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Zebco Cardinal 4 fishing reel.

Posted: Wed Sep 12, 2018 6:28 pm
by Hot Pepper Dude
I would like to find someone who has one of these fine reels. My dad used one, and I inherited his. There is some family connection here as he passed away in 2009. I want to acquire one in great condition. My dad's is in need of a spool. My plan is to fish with this reel in Spring 2019.

Regards, Hot Pepper Dude.

Re: Zebco Cardinal 4 fishing reel.

Posted: Wed Sep 12, 2018 7:18 pm
by artifact
I have a few of them, including 1 NIB, they are readily available on e-bay from heavily used to NIB, I would keep an eye out there, also there are just spools on there. I still use these reels a lot and are my all time favorite reels, but there is a problem with them!

The spools have a inherent design flaw in them, the nylon/plastic spools break just under the front of the spool where the line wraps on the spool and puts pressure on the front of it. I have a bunch of the "popped" spools and have never found anyone that knows how to fix them so that they last.
If you buy a brand new reel with the origional spool I guarantee the spool will break eventually, If you just buy an origional spool for the reel you have I guarantee it will also break eventually and you're back to square one! Here's the solution, buy an aluminum spool, I bought a few of them from a guy in Canada off of e-bay for around $32 ea. but he is no longer listing them.

You can still buy an ALUMINUM spool for them on e-bay, different seller and more money, but believe me that's the only way to go on those reels.
Hope this helps, I've fished with them for many years.
Make sure it's for a Zebco Cardinal 4, they also made a similar Abu Garcia Cardinal 4 which has a different spool that will not fit.

Re: Zebco Cardinal 4 fishing reel.

Posted: Sat Sep 15, 2018 10:18 am
by Hot Pepper Dude
Thank you for the response, Artifact. Good information.
Yes the problem with my Dad's reel is exactly as you described. Broke right at the base where the line wraps around.
For such a good reel, this is a very poor spool.

I'll keep searching.

Regards, H.P.D.

Re: Zebco Cardinal 4 fishing reel.

Posted: Sat Sep 15, 2018 12:09 pm
by artifact
You're welcome, and glad to try to help.
If I were you and wanted to fish with your dads reel, I would just buy the aftermarket aluminum spool, put it on the reel, and fish! If you would just want to preserve his reel and not use it, then I might just buy an original spool so it's complete. If you wanted to fish with a reel like your dad used, I would buy another reel and get the aluminum spool immediately.
You never know when those original spools will separate, could be with a fish on, while making a cast, or just sitting there from the pressure of the line being on them. They definitely had a poor design on the spools which are way too thin in a critical stress area, other than that they are great reels.
Before I found the aluminum spools on e bay I had a machinist buddy of mine make one out of aluminum, you need the button and related parts from the front of the spool in order to do that. If you have a buddy who is a machinist, and you have those parts and the complete broken spool to copy, maybe you could get one made.

Re: Zebco Cardinal 4 fishing reel.

Posted: Thu Apr 11, 2019 8:39 pm
by Hot Pepper Dude
Great news Artifact. I found a shop in Guelph, Ontario, Canada, that sells aluminum spools. They are made in California for them. They sell them all over the world Ray tells me. I paid $80.00 plus $15.00 for Canada Post. Beautifully made, balanced, and a very good anodized finish (black). Off I go fishing! :thumbup:

Re: Zebco Cardinal 4 fishing reel.

Posted: Fri Apr 12, 2019 8:44 am
by artifact
Glad you found one, now enjoy using that reel! :thumbup:
If you ever need small parts for it there are some available on e bay, such as bail springs, etc.
As already mentioned, I got the first aluminum spools from a gentleman named Mike out of Ontario and they were perfect replacements, the last one I got from another source and it's not quite right, the spool comes too far out of the housing which will easily allow the line to get under it, I need to get my machinist buddy to fix that one!
I will be using one tomorrow for trout, and in 2 weeks another one on another pole for walleyes, both have aluminum spools on them. Other than the original spool problem, those reels should last for many years with normal maintainence.