KFAC, Would you mind telling me what you are referring to?
I originally responded to this post because I as a consumer want other fisherman to know how I was treated by the manufacture and the quality control issues that I have encountered. I realize that you have a considerable investment in Newell products that you have to protect and this must be difficult.
The problems that I have previously stated, but now will elaborate on, are as follows:
Stripped screws: Pay special attention to the rear crossbar/sideplate retainer screws on the handle side. This is the most common location for the stripped screws to occur. Even if they are not totally stripped yet you will find flattened threads from rubbing against the inner frame ring when they were installed.
Metal shavings in bearing cups: Found in the newer S Series and the red reels. Not just a shaving or two. They are packed in there.
Hairline cracks in the side plates: 300 P series reels on the handle side at the bearing retainer hole. Newell even replaced one of these for me on a P338.
I am not alone in spotting these defects. I see a well known Newell repair expert on another California forum has encountered the same QC issues. I'm sure there are others out there also.
Mark, At this point having my warranty reinstated, if that is you goal, is futile. I want nothing more to do with this company. If I have a reel malfunction that requires repairs beyond my existing parts inventory I will keep it for future cannibalization.
Monday StackedUp called in and provided some particulars, also with a name rather than board-id I was able to make association. That's good, always better when things are personal and even a good message board's annonymity detracts from the personal side of things. I followed up with Newell's production manager. There was some mistaken communication from Norma on this one I think. No voiding of warranty, though she did come on too strongly. StackedUp's reels were purchased in '01 and early '02 and he does know what he's doing when it comes to reel maintenance and repair. He did have a cross thread issue with a couple of his reels (he purchased a half dozen P's from us and a couple S series). The issues Stacked had were not common, not something we saw here. But, nonetheless they were issues he encountered. Newell did make things right for him. Further they have made solid progress in trying to improve the manufacture process. Any company can have errors in production or with parts assembly. It's one of those things that demand continuous attention. While I don't share the same negative feelings or experience Stacked expressed, his experience was valid and truthful...just a bit too much of a generalization (in my opinion). One thing for sure, the folks at Newell were appreciative of the feedback, they welcomed my call, and they will continue to improve their product (which is darn good and has caught a lot of fish!).
Thank you Mark.
May as well add my two cents to this conversation, and to provide some insight to what's going on at Newell.
A bit of background is in order, I provided assistance in Newell's reel repair and service department in '96 - 97, and again in '99.
In recent month's Norma has been removed from the reel assembly, and quality control area. It is now Richard Hightower's domain, and that is primarily why the product is declining. Pretty strong words, but I'll provide examples that can be verified by examining reels right out of the box.
The following is observations I've made with the newer P series.
1. Inside cage rings had to be ground to open up the clearance of the aluminum spools.
2. Spacer rings (plastic)used on the right side bearing cups in the 500 series bearing cups are red which are the thinest they make, and usually there is one or two stainless steel shim washers under the right side bearings.
3. There will be metal shavings inside the bearing cups that should have been cleaned out before being used in final assembly.
4. Some, not all have handle nuts rubbing on the screw that holds the bridge sleave.
5. The antireverse pawls may be installed upsidedown, and the pivot hole is too large which can allow the pawl to bind.
Some of the good points are that they are installing the stainless steel bearing cups in all their reels again, their plastic has evolved over the years, they have gotten away from the through frame screws, and have started using the short assembly screws. They are now lubricating the bearings so that should reduce the number of rusted ones many have experienced.
Bottomline, all reels should be opened up, after purchase, cleaned of excess grease and given a little lubrication to the bearings because you don't know how long it has set on the shelf. From then on a good, freshwater rinsing after EVERY use, and at least once a year opened up and serviced completely. My machinist has examined the screws with the flattened treads, and because they're 5-40 thin threads felt they were adequately tightening down to do their work is was not a big problem.
Personally I fish a lot, and fish Newells within their limits on trips for albacore, school size tuna, yellowtail, and wahoo.
Carl, unfortuneatly has reached that age where he can not provide the leadership, and control that he once weilded there.
For what it is worth - own a 220-5 / p229f / 322-5 and c332-5, all caught lots of fish with no issues yet! Love that 2229 with 25lb test on 700L. Lots of reels can bring in the fish faster, but put a Newell reel on a Calstar graphite series rod and it feels so light and neat!
Norma at Newell is great! A little old school but she knows her stuff. Try talking it out with her. It is a pleasure seeing a business run the way Newell operates.
Norma is still there, she's still involved, things have not changed that much RM. She's out now on surgery, has been out for almost a month. The Hightowers have been with Carl for probably 20 years, they've been the marketing folks for Carl. Yes, Carl is getting older, and there will sadly come a time when he passes from the scene. He's one of the nicest guys I've met, and it will be a sad day when he's gone, but that which he created will live on.
I have much faith that Richard will do what's necessary to maintain things with this line. He has a vested interest. I have experienced him taking charge of a problem and fixing it. A couple years ago Carl decided to try something new, changed a part on the reels. Richard discovered the mistake on a 10 day trip. Upon his arrival back he jumped on correcting the problem. Hightower sent his son to our shop to pick up EVERY piece we had and performed the change back to the reliable piece within three days time. They pulled almost 80 pieces from our inventory, assisted us in correcting several client's reels. They did not stick their head in the sand, they took charge and went the extra mile. Yes, I do have faith in the future, whether Carl is doing things personally or allowning the next generation to take the reins.
I appreciate your comments RM, and recognize that you know your stuff. I'm just more optimistic and have faith that things will continue to improve.
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