How to Repair the Bail on a Mitchell Avocet II S500UL Reel

Written by william machin
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How to Repair the Bail on a Mitchell Avocet II S500UL Reel
A spinning reel bail is not difficult to repair. (fishing reel image by Dawn Williams from

The Mitchell Avocet II S500UL Spinning Reel is a modestly priced, light-action spinning reel that is manufactured with a bright silver finish. Typical of all traditional spinning reels, the S500UL has a bail that is opened manually for casting, and which closes by means of an internal mechanism when the reel handle is turned. Replacement parts for a bent or damaged bail are available through a number of online sources. The bail is not complex in terms of the components and is relatively easy to repair, using a step-by-step troubleshooting procedure.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Standard screwdriver
  • Spray lubricant
  • Small socket and ratchet
  • Clean rags

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  1. 1

    Remove the drag knob on top of the spool. Grip the raised portion in the centre of the circular knob with your thumb and forefinger and turn the knob counterclockwise until it threads off the top of the chrome spool shaft. Lift the fishing line spool off the spool shaft and set the drag knob and fishing line spool aside.

  2. 2

    Open the bail by lifting the curved edge of the bail until it is perpendicular to the spool holder. Turn the reel handle and the bail should close. If the bail lifts irregularly or is difficult to return with normal winding action of the handle, lubricate the connections at each side of the spool holder with spray lubricant and repeat the procedure. If the bail still does not lift manually or return when the handle is turned, proceed to the next step.

  3. 3

    Remove the screws at each side of the bail where it connects to the spool holder. Use a standard screwdriver to remove the screws. If you are replacing a bent or damaged bail, install the new bail and bail assembly per the instructions, reinsert the screws at the ends of the new bail and tighten the connections at the spool holder. If a replacement bail does not correct the problem, proceed to the next step.

  4. 4

    Remove the brass hexagon rotor nut from the chrome spool shaft with a small socket and ratchet. Hold the reel handle to prevent the spool shaft from turning and rotate the nut counterclockwise. Set the nut aside. Lift the circular spool holder off the shaft and clean it with spray lubricant and fine steel wool. Wipe the residual cleaner away with a clean rag.

  5. 5

    Identify the circular rotor by the two, round ears that extend up toward the end of the chrome spool shaft. Each ear has a threaded port where the attachment screws for the bail were located. Lift the rotor off the reel and clean it with spray lubricant. Wipe the residual lubricant away with a clean rag. Clean the chrome spool shaft in the same way.

  6. 6

    Repeat the steps in reverse to reattach the rotor and spool holder. Thread the brass hex nut on the spool shaft and tighten it against the rotor. Reattach the bail and sleeve the fishing line spool on the spool shaft. Complete the repair by threading the drag knob onto the top end of the spool shaft. Turn the knob clockwise until it is secure against the top of the fishing line spool.

Tips and warnings

  • Refer to the Mitchell Avocet II S500UL reel schematic for additional help identifying the components
  • Refer to the model of the reel when obtaining a replacement bail and bail assembly.
  • Consult a tackle shop or reel repair if bail problems persist.

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