Bay Area Reel Service

Neil Taylor, Strike Three Kayak Fishing

There is no way around it: If you are a seasoned angler you know it- Fishing gear, particularly reels are going to need servicing or repairs eventually.   Saltwater gets to parts and fighting fish beat up on gears and bearings.   Many anglers have tried the “do-it-yourself” route, which works fairly well for the most mechanical people.   For the average angler, anything beyond breaking open a reel to oil or lube the gears is a challenge.   On the next tier: Identifying parts that need replacement and then locating them can make reel repairs a major ordeal for even the craftiest types.

For the past few years all of my reels are serviced and maintained by Phil Marz at Bay Area Reel Service.   This has been one of the best moves I’ve made in my years of fishing.   A fisherman himself, Phil knows how to diagnose and fix fishing reels better than anyone I’ve ever used in the past.  A student of manufacturers and their designs, Phil handles just about every kind of fishing reel with ease.   He’s talented, he’s reliable and he’s honest.  This makes him a great resource for this kind of service.   All I have to do is get my reels to Phil and wait for that call a short time later to let me know they’re ready.

Do you have a big collection of reels that aren’t working?    This could be your resource to rescue some of those for return to action.   Phil can tell you whether a reel is worth fixing.   I can tell you that there are very few situations where he has told me that a reel is finished, but he will let you know if one is ready for the graveyard.   Phil also has the experience and knowledge to give you valuable feedback just from seeing your used equipment and giving suggestions to lengthen the time between reel servicing.

When you check in with him on what you want to have serviced, Phil will probably ask you “what kind of reel is it?” for a very good reason.   To utilize his services, you probably need to own a certain quality of fishing reel.

Interior:  Gears and bearings?  Anti-reverse?   Bail springs? Exterior:  Handles?  Knobs?  Screws?   Bail parts?

Phil can address pretty much every fix that is possible with your equipment.

I would suggest you have Phil work on reels you already have that need attention but I would also ask him “Is there anything you can do with my reels when they’re brand new?”   His brainstorm for reels that I use is an idea that I’m certain has extended the useful life of my reels by 1000%.     That particular service that he does for me is before I’ve even taken a new reel out of the box.   (In the years with Daiwa reels and Phil’s suggestion only one reel has completely “died” in that time.  This is a testament to the reels but it simply wouldn’t have been possible without Phil’s services both before use and regular servicing)

Pro Tips:

Don’t buy cheap reels.  Do your research: Buying once for more money ends up being a good investment for spending the same money once and not replacing reels every couple of months.

Avoiding the shortening the life of your reels and more time in between servicing-

As a poor minor league baseball umpire, not only did it take longer to save up to buy fishing gear, it “hurt” a lot more when it failed.   I learned a lot of things that extended the life of my equipment.   And years later, as a kayak guide, so much of what I do is much closer to the water and taking completely inexperienced people on a trip can be a “break-even” situation if I don’t give the proper instruction to people who are fishing from my kayaks.   The fact of the matter is, the same things that save your gear and the things that make kayak-fishing easier.   Without the instruction, an angler will routinely dip a reel in the water.    It doesn’t have to happen.   It’s not during the casting and retrieving, it is usually at the conclusion of battling a fish or there is a “problem.”   Learning to eliminate the higher risk “dunking” situations will make your gear last longer and save you money.

Accidents happen and reels will also need regular servicing.   Bay Area Reel Service will do it for you and I’m pleased and very fortunate that he is the one who works on every one of my reels for my charter business.

Contact info for Bay Area Reel Service

web site:

For the rates, discounts and price info:

From the home page of Phil’s site:   “All reels being serviced will be completely torn down, thoroughly cleaned and inspected, treat both the interior and exterior parts with a moisture inhibitor prior to re-assembly and lubrication. Turn-around time usually one to two days. Needed parts will be on a case by case basis.”

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