Okay. Long time-lurker, first time poster.
Welcome to the Forum. I hope you enjoy posting here.
Breaking them down and polishing the brightwork is easy enough but before I go out, buy a spray can of Rustoleum flat black, and do something I'll really regret, any advice on how best to resurface/recoat these reels?
To start, it is your
reel. You can do whatever you wish with it.
In my view, a decision to repaint depends the desired outcome.
- Do you want to retain the 'value' of the reel? Don't repaint it if it is an older Medalist. A newer, beat up reel? Sure, repaint.
- Do you want it to fish better? Painting will not change the fishing function one bit.
- Are you worried about corrosion due to the lack of paint? That's not a problem except in salt water.
- Do you really hate looking at chipped paint? Then paint it for sure.
- Do you want a 'brand new just like the factory' appearance? Prepare to put in lots of hand work. Or watch for a new-old-stock reel on eBay and pay the money.
If you are looking to repaint, Option One is to simply clean up the reel and repaint. But the original paint is still, partially, there. Unless you carefully fill the chipped spots, new paint over an old surface will be lipstick on a pig. You will still see the chips. And new paint often doesn't stick well on old paint without serious surface preparation.
Option Two is to remove the old paint (re-surfacing was your term). The big problem is the aluminum side plates and spools. You can't just throw them into a typical lye based paint stripper and expect to get anything back (I use ZEP Purple Concentrate on cast iron and steel). The lye will quickly eat aluminum. Non-lye based products, like Citrus Strip, are slow to remove factory paint. Sandblasting will abrade the exposed aluminum faster than the paint. Feathering the edges of the chipped paint is difficult for the same reasons. IF you can get the old paint off without damaging the aluminum, then you can prime and repaint with an expectation of a 'like new' finish. If you have a relatively easy and safe way to do this, I would love to know it. Most likely, the re-surfacing will take a lot of handwork and careful sanding/scraping.
Option Three is to clean up the reel and wax it. You don't make it pretty, but it will fish just fine. You don't change the reel or reduce the 'value'. In the short term, you can do this with your 'fishing grade' reels. Meanwhile experiment on old reel corpses to find a good way to resurface them (and post the results here!).