This is a little tutorial on how to add a clicker (line out alarm) to any of the modern Abu Garcia Ambassadeur C3 or C4 reels that doesn't come with one. It took me about 20 minutes and costs $11 in parts.
I like using the 5501 size reels, but one of my complaints is that they don't have a clicker. I found that modifying the reel to add a clicker is pretty easy, all you need is the extra parts that the clicker is built from, and another abu reel that already has a clicker. The sideplates are the same on both sizes of reel, so they are interchangeable and you will use one as a template to modify another. A couple things to note here before we begin:
1) I took these pictures with left crank reels. If you are going to do a right crank, make sure you specify that you want those parts, as the big piece is not interchangeable. Then read the rest of my post in a mirror
2) If you have an older ambassadeur or any of the different variations, you'd best check with Ollie Damon first to make sure the parts will fit
3) When fishing your newly modified reel, WAIT till he's taking line good and that clicker is singing before you swing! If you hear one little squawk of drag and then give him the old Babe Winkleman, don't blame the new barbless hook rule or me when you cracker the bejeebus out of that bite.
To start with, grab one of your 6501's that DOES HAVE A CLICKER, and take off the sideplate on the non-crank side by removing the 3 little screws. All the clicker parts will probably fall out as you take the sideplate off but the constituent parts are: on the reel side, the halfmoon shaped stainless steel "clicker assembly", and the two little rubber spacers that fit on the screw posts. On the sideplate side, there is the plastic button, a leaf spring that tensions it in the plate, and the little brass pin that holds them together:
Use a hemostat or small pair of needle nose to pull that little brass pin out of the clicker button, then all the pieces should come right out. Here are the parts that make up the clicker (laying on the table):
These are the very parts you must now go to OLLIE DAMON's and purchase for around the sum of $11, to put into your currently clickerless reel.
Next, take your reel to be modified and take the sideplate off. Notice that it looks very similar to the other reel that you just removed the clicker parts from, with one exception: The sideplate does not have a notch in it for the button to ride in. This is where you will use the first reel as a template to notch your other reel. Get it?
Here's how I did it: take a piece of masking tape and lay it carefully inside the sideplate of the reel that HAS the clicker, and make sharpie marks at the two screw holes as shown. Then, carefully trace the outline of the clicker slot that you can see through the tape:
Then, take the tape off of the notched sideplate, and transfer it to the clickerless sideplate that you want to notch. Line up your pen marks with the same two screw holes, and then prepare your dremel cutting wheel to cut the notch in the new sideplate.
Because the top of the plastic button is a little bigger than the notch, you don't have to be super precise. Try to get the width right, if it's a little too long the button will hide the extra slot.
Then smooth the edges of your cut with a triangle file or some fine sandpaper, and clean out all the dust:
You are now ready to reassemble both reels so that they look like the first picture above. One thing I noticed about the clicker assembly part that I got at Ollie D's: for some reason, the little piece of right angle metal that hangs over the side of the flat metal plate (this is the part that actually engages with the spool to make the noise) was too long and got hung up on the lip in the middle of the spool. I had to file it down a 32nd or so:
I hope that is clear, it's really pretty easy. Good luck.