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  • stevecowles

1980s Japanese Fishing Reel Win

I quite enjoy float fishing from the pier for mackerel, there is no heavyweight gear involved, and I have a tiny (I mean tiny) tackle box I've set up especially for the purpose. It costs almost nothing, a float, weight, rubber band and hook and you are in the game. It is quite relaxing after a day of work and the rod is small enough to take on the bus avoiding the uphill walk home. If the weather and tide are good for it on a sunny evening, so am I.

I'm considering replacing the poor-quality nylon monofilament line that came on the reel I use for spinning in the harbour with a better-quality fishing braid. There is a slight snag here, I use the same reel if I'm float fishing. What to do?

The obvious answer would be to buy a really cheap AliExpress reel for float fishing, I already use the cheapest of rods (a 6ft boat rod I bought unused for a fiver). I can't justify a big expense for something which will only be used for a short season and there will never be any serious weight involved so any basic reel will do.

The only downsides to using AliExpress would be the delivery time (not likely to arrive before the end of the mackerel season this year) and the need to buy and load some lightweight line too.

I decided to hunt around on eBay for a secondhand deal and came up with this rather splendid 1980s Dawia 407 reel. Including 48h delivery, it cost me just £7.95 and comes with some lightweight line (maybe around 12-15lb at a guess) already loaded.

The reel is in good condition and retro-cool too. Made of decent metal without dodgy engineering and ball bearings jammed in to take up the slack, this is properly machined (in Japan) from new. At its age, it might benefit from a service and some new grease (although it feels fine) but that is an easy job and can become a winter project. I'm very happy with it.

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