Howdy everybody, still in the audio game but it has been more sporadic than anything the last few years. After getting married and rediscovering my love of fishing, audio has sort of taken a back seat. My Abu Garcia addiction sort of snuck up on me. 20 years ago, my uncle got me an Abu Garcia 5600AB as a high school graduation gift. I fished it hard for about a decade then life got in the way and it went on to sit on a shelf in the garage. Earlier this year, the fishing bug bit me and I grabbed the old trusty Swede out of the garage and was disappointed by the crunchy feeling. I never remembered it being that rough, so to YouTube I went. What I did was open Pandora's Box in my quest to get my reel working again. I discovered that these round Abus are like the small block Chevy of fishing reels; super easy to self service, performance parts galore, and parts interchangeable across models, even reels that are decades old. Abu Garcia even makes parts for many models long out of production, so now I've been accumulating these things and tailoring them to the species of fish I pursue. First up, my 5600AB. This reel came from the factory with a rather useless anti-backlash mechanism. I tried to use it when I first got the reel, but it was not an effective band-aid for an untrained thumb, and it has been removed. I made this reel specifically for throwing large spoons, spinnerbaits, swimbaits, and bucktails to large pike and musky. From the factory, it had 3 bearings, two stainless steel ABEC3 on the spool and one instant anti-reverse bearing in the side plate. I exchanged the spool bearings for brass bushings, swapped out the felt drag washers for a set of Carbontex washers from Smooth Drag, added an Abu Garcia Power Handle, swapped the brass 5.3:1 gearset for stainless steel 5.3:1 gears, and added an anti-reverse dog to back up the instant anti-reverse bearing found in the side plate. It's a very stout reel that casts a considerable distance with lures weighing over 1/2oz. My inspiration for this reel was the Abu Garcia 5600 Svartzonker, which is an EU-only reel specifically made for large predatory fish. It's a stout beast and can horse in the toothy torpedoes effortlessly. Next, we have a new production 4600 C3, my bass reel. A great reel out of the box, but I made it a little better. With this reel, I grabbed a double bearing worm gear, double bearing cog wheel, added an Avail CR2 magnetic brake, and hit the drag stack with Cal's drag grease. Now it's silky smooth and the 5.3:1 gears make it great for crankbait duty. I could probably add bearings in other spots, but I love it as it is. It seldom sees baits under 3/8oz anyway so the factory spool bearings are just fine. Moving on, we have a 4600 C5 Mag-X. This reel is special as it's one of the only classic round Abu C series reels that came with a factory magnetic brake next to the C4 Mag. I picked this one up as a NOS unit on eBay for a great price. With this one, I added Boca ceramic hybrid spool bearings, a double bearing cog wheel, a ceramic line guide pawl, and on order I have an Avail Microcast BFS spool. The BFS spool is lighter and holds less line than the factory spool, ensuring it will start up quick and throw baits as light as 1/16oz with minimal effort. It'll see the vast majority of its duty throwing ultralight baits for brook trout. Lastly, my current project, a 5600CL Rocket. This was a Walmart only reel made by Abu. The eBay seller I purchased it from said it was never used. I fell in love with the Sunset Orange side plates. Thankfully, I got the reel much cheaper than I could buy brand new side plates for, so home it came. Unfortunately, when I cracked it open, it had a lot of saltwater crud inside which was easily removed once I stuck the parts in an ultrasonic cleaner. So now the waiting game begins. On order I have an Avail magnetic brake system, Boca ceramic hybrid spool bearings, double ceramic bearing cog wheel, double bearing worm gear, ceramic pawl, carbon fiber 120mm power handle, and a set of Carbontex/stainless steel drag washers from Smooth Drag. I do a lot of fall/winter/spring steelhead fishing, and this will be used for float fishing and bottom bouncing. The ceramic bearings will ensure it drifts baits with ease for many yards down the river. I could also use it for throwing hardware for salmon and steelhead from the piers that dot the Great Lakes. I should have most of the parts any day now. With my wife working on Christmas day, I might just put on my waders and see if I can entice some Christmas chrome from my local river.