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10-Mar-2018 21:44

Enlarge photos and, if possible, call the seller before making your bid.

On the flip side, some reels described as balky and hopeless can be made whole simply by dissecting them and thoroughly removing old, hardened grease. Once gears and handle are turning freely, spool up with Dacron backing used by fly fishermen or one of the new braided fishing lines.

Experienced hands and thumbs can fly a quarter-ounce lure far enough to be effective, but big topwaters really jet off a rod tip.

Also, a soft rod absorbs the shock of a violent strike; Dacron and braided lines don't stretch like monofilament.

There's a moderate learning curve associated with launching smooth casts — more on that in a minute — but once mastered, a suitable lure can be slung plenty far. The deep, easy flex of a light-action rod serves two purposes.

Since direct-drive reels don't react as quickly to a cast as free-spool models, the rods must be swept more than flicked to sling a lure. It takes a package with "heft" — one-half ounce was standard when those reels lined the shelves of America's hardware stores — to turn those spools.

Fishermen who can live with a scratch or ding can pick up fully functional pieces of fishing history for less than .

Direct-drive reels will test your skills and change your opinion of every fish on the line.You can spend half as much, often less, and still get a clean, serviceable reel.Collectors look for blemish-free examples from makers such as Shakespeare, Heddon, Pfleuger and South Bend, and they pay premiums for the handful of those reels that survived the era without visible wear.When it eats, a freight-training redfish in shallow water can break a line or even bloody a few knuckles if there's no "give" anywhere in the system.Big topwaters and suspending plugs match well to a direct-drive reel's slow retrieve ratio, usually around 3:1.

Direct-drive reels will test your skills and change your opinion of every fish on the line.

You can spend half as much, often less, and still get a clean, serviceable reel.

Collectors look for blemish-free examples from makers such as Shakespeare, Heddon, Pfleuger and South Bend, and they pay premiums for the handful of those reels that survived the era without visible wear.

When it eats, a freight-training redfish in shallow water can break a line or even bloody a few knuckles if there's no "give" anywhere in the system.

Big topwaters and suspending plugs match well to a direct-drive reel's slow retrieve ratio, usually around 3:1.

Thanks in great part to Internet auction sites such as e-Bay, thousands of direct-drive reels built after WWII (but prior to Abu Garcia's launch of the free-wheeling Amabassaduer 5000) are available today in excellent condition and at reasonable cost.