Mr. Carl Newell is 82 years old. Some consider him to be one of the greatest fishing reel innovators to ever walk this earth. His re-design of the Penn Squidder and Jigmaster 40 years ago has been “adapted” to some degree by nearly every single reel manufacturer. I see the influence of Mr. Newell in many of the reels I work on, including....
I think the Newell reel is brilliantly designed. New out of the box, they are the easiest reels in the world to work on. Older Newells can be a nightmare. Getting the frame screws undone in a badly corroded reel can sometimes take hours. Handle grips seize up with a fair amount of regularity. bearing failures are well known. And then there are the drag washers. I remember a deck hand on one of my first long range trips talking about getting “newelled.” we’re going to try to fix that.
These were shipped to me from a far corner of the kingdom. I knew who they were from when they arrived. It must have taken me 2 weeks to work up the courage to even open up the box.
First, you’ll need to dig up the schematics that either came with the reel, or actually call the Newell company at (818) 240-9652. I have not been able to find Newell schematics anywhere on the internet. And if you need newell parts, you have to call Norma and given her the list of parts that you need. She will total up the charges. Then you mail in a check. When they receive your check, they will mail out your parts. They don’t have a website and they don’t take credit cards, so plan ahead.
Let’s start with the left side plate. back out the side plate screws, pull off the left side plate, remove the spool, lube the bearing with Corrosion X, and grease the screw holes.
If the hidden left side plate screws are not seized up, back them out one at a time and shoot a bead of grease in them as well. Then let’s put everything back together.
Now for the right side plate. Remove the handle nut (key #3-22), the nylon lock washer (key #3-23), the c-clip or screw (key #3-21), the handle assembly (key #2-17), the handle washer (key #3-16), the thin belleville (key #3-142), the star (key #3-15), and the drag lock washer (key #3-18).
Now pull the right side plate.
Back out the four bridge screws (key #fi-640 and fi-662).
Lift the side plate straight up and set it aside. here’s the unitized bridge assembly. unlike the penn senators, nothing goes “boing.”
Pull the drag stack apart and line everything up.
Clean off the “stuck” drag material off the gears.
Clean up the metal washers.
Lube the gear sleeve with corrosion x.
The washer that i put under the gear is a #6-113, gooped up with shimano drag grease. It’s the thicker version of the #6-60 found in the old black side plate penn 113.
The remaining drag washer are the penn ht-100 #6-309. this the same drag washer found in the Penn Jigmaster. Note that this stack of washers will typically deliver a maximum of 15 pound of drag.
Lube the bearing inside the right side plate and drop it on top of the bridge assembly. Zip in the four bridge screws.
Grease all the side plate screw holes, install the spool, install the right side plate, and zip in the right side plate screws.
Remove the binder head screw (key #bi-832-2) from the handle, lube the spindle and screw hole with Corrosion X, and reassemble the handle.
Reinstall the star and handle. If you find that the star does not “back off” enough, try removing the thin belleville (key #3-142). This is sometimes an issue because the #6-113 drag washer that I use under the gear is thicker than the stock fiber washer.
Don’t forget the screw or the c-clip. And for those so inclined, there is an aftermarket handle available.
There are many that love these reels and are meticulous in their care. There are others that had these reels seize up, lose a fish as a result, and toss the reel on a a junk heap in the garage, never to be seen again. Properly lubed and greased, this reel can provide years of reliable service. And remember that casting distance is inversely proportional to total spool mass. The graphite newell spool has less total mass and a similar sized aluminum spool. All other things being equal, the newell will cast farther.