Sunday, October 7, 2012

Abu Garcia 7000, Salvage

The other day I went to the bait store to pick up some P-Line Fluorocarbon for leader material on my bass fishing adventures. When I was paying for the fluorocarbon, Nathan Dailey offered me an older used Abu Garcia 7000. I told him I didn't really need one, but I had to ask what he wanted for it. He told me I could have it for $50, it was in pretty rough shape but I felt it was a good deal anyway. Abu Garcia has been a favorite reel of many fisherman, particularly those who fish for striped bass, catfish, musky, etc. Abu reels, particularly old reels, hold their value better than most reels so I felt that it was a safe bet to buy the reel. Either way, the reel would give me a few hours of work and keep me busy for an evening....if nothing else I could use it on a spare rod.
Initially the reel looked as if it had been submerged for a day or two in water. The reel foot, line pawl cap, and other parts were covered in some sort of dried vegetation.
I got a bowl from the kitchen and filled it with a teaspoon of dawn dish liquid and warm water. I then got an old tooth brush, a few q-tips, an old sock, some oil, and grease to clean and lubricate the reel. I then took the reel apart piece by piece and cleaned them individually. I began cleaning the left side-plate, worm gear, line pawl, etc.
I then focused my attention on cleaning the frame. After scrubbing for a few minutes I quickly realized that there were a few pits in the metal reel foot. 

 With half of the reel finished I began taking the more complicated side of the reel apart, the right side plate. I took it apart carefully, making sure not to let any parts hit the floor. I removed the side plate and old grease, I then added grease to the gears and replaced the side plate.
After an hour and a half I had re-discovered a barely used 1991 Abu Garcia 7000. I had determined its age from the foot/serial numbers stamped on the back side of the reel seat. The sixth and seventh numbers read 01, which mark the year of manufacture plus 10. (2001-10=1991) I don't know why they add 10 to the year the reel was manufactured, but that is how they do it. I know this because I sent an email to Abu Garcia a year ago asking them how to read the serial numbers. They responded with a page describing how to decipher the 8 digit code. Maybe in a week or two I'll throw a blog together explaining how to read them. Needless to say, I had completed cleaning the reel and lubricating it.


  1. Great article and coincidentaly, timely for me. A friend just gave me an old Abu 7000 Foot number 110012-01 which I am not sure how to interpret. The clicker button is missing but the "L" shaped click and a mangled spring was still inside along with some chewed up mono bits. The rest looks OK although I haven't pulled it apart yet for cleaning and checking. Did you replace/examine drag washers? I think I get how the clicker is mounted from your pic.
    Just getting into conventionals. Do these cast well with the level wind or are they more like a boat reel? Any comments appreciated

  2. I did not change the drag washers, I took them out and dried them off. I put it back together and then tested the drag, it felt consistant when I pulled out line so I left the drag washers alone.

    The serial numbers can be read as follows.

    The first two digits (1rst and 2nd) of the serial number relate to "Custom Reel Numbering-----A running numbering for Ambassadeur Custom reel program this gigits are only in use when the reel is a custom reel."

    Honestly I have no idea what the numerical numbers mean because I do not have custom reels.

    The second two digits (3rd and 4th) are the "year of design------The year a reel is introduced to the market for the first time. With an add of ten years. I.e 1997 + 10 years=07"

    Simply put this is the initial year of production of the reel.

    The third two digits (5th and 6th) are the "Alteration Numbers----If a reel is re-designed with a non-interchangable design this informs the alteration used for the supply"

    This number refers to any newer models of reels. For one instance there are many different models of the abu garcia 6500. I have two different 6500's that differ in thumb gaurd colors and sideplate design, but are only 5 years different in age. (all of the parts are interchangeable the numbers wouldn't change.

    The fourth two digits (7th and 8th) digits refer to the "Year of Production----This year changes every New Year acc. to the Swedish Calander with an addition of 10 years. I.E. a reel made in 1998 would be read as 08."

    These digits will tell you how old your reel is. From the serial number you gave me, I can see that your reel was made in 2002.

    The last to digits (9th and 10th) refer to the "Production week----which changes every Monday acc. to the Swedish Calendar."

    This number simply states what week your reel was manufactured. Your reel appears to be made in the first week of January of 2002.

    These reels cast great. Your not going to win any surf casting competitions with the levelwind mechanism, but you can expect to toss a good piece of bait with a 3 ounce sinker around 50 yards with a decent boat rod, 6-8 foot rods. If you had this reel on a surf rod, 9 to 14 foot rods, you could easily reach 100 yards.

    I use my abu garcia 7000's for boat fishin on 7' 10" quantum big cat rods, spooled with 40lb test monofilament....specifically berkly big game 40lb test monofilament. I typically run 5 oz sinkers with handsized chunks of fresh cutbait which cast 30 yards typically. When I run big live baits, 8 inches or larger, I'll use larger sinkers up to 10oz. These rigs don't cast well, maybe 10 yards. (Of course rods will have alot to do with how much weight you can cast, and how far you can cast it.

    Let me know if you need any pictures to use as a reference during your cleaning or rebuild. Also has most if not all parts you will need to repair your clicker mechanism, and any other parts that might be damaged or missing.

    Best of luck and thanks for looking at the blog,

  3. When I was paying for the fluorocarbon, Nathan Dailey offered me an older used Abu Garcia 7000. I told him I didn't really need one, but I had ...

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  6. I have same reel foot number is 91 04 02 can't find nothing on that number. Help?!