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  1. #1
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    Default Rebuild/replace Bait Casting Reel (Abu Garcia Ambassadeur 521 XLT PLUS LH)?

    I have an Abu Garcia Ambassadeur 521 XLT PLUS LH. I bought it used and it worked great for a while. Now the mechanical brake knob does nothing regardless of how tight I tighten it. I tried to clean and lube the reel, but no improvement. Can someone direct me to good directions on how best to clean and adjust this reel? Alternatively, is it worthwhile to have someone rebuild it? Anybody know anyone in western Michigan that is good and not too expensive? Any recomendation of a relatively cheap but good replacement for this reel?

    Thanks,
    TerryMSU

  2. #2
    Admiral dingbat's Avatar
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    Default Re: Rebuild/replace Bait Casting Reel (Abu Garcia Ambassadeur 521 XLT PLUS LH)?

    There is no ďbrakeĒ knob on that reel per say. The reel has a knob to center the spool on the handle side and a magnetic brake adjustment on the other. If your trying to use the centering knob as a brake itís not designed to be used as a brake. In doing so you could have damaged one or more of the spool shims, or worst yet the spool shaft.
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  3. #3
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    Default Re: Rebuild/replace Bait Casting Reel (Abu Garcia Ambassadeur 521 XLT PLUS LH)?

    Thanks. That explains why I can't slow it down. So I just need to adjust the magnetic brake knob and that should solve my problem. As far as the magnetic brake, it does not have all the magnets in it. Is that normal? I do not think I have damaged the centering adjustment, it just did not do what i expected. Any advice as to how I should adjust that knob? Also, how would I recognize that I have damaged the centering mechanism? Would it just run out of true or wobble? It still trys to cast a country mile. I just get major birds nests.

    Thanks again,
    TerryMSU

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Rebuild/replace Bait Casting Reel (Abu Garcia Ambassadeur 521 XLT PLUS LH)?

    Like he said. The spool adjustment knob is a starting point for side to side spool play. It's a hard call but what was the reel worth? How much are parts?

  5. #5
    Admiral dingbat's Avatar
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    Default Re: Rebuild/replace Bait Casting Reel (Abu Garcia Ambassadeur 521 XLT PLUS LH)?

    Quote Originally Posted by TerryMSU View Post
    Thanks. That explains why I can't slow it down. So I just need to adjust the magnetic brake knob and that should solve my problem. As far as the magnetic brake, it does not have all the magnets in it. Is that normal? I do not think I have damaged the centering adjustment, it just did not do what i expected. Any advice as to how I should adjust that knob? Also, how would I recognize that I have damaged the centering mechanism? Would it just run out of true or wobble? It still trys to cast a country mile. I just get major birds nests.

    Thanks again,
    TerryMSU
    Pull the spool cap off and look at the shims. If they are dimpled, flip them over and that should resolve that issue.
    The reel should have unused mag holes. You can change the way the reel behaves by moving the magnets around in the plate. I have an Ultra-Mag XLII with only 3 mags in use. Set to 3 max. You have a lot to learn before you go there.

    Adjust the spool centering knob until you can just barely feel some side play in the spool. That's your spool setting. Now adjust the mag to get your Bird nesting under control. With the "anti-distance" control (mag) set on 10 you should not get birds nest unless you need to work on your casting form or to send your thumb off to casting school.
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  6. #6
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    Default Re: Rebuild/replace Bait Casting Reel (Abu Garcia Ambassadeur 521 XLT PLUS LH)?

    I've got two of those reels which I've owned since new, I usually just set the spool to zero end play with no tension of preload, and then leave the mag set at the minimum. I also like to remove any over run weights from my reels, I prefer to cast the old fashioned way and use my thumb. With no cast control the reel really lets you get out there with ease.

    They don't make them like that 521 XLT any more, those 1980's models were hard to beat.
    If you can't put any tension on the spool, then you may have damaged the shims which sit behind the spool shaft bearings. Or the ends of the spool shaft are damaged or worn.

    The shim is found under the bearing in the cap, here's a schematic for that reel:
    http://i47.tinypic.com/4ixx09.jpg

    The shim is p/n 5145 in the diagram, there are two of them.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Rebuild/replace Bait Casting Reel (Abu Garcia Ambassadeur 521 XLT PLUS LH)?

    I adjusted the Centering knob as dingbat suggested. The magnets seem to do what I want in terms of the effect on how long the spool spins. I am thinking that a change in the line I am using might be in order. I do a lot of fishing in the river for small mouth bass. The river has a lot of rocks so I want a line that has a decent resistance to nicks and scuffs. Also, given my issues with birds nests, i want something that I can untangle realtively easily. I think I want about an 8 to 10 pound line. Any good recomendations based on those criteria?

    Thanks,
    TerryMSU

  8. #8
    Admiral dingbat's Avatar
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    Default Re: Rebuild/replace Bait Casting Reel (Abu Garcia Ambassadeur 521 XLT PLUS LH)?

    Sufix Tritanium is the best casting, most abrasion resistant line on the market right now. The go to line for most distance and surf casters. It's the only mono I use on my casting reels.

    Another issue? What rod are you using? The rods makes a big difference on how well a reel casts. The quality of the rods is not as much of an issue as the casting weight of the rod. Don't expect a rod rated to 1/8 - 3/8 oz to throw a 1/16 oz. bait worth a darn and don't expect it to throw a 1/2 oz. worth a darn either. You also have the rating factor. I find that very few rods are rated accurately. I've found rods to be rated as much as twice or even half their actual weight capability.

    Iím typically casting anywhere from 1-10 oz when surf fishing. I keep 6 rods on the truck to throw the different weights if that tells you anything.
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  9. #9

    Default Re: Rebuild/replace Bait Casting Reel (Abu Garcia Ambassadeur 521 XLT PLUS LH)?

    If the reel is worth something to you i'd recommend sending it to the guy that runs proreelservice.com. He does great work and is Extremely Extremely knowledgable
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  10. #10
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    Default Re: Rebuild/replace Bait Casting Reel (Abu Garcia Ambassadeur 521 XLT PLUS LH)?

    Quote Originally Posted by TerryMSU View Post
    I have an Abu Garcia Ambassadeur 521 XLT PLUS LH. I bought it used and it worked great for a while. Now the mechanical brake knob does nothing regardless of how tight I tighten it. I tried to clean and lube the reel, but no improvement. Can someone direct me to good directions on how best to clean and adjust this reel? Alternatively, is it worthwhile to have someone rebuild it? Anybody know anyone in western Michigan that is good and not too expensive? Any recomendation of a relatively cheap but good replacement for this reel?

    Thanks,
    TerryMSU
    http://www.purefishing.com/our-brands/berkley%C2%AE
    Send it to Pure Fishing with note of problem these guys are great.
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  11. #11

    Default Re: Rebuild/replace Bait Casting Reel (Abu Garcia Ambassadeur 521 XLT PLUS LH)?

    Dingbat I need a manual for my ultra mag xl2 can you help?

  12. #12
    Admiral dingbat's Avatar
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    Default Re: Rebuild/replace Bait Casting Reel (Abu Garcia Ambassadeur 521 XLT PLUS LH)?

    Quote Originally Posted by kc6qdi View Post
    Dingbat I need a manual for my ultra mag xl2 can you help?
    I have a copy of the manual but its pretty generic. What are you lokking for? Most the information in the manual can be found here.

    [url]http://www.abugarcia.com/service.php[/url[
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