Modifying an UltraMag Fishing Reel to Maximize Casting

Modifying an UltraMag or one of its derivatives.

This article was kindly donated by Andy Miller of UKSF fame
i would like to thank him for this article and all the help he has given me over the months.

(Assume Right hand wind models)

Spool – Junk the waffle ratchet unit and replace with a suitable size ‘O’ ring. Also remove the plastic spacer from the L/H side.

Frame/Cage – There is a second ring on the R/H side, remove the inner ring with a sharp wood chisel or a quality craft knife, be careful not to score the plastic too much.

Mag Control Unit – Junk the standard spring and replace with a conical one. Carefully remove the stop on the control knob. This will allow a greater range of control. Add a suitable extension that will allow the threaded unit to protude further than the original control knob (I used a guitar control knob epoxied onto the original unit).

Extend the thread using a 1/4″UNC Die, this will give full movement with the mag housing.

Sideplate – There is a small amount of plastic that needs to be removed, insert the mag ring and threaded unit and check to see where it fouls, remove this area until the mag ring will sit tight up to the side plate.

The brass nipple in the end plate needs to be adjusted to take up the distance from the removed part from the spool. With the spool tension knob wound out find a suitable (non-magnetic spacer, You can see just how far it needs to be extended.)

Cage Рthe levelwind unit and associated metal work will need to be removed and a suitable bar inserted. This will retain the cages rigidity. I personally  seal any holes left with an epoxy based glue Рthis minimises the wind brake effect and induction of air turbulance within the reel.

A usefull tool to help with the modification is either a Dremel or a Berkley line stripper with the end housing removed.

Helpful Tools When Working on Fishing Reels:

Three of my main reels, The ABU Silver Rocket 6500 with a chris macey center mag conversion set up for .35mm line (Now converted to benfield in 2004). The Blue Elite 6500 with the Mike Benfield Sidplate and center mag conversion,set for .31mm line, and last the Mike Benfield converted ABU 5500 Mag Elite set for .28mm line.

The ABU Ultra Mag, widely sought after by casters, and very hard to come by most of the big boys have at least one. When you buy them they tend to look like the photo above but everyone converts them. I have 4 of these now, and they are very versatile. They are used with 0.28mm and 0.31mm lines mostly although i have experimented with 0.26mm lines for the ultralight leads on these reels. It should come out looking something like this, but hopefully yours will be better

There is an article on converting these reels here

Converting An UltraMag

Here is a selection of Zziplex rods that we have come to love and treasure. The Primo at 13’2″ was the rod that took both myself and my brother Kevin over the 200 yard barrier. Next is the DYMIC LT14 my main 125grm rod and i hit my tournament PB with this at 282 yards at Jersey casting Club 2003.

The Primo Syncro, is my brothers next rod for the heavier weights, and the HST at 13’2″ is destined for casting 175grm for me as i find 14′ a little too long in the big leads. Note the two new rods sport rings attached with Xmas wrapping tape !!, we laughed when we first saw how it was done, but it is surprisingly strong, and versatile ( playing with spacings etc ).

Here is a selection of Century rods that we use for tournament casting.
The Kompressor Sport at 13’2″ is a superb rod that doubles for both fishing and casting The Raptor was 15′, but i cut the butt down by 9″ to make it the same length as my Zziplex LT14 this is my main 150grm rod and i have hit some very big practice casts with this. Next up is the WR300 at 13’3″, this is a very well made and very stiff rod. Too stiff in fact for me at the moment, maybe i’ll be fine with this one later.

A useful little trick, we hollow out the butt caps on our
rods to allow the easy use of a reducer. But its still more than comfortable to use as is. It also allows a proper left hand purchase on the rod. Note the use of the white electrical tape. This ensures that the reel goes in the same place every time

A selection of lines that we use, it’s more economical
to buy in bulk, and as we practice alot over sand line gets destroyed
very quickly. Note the use of bright coloured lines, this makes it easier
to see not only whilst casting and retrieving, but when we get those inevitable
crack off’s.

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