I know that the Pocket Fisherman is not the finest fishing rig available, yet I've had some very good times with it over the years and now have several of them. I've caught lots of fish with the Pocket Fisherman, and for some types of improptu fishing in which you either don't have a lot of room for a full size fishing rig like on a sailboat or when you need to get the rig in use or out of use quickly as when canoeing or kayaking a river with rapids in it.
I wrote about my history with The Pocket Fisherman back in June of last year. Since then, I stumbled upon the patent application for this interesting item here:
And here is a succinct cleaning post from a blog where Pocket Fisherman not casting right was being discussed:
Like you, I just picked up the 1972 Popeil Pocket Fisherman off of eBay and found it out of the box unusable. I tried to actuate the thumb brake to cast the line out and it would not budge. I took off the side cover and inspected the internals of the reel. Turns out the mechanism was just jammed due to lack of use and gumming up of the grease lubricant. I cleaned the spring loaded clutch rod and lubed it up and now casts almost like it was new out of the box. I used Coleman fuel to clean up the parts and some 3 in 1 oil to re-lube. I need to find out the type of grease that would best work inside this reel. Still hunting on the net for that info.
I'll update this post in the future with anymore information I discover.