Rod & Reel Restoration: Things You Should Know

Vintage Fishing Rod & Reel Restoration

Thinking about rod and reel restoration? Awesome! There is nothing as satisfying as taking an old vintage rod and/or reel and restoring it to its original luster. We've completed many restorations and it is what we take the most pride in. It is our specialty.

Please be advised: if you send a project to us it's best if you forget about it until we let you know when it is done. Complete restorations can take some time to do it right. Three to six months is not out of the norm. If you need a quick turnaround, we may not be the restoration experts for you. We will not rush through any job just to get it out and collect a dollar. We consider ourselves craftsman and we take a great deal of pride in our work.

Why does it take so long?

Attention to detail. We'll log many hours into research before we even start on your project. We'll track down original photographs to get a grasp on what the rod or reel looked like the day it was manufactured. If images are not available, we'll do a "best guess" based on the time period it was manufactured. Restoration is a long and tedious process. It always works best if we are allowed to take our time and think things through. You'll be very pleased with the end result.

The Process Begins:

We begin by taking "before" photos of the rod and/or reel "as is". Then we carefully inspect each component from the butt cap, the grips, reel seat, guides and for reels, all the internals, to see what can be salvaged and what needs to be replaced. Based on this we'll complete a "rough" estimate for your approval before beginning restoration. We say, "rough" because of the real possibility of running into unforeseen issues or the amount of time estimated to complete the restoration.

Once an estimate has been approved, we'll order all necessary parts and components to get them on the way. (Parts must be paid for at the time of the order). If original labels or stickers have to be duplicated, we'll send the artwork off to have those made at this time. We'll mark and log the exact spot where every guide was originally placed. We'll then begin removing the old guides from the blank.

Once guides have been removed, under magnification, an Exacto blade is used to slowly and methodically scrape away all of the old varnish. This allows us to do two things: (1) closely inspect the blank for any defects or cracks and (2) eliminate unnecessary scratches on the blank itself as would happen if you used sanding paper or a Dremel tool.

The rod and/or reel is prepped for painting. Once painted and clear coat applied, we'll begin reassembling the rod and/or reel and adding any custom enhancements that are desired.

You Should Know

If we are not happy, then we will redo the job until we are happy. We have repainted rod blanks three and four times, which originally would have been acceptable with the customer, but not to us. We would rather take a loss on a job than to have a job go out under our name that we are not completely satisfied with. And if for any reason, you are not completely satisfied with your restoration, return it to us and we will redo the job until you are satisfied. That is our commitment to you.

We hope this answers some of your questions about vintage rod and reel restoration turnaround and the restoration process. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us.