The “Fixed Spindle Reel” is my first design with a bushing that runs the length of the spool. I make the bushing of either Delrin or acetal copolymer, and it rides on a spindle of stainless steel.
The fit of the bushing length to spindle length has to allow a little end play. The drawings that I produce for the reel do not have tolerances on the dimensions, but I like for the assembly to show an end play of no more than .005 inch. Some that I produced were less than .005, but they turned freely when on my work bench this past winter (ambient temperature 68 F).
On the first warm day this spring, a customer (who is also a neighbor) noticed that his reel spool was dragging more than the ratchet-pawl would cause. I shortened the bushing by about .003 inch and the reel has been OK on the warm days since.
The problem is thermal expansion. Delrin has a thermal coefficient of expansion of .000120 per degree C, while stainless steel is only .000017 per degree C. For the 1.2 inch long bushing and a temperature rise of 20 deg C, the bushing grows by .0025 inch relative to the spindle.
So far I have repaired 3 reels that had room temperature end play of .002 inch or less. It is easy to measure the end play by pushing a feeler gauge under the head of the front screw.
If any other reel owners have this problem, please contact me for repair.