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All things Alvey | Category: Fishing Talk

kingiFiddler 1 year ago
#8152

Whatever follows, now or at any stage in the future, we can all blame itsaboat for the final nudge that sent me on this neat Alvey journey of discovery. In short order I went from thinking Alveys were just an old, redundant brand the grumpy old surfcasters and rock-hoppers used to owning five of them.

My first and still my favourite is an old, cheap model bought off facebook. The seller wanted $10 for it, didn't have change for $20, and I still got a whopper of a bargain. It's a 520, direct-wind bakelite model.
Here's ugly Betty, AKA anti-slammer 1, henceforth known as AS1:




Another of the same model, used, but with a fibreglass spool came up for sale and I grabbed that too for about $30, IIRC. At those prices two means one can be a donor if need be.

There are three bought-new Alveys to round out the famous five, but realising I may have overcooked the purchases, I have already sold one of the new, unused models.

One of the two remaining bought-new models is one of their cheapest, which I've been using to catch livebait, for a few months now. There are thoughts of trying to target a kingfish with it, just for fun, but that challenge is a bit further down the to-do list.

The second of the remaining new Alveys, a 50C model, was bought with a project in mind. That being to see if I could work it up to being suitable (as much as such a lunatic idea can be) for chasing marlin. After too many hours down that rabbit hole I have abandoned the project and returned the reel to its as-new, unused configuration. They've designed it to be perfect for their target use, which I see as kahawhai, trevally, snapper and kingfish. But there's just not enough room left in the engineering capabilities to turn it into a marlin reel and when I tried to push its limits it failed and I had to buy a new friction tube off Alvey to get it all back to as new, unused condition. So, I'll be selling that reel off ASAP (-hint for Mark, now's good).

The last few months livebaiting with AS1 has been the most fun I've ever had fighting fish. It's been very refreshing to learn new skills like palming a reel. This is necessary on kingfish and sharks especially, because this reel only had about 2kgs of drag.

I write "had" because it is such a good reel I thought why not try to upgrade it to see if it would become a marlin reel. The crazy dream of an Alvey marlin just got crazier because it looks like AS1 is going to 'handle the jandle' as we say here. With $15 in parts and $40 of TIG welding, AS1 is now up to just under 7kgs drag. I've still got some final lapping to do which I hope will bring it to 7kgs at full spool.

Having burned my gloved hand palming during a shark fight recently, I knew it needed to have more drag and I've also bought but have yet to try, heat-proof gloves that those with pizza ovens use, rated to 500°C.

What I didn't need is the clicker. So, that came out to make some room for a washer:



This washer is needed because the backing plate is dished, not flat. So I lapped a washer flat and had it tacked in to stop it spinning.

Given there's no clicker, I machined the gear/teeth for the clicker off the end of the spool so I had room and a nice flat for the corresponding washer on the spool. But how to fix a washer into notoriously fragile and fickle bakelite, so it doesn't spin? Found a threaded pipe end that when cut fits perfectly over the spokes of the spool and with a bit of filing of the inside, snugs up nicely against the bakelite of the spool:



So, that's the inner drag washer done. Onto the outer/front/top drag washer. This was easy. Just find a matching washer, lap it flat, and have a spacer nut TIG-ed on so my fingers can still get between the legs of the star drag adjuster:



While we are TIG-ing I may as well deal to something that could be a potential problem. With the reel full and the wind-on leader wound on when leadering a (hopefully big) fish, there may be enough rod bend under those loads for the leader to rub against the rivets that hold the rod seat part to the body of the reel, so I had that stitched and will remove the rivets. They also corrode a tiny amount and while it's just a patina, I don't like it on an otherwise stainless steel reel body:



So, while I've yet to do a final lap with some compound that's coming tomorrow, it is just under 7kgs of drag, using carbontex washers. By the time the washers are lapped and seated fully, and a big critter has screamed 200m off the spool, I suspect the drag it'll be experiencing is likely to be approaching double digits. My hand wins a reprieve.

There is certainly scope to make the inner and outer washers bigger for more drag, but I'm pretty happy with where it's at so far. It feels super smooth, no high-spots anywhere. So, the final test will be on a reasonable shark sometime ASAP. If the reel and myself come through that unscathed, I'll be selling my new, unused, Penn Fathom 40N 2-speed lever drag reel.

Lets see what this once $20 and now $75 Alvey reel is capable of.

Before the mods, it has landed a snapper over 20lbs, a near 2m bronzie, and this second-place getter (in a local comp here) kingi:



If anyone reading this has suggestions on how to improve AS1, I'm all ears/eyes. There are bound to be a few Alvey vets who have a few tricks I hope they can share.

The world's a better place after a paddle.
itsaboat 1 year ago
#8153

You are welcome...I am always willing to offer nudges

Quite an interesting project you have there.

itsaboat mate...Life is just a boat and then ya marry one !
kingiFiddler 1 year ago
#8155

The announcement has just come through that Gowing Bros LTD has bought Alvey. Will be interesting to see what they do with it, with the production, how much of it stays in Aussie. But it's pretty cool a long-standing Aussie company (although publicly traded so am not sure how much of it is still Aussie owned) has bought Alvey.

Could have been worse, much worse.

The world's a better place after a paddle.
itsaboat 1 year ago
#8156

Yes. I saw that in the news.

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2022-12-09/alvey-reels-will-remain-open-after-being-acquired-by-gowings/101755902

itsaboat mate...Life is just a boat and then ya marry one !
kingiFiddler 1 year ago
#8157

Fingers crossed it works out well.

On only slightly related news, I used diamond lapping paste on the washers of AS1 to get them mating perfectly and what a difference that made. I would not believe it could make so much difference but AS1 is now over 10kg drag and silky smooth. Very, very stoked with that.

Super-pumped to get back on the water and find a shark that'll give it a good shakedown test.

The world's a better place after a paddle.
kingiFiddler 1 year ago
#8180

Quick update on the modified Alvey. There's an issue and I haven't found a perfect work-around yet. With all surfaces in my redneck drag system being ground to mate with each other perfectly, I've lost freespool. There's enough surface tension between the lightly greased carbon washers and the metal washers that it tends to add a very light drag even when wound right out so there's slack/play and I pull the spool off the inner washer to at least break that seal. While not much, it's enough to put off kingfish that don't swallow on strike.

I'm using a dropback release clip to work around this somewhat but even that's not enough line to convince some kings to swallow the livebait.

Developing a strategy for this is still a work in progress.

Perhaps not grease the washers? Can't say I'm a fan of that. Not from a kayak and with the water exposure my reels get.

Any suggestions would be great, cheers.

The world's a better place after a paddle.
itsaboat 1 year ago
#8181

My first thought is use oil instead of grease. Or a very light, low tack grease.

A coil spring washer between the base plate and the spool might work.

itsaboat mate...Life is just a boat and then ya marry one !
kingiFiddler 1 year ago
#8182

Hmm, that's worth a shot, cheers here's the only thing I caught this morning. Still beats work 😃

The world's a better place after a paddle.
Mark Totzke 1 year ago
#8183

that's a great shot

a snapper a day keeps the doctor away
kingiFiddler 1 year ago
#8184

Cheers Mark. In all it was 4 hrs of paddling around before I found a livebait. It lasted under 5 minutes before being taxed. I took that as the final nail in that fish mish's coffin and came in. Tide was so big I wanted to get in before the outgoing current put too much load on my still-healing wrist. After 8 weeks out injured, I will probably go postal if I wreck the wrist again and have to endure another dry two months without my kayak therapy.

The currents at the mouth of the estuary here were so strong that the middle of the vortexes between eddies were being sucked down about a foot below the surrounding water level. Probably nothing much for a whitewater expert but it was pretty wild for me. Never seen it that fierce here before.

That experience, catching a nice sunrise, and getting in a few miles on the healing wrist were just enough consolation for no fish. But I sure hope they return soon. there was another kayaker catching fish in a spot in the estuary, but I'm not interested in small stuff. Am only in it for the tow, so that's kingfish or bigger. Hero or zero. Yesterday was zero

The world's a better place after a paddle.
kingiFiddler 1 year ago
#8186

Thinking about it some more I think I can solve the issue with the addition of a new part. It's coming over from Aussie in a few weeks, bringing my sister with it:



The bakelite trolling reel can stay on my game rod, permanently spooled and rigged for big critters, which is why the drag was modified in the first place

The Alvey 50 I just bought is as close to the solid, simple and modifiable design of the bakelite trolling reel as I could find in their current range. But crucially, it has side cast so if in the future I decide to increase the drag (although as it's for kings mainly I don't think I'll need to go beyond carbon drag washers anyway) it won't matter if it no longer spins as freely. Freespool will be super-free by having it in cast position and run the line through my release clip. Doesn't get any freer than that when the clip releases. That's the plan anyway. Let's see if it works out in the real world.

The world's a better place after a paddle.
itsaboat 1 year ago
#8187

Sounds like a plan.

There might be an issue. But not sure. I guess it would be a matter of trying and see what happens.

The issue...Because Alvey is sidecast, they get line twist. The solution is to always use a swivel. The general rule is the wire of the swivel should be the same dia as the line.

I am thinking would being in cast position cause line twist when you are not actually casting? I don't know...When casting the force is constant pulling away from the reel. But this will be a fish pulling and if the fish turns and comes towards the reel ?? I am thinking that might cause an over run...But then again, an over run off an Alvey should not be a problem because the line is not on the spool.

Give it a go and see what happens...If it all goes pear shaped, blame your sister

itsaboat mate...Life is just a boat and then ya marry one !
kingiFiddler 1 year ago
#8188

Thanks for that heads-up on the twist! Hadn't thought of that. Line 'noise' through the top guides is a real bug bear of mine. If anyone hasn't done this I suggest they give it a shot and see for yourselves - on dry land put the braid between your teeth and walk away from a rod with the reel drag set to even just a tiny amount. You can feel and hear every single bit of noise from the guides as line twist runs over them as the line comes out. It's amazing how loud it is and I'm guessing it's a big reason a fish might drop the bait before swallowing.

Most people run a swivel but I'm not a fan of any hardware other than hooks. My work-around to date has been to cut the hook off and tow the line for a k or so on the paddle home to work out any twist. If I forget that then out comes the drill before the next trip.

I'm not sure twist from the open spool position when a fish runs is going to be much of an issue though. At least on the first fish each day. Another mitigating factor may be it's under no load as it goes through the guides when the spool is open, so hopefully won't produce much noise. But it's a good thing to look out for, so thanks again for that. Will keep you posted and promise to blame sis if it's a problem.

I would not have thought of that and it's fantastic to get more sets of eyes on what I'm trying. We live, we learn.

The world's a better place after a paddle.
kingiFiddler 1 year ago
#8204

Ok, so I got the 50 model a wee while ago, have had it out on two shake-down missions to get a feel for it, and had a crack at modifying it today.

First, out goes the clicker as I don't use 'em and it makes way for a drag washer on the inside of the spool against the backing plate.



I found two possible BSP hex plugs to use as the washer that will sit on the end of the spool, cut to fit over the spokes. The 3/4" plug is a sloppy fit and would need to be packed out with epoxy or the like to keep it snug against the spool. But a 1/2" plug fits over the spool snugly but doesn't have any more surface area than that red felt washer that came from the factory. So I wasn't holding out much hope of much of an improvement in max drag (although will be smoother with no fade on a long fight, bc I use carbon washers) but it's a nice exercise to start with by trying that 1/2" plug first up.



Unlike the previous mods to AS1, where I had a washer tacked to the backing plate, to give a flat surface to mate another washer against, I decided to crown the end of the plug to match the dished backing plate. Here's a shot of how much dishing there is. It's not much but the plug head has to match this shape for best results.



Crudely crowned the plug head on my wet stone wheel and then cut slots in the threaded open end of the plug to fit snugly over the spokes of the spool. It's just a press fit but feels solid. Then I used diamond paste to mate the plug head with the backing plate, cut a new carbon washer with my new fancy double hole cutter thingy and put it all back together.



I did hope for more max drag but it only went from 2.8 to 3.2kgs. That said, there's almost no difference between the surface area of the hex plug head and the previous felt washer.

So that's stage one of the mods done.

There's enough room from the axle to the holes in the backing plate to get a bigger washer diameter in there. But unless I want to go to the hassle of getting someone to weld the optimal sized washer onto the head of the 1/2" hex plug , I think I'm stuck with the bigger, 3/4" plug as the only quick, easy option. It has a head that's almost as big as I can go before the washer will hit a hole or pin in the backing plate. Or perhaps someone knows of another off-the-shelf option that will fit as snugly as the 1/2" plug (about 16mm ID) but have a much bigger head? It'll be good to find an option not needing any welding, so it remains a quick, easy mod for anyone to do. Plus I can't weld thin stainless steel so have to take to someone to get it done.

I'll update once I've done stage two and we have a better idea of what the drag gets to.

*Edit*
I went back in and did a better job lapping it and got it to 3.8kg max drag. For an inshore reel which will still be palmed when needed, that's probably enough. Will take it for a few trips before doing anything else to it, and see how well it performs.
One thing to note about these max drag numbers is we are dealing with spools that are 5 or more inches in diameter, so a line exerts a fair bit of leverage on the spool, which limits that max drag figure. I always measure mine at full spool. However, as line empties off the spool the effective diameter drops and this, I suspect, has a significant impact on those drag figures. Moreso for these relatively large diameter spools than smaller spin or conventional reels.

There is 212m of 50lb hollow core braid on this reel. If I get time I'll check the drag when multiples of 50m of line are off the spool and I suspect the drag will increase markedly. Time will tell though.

On that note and out of curiosity, I'll do the same for AS1, which has about 600m of hollow core braid on it. It may be that the 10kg max drag at full spool increases a good amount when, say, 200m is off the spool.

Because of this and the extra resistance from so much line in the water, I've always backed the drag off when using conventional reels and a big fish rips heaps of line off. But it might be the adjustments need to be more with an Alvey, if the max drag increases markedly as the spool empties.

The world's a better place after a paddle.
JewCraze 1 year ago
#8205

Haha any playing beats work

kingiFiddler 1 year ago
#8206

It's a week of howling onshore winds here. Gotta knock a few of these projects and fishing to-dos off the list while I can.

Too wet and miserable to check the drag with line out today, but just to follow up on the issue of line twist with the spool in cast position when a fish strikes, there was some twist but was fine because there's no tension when it's going through the guides so doesn't make much noise. That and it's only like that for the initial strike and maybe ten seconds of the first run until I up the drag to roll and set the circle hook, it doesn't happen much throughout the day. Put it this way - I can keep about seven small livebaits alive in my livewell, so at most the reel is going to be puking line for about 10 seconds seven times, on a good day when I might see seven strikes. I usually give up after the first kingi is caught anyway.

The world's a better place after a paddle.
kingiFiddler 11 months ago
#8218

Checked drag with line out and not much increase.
4.5kg at 50m, 4.8kg at 100m, 3.7kg at 150m.
My not so trusty assistant decided her fingers were too sore to do the star drag up tight, so the experiment was abandoned at 150m.
That said, I'm now thinking the diameter probably changes less in percentage terms on an Alvey compared to a spools that are smaller to start with like on spin and overhead reels. so I may not back the drag off much when a big fish pulls heaps of string.

Got this image sent to me a few days ago. Motivational.

The world's a better place after a paddle.
Mark Totzke 11 months ago
#8219

Wow, I expect to see a similar photo of you soon on your kayak 🎣

a snapper a day keeps the doctor away
kingiFiddler 11 months ago
#8220

You may not quite understand how much that goal is burning within me. Everything I am doing on the yak and some on-land endeavours, is with one eye on a kayak+alvey marlin next summer. I was in tears when I stuffed my wrist just before xmas. So much training down the tubes. Talk about a summer of discontent.

If I pull it off you can use some of the footage but you have to promise to keep my name and website OUT of the credits.

The world's a better place after a paddle.
Mark Totzke 11 months ago
#8221

haha, yeah okay deal 😂😂

Looks like you'd probably need some backup boat to get back to shore after a couple of hours of fighting and finding yourself somewhere 30km offshore. I've seen a video of Robert Field catching a 500lb Marlin from his kayak. Was pretty amazing.

a snapper a day keeps the doctor away
kingiFiddler 11 months ago
#8222

The great white a while back (3hr fight) towed me over 10kms. If it had been straight out to sea and late in the day or with an offshore breeze building, things could have been sketchy. I didn't realise how much stuffing gets kicked out of us on fights like that. The effort needed seems to sort of work out feeling like about 6-8kms of paddling for every hour of such fights. That's why I was up to 40km paddles at the start of this Summer before the wheels fell off.

10ks to get out there and cover some distance trolling , 4hrs at 6ks of effort equivalent fighting the fish, 15-20 ks to get back in means I'll be in disneyland before I make it back to shore. So, yeah, the support boat seems like a good idea. Unless the blue water comes in close and I can keep the fight shorter or closer to land, or perhaps take enough money for a long taxi ride home from wherever I wash up, which could be nowhere close to where I launched and where the car is parked.

The world's a better place after a paddle.
itsaboat 11 months ago
#8223

Yep, that is right.

I am sure I talked about this some months ago. The line lay-up on an Alvey reel is so small in height that the actual ratio and therefore drag, does not change in real terms....

A 5 inch Alvey fully loaded might be 5 1/4 inches. Where as a threadline (spin) reel might go from 1 inch empty to 2 inches full. A 100% increase in dia.

Some Alvey reels have a dual handle to reduce retrieval from 1:1 to maybe 1:08. But drag remains fairly stable. I would not expect to see more than 5% to 7% change in drag from full to empty. But a spin reel goes 100% empty to full (or 50% from full to empty) (think about it, it is 100% from empty to full and 50% from full to empty), which is a big change.

Regardless of what is used, you will never see a big change in drag to line out. Simply because the dia does not change enough.

Think of levers. The spool has one point of contact with the line. That is the lever point. So the radius of the spool is the length of the lever. If you doubled the length of the lever you would have to quadruple (X4) the drag pressure to get the same result. Regardless of what you use, the length of the lever dictates how much you can lift. The maximum drag is dictated by the size of the spool. The size of the spool is dictated by how much line is on it...More line the bigger the dia, less line the smaller the dia. Amount of line changes the length of the lever. But Alvey reels simply do not change the lever length enough to make a real difference.

You could easy add a drag system to a 5 inch Alvey to hold your body weight. But if you put that same drag into a 10 inch Alvey you could pull line off with one hand.

itsaboat mate...Life is just a boat and then ya marry one !
kingiFiddler 11 months ago
#8224

Makes perfect sense, thanks itsaboat.

On AS1 I thought of cutting out and having tacked just inside the outer lip of the backing plate, an approx' 5.25" OD, 4.75" ID stainless steel washer. Then pinning a similar washer to the outer part of the spool. That would be huge surface area, acting at or actually beyond the diameter of the spooled line. A mega drag option. But not only was it going to be harder to do and might break, there's actually a fair bit of movement way out there at the edge of the spool, so it was going to take a heap of lapping to get and probably keep it even and smooth.

I think it's worth a shot, just to learn if it'll work and what the drag ends up at. Occasionally that 520 model comes up for sale cheaply here, and if so, I'll buy another as a crash test dummy for such an experiment. We get plenty of 456 models for sale here but I don't want to go any less than 5" bc when a big fish takes 100m or more, it takes more winding on the smaller spools than I prefer.

The world's a better place after a paddle.
kingiFiddler 11 months ago
#8269

Couldn't resist. Thought they were all wooden but only one of the four were. These three are bakelite/plastic, held together by dust reinforced grease, from what I can gather upon first look at them.

The world's a better place after a paddle.
kingiFiddler 5 months ago
#8358

The wooden spool, brass backed model cleaned up well and went on my livebaiting rod. I want to honour this 60+ year old reel, and put a few doubters back in their boxes, by finding a kingfish for it before selling it to a collector. Any $ received over what I paid is going back to the good old bugger that sold it to me. It may be just coincidence but so far every old Alvey I have bought has been from a really cool fisho that is happy to see their reels going to someone that appreciates them.

Here's the reel:



Have caught a few fish on it but no kingfish yet. They are just turning up for summer so I expect to greet them any day now. Until then, here's a recent snapper on the old reel:



I think often when using this reel about how old it is, how many fish it must have seen and hopefully will continue to find, how capable it is for something so old (new reels really haven't advanced a great deal in all this time, despite the marketing hype), and how many reels have come and gone (to landfill) while this old Alvey just keeps on keepin on.

What a fantastic use of the Earths resources this old reel is. It has to be one of the most ecologically/environmentally and financially responsible fishing products made in the last century. Putting the modern reels and their planned, premature obsolescence to shame.

Sure, it's as heavy as a boat anchor in comparison to modern reels, but it's still capable.

The world's a better place after a paddle.
itsaboat 5 months ago
#8359

Agreed. You can't beat an Alvey.

The biggest problem with modern geared reels, is the person turning the handle. It is very, very rare to see someone using a reel correctly.

The beauty of an Avley is that user error has no impact. Even if you use it wrong, it still works.

itsaboat mate...Life is just a boat and then ya marry one !
kingiFiddler 4 months ago
#8366

Gotta give the old reel some respect. Over 60 years old and still nailing fish like this one today.
I'm loving the old Alveys.

The world's a better place after a paddle.
itsaboat 4 months ago
#8367

Nice kingie !!

Never under estimate the good old Alvey.

itsaboat mate...Life is just a boat and then ya marry one !
kingiFiddler 4 months ago
#8368

Cheers itsaboat

The world's a better place after a paddle.
John Needham 4 months ago
#8369

What a great thread. Glad to see Alvey got bought out as last I heard they were going by the wayside. Looks like you're addicted.

Winter here now so my fishing has dropped right off. Need to get down the canal and try and get some decent Pike on. I'm off to the Caribbean for a fortnight tomorrow on a cruise but managed to persuade the wife to let me take a travel rod so I don't get bored and annoy her.

Here fishy fishy, here fishy fishy...
kingiFiddler 4 months ago
#8370

Hatched another plan this morning. I've a wee 4" Alvey bought new. It's the cheapest they make, a 40GDZ model, costing $54 on their website. It's been a perfect bait reel. Almost no drag but I don't need any for little fish - I just leave the clicker on and palm the reel if need be, which is seldom. The easy-cast mechanism isn't tight and the reel will sway around and occasionally flick into cast mode on bigger fish.
So, the latest plan is to test myself and see if I can manage the reel well enough to land a kingfish with it. It'll be quite a challenge and probably throw up a few teachable moments.

The world's a better place after a paddle.
itsaboat 4 months ago
#8371

They do one cheaper...Or used to.

Same seat. I will have a look. I don't remember where mine is. I have one which I use to catch live bait. They were made as a kids reel.

Can't find it with Google. So maybe they don't make them any more. They are all plastic and were sold in Kmart as a kids combo.

That has got me going now...Where did I put it ???

itsaboat mate...Life is just a boat and then ya marry one !
itsaboat 4 months ago
#8372

PS...Don't tell Mark that my 1400 th "official" post is showing signs of memory loss... haha

itsaboat mate...Life is just a boat and then ya marry one !
kingiFiddler 4 months ago
#8373

I suspect they used to be cheaper too, itsaboat. Went back and looked at my invoice and it was $68 for the combo with a kids rod. So either the rod was $14 or the reel has gone up in price. Checked a snapshot of the Alvey website on the wayback machine at web.archive.org and in 2020 the 40DGZ was $49. As a bait reel it has been absolutely perfect and well worth the $. If it can handle a kingfish its value will be beyond question.
I may need to be wearing at least one glove though, if I want to wear out a king before running out of line. Worth a crack. I just hope Noah doesn't crash the party.

One of these days we'll get an online fishing comp together using such cheap gear. A real leveller. Everyone uses, for example, a 40GDZ on a Shimano kidstix (their cheapest but wickedly capable and underrated rods) and we all see what we and our kids can catch, with the comp running the whole summer. The good thing about such a combo is we can use the same gear every year for the next decade because it really does last if looked after, unlike so much other crap in the world these days.

If you could just remember to remind me to push Alvey and Shimano to help with such a comp, then maybe one day we'll get it done. My memory is not what it used to be these days either. The other day I got to the water and had remembered all my safety gear, the rods, the paddle, but forgot the kayak.

The world's a better place after a paddle.
kingiFiddler 4 months ago
#8374

Good luck on the holiday John. Got to be some fish worth chasing there.

What a great thread. Glad to see Alvey got bought out as last I heard they were going by the wayside. Looks like you're addicted.

Winter here now so my fishing has dropped right off. Need to get down the canal and try and get some decent Pike on. I'm off to the Caribbean for a fortnight tomorrow on a cruise but managed to persuade the wife to let me take a travel rod so I don't get bored and annoy her.
Here fishy fishy, here fishy fishy...

The world's a better place after a paddle.
kingiFiddler 3 months ago
#8375

Have had two attempts on the new crusade, the last two days. Yesterday, I found three 10-15kg kings but even when I dangled my livie right in front of them, they weren't the least bit interested. Incredibly frustrating! The only thing I did catch was a video of a ray-rider at my feet when launching. These are kingfish that hang around a ray - using the ampullae of Lorenzini / electro-receptors the rays have to find/spook out the food then use their superior speed to beat the rays to it. Not the best quality video but kinda cool to see it.


Second attempt only found a shark which 'self-released' after a short while, wearing some new jewellery for xmas. I fear they will be a plague this summer at this rate.

Hoping for better luck tomorrow.


*edit* Not sure how to add videos. Here's a link to the ray rider vid. not the best quality but i wasn't there to video anything, just noticed it when launching so whipped the phone out:
https://rumble.com/v428cwt-ray-rider-19-12-2023.html

The world's a better place after a paddle.
itsaboat 3 months ago
#8376

There is no embedded video. You have to use a link to Youtube or as you did Rumble, or some other 3rd party video host. Have to check with Mark, but I think the band width needed would be prohibitive. If I am not wrong, the "Youtube" icon in the edit bar will allow URL's from any video host.

I know Mark will cringe at the thought of a bath tub...So I wont mention a bath tub ... But ya gotta match the hatch. If they were not taking the livies, it means they are eating something else.

I still haven't found my little cheap Alvey. Of course it will be in the last place I look. Will post pics when I find it.

EDIT: Nope. Looks like Youtube only...

itsaboat mate...Life is just a boat and then ya marry one !
Mark Totzke 3 months ago
#8377

that's a cool clip of the ray rider. Super fun to target them with a fly rod or light spin gear.

a snapper a day keeps the doctor away
kingiFiddler 3 months ago
#8378

I bet they'd be fun on light gear.

This new reel challenge is going to be quite a mission. Struck out again this morning. Firstly another shark that wasn't pleased and bit through the leader, taking yet another bit of jewellery with it. A few hours later I got my shot at a king but it dragged me into the rocks and the waves were threatening to end me so I had to cut it off.
It's a huge mission on a reel with no drag. My hand hurts (must remember to wear a glove next time).

Really not sure if I can pull this one off. If I can't land one of the next two kings I'll admit defeat and get onto another reel. Hate busting off gear and leaving gear in fish.

The world's a better place after a paddle.
kingiFiddler 3 months ago
#8412

Dear Diary (ha),
It's been a while but I've a few things to note.

  • The little kids plastic Alvey challenge has not gone to plan on account of the good kingfish evaporating. That said, wearing a glove has made a huge difference and I'm certain I can get er done when they turn up again. Have palmed the reel on rats, a few bigger snapper (16-18lb) and two sharks without issue with the glove on. Here's a wee clip of a good snapper from this mornings otherwise barren mission:
    https://rumble.com/v46pyon-january-13-2024.html
    And here's a still shot from the clip:

  • Recall an image of a guy and his marlin I posted a wee while ago? Well, I just sold a 725C52 Alvey to him because after catching two marlin last year with his 925 Alvey, he wants to try a smaller model. I didn't realise it was him until he sent me that same image I posted above. I've offered to tweak the drag for him, so that'll be the next Alvey project. Will post some more info as I get into that one.

The world's a better place after a paddle.
itsaboat 3 months ago
#8413

Sounds like a challenge to be building more modified drag Alveys.

I still haven't found the little kids reel I told you about. But to be honest, I haven't been looking for it. I can see in my mind the box it is in. I think it might be in the caravan...

itsaboat mate...Life is just a boat and then ya marry one !
kingiFiddler 3 months ago
#8414

If it's still in the box it may be worth something to a collector.

The drag tweaks to Casey's 725 are just that - tweaks. I won't be going crazy with it like I have done on my own project reels. All I need is to buy another drag stack so I can have a bunch of metal washers, then work out how many of them along with my carbon washers can fit in there, then hone all the metal washers dead flat and call it done.

What's a wee bit concerning is how I'm being treated by the new Alvey business. I emailed Bruce Alvey last week and he got back to me within about 1/2 an hour to advise after selling the business to Gowings he has retired but he copied the two relevant new businesses into his reply. Yes, two businesses - Charltons is handling all the servicing and parts, and Surf Hardware International is handling the new gear side of the business.

I put what I thought was a modest proposal to each of them, expecting Charltons to not be interested as their gig isn't selling new reels, but that Surf Hardware would be receptive. The proposal was that given we have a proven marlin catcher using Alveys and I'm working up a slighter smaller Alvey for him, how about Alvey come to the party with a free drag stack and Casey will allow them to use pics of any marlin he catches with his 725 and would feel welcomed and valued by Alvey. To my mind, $30 worth of parts is a darn cheap price to pay for promotional gold and building goodwill with someone that can prove to the most vocal Alvey critic that the reels are rock solid and credible. Too many people I speak with have already written Alvey off as a toy or worthless relic. they have no idea how good these reels are. Casey's photos would help cause them to think twice.

Craig from Charltons got back to me saying they have only just got all the parts delivered and have to go through them all but would be in touch when the dust settles. I would expect that's a huge task. Good luck to anyone that has ordered parts from Alvey lately. It may take a while to get their order, at least until the new arrangement beds in.

Tony at Surf Hardware International never got back to me. At least not yet.

There is a night and day difference between the old and new communication channels thus far. I hope this isn't a harbinger of things to come.

Meantime, I tried to post on the Alvey Collectors Facebook page asking if anyone had a donor reel or some drag washers spare they could sell me. They aren't approving and publishing that post for some reason, while others are being let through after I submitted the post for approval.

I'll try making my own washers from stainless steel at this rate. But they have tabs either on the inside or outside, so not as straight forward as just grabbing a washer and drilling the appropriately sized hole. But if needs must it'll be done that way. Kind of holding my breath a little about how Alvey treat this. I guess I'll know soon enough if it's a brand worthy of continued support or if I settle on a few of my favourite old Alveys and forget about new ones.

The world's a better place after a paddle.
itsaboat 3 months ago
#8415

I mean it's in a packing box from moving. I just haven't finished unpacking yet...It has only been 4 years. Can't rush these things

Is this the FB page?



You might have to "join group" before posting.

I just found this on their page. The little green one on the left with the single handle...That looks like it, but mine is blue.




I understand your efforts to contact them. But business does not work that way. So don't be disgruntled. I know it might sound like a good idea and great value. But they have to pay wages, get legal advice, draw up contracts. No business is going to make a deal with you based on a hand shake.

These companies have their own design and development employees. As such it all belongs to the company as it is all done in the "course of employment". Their use of your idea could cost them big, big money.

Even if they do look at your idea, which is a slim chance at best. There is no way they are going endorse their products be modified by the customer. Just the warranty issues could run into the millions of dollars.

I don't know, but they might consider you join (or contract to) their development team to explore the idea...But there is no way, ever, that they are going to endorse their product to be modified at home to catch a marlin.

itsaboat mate...Life is just a boat and then ya marry one !
kingiFiddler 3 months ago
#8416

They don't have to endorse anything, just provide a drag stack. Hiding behind a corporate legal word salad in order to do SFA isn't going to cut the mustard. Never will. I get what you are saying and that may be the reasoning, but we'll never know unless they communicate and thus far there's been zip along those lines.

I'm half way through making up the drag washers I need myself from some SS I have here.

The only things I'm doing to the drag stack are honing the metal washers and using carbon fibre. That's it. The former will up the max drag a wee bit, but it's not really the point of the exercise. Casey has come from a 925 which uses the same stack, so is already going to see an increase just dropping spool diameter to the 725. The honing will get slightly more contact surface area, but only because they either weren't lapped at the factory or have been beat up a bit in the last few decades of use. Regarding carbon washers, if there's a corporate legalese justification for not using them when it wasn't even a material available when the reels were made yet every manufacturer worth their salt, including Alvey themselves, use carbon in their modern offerings because it's superior, then I'd like to see Alvey try that tack, because the argument doesn't hold water. Again, its use isn't really to increase the max drag.

Everything I'm doing is to maintain a smooth drag at or near its maximum (with no fade), for as long as needed during big fights. If the reel can't handle these tweaks it was never going to anyway, but as Casey is two marlins deep into his Alvey journey, I think we can put that myth to bed also.

Sure, if it were my reel and I didn't have the weight of responsibility of contributing to someone other than me losing a marlin because a modification I made failed, then I'd go to town on it. You should see some of the ideas I have for the 6500 Alvey I'm using for my own marlin moonshots. The spool itself may melt down and drag washers start spinning by the time I'm on the 3rd 100m+ run from a blue that won't stop. I should be so lucky, but ya never know.

The world's a better place after a paddle.
itsaboat 3 months ago
#8417

I understand all that...I am not having a go at you. I am actually trying to help.

You made a "proposal" to them. They supply parts, namely a drag stack etc. In return, they can freely use photos and video etc.

It is a business proposal.

On the bright side. If they want to give you $30 worth of parts, they can no questions asked.

Any use of your photos (copyright) as proposed, would be an endorsement of the modifications you do with those parts. Which ever way you look at it, the offer to them as proposed, creates a legal mine field that they will not want to walk through.

You would be better off just asking them for help. Rather than making a business deal of it. Just show them or suggest to them that you can improve or bolster the drag system. Ask if they would be interested in devoting materials needed for further research and development. There is nothing wrong with making it clear that a future mutual agreement can be negotiated or is even expected.

itsaboat mate...Life is just a boat and then ya marry one !
kingiFiddler 3 months ago
#8418

The reel's decades old. They know how to improve the drags, evidenced by their modern reels.

One of the many things I find wrong with the world is how people think it's smart/clever to think of the outcome they want then massage the facts, manipulate and twist the intent any way it takes to get the outcome they need, rather than just be straight up about it. I'm not having a dig, just it's something that pisses me off about people these days. Everyone's working an angle to suit their agenda and hardly anyone can be taken at face value.

Screw that mate. I play with a straight bat. Alvey either help or they don't. Either they see the value in a small goodwill gesture helping a proven marlin performer at the start of his Alvey journey or they don't. You are most welcome to blame me for not following your advice if Alvey turn the opportunity down.

The world's a better place after a paddle.
itsaboat 3 months ago
#8419

Don't worry mate. We are both on the same page.

You have no idea just how close you just came to describing me... In another life, away from Fishing Reminder, I am a "super hero" attacking those that dare to "massage the facts". I even made "international" head lines once (well, the story did appear in Australia). I went after the Malta Government for their "massage the facts" hahaha. Anyway, they said sorry and the issue is over and done...But that minister, I don't remember his name (he is just not significant enough), he still doesn't like me haha

There was no win and there was no loss. We came to a mutual understanding. They don't "massage the facts" and I don't call them out.

The problem is, hidden agendas are just so wide spread, companies must assume there is one until proven otherwise.

I don't doubt you for a moment. But they have to. Any "opportunity" that is offered must close all the doors on those that "massage the facts" and have hidden agendas....The offer made to Alvey, as stated, opens those doors..I am not an expert on business law or liability, but if I can see it, then it is probably in plain sight.

itsaboat mate...Life is just a boat and then ya marry one !
kingiFiddler 3 months ago
#8420

Just realised it's the same washers as in my 6500 so have swiped a few of those to get on with this tweak while I've the time.

Benchmarked the stock drag at 8.8-9.2kg with a very full spool.
Added an extra washer set and got 10.2kg.
Replaced all stock washers with carbon and got 10.4-10.8kg.
Last tweak is lapping all the washers. Got half way through and will finish and test tomorrow sometime. If I were to guess I'd say it'll be about 11.5-12kg. Key is it should be silky smooth.
Time will tell.
*edit* came in about 11.2-11.5kg.
There are higher drags possible but I'm leaving it there as there's not enough to be gained and at these levels staying silky smooth is more important, me thinks.

The world's a better place after a paddle.
kingiFiddler 2 months ago
#8427

Eighteen days after I asked, Craig at Charlton's kindly offered to flow us the parts needed for Casey's reel. It was a much appreciated offer from him but I declined. A few days after my original email and his initial reply saying they were still sorting out all the parts that came in from the change of ownership at Alvey and he'd get back to me, I got to thinking about how annoyed people would be if they were waiting a long time to get their parts orders and I went looking for aggrieved posters online only to find none. It made me wonder if maybe there weren't any delays getting parts out after all, so I placed an order on the website myself even if I was unsure if it would take weeks or when I'd hear back from Craig.
Colour me surprised but they got the order out the door in a day or two and it was received by my sister in Sydney and as fate would have it she was sending it to me on the same day Craig emailed through his offer.

I explained to Craig I've ordered and will soon receive the parts. Also, to reinforce the point that looking after Casey is a wise move, I explained he has already been out on another marlin mission since I asked Alvey but unfortunately before I could get the kingiFiddled 725 reel to him, and he found 6 marlin, got two hook-ups but both dropped the lures. I'm confident he'll nail one on his 725 this season.

I also noted that there have been a number of emails to Tony Emerton at Surf Hardware, who I am lead to believe is handling the new reel and associated promotion side of the business. One of these emails was from Bruce Alvey, one or it may have been two from me, and, 18 days later, I've received absolutely zero communication from him. Hopefully not a harbinger of how Alvey is going to treat fishos in the future, but I guess time will tell.

Am looking forward to receiving my parts order and putting my reel back together sometime next week.

The world's a better place after a paddle.
kingiFiddler 1 month ago
#8437

The little Alvey that could:


The challenge of a light-tackle King is ongoing because this one above isn't the big unit I'm after, but it has been a heap of fun trying so far. I started with 20b leader but lost a nice king at the kayak, a few more in the bricks, and lost so much line to sharks that when it came time to buy more I stepped it up to 25lb to give me just a wee bit more wriggle room when I'm trying to keep a king's head from turning back towards a line-snapping rock.

As it turns out, after a month or so on 20lb leader, the 25lb leader feels like I'm using rope and gives me as much confidence as it is possible to have with this gear in shallow foul ground, that I'm finally ready for the big units should one come along.

I've had people say even the king above is a good effort on a kidstix rod and an Alvey and I can't help but think they don't really understand how to fish either because there's actually no other combo I'd rather be using. The rod is perfect for my style of fishing. The reel is actually the most fun Alvey I've used. It wants to swing around into casting mode when a big fish runs, and it sways like a branch in a cyclone. Needs a fair bit of attention to stop either happening in a good fight, which is just the sort of challenge I like.

But the big units still remain elusive...

The world's a better place after a paddle.