How I puts VISX knob on a Fathom arm

p-nut

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Here’s a HOW TO, or at least how I replaced my Fathom knobs with VISX knobs. I figured you guys could learn from my mistakes.

First, CAREFULLY remove the handle from the reel. I tried doing it without removing the handle and it was a real pain trying to Keep everything centered while drilling.

With the handle removed, you’ll need to remove the rivet that holds the knob in place. I taped up the arm to avoid any unnecessary scratches.
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If you plan on drilling out the rivet, grind the domed head flat, or your drill bit will walk all over the place. Also, use a center punch to mark where you will drill and start with a smaller sized bit.
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After the rivet head is drilled out, the knob will not just fall out. I had to use a set of pliers to remove the washer That surrounds the rivet head first. The knob is also press-fit into arm, so it will require some wiggling and pressure to get it out.

Once the knob is out, you‘ll need to enlarge the hole to1/4” to accept the VISX knob.
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p-nut

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Now for mounting the VISX knob. I purchased the entire VISX16 handle assembly from Mystic. Looking at the parts diagram there were probably over a half dozen parts that make up the knob, so I figured it was easier, and maybe cheaper, to just get the whole thing.

Once the VISX knob is removed from the VISX arm, you’ll find that it’s secured with a Phillips head bolt and a plastic washer on each side of the arm. Since the VISX arm is thicker than the Fathom arm, the knob will extend past the Fathom arm, not allowing you to fully tighten down the bolt Completely without handle play.
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The solution is to use a stainless steel washer behind the plastic washer
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Tighten down the screw with a little blue thread locker and your done!
 
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p-nut

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One additional tip I can give is with the reel disassembly. Be careful when removing the gear button ring. I didn’t have the spanner wrench fully seated on the flats and that caused small burrs o from on the bottom surface of the washer that the gear clutch sits on.

When I put the reel back together my shift ring didn’t rotate freely and the reel would go into low because of the burr. I had to file down the burr and polished up the surface and everything worked fine after that!
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hucklongfin

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Much easier to use an Alan Tani knob… remove Penn knob from shaft, replace with new knob, go fishing. Same process with Avets… I had Alan do it to my HX Raptor while on the SoA, my HXW already has a nice power handle. Alan upgraded a bunch of Fathoms on the SoA too.
 
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p-nut

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Not familiar with Alan’s stuff, but I think installing it on a Fathom would still require replacing the knob shaf… But I could be wrong?
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hucklongfin

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Nope, his knob slides onto to Penn shaft using the Penn hardware.

His older ones replace the stock shaft so that it bolts on after you drill out the stock one… he still has them too.
 
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FlatPack

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Much easier to use an Alan Tani knob… remove Penn knob from shaft, replace with new knob, go fishing. Same process with Avets… I had Alan do it to my HX Raptor while on the SoA, my HXW already has a nice power handle. Alan upgraded a bunch of Fathoms on the SoA too.
Simple as plug & play….no drilling…
 
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Rmpsocal

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P-nut, thanks for posting. I prefer the look and feel of the VISX handle. It looks ”factory” and super comfortable.

A little bit of work to modify the stock arm and install, but to each his own.
 
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p-nut

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I enjoy customizing all my gear, wether it’s cars, rods, reels, or guns… they should be built, not bought! I don’t mind getting my Hands a little dirty or racking my brain to figure out solutions.
 
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p-nut

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I was thinking about the gen 2 handle as well, but it’s not available yet… and I was too impatient to wait.

From what I understand, it wouldn’t be a drop in fit on the gen 1‘s but would be an easy mod. I think the locating hole in the gen 2’s arm needs to be widened slightly.

This is ONLY rumor, but I’ve also heard that the gen 2 handle arm might not be as strong as the gen 1. The cutouts in the Gen 2 are a lot bigger in the gen 1. I have no first hand experience with the 2’s so I really don’t know for sure.

If you do go that rout keep us posted!
 
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Almud

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Much easier to use an Alan Tani knob… remove Penn knob from shaft, replace with new knob, go fishing. Same process with Avets… I had Alan do it to my HX Raptor while on the SoA, my HXW already has a nice power handle. Alan upgraded a bunch of Fathoms on the SoA too.
Was is the same handle used on the Fathom as the Avet with a different locking nut? Same process? Avet takes leSs than ten minutes.
 
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