I'm starting in on another project. This time, I am hoping to re-connect with a childhood friend.
When I was 8 or 9, perhaps about 1975, I got a package in the mail from my Great Uncle Jack in Amarillo. His son was serving in the Navy and was deployed on a carrier out of Japan. He bought a reel on shore leave in Tokyo and sent it home for Jack to use. Except that it was a large saltwater reel and Jack only fished for bass and walleye in the panhandle. We lived in Houston, so he sent it to me. It is a Daiwa 7650 HRL spinning reel. Dad took me to the store to find a rod. Old Houston folks will remember a department store that used to be at Beechnut and Fondren called Gemco. We were in there and Dad was trying to mount that monster reel on a 5' pistol grip bass rod. Some stranger stepped in and gave friendly advice to try a different rod. He picked out a perfect match Daiwa 8' glass spin rod. That rig became my best buddy. I fished with it for the next 15 years until I felt like it was totally worn out. It landed my largest speck, my first red, first shark, first sheepshead, first ray and thousands of panfish. At the end of its service to me, it bested a 29 lb jack on 14 lb line on the old jetty at Surfside in a two hour fight to the death.
Today, I went into town to help Mom do a few things at the house and retrieved the rig from its retirement hanging on the garage rafters. It is in sad shape. But, I intend to keep working with it until it lands fish again, hopefully in the hands of one of my kids. We lost Dad two summers ago to leukemia, so anything that stirs memories is important.
OK. Enough background. I haven't done more than just look it over. I need to re-wrap the rod with new guides and replace some cork. I'll probably re-do the entire finish. As for the reel, the sticking point may be the bail lever arm. It has rusted through the chrome, which is why I retired it 15 years ago. I found the schematic and it appears that Daiwa may have used slightly different parts in all of their reels at that time (mid 70s). The schematics for all of the other similar reels from that time, currently available on ebay, all show different numbers for that part. There are two of the 7650 reels on ebay right now, but one is as rusted as mine and the other is severely overpriced.
Does anyone have any thoughts about who might be sitting on a stash of 35 year old Daiwa parts?
Thanks in advance for any advice. And, if there is a 2cooler out there who helped a lost accountant and his kid pick a fishing rod in Gemco years ago, please know that you had a huge impact on that kid's life.
Here's the pics of the mess.