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This guide is heavily influenced by the tether reels of community members Kevin_K and Rick2 found at this post

  1. Find a reel similar to this one:
    • Find a reel similar to this one:

    • It is important that the reel can come apart as you want to work on just the reel component by itself. You will need a pair of long needle nose pliers to pinch the tabs holding the reel together. You only need to remove the handle and undo the top handle.

    • You will also need to purchase a slip ring. I used a 6 wire one from adafruit and it fit perfectly

    • Last you need 3 #10 stainless steel pan head machine screws and 3 #10 stainless lock nuts. I forgot to measure the length but I believe they were 1"

  2. If your reel has a hook meant for holding the extension cord remove it and sand it smooth.
    • If your reel has a hook meant for holding the extension cord remove it and sand it smooth.

    • This is also a good time to drill a small hold into the non-handle side of your reel. You can see the hole in the images. You want it to be just bigger than the tether wire.

    • Measure the inside diameter of the reel opening. Make sure you are measuring the side that the hole you drilled in the previous step is on.

    • Cut a piece of material to those dimensions. I had some thing acrylic lying around that I glued together but pretty much anything will work.

    • Cut a hole in the center that matches the thick part of the slip ring behind the flange.

    • Place the slip ring in the hole and mark the location of the 3 holes.

    • Drill out the three holes

    • Sand the material around the three holes to allow for a better epoxy bond

    • Tape the threads of your bolts so they don't get epoxy on them (remove the tape once everything dries)

    • Epoxy the bolts to your material

    • Pull a length of the tether through the hole

    • Apply a small amount of hot glue to the wire to prevent it from pulling out.

    • Apply hot glue around the wire on the other side to help prevent water getting into this area later.

    • Sand the inside surfaces of the reel

    • Apply some epoxy to the plastic reinforcing tabs inside the reel hole

    • Insert the slip ring mount and pull the tether through the center hole. Make sure you sand the top and bottom surfaces of this as well.

    • Apply a bead of epoxy all around the edge of the mount.

    • Prep the slip ring by coiling the 4 unused wires. Use a zip tie to hold them in place.

    • I went a step further and applied hot glue to the wire ends to water proof them and around the seam of of the slip ring for the same reason.

    • Solder the tether wires to the slip ring wires. I used the hot glue and water proof heat shrink on this joint.

    • Affix the slip ring to the mount using the lock nuts

    • At this point I would recommend winding the tether on the reel (I had done this previously but then you have to take things apart again). Place the reel back into the frame and reattach the handle.

    • Optional: Extend the wires that came with the slip ring

    • Protect the exposed wires with heat shrink. Use a bit of hot glue at the start and end to help with keeping water out.

    • Attach the top size adapter to the reel using a velco wire strap.

    • Attach the tether wires to the top side adaptor.


So far this reel has worked well for me. I spent a lot of time getting the twists out of the tether before I wound it on and I would highly recommend that you do as well.

4 other people completed this guide.

Brett Forsyth

Member since: 02/02/2015

121 Reputation

1 Guide authored


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