Since my reel refurb input, I’ve been fishing with the old reels and want to make some observations visa vis comparison with modern gear.
The most significant difference between the old and new is that the older reels require a bit more thumb control since they have a less precise spool braking system. The old reels have a centrifugal system but it uses only 2 slider weights whereas the new reels have 6. The new reels also have a magnetic adjustment which is nonexistent on the originals. The other difference that impacts casting is that on the new reels, the level wind disengages when the spool disengages so as the line unspools, there is a dynamic angle between the line and the guide. Personally I think that drags it a bit and results in line position discontinuities when you start the retrieve. By that I mean that wherever the guide happened to be when you made the cast, that’s where it starts to rewind the line when you engage the spool- regardless of the position of the line or direction of the wind. With the older reels the level wind guide remains engaged when the spool is disengaged to cast. That means that the guide follows the line exactly. To me that’s a definite plus so long as the reel is well oiled and the parts are in good shape. But if you don’t maintain the level wind mechanism, that component will slow down the whole cast. I grew up understanding that which is why I frequently oil that functional area of my reels, even the new ones. Just a habit.
So the net of it is that given both sets of gear, I can probably get a few more feet out of the older reels but for a beginner, no question, the new reels are superior. Also, one pain on the older reels is that the spool is disengaged with a separate button which requires using both hands to prepare a cast. With the new reels the spool is disengaged with a thumb bar making it much faster and more natural. I grew up with the pushbuttons and my thumb on the spool which may be one reason I never experience the problem Si has with this thumb resting on the spool release bar. I prefer the new thumb bar for sure.
I’m mostly using the 5000D but will switch over to the 2650 this week. I want to try using micro lures since that’s the reason I bought that reel in the first place. Very light reel, very light spool so it used to spin very freely with small weights. The one I really want to put to the test is the 4500C but the gears on that guy were just worn out to the point where the spool engagement was problematic. After assembling and disassembling and changing washers and springs, I have given up and taken it to a reel place. The guy said it was 40 years old and he wasn’t sure he could get the part but would try. If he crashes on me, I think I can cannibalize one of my old 5000C’s and steal the right gear to make it work. They are not identical but I think close enough to let me interchange with just a little nibbling.