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topic 2079

Fishing Reels & Pitted Chrome: Refinishing Suggestions?


Here's one for the collective wisdom of this group:

My dad gave me some of his fishing reels last year. While generally in good shape, some of the chrome finish on the spool, line guides, and rod supports are pitted and a little corroded.

It was recommended that, after smoothing the affected areas with super fine sanding and 000- steel wool [linked by editor to product info at Rockler], I get them anodized with a corrosion resistant surface. I'd prefer not to rechrome (I'd like a better, stonger surface).

Now I'm a little out of my league here, so bear with me. What would the coating/surfacing professionals recommend here? Understanding that you get what you pay for, what is a reasonable price for a quality job?

I look forward to your replies.

Barnet Sherman
- Natick, Massachusetts


Anodizing is an artificially accelerated oxidation process (Purists won't allow me to call it a rusting process, since the word 'rust' only applies to iron and steel). But, as such, anodizing is only applicable to a few metals, aluminum being the most common one. In other words, if the parts are steel you can't anodize them anyway.

Chrome is NOT an inadequate process, even for salt water fishing. Look at the chrome bumpers on cars and trucks -- they typically last decades, in outdoor, on road, exposure in salt-laden Northern climates. But a truly high quality chrome plating job involves several layers of nickel under the chrome and is an expensive proposition. The sad fact is that onesy-twosy plating can easily cost more than replacement and usually doesn't make sense unless the item has real heirloom value to you.

Ted Mooney, Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
Pine Beach, New Jersey

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