I‘m a liberal leaning outdoorsman attempting to open the minds of right wingers to the idea that libs fish too. Anglers come from all walks of life, left, right, and center. Not everyone who fishes for bass is a redneck fond of Nascar, country music, and religiosity. Expect posts about largemouth bass fishing, techniques, reviews of lures and other products, but not any condemnable conservative rants. I hope to inspire the online angler community to dial down rhetoric which will do more harm than good to our sport.

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Wednesday, January 25, 2012

• Remove a Pflueger Patriarch Sideplate

For some reason, reel manufacturers have gone out of their way to prevent anglers from learning how to open up our reels to accomplish the smallest of tasks. Some companies are obviously more forthcoming than others, but to anyone who is new to a baitcasting reel, taking apart the darn thing just seems confusing. There are screws in odd places and the actual task of opening up the reel may or may not have anything to do with those screws. There are little tricks to getting certain reels open. If you've ever played with a Rubik's cube, you may appreciate the steps involved.

Pflueger is not exempt from this criticism. In fact, one of my previous posts discussed how to remove the handle from their reels because it really is not at all an intuitive chore.

This post, however, focuses on removing the sideplate on the palm side of things. Previous versions of Pflueger reels only required anglers to press a button and turn the sideplate. With newer models, however, they've introduced a thumbscrew instead. If you own an Abu Garcia baitcaster or even a Lew's reel, this same thumbscrew exists on your reel, too. It's how reels are apparently designed today, so we have to accept and learn as we go.

So let's first discuss why one might want to remove the palm sideplate on a baitcaster. The first and most obvious reason is to access the spool. Only once one has removed this sideplate can anything major be done to the inside of the reel. Removing the spool is just one step in that process because at the innermost level of the gears inside that baitcaster is where the spool locks into the opposite side. Minor maintenance, including oiling bearings, requires that you remove that sideplate. The Patriarch does have just such a bearing.

The second reason to remove this sideplate is to get at the brakes. The centrifugal brake system works via a circular set of pins. When the pins are pushed in, they are in the OFF position. When pulled out, away from the center of the spool, they are in the ON position. Pflueger tends to ship new reels with two brakes turned on. This has led to a great deal of frustration among new Pflueger owners because they go out in their yards with a brand new reel, only to make short disappointing casts. Then they come inside, go online, and denounce Pflueger and the reel in question because it doesn't cast far.

A third reason to remove this sideplate is to access and oil another bearing. Some grease can also be applied to where the spool shaft inserts into the sideplate.

There are other reasons to get inside the reel from that angle, but I won't get into any of that. For the purposes of this post, most of you who need this post want to do one of the three things I've just discussed.

So the first thing you have to do is locate and loosen the thumbscrew. It's positioned at the top and front of the reel and spans the width of the inner frame from one side to the other. Sometimes the thumbscrew is loose enough to actually turn with your thumb, hence its name, but I keep the thumbscrew pretty tight, so I have to rely on a regular screwdriver to get things turning. Once it's loose enough, you can turn it with your fingers. Please note that the screw only comes out a short distance. You should not attempt to pull it out completely. The photo below shows just how far out the thumbscrew loosens.

Next up is opening the actual sideplate. Much like its predecessors in the Pflueger line, the sideplate on a Patriarch has to be turned before lifting it away from the frame. With a gentle nudge, begin to turn the sideplate up (clockwise on a right handed Patriarch and counter-clockwise on a lefty).

Once you've twisted it as far as it should go and no further, lift it away from the frame. The reel spool may stick to the sideplate at first, so just make sure it stays in place as you pull. Set the sideplate aside.

Now you've got access to the spool, the brakes, and whatever else you think you need to mess with from that side.

Here's a little tip, though. If you find that turning the sideplate is a bit of a task in either direction, opening or closing, a little bit of grease applied to the contact points it slides into on the reel frame makes it a lot easier. I've done this with one of my Shimano Curados and one of my older baitcasters as well. It doesn't take much grease, but it fixes that particular problem.

Related Posts:
Pflueger Reels: Remove the handle
Pflueger Patriarch WLP71: First Impressions
Pflueger Summit WLP Review


sapiatrms said...

i think this year is going to be a great year for fishing. i recently cought a 6.7lb large mouth i have a few pics.i'll post later. this pond is non private nearly no acses pond about a mile in the woods in marrimac mass. i have also puled out a 10.4 lb largemouth out of the same lake two years ago.

bradleyb said...

So, I spent some jack this morning on my first bait casting reel and rod. I have always been a trout fishing with a fly rod, and panfish fish with a spinning rod kinda guy. To keep things short and to the point. I almost threw my new rod and reel in the lake today. Holy crap, I have never had such a steep learning curve wih fishing. I you tubed the problems I was having and some English dude set me straight. He taught me how to set my magnetic spool control dial. Now I can push the button and my lure falls to the floor and the reel stops spinning. (btw, English pilots saved my ass in Afghanistan. I will always love the English.) but, I kept researching, and found your blog. Now, I have all my brakes set. I didn't even know you had to do that. Tomorrow, I will go to my favorite local lake (Stockton lake) and will release brakes after practice casts until it is set up perfect for distance without birds nests being built in my reel. Thank you, so much. I also like the first paragraph at the top of your blog. I'm a mixed race person, and we all just need to get along with each other no matter what. Our kids and grandkids get whatever we leAve them. Thanks for your instructions. It has really helped me.