How to make a Fly Reel

jimmylong

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looks great, just out of interest how many hours labour have you put in so far and how many more are you expecting to spend on the reel, would be interesting to see how much a reel would cost if you went to an engineering company with a drawing and asked them to make it for you,way more than a mass produced one i expect,where i work charge £50 per hour labour in our machine shop
 

Blue Zulu

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Thanks for all the replies everyone :) I really didn’t think that folk would be all that interested. I started the thread in the hope that it may give School Kids/ Students some inspiration for a project. I remember making my first reel at metalwork class at school and then saving up to buy my first lathe when I was 14. I think it’s a real shame that schools in general do less of this sort of thing nowadays.

I was hoping to be back home from work today to do a little bit more but I’m afraid it looks like it could be next week before I get the chance to upload some more photos :(

In answer to questions about how long it would take to make my reel, I would have to say I don't really know. I started getting organised in November, so I would think it will have taken the best part of a couple of months by the time I have finished. The most time consuming part is being outbid on tooling or materials on ebay and then waiting for more to be re-listed.

Ive really got to take my hat off to forum members such as Speyco and Inland and anyone else trying to make a living making benchmade reels.

Cheers
Neil
 

Ade

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Awesome, BZ

Post of the year in the making. Fascinating for me as I like to make things and see how things are made, although this is way out of my league. My rod was about my limit, but then I didn't make the blanks!

Thanks for taking the time to post this and look forward to the next instalment.

It's been said above, better than Telly

Ade
 

Ally G

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Great stuff BZ makes you appreciate the effort of a quality reel can't wait to see the finished product!!
 

yespsb

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Quality post Quality reel in the making

BZ I echo everyones elses appreciation, the photos of the Myford take me back over 35 years to my days as an apprentice at the Vulcan Foundary in Newton Le Willows.

Its great to see you keeping up the tradtion of engineering that we were all once so proud off. I look forward to the next installment. :)
 

Blue Zulu

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Finally returned home from work yesterday :) so I have managed to do a little bit more.

Bearing Assembly

Starting off with a 2” Piece of Brass


Turn to size


Drill


Ream to size


Form a groove for the ball bearings


Insert some Stainless Steel Ball Bearings and form a cup around them by a process called spinning whereby the metal is forced into shape by applying pressure from a polished tool as it rotates.



I still have to drill and fit 3 retaining screws, but things are starting to take shape



To be continued.........
 

Springer

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Great stuff Neil. :cool:

When you spun the brass did you use any kind of grease or tallow on the the form tool?

How is the main shaft fitted to the spun bearing housing, is it a press fit?

Your photography is really nice too, what camera is it?

I notice the form tool for the bearing groove looks to be a different radius to the ball bearings, is that intentional for point contact?

How do you plan to finish the reel to avoid corrosion?
 

Blue Zulu

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Great stuff Neil. :cool:

Thanks Alan,

When you spun the brass did you use any kind of grease or tallow on the the form tool?
I used some Dormer Super Cut cutting oil which is extremely viscous and sticks to stuff just like grease.

How is the main shaft fitted to the spun bearing housing, is it a press fit?
It is all a one piece unit that is a press fit onto the sideplate of the cage that will be secured by 3 or 4 riveted countersunk screws. I would have liked to have screwed them together but I have to be able to strip the reel down for the finishing process. I will try and post an exploded view of all the components when I get it finished.

Your photography is really nice too, what camera is it?
It’s just a Canon EOS 1000D which is the entry level EOS. I usually have it set to Auto/Macro to save fiddling about with greasy fingers.

I notice the form tool for the bearing groove looks to be a different radius to the ball bearings, is that intentional for point contact?
To be honest I just used a tool bit lying around that I use to undercut screws. The base of the groove is flat with round corners. I maybe should have ground up a new tool especially for the job.

How do you plan to finish the reel to avoid corrosion?

I think I will anodise the aluminium parts myself. I know it will not be as hard as Type2, but it should give some protection. Any brass screws/fittings I will Nickel Plate myself. I plan on using Delrin for the Spool and Winding Plate.

Cheers
Neil
 

wilbert

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Thanks again for the quality post. The reel will look great once finished. I wish I had access to a good milling machine and laythe outside of work so I could put my machining skills to good use. Making reels looks much more fun than making aircraft components and I would get to use the end product for once.
 

Springer

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Great stuff Neil.

Delrin is great to work with. In the past I have obtained an almost anodized look straight off the tool. How did you keep the bearings in place while you spun them?

Im looking forward to seeing the rest. :cool:
 

Blue Zulu

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Spool


I decided to make the Spool out of a hard black plastic called Delrin. It is used to make items such as bearings and gears and it does not absorb moisture as much as Nylon so can be used in marine applications. Also it is nice to machine.

Roughing out to size.


If you keep the tools sharp you can get a good finish without the need for papering.


Setting up for drilling the holes in the spool. I am sure whoever made the original model of this style of reel had a warped sense of humour by making a 13 hole pattern :eek: As you will have probably guessed 13 does not go into 360 degrees exactly. The worm drive on my dividing head is 60:1 so I need to turn the handle 4 and 56/91 turns to advance the spool to drill the next hole. Luckily the outer ring on plate N0.1 has 91 holes, so all I need to do is turn the handle 4 complete turns and 56 notches.


I am using a stub drill which is a lot shorter than say a normal jobbers type drill bit. This prevents the bit from wandering and saves using a centre bit to start the hole.


Almost complete.


I think the black adds a bit of colour if you know what I mean.


To be continued......
 

Blue Zulu

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Spindle and Gear

I decided to make the check gear teeth out of some silver steel which is a type of tool steel that can be hardened then tempered if required. Because it is a pawl type arrangement and not a train of gears then there is no need to cut an involute profile. I have used a 60 degree double angle cutter and 40 teeth makes it a nice easy 1½ turns of the dividing head per tooth.

Drilling out a piece of 40mm Silver Steel


Roughing out a piece of brass


Pressing the ring of Silver Steel onto the spindle and securing with retainer. I will drill some round key pins at a later stage


Turning the groove to fit the ball race


Threading the end of the spindle


Set up for cutting the teeth using a dividing head on the vertical slide on my lathe


First cut


After three cuts per tooth


Finished spindle and check gear


This is where it goes



To be continued....
 

CB

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Great work Blue Zulu, very interesting to follow the progress of this reel!
Thanks for sharing, looking forward to see the end result :)
 

Altmor

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This is becoming an absolutely fascinating thread ..... top drawer :cool: .
Altmor.
 
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