Vintage Restorations

Vintage Rod & Reel Restorations


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.

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.

IMPORTANT! Read “Shipping Information” here.

Vintage Restoration: What’s Involved.

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 paint (or stain) the blank matching the original color as closely as possible, 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.

We prefer Epifanes Stains and Varnishes when applicable. We feel these stains and varnishes gives us the best results. We will however, use whatever best suits your individual needs.

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. Actual costs will be determined only after a close inspection of the rod.

The Process:

  1. Once your restoration has arrived, we will carefully inspect it and contact you with an action plan on what needs to be done.
  2. Once the action plan is establish, we will send an electronic invoice to your email for full payment on the restoration. Your job will not be entered into the current workflow until this has been paid. Once started on your restoration, this payment is non-refundable.
  3. Once payment has been made we will schedule your job into the restoration workflow. Understand that restorations can be in-house sometimes even up to a year, depending on the projects we have in-house at the time and the complexity of the project.
  4. We will contact you the minute we get your project on our bench to begin restoration. PLEASE DO NOT call or contact us regarding status. If you have not heard from us, your restoration has not begun. We promise to get to it as soon as we possibly can. Fielding status calls only delays on-going projects.
NOTE: Please DO NOT send original boxes, manuals, cloth rod protectors or anything you wish to get back. Send JUST the rod and/or reel to be restored and KEEP the original boxes, paperwork. These items become separated during the process of restoration and with the large number of restorations in-house, they are nearly impossible to keep track of. The best bet is just to leave them at home.

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” 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!

Time Frame

(Please readVintage Restoration Turnaround Time” here. )

“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 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. Six to eight months or longer 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. Please do not call asking status. We will let you know the minute the job reaches the table.

Vintage Rod RestorationsRestoration 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.


The very name, “vintage” or “antique” means old. With age comes corrosion, deterioration, brittleness, and weakness. While undergoing restoration, should your rod or reel break according to any of those factors, and not due to our negligence, GCR is not responsible. With the customer’s permission, we will try to fix, replace or repair, but we will do so at the customer’s expense. If the fault happens to be our own, we will certainly take responsibility and make it right.

Spincast Reels

We do not currently service or restore spincast (Zebco-type) reels at this time.

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 RODS 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:

815 Brief Road West
Indian Trail, NC 28079
P: 704.236.0897