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J W Young & Sons

Luke Hodson

Senior Member
As an owner and user of a number of Purist, Walton, Bob James and John Wilson models of Youngs reels I thought I would treat myself to another model the other day so ordered a new reel and waited for delivery.

When the reel arrived I noted the delivery documents showed that the reel had come direct from Masterline.

What a disappointment, the reel showed rough notched tool marks to the spools rim, damage to the spindle head, the bearings and circular retaining pin showed signs of abuse and the reel foot had been located into the reel itself with such force it had split the reel and gouged out metal from the reel. I have attached photos.

I rang the number on the delivery documents and was put through to a member of staff who dealt with Youngs sales and was told to send it back and they would send out another. When I asked if they could email me a return label to save my costs I was informed they don't do that but if I payed they would "chuck in a spool of line to cover the cost" when I informed them that it would cost around £10 to send a £300 reel in the post I was told It would "only be a few quid" and reiterated their original instructions.
I saw this as extremely poor customer care and decided to contact the shop I bought the reel from. They could not be more apologetic and agreed to refund the cost of the reel and the £8.55 insured return postage and asked that I return the reel direct to Masterline.
While packaging the reel I noted it had the original certificate and documentation which reflected the serial number so assume it had passed whatever quality control is in place, the picking and delivery documents showed the initials of 2 persons who "selected" and "inspected" the reel for delivery.

J W Youngs & Sons and Masterline, what a disappointment.
 

Attachments

Steve Lewis

Senior Member
Luke - that's unfortunate and disappointing. I've always had a good experience with Youngs - some years ago they bent over backwards trying to find a replacement section of a Wilson heritage trotting rod that Masterline had stopped making several years before that, eventually finding a section of blank that was used for the same rod. They whipped it up for me and sent it, only charging for the postage (which was £13, but hey...). But that WAS years ago, and my other experiences with them and Masterline pre-date that.

Are their pins still made by hand by them, or mass-made in China and then sent over? Not that that should make a difference with other pins mass-made pins being perfectly acceptable.
 

Neil Blood

Senior Member
I'm a fan of their reels too and those pictures are quite shocking; I'm also curious to learn if they've switched manufacturing sites?

I'd also be tempted, to send them a link to this thread!

Edit: From the Masterline website:

J.W. YOUNG CENTERPIN REELS
J.W. Young Centrepin Reels are arguably the highest quality reels still manufactured in the UK today. Experienced anglers looking for a reel with a centre pin design know they are assured reliability and durability when choosing a J.W. Young Centrepin Reel.
J.W. Young Centrepin Reels are considered an investment not only for your fishing today but for the future. All J W young reels are extremely well engineered by expert craftsmen in the UK and are made using only the highest quality materials and components.
 

Luke Hodson

Senior Member
Having seen the state of the reel it could lead you to believe the company is a shadow of its former self, trading on its past name with either very poor quality control or very low standards.
My older JW Young reels from the 90s and 00s are certainly far superior and will be the ones I keep and use.
 

Luke Hodson

Senior Member
I'm a fan of their reels too and those pictures are quite shocking; I'm also curious to learn if they've switched manufacturing sites?

I'd also be tempted, to send them a link to this thread!

Edit: From the Masterline website:

J.W. YOUNG CENTERPIN REELS
J.W. Young Centrepin Reels are arguably the highest quality reels still manufactured in the UK today. Experienced anglers looking for a reel with a centre pin design know they are assured reliability and durability when choosing a J.W. Young Centrepin Reel.
J.W. Young Centrepin Reels are considered an investment not only for your fishing today but for the future. All J W young reels are extremely well engineered by expert craftsmen in the UK and are made using only the highest quality materials and components.
To be honest I don't think the people I spoke to really cared enough to be bothered.
 

Ian Murfin

Senior Member
You might want to try and seek out a Youngs Atom. I've just picked up a second hand one (thanks Clive) and first impressions are good. You can pick them up for £300 or possibly less with a cheeky offer on ebay. I believe they were at least part made by Gary Mills in the UK.
 

Dave Bartell

Senior Member
Sorry to hear about your hassles Luke, I'm really surprised ! Have had some of the best customer service I've ever experienced in over 40 years from Masterline ( albeit probably about 8-10 years ago ). I think with a few exceptions it seems to be the way the marketplace is going. You may still be able to achieve your goals nowadays but you'll probably spend more than the item is worth on phone calls to get there which is not good service in my mind. The reel was a mess, I can only think that the quality controllers who signed that certificate were Ray Charles and Stevie Wonder !
 

Bill Walford

Senior Member
Sorry to hear about your hassles Luke, I'm really surprised ! Have had some of the best customer service I've ever experienced in over 40 years from Masterline ( albeit probably about 8-10 years ago ). I think with a few exceptions it seems to be the way the marketplace is going. You may still be able to achieve your goals nowadays but you'll probably spend more than the item is worth on phone calls to get there which is not good service in my mind. The reel was a mess, I can only think that the quality controllers who signed that certificate were Ray Charles and Stevie Wonder !
Cooo, Ray Charles and Stevie Wonder, that dates you Dave but you did also say that your experience of Masterline was over 40 years so I guess you are a tad over 21 :)
Unfortunately I also had a bad experience with a Young’s reel. After my son raving about the John Wilson Heritage Centrepin I bought one from from a well known tackle dealer but online. When it arrived I’ve known smoother food whisks and the noise was unbelievable. I returned to whence it came and received a full refund on the reel but never did get the carriage back. I since bought a used but extremely good conditioned Purist CL and that is a lovely bit of kit...perhaps it’s just the newer made gear that is suspect ‘cos I have several older Young’s reels and they are sound !
 

Nick Coulthurst

Senior Member
I treated myself to exactly the same reel about 6 weeks ago from Summerlands for £239 posted, and I have to say its a joy to look at and use, I absolutely love it. Think you may have just got a rogue wrong un Luke.
Nick
 

Luke Hodson

Senior Member
"J.W. Young Centrepin Reels are arguably the highest quality reels still manufactured in the UK today. Experienced anglers looking for a reel with a centre pin design know they are assured reliability and durability when choosing a J.W. Young Centrepin Reel.
J.W. Young Centrepin Reels are considered an investment not only for your fishing today but for the future. All J W young reels are extremely well engineered by expert craftsmen in the UK and are made using only the highest quality materials and components."


When your spending that kind on money on a reel, a friday afternoon rogue reel must not be an excuse, they sent a replacement the next day which I sent back but noted the centre boss grub screw had been opened up with the wrong sized screwdriver..... on a new reel!
My experience is that J W Young is not the quality company of the past and the new reels are not the quality of the older reels.
I to used Summerlands who I can not fault however Masterline I now view as extremely poor, selling substandard goods & trading on an historic loyalty and brand confidence.
I will continue to use my J W Young reels but would not consider a new one and would recommend anybody looking for a quality reel to look for 1990s or 2000 model and skip the current reels.
 

Dave Bartell

Senior Member
Cooo, Ray Charles and Stevie Wonder, that dates you Dave but you did also say that your experience of Masterline was over 40 years so I guess you are a tad over 21 :)
Unfortunately I also had a bad experience with a Young’s reel. After my son raving about the John Wilson Heritage Centrepin I bought one from from a well known tackle dealer but online. When it arrived I’ve known smoother food whisks and the noise was unbelievable. I returned to whence it came and received a full refund on the reel but never did get the carriage back. I since bought a used but extremely good conditioned Purist CL and that is a lovely bit of kit...perhaps it’s just the newer made gear that is suspect ‘cos I have several older Young’s reels and they are sound !
Err, yes just a little Bill , and my buggered knees remind me just how much every time it rains ! ;) I once called them about a couple of their rods I had bought second-hand ( and was up front about the fact ) as I didn't like the screw down fore grip system on them. The chap mentioned that the next batch they were getting in were back to the traditional fitting. When they were back in stock I rang up to see if I could purchase a couple of butt sections. He asked me to send him the original butt sections and sent me two of the new ones free of charge. I also once had one of their Nomad 13ft telescopic float rods ( don't knock it, they had the nicest action on any telescopic I've come across ) and snapped the tip when I walked it into a tree whilst watching Chub instead of where i was going ! Sent it to them for repair and they just sent me a new rod free of charge with the upgraded carry case no less ! Sad to see these once great establishments starting to take their eye off the ball.
 

Dave Bartell

Senior Member
They won't give me new ones Bill..........yet !!! So in the interim I'm trying to find a cookery book with a hundred and one recipes for Glucosamine and Cod Liver Oil :D Good to hear you've managed to go Formula One on your joints, trust old Zimmer to create a monopoly whatever the ailment ;)
 

Iain Tutt

Senior Member
My TFG reels were better quality when new. Was thinking of treating myself a new JW centerpin but now before buying i will have to inspect it before i hand over the money
 

Paul Collins

Senior Member
My TFG reels were better quality when new. Was thinking of treating myself a new JW centerpin but now before buying i will have to inspect it before i hand over the money
Apparently there's a couple of new TFG pins coming out next month. One being a replacement for the Freeflow, I'm interested!
 
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