Loving, caressing, and maintaining your Hardy reels... - Spey Pages
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 04-04-2008, 08:31 PM Thread Starter
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Question Loving, caressing, and maintaining your Hardy reels...

A question for the Speypages.com readership that fish Hardy reels: How do you care for your Hardy Perfect and Bougle reels?

In searching the archives I didn't find much info on Hardy reel maintenance. I have been fishing a 4" Bougle Mk IV for a couple years now and figure it's time to clean her up a little. The owner's manual suggests "lubricating with a light machine oil and a good quality water repellent grease ideally before every fishing outing and always before a lengthy storage period". There is a diagram that shows the "oiling points" as the spring tension knob (the length of the regulating screw down to the keeper) and where the spring meets the pawl. The "greasing points" are shown as the spool spindle and threads, bearings, and revolving pillar (a Bougle feature). My questions are:

How do you clean off the old grease and oil?

What kind of grease and/or oil do you use? Are you particular about brands?

What points do you lubricate? How often?

And do you have any other maintenance tips for keeping these reels in tip-top fishing condition?

Thanks in advance for your help. I want to keep my Hardy, as well as any future siblings she may acquire, singing for many years to come!
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 04-04-2008, 08:47 PM
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I just use Loon Reel Lube on mine. I know some guys use a Lithium Based grease and some of the old timers used Vaseline.


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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 04-04-2008, 09:07 PM
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Hardy care

I have 35 or so old Hardys and I love to fondle and fish most of them. When they get dirty or you want to remove old grease start with Q-tips to get the bulk of grit and dirt out then place them in a dilute vinegar bath, 4 parts water to 1 part vinegar, luke warm for about 30 minutes if painted and up to one hour if leaded finish. Follow this with a dilute soapy water rinse to remove grease loosened by the vinegar. Rinse well in cold water and buff dry.

Then it is time to grease and oil. Many swear by Zebco Quantum Hot Sauce lubricants, they have a grease for your bearings and spindle and an oil for pawls and drag adjustment screws. You can finish with Butcher's Bowling Alley wax, or another clear paste wax, over the exterior surfaces. This is not necessary for the Bougle as it is anodized, but it really helps preserve the finish and prevent oxidation on leaded and painted reels. You can keep them just as good as new and use them all you want with a little care. I will do this at least once a year or more often is a reel gets heavy use.
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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 04-05-2008, 11:27 AM
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I didn't find much info on Hardy reel maintenance
What, you have to maintain a Hardy click drag?

They're the Energizer Bunny of steelhead reels!

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How you get the line out and fishing is personal preference so as long as it works and is easy no one should care but the caster. MSB
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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 04-05-2008, 12:00 PM
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I can vouch for the Zebco Quantum Hot Sauce, an excellent reel lubricant. Just don't put anything unusual on there, and an old gunsmith/rangemaster taught me that the less the better when it comes to grease and oil. So it really doesn't take much. A little bath in warm soapy water and a scrub with an old toothbrush will remove the vast majority of the old oil, grease, etc. Dry it thoroughly then use the quantum hot sauce. If you put grease on the pawls it will affect the sound of the reel. But it will reel up very smoothly.

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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 04-05-2008, 03:25 PM
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I've never heard of using vinegar and frankly don't see what purpose it would serve. It (acetic acid) is a polar molecule so it won't dissolve grease -perhaps it serves some other purpose.

I also don't like to use Q-tips because they leave cotton fibers. I prefer a small brush instead.

I've pretty much followed the procedure outlined by gledwing except using white grease instead of the "hot sauce". Lots of people say good things about the hot sauce so I don't doubt that it's good, it's just that I have a tube of the white grease and it works just fine so why change?
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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 04-05-2008, 08:00 PM
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more info:

Originally Posted by pescaphile View Post
I've never heard of using vinegar and frankly don't see what purpose it would serve.
I'm not sure either, I just know it is a tried and true method used by collectors in another forum I am a member of. More detailed information can be found in a pinned thread there:


The author of the post is a very highly experienced and knowledgeable collector and a great source of information on reel maintenance. The vinegar solution might be designed for old reels that have been neglected for years. Once a reel has been cleaned, or if it is new, this step may not be necessary. I neglected to mention the soft toothbrush that is a very good tool for cleaning reels. I have been using this method for years and have been very pleased with the results.
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