|there are four different designs for conventional reels.
the first is the penn 4/0 senator style. learn this one first. it's the hardest, but the only thing hard about it is the dog spring. master this and everything else is cake. there's a post somewhere way back about "the secret to fixing a penn 113h." most all of the penns, all of the first generation progear reels, and the first generation daiwa sealines use this design. the dog spring and jack assembly are separate from the bridge. unless you know the trick, they're a real pain to get back together. and although the look is radically different, the el cheapo shakespere and okuma reels have a first generation design and first generation problems. once you remove the bridge, everything goes "boing." real pain. so what defines this first generation design? you separate the bridge from the side plate and everything goes "boing."
the second is the jigmaster. it is an improvement on the basic penn design where the dog assembly stays with the bridge. what makes a secong generation design? you separate the bridge from the side plate, and only the jack assembly falls apart. the dog stays with the bridge.
the third is the newell design where the dog spring and jack assembly stay with the bridge. the progear albacore special, progear classic series and ambassaduers are included here. when the newell was first introduced, it was years ahead of it's time. excellent design. very simple to work on. you back out the four center bridge screws, the bridge falls out as one piece that stays together, you replace the drag washers and you're done!!!!!!!!! with this third generation design, the anti-reverse dog assembly and the pinion gear/eccentric jack assembly stay with the the bridge as one unit. very nice.
although the look and feel are different, the other japanese reels are simply half a step back from the newell design. maybe we should call these "two and a half generation" reels. sometimes you can totally remove the right side plate, sometimes can remove only the cover. with the calcutta styles, the entire right side plate comes off to remove the spool. you set the side plate on you working surface "face up." you remove 2 to 8 screws, lift off the side plate cover and you gain access to the guts of the reel. the newer daiwa sealines and the shimano speedmaster/trinidad/torium line have a "bridge" that is an integral part of the frame. you have to remove the right side plate "cover" to gain access to the guts of the reel. in either case, if you tip it over, stuff falls out. i've gotten used to it, but it's still a pain when you have to chase springs that really should be clipped down. so in these "second-and-a-half" generation reels, the eccentric jack springs will sit obediently in place as long as you don't tip things over. and your anti-reverse mechanism consists of either a dog, or an anti-reverse roller bearing, or both.
the last is the lever drag. you have single speed and two speed, single drag and dual drag. with the intenationals, you push the lever forward and you push the spool towards a fixed position drag washer. with the shimanos, you push the lever and you pull the drag washer towards a fixed position spool. the steeper the ramp of the cam, the more drag you get as you push the lever forward. and for all their other problems, okuma lever drag reels have a very steep ramp. now, there are always belleville spring washers somewhere in line. with light springs, you can throw the drag lever forward and decrease the drag range. with heavier bellevilles, you get more drag. changing the configuration of the stack of bellevilles, say from "()()" to "(())" also increases your drag range.
so to hotrod a lever drag reel, you clean out the bearings to make it spin better, you changed the bellville thickness, configuration and or number to increase the drag range, and you add a grease carbon fiber drag to give you a sooth drag for the lifetime of the reel.
everyone followed this, right?
eddie's brother, grady white 258