prochallenger 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
ok, don't everybody groan at once.

at the beginning of this year, a guy posted about this new fishing reel from taiwan. i had seen a couple of his lever drag reels and had a rough idea where they were in terms of development. i sent him an e-mail and talked about the work that i do with reels. it was the usual stuff - grease carbon fiber drag washers, open bearings, grease in the screw holes and oversized handles. he was very polite, seemed genuinely interested and we left it at that. a month ago, he called back. it seems that he is now incorporating all of my suggestions into his reels. it also seems that he is not the US sales rep, he is the president of the company.

he sent two reels to me. one was a spinner that you will see later. it's is amazingly smooth. the other is a 320 gt2-sized conventional reel. it's a prototype that has teflon drag washers. yup, very sticky teflon drag washers. so i'm thinking, hey, i've got a long range trip coming up. we will be paddy hopping on the way down. this could be fun! i loaded it up to the top with 65 pound spectra and matched it up with a penn sabre 270 that an old friend of mine gave to me. then i grabbed the camera and sat down at the bench. here's the reel.....

first off came the left side plate. hmmm, stainless steel screws and side plate rings. points for that.

room for a level wind assembly. topless would be better, but i can thumb around a top crossbar.

a bronze bushing instead of a bearing. it's 3x9x4 mm. i can install a bearing later. funky cast control mechanism. it goes.

nuts! the cast control mechanism has to be removed starting with the outside screw, not the inside one. snapped that sucker right off!!!!!!!! oh well, i didn't want it anyway. the click spring goes back on and it's done.

got a bearing for the right side of the spool. the shields get discarded, it's cleaned and lubed with corrosion x, and the c-clip holding the drive shaft gets a little grease. now everything goes back together.

now for the right side plate. off comes the handle.

hmmm, skinny drive shaft. not good, but not necessarily bad either.

three screws and the right side plate comes off as a unit.

ahhhh. classic chinese design, not the strongest, but probably sturdy enough for what i have in mind. very common world wide. okuma, shakespeare and many "house brand" reels use this design. mostly stainless steel guts. also very simple to service.

ok, here goes. first, let's remove the eccentric jack.

second, remove the pinion gear, yoke and springs.

third, remove the bridge/gear assembly as a unit. note carefully the position of the anti-reverse dog and spring. this is the only place where you can get screwed up.

in particular, remember this photo. you have to get it back to this point to put the reel back together again. oh, and, um, at this point, you are committed.....

pull off all the pieces and spread everything out. ignore the two washers at the bottom of the photo. they are from the cast control mechanism, not the drag stack.

the height of all five teflon washer and all five stainless washers is 6.77mm.

we will install three thicker penn ht-100 drag washers, part #6-965, from the penn 965 international. that's right, this reel will now have the same basic drag washer configuration as a penn 965. so anything that you can land with a 965 international, you should be able to land with this reel. or so we shall see......

the height of these three #6-965 washers and three metal washers is only 5.43mm, so i will add another metal washer to make up the height difference.

the red washer under the gear will be replaced with a penn #6-7000 washer. this is temporary. i am going to have to cut a heavier washer later on. for now, it will be ok.

all the carbon fiber washers get a juicy coat of shimano drag grease. it's a star drag reel, so all the extra grease gets squeezed out of play. i'm looking for 10 pound of drag. that is a tremendous amount of pressure. the extra grease won't matter at all.

remember the bearing around the drive shaft? i'm going to pop our the plastic seals, squeeze in some yamaha engine grease, press the seals back on and throw the bearing back on top of the drag stack.

ok, now everything is in place. here are the before and after pictures.

now, this is just like a newell or a jigmaster. just push the bridge/gear assembly back into place. then grab a dental pick and slide the dog spring back on the post.

re-install the bridge plate screws.

install the springs, yoke and pinion gear. don't get the yoke turned around.

install the eccentric jack and screw.

install the right side plate. oh, and underneath that cast control cap is another 3x9x4 mm bushing that has to be replaced.

install the star. add a little grease.

now for the handle. the lenght of the arm is acceptable for what i want to do, but the grip is too small. plus, the spindle is so short that i'm going to bang my knuckles.

the arm can stay, but the grip and spindle have to go. i ground down the back of the rivet and punched out out.

ahhh, this is more like it!

and on it goes.


i leave for san diego early tomorrow morning. i'm stopping off at calstar in gardena to see about getting a rod fixed, then off to noah's in san diego if i have time. i'm staying at the vagabond, getting drunk at the captain's quarter's during happy hour, having dinner at the mexican place down the street, and boarding the spirit of adventure on thursday morning. on the way down, i'll topshot the 65 pound spectra with 30 pound fluoro and set the drags to 10 pounds. we'll be paddy hopping all that first day on the way to guadalupe. we shall see how this reel holds up. i'll take lots of pictures! wish me luck!

Captain Curt

Jun 22, 2003
Mission Viejo
24ft Skipjack FB "Hanna"
Once again, that's one detailed reel repair thread. :appl: Thanks for sharing. Hope you can make it by Noah's while your down here.


The boat Hanna.........


The sober one
Oct 18, 2004
Way up in the IE
Island Tak, Prowler, RRIII, TG80, Royal Star, etc....
Sha-mooove!!! Gonnna dropper loop Scads at Lupe with that? :rofl:

Good luck on the paddys!


search for the 99lb YT
Nov 1, 2004
Cardiff, San Diego
nice tutorial once again!!
at least then handle nut lock is METAL, not plastic like the ones on the TLD15's that crack and split when you lock them down!!

when you down by Noah's give me a call, i live off the same exit, but west instead of east...
i'm using torium offset handles with your teflon oversize handle grips on my TLD15's, it's sweeeeet!