Saltwater Reel Damage – example: Penn Conquer Spool

William Harned

I had been fishing in Costa Rica testing my Stealthy Hybrid Leaders and experienced a problem thereafter. Saltwater Reel Damage!

I just wanted to share this information since I saw a related article in George Poveromo's World of Saltwater Fishing

After few days of fishing the Pacific while on vacation, I placed the rod and reel in the hotel shower to wash it off. Evidentially not long enough, and not enough manual rotation of the rig. It seems the remaining salt flowed down to one side of the spool during storage. A couple months later upon inspection, I found white dust at the edge of the spool, stripping off the line, I found corrosion and more corrosion.


I took all the braid line off and cleaned it with soap and water. Realizing the corrosion was much worse, a fine brass brush on a Dremel tool was used to further clean it. Under the brass colored finish, the corrosion ate even more of the soft aluminum, sort of like a spreading fungus. I took out the HT-100 drag washer assembly to inspect for internal damage and found none.


Since the drag housing was ok, and a replacement spool was $80.00+, I decided to experiment with nail polish. After a discussion at a nail salon, Sally Hanson “Black Miracle Gel” was selected for the base coat and a Sally Hanson “Strengthening Top Coat” was used.

Now loaded with 15lb Suffix 632 braid, so far, no unusual wear after a couple hundred casts. I have fingers crossed and wash it exceptionally well every time it’s used in Saltwater.

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