pro challenger pro II 30tr rebuild


I've posted enough I should edit this section
Jul 24, 2005
Saratoga, CA
alan tani
grady white tournament 19, grady white journey 258
a guy named alan chiu sells these pro challenger reels out of florida. i'm not affilliated with him in any way, but we've been talking back and forth for the last about what i'd like to see in a reel. he's actually incorporated several of those ideas into his new reels. within the last couple of months, he's sent several of his prototype reels to me to go through. you saw the first one in my long range san diego post. here's the next one. it's a two speed 30.

now, you guys have seen enough of my posts to know what i'm looking for in a reel. i like an oversized handle, grease in the screw holes, grease on the non-exposed metal surfaces, open spool bearings, grease packed into the side plate bearings and greased carbon fiber drag washers. i also like the avet-style open drag chamber for the same reason i like open spool bearings. if an open drag chamber is not an option, then the drag cover should be gasketed like the shimano lever drag reels. you've all heard this before. ok, so here goes.....

the spindle (the gap between the handle arm and the grip) is a little short, but the grip is surprisingly comfortable.

hmmmm, grease in all of the side plate screw holes.

off comes the left side plate.

ok, grease painted inside the left side plate. that's good.

out comes the spool.... um, out comes the sp...... hmmmmm....

oh, yeah, the preset knob and lever have to come off first. doh!

ok, now, out comes the spool!

ok, more grease painted inside the right side plate, stainless steel guts, double dogs and a penn-style clicker.

the right side of the spool has a shimano-style cover with a rubber gasket. like the shimano reels, this gasket seals off the drag chamber from water intrusion while the reel is in gear. when in freespool, there is a small gap between the drag pressure plate and the spool cap to allow the spool to spin freely. and like the shimano lever drag reels, this reel should be rinsed off while in gear, not in free.

this spool cap does not screw on, it's held on by three machine screws through the metal clicker ring. no special wrench to deal with.

son of a gun, a greased carbon fiber drag washer!

here are the guts of the spool. note that there are no bellevilles, only a pair of thrust washers between the left spool bearing and the c-clip. this reel is already configured to give you the maximum amount of "drag at strike before loss of freespool." this means that the ONLY way to increase your max drag at strike is to redesign the cam with a steeper ramp. the shimano torsa, which offers several different cams, comes to mind. if different cams were available, that could be a very nice feature of this reel.

here are the lip and gasket that i spoke of earlier. it's the same design as the shimano.

i opened up the spool bearings and found them to be unevenly greased. salt water intrusion WILL cause these bearings to rust.

i cleaned out the three spool bearings, left them open and lubed them with corrosion x.

i cleaned off the old grease from the inside of the spool and drag washer, painted all three surfaces with shimano drag grease, installed the drag washer and wiped off the excess grease from the working surface of the drag washer.

a little grease in the screw holes....

the spool shaft assembly went back in....

and i gave it a spin! out of the reel with no lateral load on the two spool bearings, i got 40 seconds of freespool. i put the return spring and drag pressure plate back on, put a slight amount of lateral load on the drag pressure plate, and the freespool dropped to 10 seconds. even after being cleaned out, i found that the right spool bearing was a little sticky. i probably dinged it when i pulled it out.

here's a very nice feature of this reel. in most other reels, you have to remove the main gears to service the right main side plate bearing. in this reel, there is enough clearance to pull the bearing with the main gears in place.

in all lever drag reels, the right side plate bearing is the one that is most prone to water intrusion and failure. it has to be packed with grease. so out come the shields, in goes the grease, and back in goes the bearing.

the remainder of the re-installation is a piece of cake. now, a couple of comments. i spooled it up with 400 yards of 60# berkeley big game and was able to squeeze out 28 pounds of drag at strike before losing freespool. at that setting, i got 8 seconds of freespool, presumably because of the bad bearing.

the lugs need to be a little thicker. this issue will be corrected on the next production run.

the knob on the freespool lever seemed a little small. most reels have a larger surface on the lever to push on. a "cap" of some sort, held on by a machine screw, would give you a larger surface to push on. that would save the problem of having to redesign the lever.

the rod clamp is the same size as a 4/0 senator. it really should be larger.

the handle grip is very comfortable and the two position arm gives you a nice choice between a long throw and short, but the gap between the arm and grip is a little narrow. guys with big hands will probably bang their knuckles.

the frame is machined. that's nice.

the side plates are cast. that's ok.

i personally prefer the older style penn shift mechanism, but this button shift is fine.

the line capacity is fine.

i obviously haven't had a chance to field test this reel, but it should fish just fine. i see no glaring problems versus any other reel that really stand out. one thing for sure, it's amazingly easy to work on. but getting back to the "max drag" issue, i can usually get 35#'s of drag at strike out of most all aluminum-bodied reels. this one is a little light. if the lever is going to get re-designed, then perhaps the cam can get a larger outer diameter, a tighter fit on the inner diameter, and a steeper ramp. otherwise, this reel should be fine for straight 60# mono and 20#'s of drag at strike.


Sep 6, 2006
23' Blackman Billfisher, Bimini Twist
Thanks for taking the time to provide us with a thorough description of what it would take to maintain a new product: the camera doesn't lie. Like an exotic car that might run great but bankrupt the owner when it's time for some wrench turning, some of the new reels take more than a bit of luck to maintain. As for the claim of no affiliation, it makes no difference to me. I tend to take my medicine with a healthy dose of skepticism regardless. Thanks again!


Dec 27, 2008
25' Bertram - Scream of the Reel
How do you push past strike to full? It looks like there is a stop.
It is a spring loaded chrome domed button that pushes down to allow the drag to head towards sunset.

Those reels have been sold down here in Australia under the parent manufacturers company name - Omoto.

We know them as a KAM 900H-II. I own a pair of these two speed reels which I have modified a little with different stainless bearings and a new greased Carbontex drag washer from Jack Erskine in Cairns (not that there was anything really wrong with the original bearings or drag, I was just playing around with the reel to see if I could hot-rod it up a bit), however it does now pull around 30#s of drag at strike before I lose freespool with the new washer.

I didn't buy it expecting it to be a better reel than a Penn or an Accurate or whatever, I just wanted to have a bit of a play with something at the lower end of the gold anodised gene pool. Whenever I have the reel out at the ramp people ask about it.