Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Restoring a Daiwa Saltiga Z4500H

On very rare occasions, I would visit Olx.ph, a local online store for mostly second-hand stuff hoping to find interesting fishing items, which most often than not, the search would end up with nothing. Then out of the blue I decided to search for the term Daiwa reel. I almost went ape when I found this Daiwa reel. The ad did not say that it was a Saltiga but just Daiwa Z4500H. As far as I know, there is only one Z4500H and that's a Saltiga. I quickly checked the photos and it was indeed a Saltiga. I immediately called the seller and made arrangements for the following day to check it out. Long story short, I drove 2 hours the following morning to check it up close. As expected, the reel was in a very poor shape. It was completely rusted and the handle and the knob would barely turn. You could feel metal parts grinding from the inside. For a newbie, it's one of those reels that would be useless in the end. The quality that a Saltiga offers as described by online articles convinced me to buy it. I was able to haggle for a very good price considering the state that it's on. To be honest, I was not sure I would be able to make it work.

I started work on the handle knob and as suspected, the bearings were completely rusted as the outer traces of the bearings were stuck inside the knob leaving it completely useless and had to be discarded. The spool initially would not budge so I had to soak the inner part of the spool that is connected with to shaft with Selly's Rust Stopper. I knew the bearings were also completely rusted and need to be melted away to release the spool. After a day of soak, I was able to remove the spool and the bearing inside was intact but the bearing sitting on top of the shaft was rusted out and had to be replaced. The exterior has shown corrosion, but they are not too deep, only the paint was affected so it should be ok for some time. 

After removing the spool, I was able to remove the rotor. The AR housing has some stains, but it was pretty much intact. But opening it was another story. It took me an hour or so to get the cap out --- using the biggest vice grip that I have. Inside was also filled with salty cake, bits of rust, and hardened grease.

After opening the side plate, that's when I saw the extent of damage on the reel. Saltwater and rust has caked the internals.
You can see that this was probably the first time that the reel was opened. The red Loctite in the screws is still present. The bearing on the side plate was completely rusted out and all the ball bearings were scattered inside the body. I had to forcibly remove the outer and inner races of the bearing from the side plate and the gear. The Anti-revers dog was rusted but after a bit of cleaning and polishing it was back to its original luster.
The main gear is supposed to be brass, but it sure looked like rusted steel. Luckily, after a bit of cleaning and polishing, the gear was still flawless and there were no marks or chips on its teeth.
The Anti-reverse bearing, the big shaft bearing, and the pinion were massive. The amazing thing is that these parts were still clean and were not affected by the salt. I guess that the anti-corrosion properties of the Saltiga is really true.

 The oscillating gear was missing a few teeth and needs to be replaced. It's a good thing that the bearing supporting it is still in good condition.

The stainless main shaft was still ok and has no pits or stains. I cleaned everything using my cheap Ultrasonic cleaner, lubed, polished, then re-lubed everything and then set them aside until I got the replacement parts.

After a few weeks of wait, I got the 17 new parts from Plat.co.jp. After reassembling, the reel is back in action.

It is a tank and more so after the fact that it came back from the dead, smooth as ever and ready to catch some serious fish.

And that's what it did. I think this reel is lucky! Every time I take it out, it manages to catch something awesome. Its latest catch, an 8.5kg GT from shore. :-)


  1. Hi may I know what braided do u use on this saltiga?
    So far what's your biggest/heaviest catch with this setting?
    Any problem so far?
    Thanks for sharing

    1. Sorry for the late reply. I am using PE4 (around 60lbs). Right now, the biggest is 8.5kg. No problems so far.

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