Bronze Frame Reel – Pawl

The clicker has taken me more development time than any other reel feature, except possibly for the aluminum anodization process. I started out thinking that the pawl should be made from steel, since that is what I observed on commercial reels. I bought a “test kiln” so I could quench and temper.

Then I made a life test fixture, using a gearmotor.
I soon learned that modern plastics such as Delrin are much more durable than steel, in this application. I think it has to do with impact absorption, or “toughness”. Blog reference: 23 Aug 2011.

This is the present pawl configuration, a symmetrical pawl and an asymmetrical spring on symmetrical mounting posts.
Prior to this, I had made either the pawl or the spring posts asymmetrical. This recent configuration is the easiest for changing from left hand to right hand wind.

Here are the drawings for two sizes of pawl.

Notice the 20 degree angle on the flanks of the pawl tip. This is the pressure angle of the mating gear. It is not important when the pawl is clicking along in one direction, but it does help the pawl make a smooth reversal of direction.

Blog post on pawl fabrication: 22 Jan 2014.

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Bronze Frame Reel – Ratchet & Bushing

The bushing and ratchet are made as one piece. I have not tried gluing two pieces of Delrin together because I don’t know of a suitable glue, and I have concerns about concentricity.
Terminology: Is it a ratchet if it allows rotation in both directions? It is made with a gear cutter, but is it a gear if it does not mesh with another gear? “Clicker wheel” might be the best term.

For the 3 weight reel, the part has a somewhat different form; there is no recess in the face of the gear (ratchet, clicker wheel, etc.). The reason is that the gear end of this part also serves as a thrust surface, and a recess in the 3 wt. part would be too small. All this leads to a different spindle mounting for the two sizes of reel.
See the post of 7 April 2016 for step-by-step instructions on making this part.

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Bronze Frame Reel – Knob

Here is the knob and its mounting hardware. The purpose of the pan is to keep leaders from getting wound around the pin, under the knob.
The 5-40 thread on the pin has to be cut as close to the shoulder as possible – use a hex repair die as explained for the Spindle.

I have been making knobs from Ultem, a polyetherimide (PEI). It is available as plain resin (translucent) or glass filled (opaque).
My blog post of 11 May 2015 considers cutting the 1.8 inch radius.

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Bronze Frame Reel – Spool

Recently I have been making spools from a single piece of aluminum, even though it takes a lot of time to remove all the waste material.


An advantage of using aluminum is its light weight, and the most significant aspect of this is low rotating inertia. This directly affects the click; pawl-to-ratchet forces are reduced. (The purpose of the click being to prevent spool overrun, not to fight fish.)

A disadvantage of aluminum is that you probably should anodize. This blog has many articles on anodizing, use the Categories list at right to locate. The anodizing cell can be as small as 32 fluid ounces if you are careful about cooling and agitation.

It is certainly practical to piece together a spool and the waste will be much less. Good adhesives are available (see 27 Aug 2010). You need a fixture to be sure that it goes together square (see 23 Nov 2011).

So here are the drawings for spools of two sizes.

I have omitted some of the porting on the face to serve as a counterweight for the knob.
Past blog posts on the spool are 13 Feb 2015 and 1 June 2013.

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Bronze Frame Reel – Spindle

I make spindles from stainless shaft material that is already ground to a fine finish.
It is important that this part screws all the way into the Rear End Plate. There is a thread relief counterbore in the plate, but the spindle male thread must run as near to the shoulder as possible. I have an 8-32 hex repair die that has a tapered opening on just one side. After cutting the thread with a round die (which is tapered), I run on the repair die with its untapered face leading.

This drawing also shows the oversize screw that secures the spool. Alloy c792 is a highly machineable 12% nickle silver. Its male thread needs the same treatment as the spindle. I have been making the “spherical” radius by cutting a couple of cone surfaces and then working over with a file. The slot is just wide enough to accomodate a newly minted U.S. quarter.

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Bronze Frame Reel – Pillars and Screws

I have been making pillars from nickel silver. The two pillars that fasten to the foot have cross drilled holes that are off center. This helps balance the Front End Ring with the heavier Rear End Plate.
I buy 18% nickel alloy from suppliers that cater to knifemakers. I don’t know for certain that it could be certified as c752. On Line Metals now offers 12% nickel alloy c792 in diameters as small as 3/16 inch. This would also be a good choice. For the highly machineable c792, I would make the tap holes with #47 drill.

I make the frame screws from standard pan head screws, modified by turning the heads to a smaller diameter. Turning also improves the concentricity of head to thread. The turning fixture is a rod that is drilled and tapped at one end.

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Bronze Frame Reel – Foot

The foot is made mainly by milling operations.
The challenge is sequencing these operations so that the part can be clamped.

Only recently did I figure out how to cut the top surface with my lathe.

Earlier posts on the foot:
24 July 2016, 11 June 2015, 28 July 2014, 14 Feb 2012.

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