Billy Pate Reel

I have borrowed this reel from a friend, who has it loaded with monofilament (?). It is a disc drag reel, more complex than the simple click pawl reels that I make. These are my notes for a possible future design.

The frame anchors a fixed spindle (hidden in this photo), inside a rotating spindle. The rotating spindle is one piece with a ratchet which engages anti-rotation pawls. The face of the ratchet is covered with cork (?). It also holds two ball plungers; I do not understand their function.

The spool is bronze bushed, and has a front rim that fits around the front of the frame. In the grease here is a ring of dots made by the ball plungers.

The spindle has a left hand thread (this is a right hand wind reel), flats to engage the crank, and (not visible here) an axial groove for the tab of a washer. The screw at the top of the spindle retains the rotating spindle on the fixed spindle.

Into the recess around the spindle go a spring, a thrust washer, a teflon washer, and an internally tabbed washer.

The adjuster screws down over the spring and washer stack. On payout, the crank does not turn (due to the pawls), so the adjuster can be worked.

Here is the crank, a cap nut, and a locking screw for the nut.

On retrieve, pawls click and the crank moves with the spool (due to friction at the cork disc).

On payout, there is no click (though one could be added with additional mechanism) and the crank does not rotate with the spool, so the adjuster wheel can be worked. Also, the front spool rim could be palmed.

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3 Responses to Billy Pate Reel

  1. Fred Balling says:

    Thanks for sharing this fascinating bundle of images. The asymmetric gear keeps popping up in my mind as an efficient means of making the outward drag more resistant than the retrieve click.
    Richard Bradley used a fixed ball plunger in his reels in place of a pawl spring. In the Billy Pate,
    that plunger device appears to be a control to prevent drag inertia between the 2 greased surfaces?

    • dave49 says:

      The term “drag inertia” is used in the fly reel community. I believe that it means “stick” as in “stick-slip friction”; i.e., the slightly higher coefficient of friction to break away as opposed to continuously slide. That may well be the function of these ball plungers.

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