Pflueger Medalist

Discussion in 'Bamboo, Fiberglass & Classic Reels' started by Cougar Zeke, Jan 19, 2014.

  1. I'm hoping someone can provide a little help here.

    I recently purchased a 1494 Medalist on fleabay. I was looking for a left hand reel to try out to see if it would better suit my right hand casting (I right hand reel everything including spinning).

    Anyway, I paid $15 dollars for the 1494. I started looking and it appears that it's an older version without the round line guard.

    I'm not worried about the value of the reel per se, but the reel does need to be cleaned (badly). Are there no-nos associated with getting these back into fighting shape. i.e. no WD-40, no carb cleaner, etc? And is painting the reel black again verboten?

    Oh, and the reel showed up and is right hand reel......:eek:

    Many thanks!
  2. You can change it to left hand wind. Round line guard reels are not changeable without machine work. WD-40 is ok to use. Painting???? Doesn't often work out unless you do the whole reel. How bad is it?
    If you disassemble the reel use proper fitting screwdrivers so you don't tear up the screws.
    Fiberglass Flyrodders • Care and Feeding of the Pflueger Medalist DA - RHW and LHW
  3. Thanks guys! Those links are really helpful!

    I think I'm going to clean the reel up with a toothbrush and water, and then buy some Boeshield. Your links probably saved me from doing something stupid and maybe damaging the reel or stripping all the paint off of the thing.

    I'm glad to know the reel can be switched over to LHW.

    Here are pics of both sides. This thing is pretty dirty and well used!

    Does anyone know if the sculpted pillars are brass? This would be the only reason that I might not try a quick vinegar bath.


    Attached Files:

  4. Andy,
    That's an old 1494. After seeing your pictures I think that it may not be reversible because of the line guard which is probably pinned.
    That is a fairly rare reel because of the small, square line guard. Line guards of that style were put on the 1492 model. I believe the original sculpted pillars were brass. Not sure. Toothbrush and WD-40 is what I use. Good luck.
    If you must have a LHW reel, look for a 1494 "DA" or "Made in Akron". They are easily convertible.
    Good luck.

    PS BOESHIELD is great stuff but it will cost more than you paid for the reel.
  5. Jack,

    Whew! I can't thank you enough! I was just about ready to dig in to cleaning this thing. I read in the fiberglassrodders that the vinegar will take paint off of brass.

    OK, WD-40 and a tooth brush.

    Also, thanks for the advice on the DA and AK. I'll see what I can find.

    And I'll need the luck for sure! ;) Thanks!
  6. BTW, the caps on the back of the reel were unpainted on many of the older models.
    I have heard of some guys completely removing all paint on the reel and leaving it polished, bare metal. Interesting effect but the reel must always have a coat of oil (Boeshield?) to keep it from rusting.
    I used to have an old Hardy like that.
    For whatever it's worth.

    Attached Files:

  7. Jack and Randall- thanks for the assistance.

    I totally broke the reel down and cleaned it this morning. I used WD-40 to remove the serious grime and grit. And there was a lot of it!

    Everything came apart fairly easily, but I could not get the drag pawl button to pop out. And like an idiot, I pushed the button down in an attempt to break it free and it stuck even farther down! I did a lot of reading on the internet and some people mentioned that they even drilled holes in the cap from the outside and had to push the cap back up to get it unstuck. I wasn't going to do that......

    I went up to West Marine and bought some Boeshield and soaked the living daylights out of the whole reel and let it sit for an hour or so. I toweled off the main reel and went to work with a small utility knife (during the Seahawks game) working the edges of the button in an attempt to widen the button hole or at least clear out some of the grime around the edges. I knew based on how much grime was under the drag plate (audibly noticeable grinding) that some had been pushed down in the hole and was the reason the button was stuck. I intermittently would blow out the small metal shavings with compressor air and spray more Boeshield onto the button. Well in the excitement at the end of the Seahawks game, I left it in the garage with a new coat of Boeshield. After watching the postgame coverage and Game Day on ESPN I went back out to the garage and the drag pawl button had popped up!

    So I'm a pretty happy camper right now. I have the 4 in and 16 out drag plate and it is really smooth on the drag side with the 16 detents.

    Let me put a vote of approval for Boeshield. This morning, I took a small screwdriver and very gently put a small amount of torque on the reel feet screws- nada. They didn't move at all, so I just left them alone. After a couple coatings of Boeshield and getting the drag pawl working tonight, I went back at the screws and they were like butter coming out. NO torque required. I've never seen anything like it. It comes highly recommended by the guys that rebuild these in the forums posted above and now I see why.

    I'm going to spray Boeshield on it tonight and do a final, thorough cleaning tomorrow.

    I'll post more as I learn more. I hope this can help some other folks, too.

  8. Boeshield is great stuff, good to have around. I have several of the newer (I've still had the for 20 years) Medalists with rim control. I use Boeshield to help protect them against salt. Works great (I'm not recommending you use yours in salt at all, that's a beauty....). Glad to hear it went well.

    I just used the vinegar technique on a pair of old Youngs that were pretty bad and it worked great, minimal brass though. I've also used WD-40 in the past and it seems to work pretty well as well.

    Just make sure that when lubing after cleaning , stay away from any lube that contains lithium.

    If you can get that drag plate off, you should be able to change it to LHW (Jack would know better than me though). You'll more than likely need to get new new drag plate (, and your line won't be going through the line guard. I did this with an old 1496 1/2 and it worked great.

  9. I'm interested in this reel, too. It appears to be a hybrid though. I think there was a transition period in the 40's (?) when reels had combinations of older characteristics with newer features. That would seem to explain the small square guard and ivory plastic on the same reel. It was the 1940's when the four detent drag plate appeared plus it's patented rather than pstent pending. I'd place it in the 1940's. I'm also particularly interested because i have something similar...1494, round line guard, sculpted pillars but with ivory plastic plate, handle, and drag. That being said I'd love to hear others' thoughts if any of this is inaccurate.
  10. Shaun,
    You could be correct. There were some "oddball" reels with shared parts of different vintages. I prefer to stick to the USA "Made in Akron" and DA models.
    Also, you never know if the previous owner(s) of the reels have changed out parts or cannibalized other reels to make a working one.????????I have never seen a 1494 with the square line guard although I have seen a square line guard on a 1496 which was an odd size reel.
    All in all, I am a Medalist fan. I have noticed recently that the ebay bids on some of them are way too high. Interesting what some are willing to pay.
  11. I have a 1496 that I use on my spey rod, works great. As Jack said stick with the models made in the US.
  12. This looks like a transition 1494 reel I found on Classic Fly Rod Forum. Small square line guard, sculpted pillars, but it has the ivory plastic. These reels are pretty unique. They're out there though! Good stuff.

    Jack Devlin likes this.
  13. Very interesting...... Ya, based on the condition of the reel when I got it, I doubt the previous owner was terribly interested in modifying it. It looked to me like it hadn't ever been cleaned before! :(

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