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Bearing upgrades - your thoughts appreciated

Just what the title says....anything and everything related to Rods, Reels, Terminal Tackle, Plastics, what others are using, what works, what doesn't work, and anything else you want to talk about regarding equipment.
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Bearing upgrades - your thoughts appreciated

Postby DropShot’r » Fri Feb 09, 2018 7:56 am

Greetings,


I would like to ask the board about their thought and opinions on up-grading the bearings on a baitcaster to ceramic such as ABEC-7's.

I have done a bit of research on this and have no clear answer. I have heard claims of being noisy and the expense was not worth the net gain in distance.

All of your opinions will be appreciated.

Thanks,
Drop
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Re: Bearing upgrades - your thoughts appreciated

Postby lape0019 » Fri Feb 09, 2018 8:50 am

Hey Drop,

There is no doubt that it does make a difference but you need to be realistic about your expectations. When I upgraded the spool bearings in a Revo S to Boca Orange seal abec 7's, there was most definitely a performance gain but what was the most noticeable was the decrease in the amount of force you needed to exert to gain a little more casting distance. In the end, I have found that flushing the spool bearings and adding a single drop of quality low viscosity oil (easiest to find is Lightning lube by Boca but there are better ones) provides enough performance gains on the higher end reels to make buying new spool bearings a moot point for me.

With that out of the way, the Abec 7's are a bit noisier especially if run dry. using a low viscosity oil will provide a little lubrication and quiet them but, it also slows them down a bit. In the end, I felt it was better for me to just buy a better reel and run it stock than to mess around with bearings.

Now, I know a lot of people who super tune their reels and add new bearings 95% of the time. These guys live to tinker around with stuff and get the full performance out of the reels.

Boca used to be what most used but more have switched to Hedgehog studios Kattobi bearings. There are a few different kinds depending on what you are trying to set this reel up for but they seem to be very well liked. There are other options out there but I can't remember any other ones.
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Re: Bearing upgrades - your thoughts appreciated

Postby River Monster » Fri Feb 09, 2018 8:54 am

I add bearings where there are bushings, but for the rest of reel i use stock bearing most of the time. I make sure the reel gets a good cleaning yearly and if a problems occur i usually inspect and fix it right away

When i did upgrade i went with ABEC-5's. And stainless, a lot cheaper. I just couldn't imagine how much more gain i would get from ABEC-7's for the price. And the only bearings I would upgrade are the ones that spin at high speed (spool).The bearings by the handle, in the knobs or on the worm gear turn pretty slow.

it's amazing how much good cleaning and bearing flush helps.
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Re: Bearing upgrades - your thoughts appreciated

Postby cndbasshunter » Fri Feb 09, 2018 9:49 am

i do on all my reels because i can, i use mostly ZPI Ceramic, HH HD Air, and YT Fusion. Even flushing the OG bearings help allot, way too much grease in stock reels for up here.

Prperlly cleaned and tuned reels make using lighter baits much easier and smotther casting. i bet 1/4 the local guys have upgraded reels :mrgreen:
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Re: Bearing upgrades - your thoughts appreciated

Postby TheMaverick » Fri Feb 09, 2018 11:05 am

cndbasshunter wrote:i do on all my reels because i can, i use mostly ZPI Ceramic, HH HD Air, and YT Fusion. Even flushing the OG bearings help allot, way too much grease in stock reels for up here.

Prperlly cleaned and tuned reels make using lighter baits much easier and smotther casting. i bet 1/4 the local guys have upgraded reels :mrgreen:


YT for the win! Simply love the ones Ian dropped in my Ito!
If fishin ain't your mission, then you can kiss my Bass!
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Re: Bearing upgrades - your thoughts appreciated

Postby DropShot’r » Fri Feb 09, 2018 11:21 am

Thanks for the info guys!!!

OK....I will be honest. I lubricate but never have flushed my bearings. What solvent would you recomend. Also my Hot Sauce oil and greese containers are almost empty. Any recomendations on prefered lube brands appreciated.

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Re: Bearing upgrades - your thoughts appreciated

Postby cndbasshunter » Fri Feb 09, 2018 11:34 am

DropShot’r wrote:Thanks for the info guys!!!

OK....I will be honest. I lubricate but never have flushed my bearings. What solvent would you recomend. Also my Hot Sauce oil and greese containers are almost empty. Any recomendations on prefered lube brands appreciated.

Drop

quamtum hot sauce and oil are the devil.

use plain old shimano/daiwa oil and grease. i use an ultrasonic to clean my bearings, i also remove all shields.
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Re: Bearing upgrades - your thoughts appreciated

Postby River Monster » Fri Feb 09, 2018 3:51 pm

I’ll soak in acetone for 48+ hours. And shake the jar every so often. I’ll even change the acetone half way through. I’ve also removed the bearing shields to help get the grease out. I use boca lightning oil for bearings and penn reel grease for everything else. Pretty easy to find and order. But I’ve heard of better stuff.
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Re: Bearing upgrades - your thoughts appreciated

Postby DropShot’r » Fri Feb 09, 2018 6:36 pm

I see I have been living under a rock as far as reel maintenance goes. I was the drop or two of oil here and some greese here kinda guy. Never venturing too far into the inner workings of my reels.

This will be my hurdle to over come, me working on my reels.

The thought frightens me.

I guess it is time to watch some youtube videos and put my big boy pants on.
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Re: Bearing upgrades - your thoughts appreciated

Postby lape0019 » Mon Feb 12, 2018 9:49 am

It's really not that difficult to do. Take a lot of pictures and lay out pieces in the order they come off.

I don't use acetone and use an ultrasonic cleaner for my bearings with some sort of degreaser. Scrub down and cleaning everything and then re lubricate.
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Re: Bearing upgrades - your thoughts appreciated

Postby TheMaverick » Mon Feb 12, 2018 2:18 pm

Servicing your own reels is therapeutically satisfying!
Like anything, you invest in your reels, whether it be 200$ or 600$, you need to service your investment for it to work flawlessly for years to come.

I define servicing as your typical breakdown, cleaning, applying grease/oil.
Bearing upgrades fall under super tuning for me, which can get very expensive very quickly (bearings, handle, knobs, brass gears, polishing, spool, faster worm gear, line guide).

As for grease and oil, you get what you pay for, it’s as simple as that.
You’ll typically have two kinds of grease, thick or thin.
I suggest a thicker grease if you’re going to clean your reels once every 2 seasons.
I personally use a thinner grease because I like servicing them mid-season, and there’s no reason why you shouldn’t do it either, taking a handle assembly apart, and unscrewing 3 frame screws only to re-apply grease is less than 10 minutes per reel.

I finally found a grease which suits my style, the grease’s viscosity is perfect, and unfortunately, that can only be determined by trial and error.
The ratio between grease film and gear/bearing rotation seems perfect. I didn’t experience any excessive “drag/resistance” when applying the same moderate film to the gears/worm gear, as I would have with the previous used grease.

Considering how light the grease was, I did grease a few bearings, although this might be frowned upon, I only applied a thin film to the outside bearing casing. Not sure if dropping point should even be considered only because I’m not sure how fast the bearings rotate, I haven’t experienced any loss in consistency, no “bleeding”, softening or hardening with colder fall temperatures, to both the gears/worm gear, and bearing casings.

A common “hell to the f@ck1ng no” that I often see when cleaning reels, is oil applied to the worm gear!
The worm gear is what the line guide rides on, this same worm gear who’s always exposed to the elements.
When applying oil, debris will easily get jammed in-between the worm gear and line guide pawl, and when that happens, you can kiss the worm gear goodbye! The benefits of applying grease to the worm gear, is that it keeps said debris in suspension, hence your chances of damaging your reel are drastically reduced.

Read, research, and read some more, there’s plenty of great info on the internet in regards to servicing your reels.
Don’t be afraid, it’s a trial and error process to the detriment of “wasting” a few more hrs to get your reel functioning properly.
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Re: Bearing upgrades - your thoughts appreciated

Postby DropShot’r » Tue Feb 13, 2018 5:02 pm

I just watched a YouTube video with buddy changing out spool bearings. It looks rather straight forward.

Also during my YouTube research I saw a tool used to remove the retaining pin on the spool shaft. All buddy used was a pair of pliers. My concern would be damage to the shaft and pin using the pliers. Is the pin removal tool a good idea or am I being over cautious?

Was pricing ultrasonic cleaners on Amazon. they start about 30-40 bucks and go quickly to hundreds of dollars. How much do I need to spend on an ultrasonic cleaner to do reel bearings?
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Re: Bearing upgrades - your thoughts appreciated

Postby lape0019 » Tue Feb 13, 2018 5:59 pm

If I remember correctly, you like to use Abu reels which all have pins so it would be worth it for you if you intend on cleaning your own reels for a long time. The pin removers aren’t terribly expensive so it’s not a lot up front to make sure things are done right.

An ultrasonic cleaner isn’t really required. I bought mine at bed bath and beyond after signing up and receiving a 40% off coupon. They come in handy but really, it isn’t required. Using acetone in a glass jar will provide the same results. The ultrasonic just speeds it up.
Last edited by lape0019 on Wed Feb 14, 2018 8:11 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Bearing upgrades - your thoughts appreciated

Postby TheMaverick » Tue Feb 13, 2018 8:34 pm

DropShot’r wrote:I just watched a YouTube video with buddy changing out spool bearings. It looks rather straight forward.

Also during my YouTube research I saw a tool used to remove the retaining pin on the spool shaft. All buddy used was a pair of pliers. My concern would be damage to the shaft and pin using the pliers. Is the pin removal tool a good idea or am I being over cautious?

Was pricing ultrasonic cleaners on Amazon. they start about 30-40 bucks and go quickly to hundreds of dollars. How much do I need to spend on an ultrasonic cleaner to do reel bearings?


Buy the tool, don't use pliers.
If the pin gets flared, it will never reengage properly in your pinion gear, that leads to a $hit load of problems.
I soak the bearings for a total of 3 days in acetone, I've tried an ultrasonic cleaner, and after 1hr in the cleaner, there was still grease residue in the bearings.
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Re: Bearing upgrades - your thoughts appreciated

Postby TheMaverick » Tue Feb 13, 2018 8:37 pm

lape0019 wrote:If I remember correctly, you like to use Abu reels which all have pins...


Lew's, Pflueger, Abu, Daiwa, Shimano...they all have pins.
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