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2017 AOTY/DOTY Entry

Topic: the jigmaster stainless steel gear sleeve  (Read 4756 times)

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  • Salmon
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you either have one now, or you've had one in the past.  it's been a love/hate relationship.  easy on the pocketbook, hard on your nerves when the drags started to skip or stutter.  not enough side plate drag capacity for the size of the spool.  dinky handle.  corrosion everywhere.  it was just never good enough.  you know the reel.  it's the penn jigmaster.  

the oversized jigmaster power handle helped alot, didn't it.  so did shimano drag grease.  and you promised to start taking better care of your reels by rinsing them off.  but then you tried to lean on the reel too much and that stupid post where the handle attaches started to round off.  pretty soon the handle was wobbly and your precious jigmaster was tossed back in the junk box, where it has sat ever since.  well, it was the skinny little brass gear sleeve that failed.  i know the problem well.  

here is a photo of the the three brass gear sleeves that penn makes, and something special from peter kolekar....

the large gear sleeve (penn part #98-114)on the left comes from the 6/0 penn 114h.  next to it is the medium gear sleeve (#98-320) from the 4/0 penn 113h.  third is the small gear sleeve (#98-60) from the jigmaster, 113, 112h, squidder and long beach.  and the fourth one is a custom stainless steel gear sleeve made by my machine shop buddy, pete kolekar.  

the issue with these gear sleeves is damage or "rounding off" at the top where the handle bolts on.  when the drags stick (or the drags are simply set too high), the gear sleeve will round off under pressure from the handle.  this damage is common for the small jigmaster/112h gear sleeve, less so for the larger ones.  more importantly, it limits the amount of drag you can use on these small reels.  the the jigmaster and the 3/0-sized 112h are limited to 8#'s of drag at the top of the spool before risking damage to the gear sleeve.   and regardless of which penn brass gear sleeve you had, if the handle nut was on too loose, the soft brass gear sleeve would be damaged immediately.  many reel repair shops would then insist on replacing the entire bridge assembly, knowing (or not knowing) that it was possible to replace just the gear sleeve.  this is where pete kolekar comes in.  

this afternoon i rebuilt an old high speed jigmaster 505hs.  the bearings were shot.  the 5:1 brass main gear and stainless steel pinion gear were shot.  the soft brass gear sleeve was rounded off.  the owner said he wanted to be able to cast 75 yards with 30# spectra.  he needed 10#'s of drag and the 5:1 gear ratio.

so here was my answer.  new bearings and a new brass gear set from penn.  if these gears failed again, then we would go to a set of newell 5:1 gears.  greased drags.  a penn power handle.  a narrow frame and spool 506 conversion kit (on special from pennparts.com).  and lastly, a stainless steel gear sleeve from pete kolekar.  the narrower frame will allow him to cast farther.  the stainless steel gear sleeve will  allow him to use 10-15#'s of drag without rounding off the gear sleeve.  it was a standard rebuild, with yamaha engine grease in all the screw holes, corrosion x in the bearings, and shimano drag grease on the drag washers.  here is the result....

your long distance casting solution.


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  • Location: San Leandro, CA
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Alan, what will all of those mods cost for a Jigmaster 500?

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  • Salmon
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the gear sleeve is $15.  pete has to machine them one at a time.