Today I’d like to introduce a company that excels in quality, customer service and prompt, professional service.
Fishing Addicts has worked with The Reel Tech a few times to get standard maintenance work done on reels. We approached him simply because we were aware of his business and had heard good endorsements of The Reel Tech coming from fellow anglers. We were happy to find out that John was every bit as dependable and professional as we had heard, and that he seemed to go the extra mile to ensure that our reel maintenance was top-notch.
He does not only expert reel repair & maintenance, but also builds precision custom fishing rods, fishing rod repairs and more. We spoke with John Strenk about his business and sent over a few questions so that our audience could get to know the background of the business – as well as the man behind it all.
“Fishing has been a passion of mine since I was very young. My Dad lit the fire in me at a young
age and I took it from there. I guess you can say it built into an obsession, and it continues. I
have been fortunate to be able to fish in a lot of different places for many different species. East
coast, west coast, Mexico, Offshore long rage fishing, inshore saltwater fishing, streams, rivers,
or lakes. If it swims, I like to catch them. If I am not in the act of fishing, I am usually reading
about it, tinkering with tackle, watching it on TV, or dreaming about it.”
“I spent 6.5 years in the fishing tackle industry on the retail side. Started my first job in a small
tackle shop in Southern California in 1989 when I was in High School, and continued in the
fishing retail industry until I graduated college. Had a good time working some big sport shows
for different vendors as well as the stores I was working for at the time. The small shop where
I started offered reel repair to its customers. I was always back there watching the old man
work on reels and it intrigued me. My passion for the gear that we use to catch the fish we
love initiated me to ask to learn how to do it myself. Once I learned the basics, I knew it was
something I wanted to do. Yet another way to be involved in the fishing industry. In short
order, I was doing the reel repair for the shop. My experience with reels grew and grew over the
years and I continued to work on reels as a side business, even after I left the retail side of the
“Since 1989, I have worked on a countless number of reels. From spinning reels to offshore 2
peed lever drag reels, any make, any model, if it catches fish, I can work on it. I think this is
something that differentiates me in this business. I do not focus on just one brand. I am on
top of the ever changing technology of our fishing gear and have no problem adapting to the
changes. 25 years of being inside every reel imaginable enables me to troubleshoot a reel in
seconds. I have seen an amazing amount of different issues that can and do arise with fishing
reels. I can’t tell you how many times I get customers that bring me a ziploc baggie full of parts
from a reel they tried to take apart. It is something you definitely have to have the passion for.
The ability to dump that baggie out on the table, start separating parts, and quickly see what tiny
parts were lost by the customer in the process comes with LOTS of time on the bench.
Something that defines The Reel Tech difference is my interaction with the customers throughout
the process.” (editors note: FANW can definitely vouch for this)
turnaround. According to my customers, this is something that is lacking in this profession all
over the country. My customers know everything there is to know about their reels when I am
done with them. I put my customers best interests as my #1 priority. If I feel it would be more
cost effective for a customer to replace a reel rather than fix it, I suggest that to them, and tell
them why. Ultimately, the decision is up to them if they still want me to repair the reel or not. It
is always up to them. Sometimes, unfortunately, due to lack of parts availability, or condition of
the reel, there is nothing that can be done.”
“I added Reel Tech Custom Rods to the business about 3 years ago. I was fortunate to have Josh
Terry of Chrome Seeker Custom Rods as a mentor. He is a brilliant rod wrapper and someone I
am honored to call a friend. Like the fishing reels, the passion was there, and I went into it full
throttle. Building beautiful custom creations based on my customers imagination is an awesome
thing to be able to do. I can build on any commercially available blank offered, whether your
preference is St. Croix, Rogue, North Fork, Lamiglas, Calstar, Seeker, etc. I also do lots of rod
repairs for my customers. Broken guide replacements, upgrading guide sets on existing rods,
and bringing old favorites back to life with new guides and thread wraps. Many examples of my
work can be found in the custom rod section of the blog on my website www.thereeltech.com.“
To follow John’s custom rod work & reel repair “Like” his Facebook Page - https://www.facebook.com/TheReelTech
Some tips from The Reel Tech:
1. When taking photo of your fish, or any time for that matter, submerging your entire reel
under water is never a good idea. No need to flood the inside of your reel with water. Bad
things can happen inside!
2. Back off your drags after your day of fishing. It doesn’t take that long to reset it when
you start the next day, and will prolong the life of your drag systems. No need to keep them
compressed when they are not in use
3. Prolong the life of your spinning reel bail systems by closing the bail with your hand rather
than by turning the reel handle. A good habit to get into and once you do, it will become second
nature and you wont even have to think about it.
Are you in need of a custom rod wrap or reel repair? The Reel Tech is FANW’s trusted resource for reel maintenance. Reels can be mailed to John for maintenance – he has a good turn-around time and communicates well through the process.