Showing posts with label papa chops rod and reel repair. Show all posts
Showing posts with label papa chops rod and reel repair. Show all posts

Winter Reel Maintenance

Frosty mornings mean we are creeping closer to winter every day. Some hardcore kayak fishing guys will get out through the winter and fish but a lot of folks just don't like the cold or being on the water in it. Each winter, fishermen start to get cabin fever and thinking about what they need to do. One of the first things many think of is maintenance.

Time to get those reels spiffed up, get that old line off, grease them up, oil them up and then organize some tackle. We also use this time to peruse the internet for new lures and gadgets to rig up our kayaks with. 

Have you ever done your own reel maintenance? Some people love it. Some people (ahem,cough,cough) hate it. I tried it twice. One time about three years ago I decided to try to clean up an old Calcutta I had that was getting pretty grungy. That failed and I had to have a pro put it back together. I tried one more time last summer with a Abu Garcia Orra Inshore. It was salty, sandy and didn't feel right. 

I went down to Academy and bought one of those Ardent reel cleaning kits for $20, went home and started tearing into it. From previous experience I knew I needed a good bench space to work on and planned as I took things off of the reel to lay them left to right. Then, when I was ready to reassemble, just go from right to left. I thought it was pretty flawless. 

I started unscrewing a bunch of parts. A bunch. I didn't have a diagram but that wouldn't stop me. Once I got it to bare bones, I opened up the grease. How much I should put on parts and exactly which parts I wasn't sure. I had heard the old adage "Grease on Gears. Oil on Bearings", but how much. A drop? Two drops? Grease doesn't have drops. It's more like, well, I don't know what it's like. 

Now, 45 minutes into dissecting and chasing tiny parts around on the floor, I'm mad and ready to give up. I put some oil here and grease there and try to reassemble. All the parts are back in but the handle doesn't turn the spool. I decided to tear it down and try again. No luck. Well sassafras! Guess I just ruined a reel. 

I let that Inshore sit on that bench for three days. I would go in and look at the mangled mess and be frustrated. I could rig any kayak, do electrical work, carpentry and even a little welding but this stupid little reel was pissing me off. How is it I could replace a master cylinder and brake kit on a 1978 Ford but couldn't deal with this reel?  

I started looking for help online. Luckily I found someone fairly local. Not only was he close by but he was cheap. Too cheap I think now. I took it to Beau Reed at Papa Chops Rod and Reel Repair in Austin and a few days later I had a cleaned, upgraded reel (I decided to go for the Boca Bearings) that would shoot a four inch worm to the moon. Beau should change his prices. After I get all mine through. The entire cleaning and bearing upgrade including the cost of bearings was less than $70 for my model and the particular bearings I did. He made this nemesis of mine become my new favorite reel. I throw it all the time. His current turn time is about 2 1/2 weeks. 

So what lessons are there here?

#1. Have a plan- You should do extensive research on what lubricants go where, the types to use, get diagrams or pictures of your reel and make sure you have a clean,organized work space. 

#2. Have a backup plan- Reputable reel repair guys are often in your area. Ask around and you'll find out who the best on your block is. Some guys do it themselves, may offer to help and that's cool but when it comes to reel repair and maintenance, I like a professional with access to lots of parts who has tons of experience. 

#3.  Look at upgrades- Taking a $150 reel and making it fly like a $300 reel is satisfying but taking a $100 reel and making it fly like a $300 reel is even better. I did this with a Revo S. Holy. Freaking. Moses.

I've included a link to the video that Beau shot of my reel once he cleaned and upgraded it. It think it speaks for itself. 


(512) 294- 3155


Pedro Cerrano's Ritual
Are you superstitious? More and more I think I am. I wouldn't say I am superstitious to a debilitating standpoint but perhaps ritualized. And when I say ritualized, I'm not talking JoBu from Major League.

When I am on the way to fish, I listen to the same music until that music fails me (meaning I come home skunked). In college it was always Willie Nelson. Later it became Brad Paisley but for the last three months I have been blaring Mumford & Sons "Live at Red Rocks". The whole album. It builds my confidence and puts my mind at ease that I'm settling into a familiar pattern.

I recently sold all my GoPros. When I was fishing with the cameras on, I struggled. As soon as they ran out of batteries, I started catching fish. Beau Reed of Papa Chops Rod and Reel Repair saw this first hand in September on Lake Austin. We fished all morning and I couldn't boat a fish. Thirty minutes before we left, my batteries ran out and the cameras shut off. In the next five minutes I boated two fish. And this wasn't the first time it had happened.

In the past I have caught fish on camera without problems. So what changed? I started thinking about the camera. I kept trying to work angles, make sure certain things were just so. It became a giant distraction on the water. In order to increase my catches and reduce distractions, I sold them. Maybe it's superstitious, maybe it's realizing what is throwing you off but either way, I fixed it. At least for now.

Other things I like to do are line up and load up the night before. I walk through my list and lay everything out that I need and then, once it is all accounted for, I pack it in the car.

I do have a lucky hat. I have had a few over the years but this one has some cool smallmouth mojo. I've caught more smallies in the last couple of weeks wearing it than the previous eight months on the same body of water.

I also have lucky shoes. My black and white Astral Brewer water shoes. When I don't wear them I feel off all day.

Maybe it's just me but I doubt it. Much like a confidence bait, we all have our go to's and most of us feel out of sorts if we leave them at home.

What are some of your superstitions and rituals?

The Boca Treatment from Papa Chops

This story starts with a reel.

My reel.

I returned home from a few days in the salt and my Abu Garcia Orra Inshore seemed sluggish. Surf fishing and reeling in 30 pound Stingrays tends to do that to a mid-range reel. 

Me, being the penny pincher I am (try to be), decided to buy a cleaning kit, watch a How To You Tube video and clean the Orra myself. Bad mistake. I managed to keep all of the parts (small miracle) and then posted a distress call on Facebook.

Beau Reed of Papa Chops Rod and Reel Repair said he could get it back and going again. We were going to be fishing at Lake Austin with a bunch of folks in a few days so I bagged it up to take it to him.

I got to chatting with Beau around the campfire that weekend and he asked me if I wanted to do a bearing upgrade with Bocas while he was fixing my reel. I had always heard about Boca Bearings but never really understood what they would do for me. Beau talked me through it and I agreed.

A few days later I get a notification on Facebook that I have been tagged in a new video. The video was Beau, showing my reel completed, upgraded and then I saw it. Holy Freaking Moses I saw it! He spun the spool on that Orra and it just kept going. I could have made a sandwich in the time it took it to stop. He made a $150 reel spin better than any $300 reel on the market! (For those keeping score, Beau can do most bearing upgrades with a cleaning for less than $70 total.)

I got the reel back that week and got to fish with it. After the first cast, I had to relearn what adjustments needed to be made. Usually I would adjust the drag to where a bait would slowly fall and cast it without much worry. I learned to do that on my reels because my spool would stop spinning before it would overrun. With Bocas, the spool keeps going so different adjustments needed to happen. I tightened down a little more and minded my thumb a little more and threw that bait, a 4” weightless Hag’s Tornado (plastic worm) twice if not three times farther than normal.

Two to three times farther!

I have always kept a small arsenal of spinning gear because I liked the distance I could get when casting weightless soft plastics. I am seriously reconsidering that now. On Thursday, I have more work being done by Beau at Papa Chops Rod and Reel Repair and you’re absolutely right if you guessed Boca Bearings will be involved. Want to see a video with the reel he Boca'd? Check it out here: Facebook Video Link
(You'll need to either friend me or like the page to see it. )

Do you have a favorite reel that needs a make over? Do you have a newer reel that you want to sing when you cast it? Give Beau a call at 512-294-3155. Ask him for the Boca Treatment. Saltwater reels? No problem. Freshwater reels? Of course!   

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1st Annual Texas Kayak Bass Fishing Conference

Sometimes it all just comes together. A Facebook post asking about a fishing spot goes viral and before you know it an entire event is formulated. Even more impressive than the turnout was the geographical reach that a little get together had. 

The seed planter, Walker Nelson of Nelson Custom Rods, had no idea an inquiry about fishing would turn into what it did. With fishing writers, industry trades folks and kayak fishermen from all over Texas wanting to get together, the resulting weekend gathering needed a name. After much thought it was deemed the 1st Annual Texas Kayak Bass Fishing Conference hosted by Keep Austin Fishing

The KAF folks are a group on Facebook who promote kayak fishing in the Austin area. Known to frequent Lady Bird Lake, Lake Austin, the Lower Colorado and more, Jesse Reynolds, Beau Reed, Chewy Linton and others bring true passion to the sport. 

I met Jesse over the winter months when I inquired about fishing Lady Bird Lake. He met me at the ramp and proceeded to show me several great spots to fish. He didn't have to but that's just the kind of guys the crew at Keep Austin Fishing are. 

First Lake Austin Bass. 20.5"
While the fishing was pretty good, the real gem of the event for me was the campfire discussions. Having such a wide variety of people from different walks of life makes for great stories and lessons. I learned a lot about rod building, reel repair, fishing techniques, kayak preferences and more. I got to visit with Michael Lammers about my Native Slayer review. Michael has a Slayer and confirmed what I thought to be true: The preferences of the fisherman really dictate whether or not the Slayer is a good fit. That seems pretty simple and applies universally but it was good to see the kayak had made him happy and fit the bill for what he wanted. The thing I really enjoyed about the conversation is the open exchange of information and being able to see things from different perspectives. 

Marcus Villanueva and his wife Autumn of Shoot to Capture were there and she captured some great photos of the event. Having good photos to capture the event was a huge added bonus! For you guys that missed out, if you're on Facebook, check them out here

I finally was able to meet some folks like Bobby Clark I had known through forums and the like for quite a while and get some time on the water with Will Norvell, Jerry Hamon, KJ (Kevin Jackson) and of course Walker. I also had some great conversations about lighting with Dez Davis of Supernova Fishing Lights and Lance Nickel who just moved back to the area less than a month ago. 

I can't express my appreciation enough to KAF, Beau at Papa Chops Rod and Reel Repair and everyone else involved for getting this up off the ground and for helping this become such a great time. With plans to continue doing this, I can't wait to see what the next one holds, where it will be and who will be the host.