This project began with a condition-9 boxed reel (lightly used, otherwise no marks or wear) - $80 ebay purchase from a level-headed estate hunter.
It's an '02 Royal Express 1, predecessor of the 4600C3.
It's light with composite frame, and has the thumb-button casting clutch.
What I wanted most was the EX-condition 6.3 drive - pretty fast on a 39-mm dia narrow spool.
My goal is a frogger on my VG+ condition Falcon Glass. .
But I'm so set on shallow braid spools and low-inertia LW-drive for effortless and reliable casting.
The reel is shown here finished. The visible parts here are of course an AMO braid spool (8 g), and Valleyhill LW rider with ceramic guide.
The trim parts and some of the internal parts are leftover form other prpjects, ZPI handle that was too short for me on the 8.1-geared Alcance, etc.
That handle is just right for this reel, though.
Inside, here's the light spool again, BB spur gear, Avail mag brake (adjusting this is the reason to want the thumbscrews);
the new LW worm gear is Valleyhill dual BB; the new idler gear (drives the LW off the spool during cast) is Kagawa BB.
When I rebuilt the drive for new carbontex, I also swapped in a BB main shaft.
The Ultracast spool design is part of why I love my CT surf reels. Swapping spool bearings is nothing - everything snaps into place.
The Roro BFS bearings will only be there for a few casts, playing with light lures - seeing just how light I can get with it.
I have a set of MTCW heavy-duty unshielded spool bearings that will swap in for the 1/2-oz niche.
The plan is to load it first with cheap light mono, set the mag at my light end, and set the centrifugal at the heavy end. Then I'll swap line to the good braid I don't want to backlash.
I matched it with my Very Good+ condition Falcon Glass rod.
This reel is a more comfortable fit than the old-style Lew's BB-1N I had here before.
When you buy parts from Hedgehog, they always send you these little stickers to put on your reel - this is the only reel I ever thought might look good with the sticky added.
I already had the thumbscrews around, because they're pretty much required on my surf reels, along with a few other parts listed above. Next time I'm looking for something to do, I can get affordable chemicals to black-oxide the stainless thumbscrews from JAX, a jeweler's bench supplier.
...back from the mag-set trials, and I built a rocket.
The normal setting on the Avail mag (for Avail microcast spool) is to install the magnet plate flush, then turn the single setscrew that moves the whole mag plate outward, 1/4 to 1/2 turn.
For a full-flange deep mono spool on my CTs, it's 3 full turns
The Avail starting point was a mid cast disaster, flush wasn't a lot better.
But when I set the plate flush and turned each individual setscrew CW 1/4 turn to move the magnets inward, I got perfection.
Note I wasn't aiming this to fish 3 g, just casting there for fun and to set the magnets for light-end.
I get consistent 70' casts with 3 g and the correct magnet stand-off - horizontal cast, tall arcing cast, it all works.
I was afraid I wasn't going to be ready for braid for a long time, but I'm back to confident, and on to setting centrifugal shoes with 1/2 oz - it's all easy from here.
I have to decide whether I am happy with the composite frame and foot on this low-demand reel, or do I want to buy new frame and flat side plates from Abu through e-replacement parts and make it into a high-demand and rare 4500CS Rocket.
In the long run, I may prefer the light weight.
And may buy the E-parts anyway before Abu discontinues them...
Plus, if the graphite-filled plastic foot ever breaks, I can still revert to the CS Rocket plan.