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Throw-away stuff

12 Dec 2017
by Greg Hill

Looking at – not in – inorganic collections got me thinking about all the throw-away stuff out there; low cost, low quality things. Things not worth getting repaired when they inevitably break, if in fact you could find somewhere to get them fixed.

 You might have a major appliance repaired or an expensive computer, maybe a good power tool, but most often when something breaks/breaks down these days, you decide to cut your losses and throw it away

 Fishing reels repairs seem to be an exception. Our service department gets all sorts, from the reels that are 40 years old coming in for a bit of a tickle up (“see you in another two years’ time”) to the ones that are month old, cost $40, and need $80 worth of bearings to get them to run right (probably only for another two trips — why bother?).

 Sometimes you form an attachment to a reel. I’ve got reels that are 25 years old. I  can remember the fish that were caught on them: a big yellowfin was on an old Beast Master 50-80 and the mounted snapper behind my desk was on a scruffy looking SL20SH.

 I’ve still got that reel, won’t part with it. I’ve spent more on it in parts than it cost to buy. Why? In short: trust. The money spent on it has mostly been invested in preventive maintenance, not repair.

 New bearings, new drag washers, replace a corroded handle, or a rotten screw. It may look like it’s ready for the inorganic but my SL20SH is a keeper.


I know that, when out chasing the next stuffed fish, the SL20H won’t let me down. I’ve tried lots of other reels over the years, taken them out on a single trip and then sold them. They just don’t seem right.

 That old SL20H has caught all my big snapper, a few yellowfin tuna, albacore. It’s gone out time and time again with me and the people I enjoy fishing with the most.

Thinking about that reel as I write reminds me of all those fish and good times but, most importantly, the people I was with. Maybe it’s not just about that reel after all.