries relevant to the Cardinal 66x.

Fixed-Spool Reels 6th November 2011. Cardinal 66x. Now I have two. No. '780501' joins the tackle bag.

Fixed-Spool Reels 24th October 2018. Spools. I'd planned to fish, fixated on autumn leaves and gentle carping, but the waters that offer this are closed, reasonable precautions after a local KHV outbreak. I muse on 'the list', ponder Dairy Farm, then for no good reason decide, possibly a decision back-stopped by tomorrow's ground-works on The PondsPete's Ponds., to strip and clean my '66X's.Abu Cardinal 66X

It is my habit to place a label on the back of the spools inscribed with the line's b/s and installation date. None of the six (6lb/8lb/10lb/12lb/14lb/17lb) were newer than January 2016. Ah. The 12lb was dated 2014. Huh.

I strip miles of line, line, cut it into 3" pieces, then clean the spools with nail-varnish remover. I carefully hone a bradawl to an excessive sharpness and inscribe the lines' breaking strains on the back of the spools. I take the opportunity to re-polish the rims with fine wire wool, a job accomplished with the assistance of a spare Cardinal 66 spindle and an electric screwdriver.

The three lightest lines' spools have a braid 'arbour'. This is easier to come by than a genuine arbour, plus if I ever hook Leviathan on a 200 yard wide water, I'll be in good shape. The lay of the braid is so poor I strip them by hand then re-lay them (electric screwdriver again) to level them up. I refill all the spools using the same method and using a permanent black marker-pen, write the date on the back on the spools. There. Good for another 2 years.

Some remedial servicing; they are of course very fine reels, but I’ve noted some play in the bale-arms and the spool itself has play along the axis of the spindle, caused (inside the reel) by play in the arm from the driving gear to the spindle. I shimmed the drive arm at the drive-gear end with three 0.1mm × M4 washers and replace the circlip with a new one. I eye up the spindle clip for another day. This keeps the drive arm from skewing and reduces the play along the spindle’s axis by about half. I then shim the bale arm, 0.2mm × 12mm × M6 on the line-roller side and 0.1mm × 12mm × M6 on the other. This is so that the gap between the plastic and the spool casing isn’t ‘just the right size’ for line to get trapped behind. Everything cleaned and re-greased for good luck.

With the anti-reverse off the reels are now virtually silent. One final thing, which has bugged me for some time, is the excessive flash of the handles and the bale-arm screws. I carefully (after first removing them from the reel) rubbed them with fine emery until the flash was reduced to a gun-metal like finish, a little less gaudy.

Not bad for over 30 years old.

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Fixed-Spool Reels  The Cardinal 33. Yesterday at the Redditch Tackle Fair I bought a Cardinal 33 which I've been after for some time.

It's not unlike it's larger brothers. It's a fine little reel even if its use will be limited to those places where the fish are small and casting a long way is not required and possibly with shorter rods than the norm.

The Cardinal 33 was first used on 2nd September 2017 and has been used on at least 3 occasions, the last being the 9th June 2019.

small split shotmedium one, small one, tiny one, silly one...do keep up...(and return to the top of the page) small split shotmedium one, small one, tiny one, silly one...do keep up... small split shotmedium one, small one, tiny one, silly one...and wait for it... small split shotmedium one, small one, tiny one, silly one...do keep up... small split shotmedium one, small one, tiny one, silly one...and wait for it... small split shotmedium one, small one, tiny one, silly one...do keep up... small split shotmedium one, small one, tiny one, silly one...and wait for it... small split shotmedium one, small one, tiny one, silly one...do keep up... small split shotmedium one, small one, tiny one, silly one...and wait for it... small split shotmedium one, small one, tiny one, silly one...do keep up... small split shotmedium one, small one, tiny one, silly one...and wait for it... small split shotmedium one, small one, tiny one, silly one...do keep up... small split shotmedium one, small one, tiny one, silly one...and one more time... small split shotmedium one, small one, tiny one, silly one...got it?
06:24pm on 2019-08-18 JAA