ABU 506 v 506m

PearTree

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My old 506 is coming out of retirement next season. It must be around 30 years since I used it, or my 2 501's, since I switched to open faced reels.

I'm going to pair it with an 11' Acolyte Ultra I currently have on order from my local shop to chase trout and grayling on a couple of my smaller local rivers.
 

Terryb

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Do the 506/506m have a consistent spool oscillation ratio?

I know one of the little modifications that I did on all my 507 mk1 reels was to move the handle so that the spool is always at it's lowest point of oscillation when the handle is at 6 o'clock (thereby having less of an acute angle around the bell and pickup and making line payout smoother).
For this to work - the spool oscillation to handle turns must be a whole number. I believe some of the ABU models (perhaps later ones) do not.
I have six abu’s and have done that with all of them including a new one which the handle was already in the right place.
 

Terryb

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My old 506 is coming out of retirement next season. It must be around 30 years since I used it, or my 2 501's, since I switched to open faced reels.

I'm going to pair it with an 11' Acolyte Ultra I currently have on order from my local shop to chase trout and grayling on a couple of my smaller local rivers.
I have the same rod that I use for small rivers in my area. Love it. I’ve also got the 14’ version.
 

michael1949

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I bought the Abu 506 model in 1973. The cowl was a darkish grey colour, which was changed to a more silver colour on the 506m. I think Reuben was pretty spot on with his recollections of the differences between the two models.
In 1973 I was an impoverished newly wed, who would have much preferred the Mitchell Match, which was the main rival to the 506 in those days. Sadly it was out of my price range, so I settled for the Abu. Even then I had to take advantage of Bennett’s of Sheffield finance package, which was popular in the day. I believe it cost £10.75, which was spread over 6 payments I seem to recall.

I regularly fished Bridgnorth waters on the Severn, trotting with this reel, and can never recall a time when the line didn’t end getting caught up behind the cowl, no matter how much I concentrated. Many said the same, and eventually Abu bought out a lightweight spool with a polythene type of skirt to prevent this occuring. It was better, but I still managed to trap it behind more regularly.Perhaps I was especially talented( or rather not).
I still have the reel after all theses years. Still works as well as it ever did. Over the years I have acquired several Mitchell Match reels, and in my opinion, it is the better reel. Obviously not everyone saw it that way in the day, and the Abu 506 was a very well respected piece of kit, endorsed by a lot of quality Midlands anglers. Happy days.
 

Reuben

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I must say that I agree with you - the Mitchell Match was a better reel at the time. I never used the Mitchell when I match fished because I couldn’t control the line coming off the spool as my fingers weren’t long enough! All my river fishing on the float was done with a Diawa 1657DM with a glued bail arm roller. I used the Mitchell for still waters. Ahhhh memories.......
 

BBear

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Looking forward to using my original (bought in 1980) 506M for the first time in what must be at least 20 years before the end of the season - river level and Covid permitting.
 

trotter2

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Not even sure that that is the case, it may just be a rounding up exercise in the catalogue as after all if the retrieve is expressed as a ratio ie 4 turns of the spool to one turn of the handle then there is in reality very little difference between 3.9 turns and 4.0 turns .....so my gut feeling is for such a small change it may just be poetic licence in the catalogue
Just tested the 506 mk1 and the 506m for distance of line retreaved per one full revolution of the handle.
I use the same spool on each reel so the amount of line on the spool was equal in all tests
The 506 gives 23" per rev
The 506m gives 24" per rev.
And for good measure also did the same with a 501.
501 is also 24" per rev.
 

Truly

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The only place I’ve seen a new plastic 506M spool is at Classic Vintage Fishing Tackle on line. They do the custom made jobs too - very well made they are too. Ebay sometimes list them as well. Jim’s Reels online is often worth a look too.
Thank you for this Reuben, I have just emailed Les Shaw at Classic Vintage Fishing Tackle. The chenille on one of my spools is worn, whilst the other plastic spool has a segmented plastic skirt. OK but not so good as the chenille for reducing tangles. The custom made alloy spools look good too.
The site clearly states that the 506 and 506M spools are the same.
 

Terryb

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I’m going to throw another spanner in the works and ask what everyone’s opinion on the DAM series of closed face reels are. I’m getting into collecting closed face reels and I’m currently bidding on two of them on eBay. Are they any good?
 

Reuben

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I think that any flavour of closed face reels have their devotees. I think that some refer to the DAM ones as ‘coffee grinders’! I’ve only ever used or owned ABUs so can’t compare. However, a mate of mine swore by Diawa 123Ms & he was a far better angler than me. If you’re collecting I wouldn’t worry about their performance unless you plan to use it. What I will say is that, if you’re buying off EBay, ask a lot of questions regarding the mechanical state of the reel because when it arrives it might not be of the standard you thought it was. It continues to amaze me how little detail sellers go into - probably because they’re not anglers themselves & just turning a fast buck.
Slightly off topic the prices for some used centrepins have really shot up in the last 4 months - particularly Rapidex & Trudex - whilst Okumas have slumped a bit. It’s a funny old world....
 

Reuben

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Thank you for this Reuben, I have just emailed Les Shaw at Classic Vintage Fishing Tackle. The chenille on one of my spools is worn, whilst the other plastic spool has a segmented plastic skirt. OK but not so good as the chenille for reducing tangles. The custom made alloy spools look good too.
The site clearly states that the 506 and 506M spools are the same.
At Jim’s Reels you can buy at set of chenilles. They were in stock last week. Not sure if Les had any.
 

DFL

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I’m going to throw another spanner in the works and ask what everyone’s opinion on the DAM series of closed face reels are. I’m getting into collecting closed face reels and I’m currently bidding on two of them on eBay. Are they any good?
After you've done that find yourself a Ryobi CF100, in my opinion the best of the lot. Very rare though so the search could be a long one.

Edit: there is one on Ebay now, not in mint condition though, bet it still fetches top dollar!
 

Terryb

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After you've done that find yourself a Ryobi CF100, in my opinion the best of the lot. Very rare though so the search could be a long one.

Edit: there is one on Ebay now, not in mint condition though, bet it still fetches top dollar!
I’ve already got one mate and it did cost a pretty penny! Not as much as my ABU 507 though.
 

Terryb

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I think that any flavour of closed face reels have their devotees. I think that some refer to the DAM ones as ‘coffee grinders’! I’ve only ever used or owned ABUs so can’t compare. However, a mate of mine swore by Diawa 123Ms & he was a far better angler than me. If you’re collecting I wouldn’t worry about their performance unless you plan to use it. What I will say is that, if you’re buying off EBay, ask a lot of questions regarding the mechanical state of the reel because when it arrives it might not be of the standard you thought it was. It continues to amaze me how little detail sellers go into - probably because they’re not anglers themselves & just turning a fast buck.
Slightly off topic the prices for some used centrepins have really shot up in the last 4 months - particularly Rapidex & Trudex - whilst Okumas have slumped a bit. It’s a funny old world....
I like to use them as well as collect them although i have my favourites. I have the Diawa 123m which I have just had serviced with upgraded parts put in it. Just haven’t had a chance to use it yet.
 

Simon R

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I’m going to throw another spanner in the works and ask what everyone’s opinion on the DAM series of closed face reels are.
I always derided them as 'coffee grinders' until I actually got one - although I only bought it as a makeweight in a deal to buy a 13' IM8 Superfeeder from a local car-boot sale a good few years ago.
They're not quite as bomb-proof as the ABU 507 that is my usual weapon of choice - I'd hate to drop it - but the line lay is reasonable (doesn't suffer from bedding in often - presumably due to the wider spool) - they're lightweight due to the plastic body / cowling and the line rarely gets trapped around the back of the spool.
Not as good as the ABU but on a par with the Ryobi, better than the Daiwa (which I've never liked in any of its incarnations to be honest) and streets ahead of the old Shakespeare Match International which are actually quite rare now 'cos most of them fell to bits years ago :p

Simon
 

Nicky Dodds

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After you've done that find yourself a Ryobi CF100, in my opinion the best of the lot. Very rare though so the search could be a long one.

Edit: there is one on Ebay now, not in mint condition though, bet it still fetches top dollar!
🤫
 

Truly

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At Jim’s Reels you can buy at set of chenilles. They were in stock last week. Not sure if Les had any.
I had a very quick reply from Les Shaw. He is currently out of stock for 506/506M plastic spools and chenille owing to a big run on ABU parts.
I will have a look at Jim's site too thank you.
 

Truly

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Just had a look at Jim's Reels website. There is a notice that they have had to temporarily suspend taking orders for spare parts owing to coping with the high level of demand.
Good to see that some businesses are doing well in this difficult time though.
 

BBear

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Yes I also have the Ryobi which I used in preference to the 506M for a while back in the day. Haven’t used either reel for many many years but the Abu still runs perfectly whilst the Ryobi sounds very rough.
 
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