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Post 24 Sep 2021, 14:20 • #1 
Piscator
Joined: 08/10/05
Posts: 17615
Location: downtown Bulverde, Texas
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.


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Post 24 Sep 2021, 17:01 • #2 
Guide
Joined: 09/23/18
Posts: 240
Location: Eastern Wa
Wow!
Thanks for sharing!
My second baitcaster ever was an ABU 4600C (black w/red pushbutton). Loved it. Unfortunately like most of my ABU baitcasters, i never fixed them when they failed.

Glad to see there are so many upgrade parts available.


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Post 24 Sep 2021, 20:14 • #3 
Piscator
Joined: 08/10/05
Posts: 17615
Location: downtown Bulverde, Texas
The nice thing about 4500 and 4600, if the level wind fails, they're narrow enough to fish as CT NLW.
The red button (4600C Red Bello) would look cool, but ebay prices on those is nuts - even for beaters, and I got a near-mint reel for $80 - great place for me to begin.
I was happy to find this reel in such perfect condition at a fair price, and red is the only 4500/4600 spool that AMO has stock remaining.

btw, I have it casting 3 to 15 g without making an adjustment - all done here

Image


Last edited by bulldog1935 on 25 Sep 2021, 07:22, edited 1 time in total.

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Post 24 Sep 2021, 20:39 • #4 
Master Guide
Joined: 04/12/18
Posts: 387
Location: Upstate NY - L.George region
Classy looking rig! 8)


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Post 24 Sep 2021, 22:45 • #5 
Piscator
Joined: 08/10/05
Posts: 17615
Location: downtown Bulverde, Texas
Thanks Bob.
I'm trying a different X-braid, Yamatoyo hard shell. I threw it in with my Japan Tackle parts order just for this reel.
It's a hard-coat braid, about 40% cheaper than YGK or Duel, and just barely lower-test than the other X-braids.
PE#1.2 is 23-lb, v. 27-lb for Duel X-wire.

While Jun Sonada says "soft-coat" braids aren't recommended for baitcasters, I've had great luck fishing both Sufix 832, and Duel X-wire in much smaller diameters.


But this is actually the first braid I've fished on baitcaster that meets both Jun's recommendations - hard coat, and nothing smaller than PE#1.
And I've also fished PE#0.8 in Duel X-wire with success on shallow braid spool.

The X-braids are twice the strength of Sufix 832 for the same diameter. That makes 832 a better choice for stacking deep spools, and I like X-braids better on shallow braid spools.
Ninety-percent of their strength is in the center strand, the outer strands are for toughness and abrasion resistance.
They use smaller strand diameters, denser packing, and fuse the finished braid to the smallest possible diameter.

The "soft braids" have a silicone elastomer coating - to me, the Duel X-wire coating seems specifically hard, and so far, it's my favorite small braid on baitcaster.
We'll see how the blue Yamatoyo goes.
It's plenty limp and tied a good Allbright knot to 15-lb fluoro leader.

this would glide through microguides, and the big guides on the Falcon rod don't need anything this slick.
______________________

Adding a ps here - the way to keep mass low to stack braid on a deep spool such as Super Duty:
For your base wrap, use 20- or even 25-lb mono - Big Game or Ultragreen (the latter is sold in leader spools) - mono is notably less dense than fluorocarbon, and you'll only need 25 or 20 yards in your base wrap. The trick then is tying a good Allbright knot that will get through the reel line guide.
Here's about 120 yds 832 over 25 yards Ultragreen.
Image


Last edited by bulldog1935 on 27 Sep 2021, 09:30, edited 2 times in total.

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Post 25 Sep 2021, 09:50 • #6 
Guide
Joined: 09/23/18
Posts: 240
Location: Eastern Wa
Thanks again Ron for another reel/line thesis. Lots of valuable info you share as usual!


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Post 27 Sep 2021, 09:29 • #7 
Piscator
Joined: 08/10/05
Posts: 17615
Location: downtown Bulverde, Texas
You're welcome Mike.
Something else I do on my leader is tie a tie a standing perfection loop on the business end.
From there, I can loop on a micro-swivel trace, paper clip, a cigar cork for a rig, or loop-to-loop a piece of sacrificial leader for tying direct - swap between all and my leader lasts a long time.
The loop connection is also stronger than a single bend with point contact in a direct knot.

Over on BR, one guy posted that baitcasters are supposed to be slow, so that you can control them (the topic was improved spool bearings).
Ever since I've been playing with my CTs, baitcasters can't get fast enough for me, and I've shown more than once that baitcasters can be set up to out-distance spinning tackle.
Speaking of BR and thesis topics, here's the primer I wrote on BR about the 3 types of backlash and 4 types of brakes.
Like most writing, you percolate and edit it better every next time.

Speaking of percolating, I posted a simplified version of this thread on ORCA.
My thought process hangs out on this FFR thread, and I cut to the chase on the ORCA version.
________________________________

Something else about braid and baitcasters. You don't want to go there until backlash is a distant memory for you.
Before I loaded my first Super Duty with 20-lb 832, the only backlash I could remember was a day fishing with Mark (ablecane) -
- that occurred because I had a single line wrap on the rod tip I didn't notice. I swapped in my spare baitcaster and fished a great morning.
Re-spooling that reel was my first foray to braid on baitcaster.
My first outing with it wasn't until the fall, but I was delighted with the result and reliability.

If you remember casting Ambassadeurs, the only adjustment we had was the spool tension knob, and the set-up was gravity drop, whether you were casting free-shrimp or spider weights (though you couldn't quite get total gravity control with a 2-oz spider weight and that much meat).
Living with backlash then was a fact of life, and mono is the only way to live with it.
Braid is so limp, a braid backlash forms 180-degree folded loops you can't possibly pick out unless you have a soft plastic toothpick, which I carry one in my spare reel/spool pelican box.



Now all baitcasters have good enough brakes, you operate with zero spool tension - you only use the spool tension knob to center the spool, and set the side play at 1 mm.
It also helps to have room for casting trials to 120' or so.
But all my baitcasters, including this new one, are set up to be both backlash-free and adjustment-free over a wide lure weight range.

That said, you can also have a lot of fun with this rig casting 6-lb Maxima Ultragreen mono or 6-lb YoZuri hybrid, which is actually 11-lb test:
copied from Duel/YoZuri international website


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Post 27 Sep 2021, 16:18 • #8 
Sport
Joined: 05/18/20
Posts: 38
Thats an awesome expose, thank you.

I have a couple Falcon spinning rods, but in graphite. I really like them, particularly for the price.


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Post 27 Sep 2021, 20:57 • #9 
Piscator
Joined: 08/10/05
Posts: 17615
Location: downtown Bulverde, Texas
Thanks. It's been a fun project, and I'd use it for a frogging rod to fish water such as this, so it really doesn't need to cast distance,
but as I said, the cast reliability is over the top, especially compared to old Ambassadeurs.
Image

Have been fishing Falcon rods inshore since the late 80s. Academy got its start in Austin as an Army surplus store, with a pegboard of crap fishing tackle - that was in the 70s, when I was a college student.
There were a few years Academy had a falling out with Falcon and Silstar showed up then.
But the rods had to be too good for Academy to leave alone, and they returned.
I've fished the original Lew's Speed Sticks, Fenglas Lunkerstik, and Falcon Glass is the best glass bass rod I've ever tried.

Easy birthday and Christmas gifts for my dad were Falcon rods and Lew's reels.
Image


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Post 04 Oct 2021, 14:39 • #10 
Glass Fanatic
Joined: 07/11/14
Posts: 1449
Location: urban Colorado
bulldog1935 wrote:
6-lb YoZuri hybrid, which is actually 11-lb test:
copied from Duel/YoZuri international website


oh wow. I'd looked at the YoZuri but thought it was really thick for the breaking strain..
Maxima does this a bit, their 4lb is really 5-6lb, but 6 going all the way to 11 is a bit ridiculous ;-)


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Post 18 Oct 2021, 11:09 • #11 
Piscator
Joined: 08/10/05
Posts: 17615
Location: downtown Bulverde, Texas
Again, it's only the US market that works that way - where greatly exceeding the pound-test is considered a selling point.
Japanese sell their lines by diameter (silk thread scale - these are #3) and always report Max breaking strength.



ps on the reel - decided I like it so much in this form - looks, lightweight frame and foot, it's going to stay in this form.
I did order the chemicals from JAX jeweler's supply to black-oxide the stainless thumbscrews I added to the palm plate.
So I'll have one more photo to show later.

here's that pss on the reel - for some reason the JAX didn't take on the non-magnetic stainless thumbscrews (though it turned my Inox tweezers jet black where dipped).
Got this result with Lauer black oxide DuraBake - this would probably be good paint for refinishing aluminum fly reels (as long as you can bake the reel parts at 350oF)
before......................................after


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Post 25 Oct 2021, 12:20 • #12 
Glass Fanatic
Joined: 07/11/14
Posts: 1449
Location: urban Colorado
so how do you like the Yamatoyo hard braid ?
I'm currently using Kawa 0.6 PE on my light baitcaster and it's much better than any other braid I've used for baitcasting. The hard shell gives just a chance of unpicking a backlash where other braids will tangle and cut.. but always like to find other options..


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Post 25 Oct 2021, 13:06 • #13 
Piscator
Joined: 08/10/05
Posts: 17615
Location: downtown Bulverde, Texas
I haven't fished it, and isn't on the venue until probably next spring or summer - where I want to fish it is the Frio/Sabinal confluence.
Right now, major fall coast trips are ramping up.
bulldog1935 wrote:
...

I'll note it casts wonderfully, ties perfect knots, and I wouldn't hesitate to spool another baitcaster.
I don't get backlashes after setting up a baitcaster, so no thoughts there.

One other last touch, G-nius hook keeper under one thumbscrew - the Falcon Glass rod doesn't have a hook keeper, and you can see this works great for a lure paper clip - would do the same with a jig hook, or the top of a back-treble on a plug
Image


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