Custom Reels.

My  name is Joel,and I'm from the U.S. Wayne asked me to do a column for his site on some of my customized reels,so here it goes. My creations are here 1, 2, 3, 4
My first custom Ambassadeur was a 2500C that Don Iovino tricked out with a 4 pin driveshaft for faster gear engagement. As I started fishing in the late "70's"and early "80's" Round reels started coming into the market, and I bought a few of them to try out, but they didn't have the same feel as my older Ambassadeurs.

Although lighter,I prefered the solid feel of my older 45,and 5500C's, so I changed frames and felt the difference immediately.I also discovered that the Lew's BB1N had a longer handle,so naturally I put those on too! After that there wasn't much else you could do except change gear ratios,or take out the levelwind stop.

In the last 2 years I discovered that they had different colored sideplates for 2500C's,and those being my favorite reels I set out to find them.As luck,and the internet would have it I was able to find a few sets,and that started an obsession that I can't satisfy.I now have a Burgundy 1500 and 2500C,the 1500 was converted from a 2500,a Red 2500C,a set of Blue 15 and 2500C's,and a Gold 2500C. The one problem that I encountered was that most of the sideplates are for the 2500CI IAR reels, so only the Burgundy reels are the standard models.

You can convert a "standard to a IAR",but you need to change all the gears,washers,and brakeplate to do so.It would be easier to find a donor reel and just change plates.As for my older Ambassadeurs,they have not been forgotten.I now have a Red and a Black 4500C,and a Teal 5600C,same color as a 5000D. They all look SWEET! I will soon have a Gold 4500C to go with the others. I 'm not a "Purist" when it comes to my reels,I like what I like.I don't plan to sell my reels,but if I ever do,I'd let the buyer know what I changed to make them "Special". Wayne will be posting pictures of my "Creations",and I hope you enjoy them.I would like to give thanks to the following people who have helped me in my quest for my" Perfect Ambassadeurs". Wayne, for having this forum to share ideas, Jerry Foran @,Simon Shimomura @,<and Lonnie Mills for supplying me with parts and tecnical advice. It's people like these that make collecting Ambassadeur reels fun.

Part II

Hello Everyone, hope all is good with you. Here are some more pictures of my reels. I hope you like these too! Whenever I get an opportunity to upgrade my reels, I rarely pass it up. These creations are what comes about when luck and parts come together at the same time. If you ask enough people, you're bound to get the answer you want to hear. I asked a lot of people if they knew where I could find colored side plates for my Ambassadeurs, and as luck would have it, I found the right people to help me. My thanks go out to Ken Stulgis,and Lonnie Mills for supplying me with side plates. As I said before, most colored side plates are for the IAR reels. Fortunately I was able to aquire 2 sets in Burgundy for a 15 and 2500C. I believe that they are also available in Black, but I have yet to find a set.

My quest continues! I didn't want my reels to look like they just came from the factory, so I added a few personal touches, like different handles, and even a different spool tension cap. I also kept the gray frame on the Burgundy reels because I liked the color combination! With the exception of the Blue and Red 2500C's,all these reels are used, and have brought in a lot of fish in they're day. Old Ambassadeurs never die, they just get upgraded! If anyone is looking to change to colored side plates, here's a few helpful tips. Try your Purefishing repair center, as they have a few colored side plates available. Just go to and get the part number off the schematics page, then call Purefishing with the part number. As I found out, the only brake plate available was for the Gold reel,so if you want a different color you'll have to paint it Black to match the frame plate. I hope that the information was helpful, andwill make your conversions as successful as mine were! I hope you all get your limits, and always have sunny days of fishing! Take care, Joel

Thanks Joel for sharing your particular passion for Ambassadeurs! Individualized reels for an one who crafts, cares for and fishes his own reels.

Tight Lines , Wayne