Australian Fishing Information, Technical Reference and Misconceptions, by Bernard (Bernie ) Ladd. 1/3/2014.

Sharks do not urinate as most animals do. Sharks convert urine to urea; a toxic compound which is really converted ammonia. Urea is absorbed in the flesh of sharks and expelled through the skin. When a shark dies this urea is converted back to ammonia. That is why shark meat has a slight ammonia taste and smell. The Mako shark can expel this converted ammonia through the lateral line, acting as a kidney to do so, and is why the slight ammonia taste and smell is not present in Mako fillets. Some more technical detail: "Cartilaginous fishes such as sharks rays and skates, have plasma that is approximately isosmotic to seawater. This unusual high osmotic concentration (compared to that of other vertebrates) is maintained by high levels of urea and trimethylamine oxide (TMAO) in the blood. In most vertebrates, levels of urea this high would damage proteins, but the presents of TMAO help to stabilize these protein molecules against the adverse effects of urea. Excess of inorganic electrolytes, such as Na+ and Ca- which diffuse in the blood at the gills, are excreted by the way of kidneys and also by means of a special excretory organ called the rectal gland that is located at the end of the alimentary canal." Courtesy David (Dave)  Bartee, Marine Biologist, Florida, USA.

Galvanic Corrosion is corrosion damage created when dissimilar materials are joined by a corrosive electrolyte. Galvanic Corrosion is a common type of corrosion found in marine environments. For example, if two dissimilar metals that are touching (eg. Stainless Steel and Aluminium), come into frequent contact with an electrolyte (eg. salt-water or rain water in coastal areas), there is a chance that Galvanic Corrosion will develop over time.This is a problem on yachts, where Stainless Steel fasteners are in contact with Aluminium or Carbon Fibre masts. Also on roofing, where Lead or Copper flashings are in contact with a Zincalume roof. This applies to "fishing reels" especially when used in a salt water environment.

Verdigris is a common term for Copper Acetate, the bright bluish-green encrustation of natural patina that forms on Copper, Brass, Bronze and Gunmetal when weathered and exposed to air (atmospheric oxidation) or sea water over a period of time.

Patina is a tarnish that forms on the surface of Copper, Bronze and similar metals (produced by oxidation or other chemical processes). The patina is a sign of age, wear; and lengthy atmospheric exposure. Patinas can provide a protective layer to materials that would otherwise be damaged by corrosion or weathering. They may also be aesthetically appealing.

Tarnish is a thin layer of corrosion that forms over Copper; Brass, Silver, Aluminum and other metals, as their outermost layer undergoes a chemical reaction.Tarnish does not always result from the sole effects of Oxygen in the air. For example, Silver needs Hydrogen Sulfide to tarnish; it does not tarnish with only Oxygen. It often appears as a dull, gray or black film or coating over metal.Tarnish is a surface phenomenon, that is self-limiting unlike rust. Only the top few layers of the metal react, and the layer of tarnish seals and protects the underlying layers from reacting.Tarnish preserves the underlying metal in outdoor use. The formation of tarnish is necessary in applications such as Copper roofing, and outdoor Copper, Bronze, and Brass statues and fittings.

Gunmetal is a Copper-Tin alloy, similar to Bronze, used where resistance to corrosion is required, especially in sea water environments. It is easily cast and machines well. Typical composition: 88% Copper, 8% Tin, 4% Zinc. Gunmetal is sometimes confused with Copper, Brass; Bronze or Nickel Bronze. -  Ladd B, 22/11/2013.

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Ebonite was a brand name for a hard rubber first obtained by Charles Goodyear by vulcanizing rubber for prolonged periods of time. 30% to 40% of Ebonite consists of sulfur. Its name comes from its intended use as an artificial substitute for Ebony Wood. The material is known generically as hard vulcanized rubber and has formerly beencalled "vulcanite", although that name also refers to the mineral Vulcanite. Applications: Ebonite is often used in bowling balls, electric plugs, fishing reels or tackle, fountain pen bodies and nib feeds, saxophone and clarinet mouthpieces. Ebonite is often seen as the wheel material in casters. It is also commonly used in physics classrooms to demonstrate the phenomenon of static electricity. For many years hard rubber was used in the cases of automobile batteries. Ebonite is used as an anti-corrosive lining for various (mainly storage) vessels that contain hydrochloric acid. Properties: The material is brittle, which poses problems in its use in battery cases, where the integrity of the case is vital to prevent leakage of such chemicals as sulphuric acid.


Bakelite (sometimes confused with Ebonite) is an early polymeric plastic made from phenol & formaldehyde under pressure at high temperature, was invented by Leo Baekeland a Belgian chemist (1863-1944) in 1907. Bakelite is a castable, fire resistant plastic. Its utility lies in its electrical non-conductivity and heat-resistant properties applicable to electrical insulators, radio and telephone castings, and such diverse products as fishing reels, kitchenware, firearms. The "retro" appeal of old Bakelite products has made them collectible over the years. In 1978 Dr. Leo Hendrick Baekeland was inducted posthumously into the National Inventors Hall of fame at Akron, Ohio and into the Rail of fame for united States Buisness Leadership in 1983. Common types: linen bakelite, impregnated (re-inforced with linen; canvas impregnated bakelite.

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