Gurgling Castello


Well-known member
Good day all (channeling some Mike @ Briar Blues) I have a problem and a question for some advice. I have a Castello Billiard that's roughly 10 years old and I absolutely love everything about this pipe with the exception of the most important thing, it doesn't smoke well. Every single tobacco I've tried in every single cut ends up with a pool of liquid at the bottom of the bowl. At first, I thought this was due to me not being a very good pipe smoker yet (which I don't consider myself even now) but none of my other pipes do this. Just this one. My question for advise is this, who would be the best person to send this to for diagnosis and repair? Is there anything I can try myself to resolve? Any advice is appreciated.


Vive le tabac.
There are any number of reasons that your Castello smokes wet - tenon restricting the airway, obstruction inside the mouthpiece, poor mortise drilling/fitment, and so on. One potential issue could have to do with the face of the tenon. If it is not sufficiently smooth or chamfered, moisture will accumulate there and can leak back into the bowl. This is something you can address your self with a small countersink bit and a little patience.

It would be useful to see some pics of the pipe, including the tenon and its face, as well as the mortise and into the airway of the pipe itself, if you are able to provide. There are some very capable pipemakers here that can probably assist if they can view some decent pictures.

Good luck!


Bakunin Dat Arse Up
Other folks will be more helpful as I don't modify my pipes myself. I've sent them off to be repaired or modified, but not done it myself.

In some scenarios, depending on the age, is that the stem may be restricted because of the older Castello reed filter system. On some pipes I've had to send them to Mike over at Walker Briar Repair to drill that out and that fixed the problem. In other instances, the shank needed to be opened up.

In other instances, it's just the magic of the pipe. Even the best looking pipe can smoke like a dog.


That'll do, Pig.
The good news is Castellos are simple, not whirligigs or "systems" in play, just a straight drill. So yeah, I'd like to see some shots of the pipe, in the bowl, in the mortise, the tenon etc, and maybe we can figure something out.

The other thought I have is that if the pipe is differently proportioned than other things you smoke, it may need to be packed differently, lighter or denser or something depending on if it's super narrow or extra wide like a pot. This is actually more likely given where you are saying the moisture is developing (ie not in the shank but the bowl).
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