Vintage Rod and Reel Restorations

Vintage Rod and Reel Restoration Specialists

If you're looking for high-quality, vintage rod and reel restorations, you've come to the right place! We get great satisfaction from restoring old, antique vintage fishing rods and reels. Unless otherwise requested, we seek to restore the vintage rod and/or reel back to the original factory design, as close as possible. Some components and threads are no longer available, but in most cases, we can replicate the original look-and-feel.

(See "Things You Should Know About Rod & Reel Restoration")


We now require FULL PAYMENT BEFORE we begin work on any restoration project. That includes projects currently in-house.

Vintage Fishing Reel Restoration

We completely disassemble the reel, remove all the old grease and oils by first soaking in a degreaser and then placing in an ultra-sonic cleaner. We will then buff the metal components to a slick, high shine and regrease with recommended reel grease and lubricating oils. Any non-metal pieces are washed and scrubbed by hand.

We then clean or replace drag washers and bearings, returning the reel to tip-top shape, like the day it was manufactured.

Externally, we inspect the reel to see if any rust can be removed with chemicals and/or sanding or buffering. If so, we will take that route first, using a Dremel tool and a buffering or polishing wheel and chrome polish to a highly reflective shine on chrome and metal pieces.  If rust is too severe, we will try to obtain like-new replacements for those pieces.

For vintage and antique reels, if requested, we can sand and strip the remaining paint and repaint it as closely as possible to the original color. In some cases, we may be able to obtain new labels and graphics. If that’s not possible, we’ll mask over the existing label in order not to lose the identifying marks.

 Vintage Rod and Reel RestorationsVintage Rod and Reel Restorations

Vintage Fishing Rod Restoration

Goose Creek Rod & Reel has two options to choose from for vintage fishing rod restorations. We can do "light" rod restoration or a "complete" rod restoration.

Light Rod Restoration

A "light" restoration involves cleaning your existing rod blank without repainting the blank. This would involve lightly wet sanding with ultra-fine sandpaper to remove most of the ground-in dirt, grease, and marks and then coming over it with a clear rod varnish to protect the blank. We would remove and then clean and polish all guides and rewrap the guides using the original color and style of the rod. Optionally, we can also wrap the guides using any color and style of your choosing.

During a light restoration, we do a deep clean of the cork or wooden grips. The cost of a light restoration is significantly less due to the time and materials involved.

Complete Vintage Fishing Rod Restoration

In doing a complete fishing rod restoration, we strip the rod of all guides and wrappings. We remove the old varnish and wet-sand the blank. We will then repaint the blank matching as close as possible to the original color of the blank, or the color of the customer's choosing. We will clean the existing guides if they can be cleaned. If not, we will replace the guides with period guides of the same style, if available.

If the rod has cork handles, we will try cleaning them first. If this isn't sufficient, we will cut off the existing cork grips and replace them with new cork. If the rod has wooden handles, we will sand down the handles and re-stain with a stain that coordinates well with the rod's blank color. Once stained, we will apply a marine-grade clear varnish to protect the wood. All chrome and metal pieces, reel seats, etc., are polished to a bright shine. Costs will be determined only after close inspection of the rod.

NOTE: We take every precaution to avoid damaging your vintage blank in any way. However, if you are going to fish with your restored vintage blank, we make absolutely no guarantees as to the blank integrity and we accept no responsibility whatsoever, should the blank fail. They are, after all, "vintage" blanks. Most have their blanks restored to display on the wall or hand-down to future generations. Should you decide to fish the blank, it is possible the blank will snap with use. That is the risk you take with vintage blanks, especially vintage bamboo blanks.

Attention to Detail

We pay careful attention to detail when restoring your old, antique, and vintage fishing rods and reels. We spend a great deal of time researching your vintage rod or reel to give us a feel of what it looked like the day it came off the factory floor before we even think about picking up a tool. Should you decide to "improve" on the look, we can do that as well. Just let us know what you want and then rest assured your family heirloom will be in good hands!

Penn Jigmaster Restoration, Before Penn Jigmaster Restoration, After

Time Frame

Many people ask us, "How long will it take to restore my vintage rod or reel". If you are in a big rush and are looking for a quick turnaround, we are probably not going to be that guy. Because we spend a great deal of time researching and due to the fact that we like to take our time and do it right - even if it means re-doing over and over again to get it right. Three to six months is not out of the norm. You don't want anyone to rush through a restoration project. We like to advise our customers to just send us the rod and/or reel and try to forget about it. Trust that we are doing the very best job we can do and when you do receive it back, it is something you can take pride in and hand it down for generations to come.

Vintage Rod and Reel Restoration Pricing

Different approaches are required for rod and reel restoration depending on the blank material, availability of parts, and the degree of difficulty. We cannot possibly quote a price without having the rod and/or reel in hand. What we can promise is that we will quote a fair and reasonable price for the job. What you will receive is a rod and/or reel, beautifully restored that you can be proud to pass down to your grandchildren and great-grandchildren. To get an idea, prices have commonly started at $200.

For quality vintage restoration of your antique fishing rods and reels, contact Goose Creek Rod & Reel today. Your family heirloom will be safe in our hands and the results will be spectacular.

Directions: Goose Creek Rod and Reel is located in Indian Trail, North Carolina near the intersection of Brief Road West and Hwy 601, just a few short miles from Midland, Locust, Mint Hill and Monroe, NC. We are very convenient to Matthews, Pineville and Charlotte, NC. Take I-485 to Exit 44, Highway 218 (Fairview Road). Take a left on Brief Road and follow that over the Union County line. We are approximately one-half mile on the right before you get to Black Road.

Shipping Address:

Goose Creek Rod & Reel
815 Brief Road West
Indian Trail, NC 28079
P: 704.236.0897

See also: Fishing Rod & Reel Repair