Removing a Spinning Reel Bail for Threadlining.

     So in my previous post on "Threadlining" I brought up the fact that the most commonly used reels were antique ultralight bail less spinning reels.  These reels are proving extremely difficult to find so I decided that I needed to modify a modern reel.  I located an inexpensive spinning reel.  This was a test after all, so I didn't want to destroy a perfectly good reel if this didn't work.
     First- you will have to remove the screw that attaches the non line roller side of the bail wire to the reel.
     Second- remove the screw that holds the line roller and bail wire to the reel.  This one is pretty tight so make sure you have the correct size of phillips screwdriver so you don't strip out the head of the screw.
Brace the reel if needed, it's really in there.
     Third- free the bail wire and line roller from the reel.  This will normally come off in one piece, but keep your eye out for any small parts.
     Fourth- step is a little tricky, you need to cut the bail wire off the line roller.  I used a hacksaw for this, but a dremel tool with cutting disc would be another good option.  Be careful not to scar up the line roller to bad or you will need to spend a lot of time polishing it so it doesn't damage the line while reeling (trust me).
1000 grit sandpaper and polishing compound may be needed to smooth it out.

     Fifth-reattach the line roller to the reel.  This is as simple as tightening down the screw.  Just a heads up, without the bail wire to hold it in place you may need a set of needle nose pliers to help hold the line roller while under tension.
     Sixth-this step is optional, but I found it helped.  Remove the bail trip assembly from the reel, being careful not to lose the spring.  Apply some super glue or epoxy to the housing and reattach the bail trip assembly to the reel.  This step is optional, the reason I say that, is that without the glue the reel will function fine and be ready to fish.  The reason I ended up needing to glue the housing in place was that even without the bail wire, I would instinctively try to flip the bail open instead of just lifting the line with my finger.  Having the housing glued in place helped me to learn the required muscle memory faster.
Careful not to lose that spring.
A little glue helps the process.
     Well that's all it takes to make a reel bail less.  Obviously some reels may require more work than others, but this is the basics.  Now that you have a bail less ultralight reel you can eliminate line twist, have a more even tensioned line lay (less line loops), and get a smoother more fluid cast.  With some practice you'll be casting as well as you did with the bail wire on the reel.  So how do you cast a bail less reel?  Will cover that in the next SB Hero blog post.
Bail less and ready to fish.

     Tight Lines.


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  2. Thanks for the tips. I’m really enjoying this site and am learning a lot. I’ve been working a few lures that I like and you were absolutely right.