Today’s bass anglers take a lot for granted. One example is retrieve ratios for the reels we use. Any reel we buy today generally has a number of different retrieve ratios available from a “slow” 5:1 to the “high-speed” 7:1. But what about the days when we were stuck with retrieve ratios that barely reached 4:1? For example, in the day, the ABU 5000 (the old red one folks) was state-of-the-art. It featured two brass bushings (not bearings), a free-spool mechanism (not a knuckle buster), and a hefty 3.75:1 gear ratio!
But as bass anglers, we not only needed our boats to go fast, we needed reels that were faster too. In 1973, ABU came out with their “fast” reels, the 500 series (i.e. 4500, 5500 etc) but so many anglers already had a number of old 5000-series reels in their arsenal. What to do with all these “slow” reels? Throw them away or put them aside for catfishing?
Well, Lew Childre saw a need and developed the Lew’s Speed Spool Gear Kit. With this kit, you could retrofit your old slow 5000, 6000 and Diawa Millionaires with high-speed, 4.8:1 gears. You’ll also notice in the ad he states, “Ours are 4.8 to 1 reel retrieve…all others are actually 4.6 to 1 with smaller teeth.”
Who were those “others?”