Got hit with the hardy bug and picked up a later St. John mk2. Having no reference, I am wondering if any reel gurus might be able to fill me in...the reel is solid, components and gear teeth all look good and function as they should. It has slight what I assume is end play. With the spool facing up I am able to pull up on the handle and there is a hair of movement. If I press in on either side of the spool face it does not move which I assume eliminates wobble. Question is : is slight end play something to be expected or something I should address? Again, the reel functions great just not what I would consider 100% tight as I was told it was..thanks for any advice.
My 1970's marquis 2 has some play, doesn't seem to affect the performance from what I noticed. I currently have mine in the repair shop as I forced the handle while the reel was frozen and snapped it. I mentioned the play to the repair guy and said it is common with the older reels as they wear, and that he can easily add a shim to tighten it up. Hope to have my Marquis back soon , as I miss it.
Slight end play is common in those reels. I have a St John, 2 St George, a St Aidan, and Princess. They all have a little bit of play. The Hardys are durable and will last a lifetime or more, but they are not the tightest engineering. Don't sweat it.
End play like you're describing is indicative of space between the locking ridge on the spindle and the locking latch on the spool. Grease will clean some of the end play. If the race in the spool is worn then there will be some lateral end play. It might show up as wear between spool and frame.
Sometimes there is a brass bushing at the base of the spindle which can wear down over time and the spool will knock around when casting or reeling. One of my Marquis is worn this way. I fitted a brass shim onto the spindle and cleaned it right up.