Today I want to share the story of my new fishing reel with you. The story is about how it was transformed from a piece of ocean junk into a monster-catching machine and became my favourite reel for trolling lures and for live baiting.
And you’ll be surprised the learn what the moral of this story is.
This reel here is a Shimano Torium PG 16 overhead reel.
Our story starts a few months ago when Hyeshin and I went foraging for mussels on a rocky shoreline.
There happened to be a lot of rubbish stuck on the rocks and oysters.
So we began the good deed of collecting as much rubbish as we could find.
On the way back to the car a larger piece of junk caught my eye. It was an old fishing rod and it even had a reel attached to it.
When I picked it up, it looked as if it had been submerged in water for a very long time, overgrown with barnacles, and full of saltwater, mud and dirt.
We took it home with the intention to throw it away but when I had a closer look at the reel it turned out to be a Shimano Torium Overhead reel, which is a rather good and fairly expensive reel.
So I decided to take it apart and assess the damage.
I was not very hopeful though as I had a lot of reels over the years that didn’t survive even the slightest dunking in saltwater. That’s why I only use sealed spinning reels these days.
Anyway, there was mud, sand and barnacles everywhere and the reel was completely stuck.
And to my big surprise, I could not find a single sign of rust inside the reel.
I washed off all the dirt, scraped off the barnacles, and soaked all parts in vinegar.
Then I cleaned it with baking soda and a toothbrush.
It started to look a whole lot better. The rod, however, looked somewhat brittle and I decided to throw it away, which I deeply regretted later on and you’ll soon find out why.
Still thinking it might not be worth all the effort, I put it away in this disassembled state and somehow forgot about it.
A few months later I remembered the reel and thought I’d give it another chance and try to reassemble it. After another cleaning session with solvents and WD-40 the parts looked pretty good. I looked up the schematics online and started to reassemble the reel.
Then the most annoying thing happened. One of the internal springs that are holding the drag in place flew off and disappeared outside, underneath the wooden deck. Despite a lot of effort, I could not find the spring anymore.
So I went to Hunting and Fishing in Kaitaia and gave them the part number and they immediately ordered a new spring for me. This was surprisingly easy and only cost me $10. I can highly recommend this store, the guys that work there are incredibly friendly and helpful.
Anyway - equipped with the new spring I was now able to re-assemble the reel.
And what can I say? It worked. I couldn’t believe it but it spun easily, the drag was smooth and everything was working.
So I really wanted to try it out on the kayak but there was one big problem.
Remember the rod I threw away earlier? Well that’s it - I threw it away and now I didn’t have an overhead rod for the reel.
I totally cursed myself because probably the only thing the rod needed was a good cleanup and a new rod tip.
Now I had to buy a new rod. I decided to just buy a cheap overhead boat rod by Shimano that matches the reel in strength.
Now having the rod and reel I couldn’t wait to head out on the kayak to catch a fish and see if it actually works.
On the first outing and pretty much the first cast, the hook got snagged up on a rock and immediately the braid broke under very light pressure.
I then realized how stupid I am and that I should have taken off and replaced the first 100 meters or so of the old braid that was on the reel. As this was probably all damaged by the barnacles.
Well that’s what I did when I got home and now equipped with a new braid I went out again trying to catch a kingfish on live bait.
Well, I didn’t catch a kingfish on live bait but this fairly big hammerhead shark instead and that put the reel to a very good test. I had no problem stopping the shark and bringing it to the side of the kayak for release. What an exciting first test for the reel. I was stoked.
Next thing I tried trolling some lures with this reel and caught a small kingfish and a fairly big snapper. Both were super easy to bring in and this is how this old reel suddenly became my new favourite trolling reel.
And the moral of this story is twofold.
Firstly, find and pick up rubbish when you’re out there. Not only are you helping the environment but you might also be rewarded with a great treasure.
Secondly, Shimano Torium reels are of amazing quality. There aren’t many reels out there that would have survived such abuse and been able to catch big fish afterwards.
Well, what do you think about this story? Leave us a comment and let us know if you have used a Torium Reel before and what is your favourite reel these days. We would love to hear from you and your comments, feedback and likes help us grow this channel.