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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So about a year or so ago, our neighbors moved out and left a dumpster full of trash and stuff they didn't want. So I was walking the dog and noticed a couple of fishing rigs poking out. One in particular was an Abu Garcia baitcaster setup, a 4600CL3 reel on a Vantage XL rod. Poor thing was nasty, had old line on it that had bird nested BADLY, and the rod was missing several guides.

But I wanted to at least try and get everything going, so I took the reel off/cut off the old line/took apart/cleaned/lubed/reassembled the reel. And aside from a few scuff marks, that reel is brand spanking new!
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The rod has been wiped clean and looks good, but I still need to replace at least three guides along with the tip top. I haven't been able to find anything at all about what size guides it came with, so I'm not above redoing them all - I just never have done such a thing. Is it as straightforward as it seems? Just wrap the rod guide with string and apply epoxy pretty much, right?

In advance, thanks for any help yall have to offer!
 

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Only rods I have worked on so far have been ones that had the tips broken off, just put new tips on two of them. I am waiting for the kit to come Monday to repair a broken rod. I will need to wrap the repair also,
I like the Garcia level wind reals, used one for many years until it just wore out. Probably should not have used it for deep sea fishing.
Amazon has the guide kits if you don't have them yet.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I'm a big fan of their level wind reels too - I've also had a 5000 for 15 years now, bought brand new at Walmart. It always did good, but it had bushings in the spool instead of bearings. Swapped them for some ABEC 5s a few years back, that helped a lot with casting!

Haven't got the guides yet. The old ones just got yanked out so the old string/epoxy is still there. I could possibly cheap out and just get the right size replacements and super glue them in? But then I'm kinda leaning toward getting CRB'S Elite set and wrapping them on with some leftover OD green braid line that I've been using for sewing thread. Might do that with the 5000's rod too since it has a broken leg on the first running guide. I'd use regular black thread on it though to keep the original look - or maybe use the braid and black epoxy?
 

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I restore bamboo fly rods...and some have been pretty rough, as in de-laminated and has to be re-glued. So, for what you want to do, it's very straightforward, as others have already mentioned. u-toob has lots of videos on wrapping guides. Just get the right sized guides and thread, then you'll need a sealer of one variety or another. I use Spar varnish but, that's traditional for bamboo rods. I don't know what is used on graphite or glass.

Look up a rod building site. It should have all the information you'll need.
 

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I have 5 Abu Garcia reels and use them regularly. Two at least 45 years old. They look like antiques to the younger guys who have to buy the latest fancy models. Never failed me, and would never trade one for a newer model. Very nice lucky find Stites. Rods do break down, but if not too bad, can be repaired. New eyes are easy to install, but handles might not be worth the effort. Maybe a nice new rod for that hard working reel you found.
 

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I’ve built many rods. Still have a few blanks and guides, cork, ect. I used mostly Ambassadors from 2500 up to 5500s.
Easiest way for most to repair rod by replacing guide is:
Take spool of thread and use drywall screw and washers to attack to a board. This is so you can tension thread by tightening screw. Take wire coat hangar and form one end into J, cut off hanging
hook and squeeze other end together and screw to board about 12” from thread spool. Put small amount super glue on guide foot and place on rod. With rod in cradle created by forming handler you can run thread parallel to foot, cross over under front of guide and wrap by rotating rod between fingers. At last 10 wraps lay a loop under them and this will allow you to pull tag end back through for finish of wrap. Don’t use any epoxy than cures hard, there are several epoxies that cure flexible.
 

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That's clever, Dem. A fella doesn't need manufactured tools to do a lot of things. My first bamboo rod restoration I used a cardboard box with most of the front cut out, a "V" notch cut in opposite sides deep enough to make it a comfortable working height. My thread holder was a coffee cup and my thread tensioner was a book. Figure out how many pages you need on top for the tension you need and you're good to go. I have to admit that the rod wrapping kit I bought at a garage sale for $5.00 works a lot easier....and it was an antique when I bought it.
 

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I started putting rods together before the big craze hit. I still have old Herters manual wrapping kit. It’s basically store bought version of what I described. I built my own wrapping equipment. Made stands with guilitine type adjustments will little bearing covered with the little rubber bands girls used for pig tails. Drives were made from low rpm rotisserie motors. My winding outfit was sewing machine motor with foot pedal. It will wind as fast as you can control. Stuff gathering dust now. The rod outfits make just about anything you can think of. Not much call for customs anymore. I keep a few guides and tip tops just to fix the local kids rods. Some start summer with 7’ rod and by school time it’s down to 5’.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I have 5 Abu Garcia reels and use them regularly. Two at least 45 years old. They look like antiques to the younger guys who have to buy the latest fancy models. Never failed me, and would never trade one for a newer model. Very nice lucky find Stites. Rods do break down, but if not too bad, can be repaired. New eyes are easy to install, but handles might not be worth the effort. Maybe a nice new rod for that hard working reel you found.
I've thought about that, but the rod itself is in really good shape too! Kinda like the idea of fixing it up and outfishing the folks in their $100k bassboats and brand new fancy-shmancy rigs and lures. Like "Dude I caught bigger fish with a piece of chewed bubble gum, relax."
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Thanks to all for the info and advice! From what I've found, the main thing with thread selection has to do more with asthetics than strength, and the green braided line I have would match up well with the green rod I think. Plus it'll be much stronger, too. Nothing real special about the epoxy either, so I got some clear Gorilla 2-part epoxy to seal it all - probably gonna put a dab on the bare rod where the string will wrap and smear it around real good - then do the wrap and cover it with epoxy. Might be awhile yet(gotta order guides), but I'll post pics of the finished product!
 

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I love tinkering with old fishing gear. Just like old firearms, I also like to take the old gear out and use it from time to time.

Makes you appreciate more modern features like anti reverse, free floating spools and better retrieve ratios! Still, it's fun to use the old stuff. Takes me back to when I was a kid!
 

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Stites, it isn't rocket surgery or brain science, you shouldn't have any insurmountable problems. Practice wrapping on a dowel a few times to get the knack of it, then you'll be fine.

LJ, I have a couple OLD bamboo rods, 120+ years, that I take out occasionally. One still has the old ring guides that swing loose. When folks who know say the old rods are slow.....it's near understatement. You could take a sip of coffee and set the cup down waiting for the back cast to straighten out.
 
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When I was in business I repaired reels & rods. As if I needed something else to get into I started collecting the old multiplying casting reels. Especially those made in Ohio. I ended up with a couple hundred of them. I even lucked out and went to auction at old Hardware store and was able to get the service kits for the old reels.
I still have my Dads reel and mine he bought me in early 50s. They were stripped, deep cleaned, lubed and put back in their boxes every year when hunting season came in.
 
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