1. Its a pretty simple job to CT convert a standard 5000, 6000 or 7000 series ABU cage. The only tools you will need are a hacksaw, pliers, screwdriver and some form of tape. The CT Conversion Bar and Studs (pictured above) that will be fitted to the cage can be purchased in our Tuning and Conversions section. Rather than use Conversion Studs many people simply use the ends of the existing top bar as studs. If you decide on this approach you will also need a small metal file and maybe some emery cloth. We suggest that you read the complete article before attempting this conversion. Please also note that CT Studs and Bar are sold separately.
2. This particular cage is from my old 1980s 6000 which has had a hard life as an uptiding reel and is long overdue to lose its level wind. First job is stripping the cage bare and removing the level wind mechanism from the cage. The white nylon level wind cog thats located in the left hand side plate will also be made redundant by this conversion so that can also be removed permanently. On later models with an Ultracast spool you will need to remove the white cog that locates on the end of the spool as this causes a windmill effect and slows the cast. Replace the cog with a Speed Bush or Bullet, depending on your model of reel.
3. Fit the replacement bar in place to provide support before removing the top bar as this will avoid the risk of distorting the cage. Simply slide the bar carefully into place and then secure with the screws provided. Although not really necessary some people like to seal the ends off with araldite to keep out the salt water and make the job a bit more permanent.
4. The next step is to remove the top bar with a hacksaw. Make two cuts in the bar as show leaving enough bar at each end to grip with your pliers (to remove the bar ends from the cage in the next step) without contacting the rest of the frame. Stop short of going right through with the first cut until you have finished the second cut as this will make the job much easier. You will see in the picture that I have put tape over the replacement bar and this is simply to prevent my new bar from getting scratched if I should accidentally catch it with the hacksaw.
5. We can now remove the bar ends from the cage. If you are a handy sort you could make a small tool to press the ends out, towards the inside of the cage, but most people like me simply grip the cut end of the bar with pliers and wiggle them out of the hole carefully. Our latest version of Studs are a slightly different fit to our previous chromed brass studs and will require the removal of the small tab present on the hole on the left side of the cage with a small file. Both studs will then require fixing with a small amount of either Super Glue or Araldite to hold them in place.
6. The bar ends have now been removed and you should now clean off the cage of any filings etc before fitting your studs. If you are going to form your own studs from the old bar ends simply hold them in a vice and cut them back with a hacksaw. They can then be spun in an electric drill and the cut ends can be smoothed and tidied with a file and some emery cloth. Whichever type of stud you use both can be refitted in the same way.
7. The left hand stud should just snap into position with finger pressure. If it wont go into place (no bad thing as it means the hole is still nice and tight) simply put the side plate back on with the other two screws and then, holding the stud in as far as it will go, pull it into place by tightening the remaining side plate screw. On older models of reel the anodised screws are too long to fit our own conversion studs so you will need to replace the left hand side plate screws with later chrome ones. I also like to use a bit of Araldite on the back of the studs to keep out the salt and fix them permanently into place.
8. The right hand stud is normally a bit of a tighter fit in the cage. To install it first fit the right hand side plate and gear assembly to the cage in the usual way using the two usable thumb screws. Simply locate the stud correctly in its hole and pull it into place with its thumbscrew. Be careful to engage the thread properly before tightening otherwise you may cross it when you tighten it all up and again, as with the left hand stud, a little Araldite will keep out the salt and gunk.
9. Your cage should now look something like this. Have a final check to make sure you have removed all the filings from cutting off the old bar and then clean up any mess from the Araldite (if you used it) with a little meths on a rag, making sure that no glue has found its way onto any threads as this will cause problems later. Once you are satisfied everything is cleaned off properly rebuild the reel, setting it to one side for 24 hours to allow any Araldite used to go off before trying it out. If you didnt use glue then there is no reason why you shouldnt head straight for the beach or field immediately.
10. The finished article. A neat and professional looking conversion that should outlast the rest of the reel at less than half the cost of a factory converted CT Cage. The conversion itself shouldnt take much more than an hour to complete even for a total beginner. If you have any questions about any aspect of this conversion or the parts used please email us via our Contact Us page.