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bassfshin24

Degrease a new baitcaster?

17 posts in this topic

I've heard from a lot of people that when you buy a new baitcaster you should remove some of the grease because most manufacturers put too much in there. How many people do this and how do you do it? What parts are usually over greased? I feel like I have a couple new reels that don't cast as well as they should and a lot of people I have talked to said they probably have too much grease in them. 

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Hiya - 

Some manufacturers really do pack new reels with grease. Understandable, in a way, since they have to account for the fact that the Joe Six Pack type that are the majority of their customers perform reel maintenance once every never. Some mfgs are worse than others too. Abu Garcia tends to really pack in the grease. Lews kind of too. So it's real possible they are over-greased. 

I usually break down new reels and clean them up if it feels like they're dragging because they have too much grease. Lots of times the main gear and pinion gear and the pinion yoke will have globs of grease on them. Same with the levelwind. Sometimes the spool bearings will be over-oiled too. Sometimes seems like they actually paint the whole inside of the handle plate with grease.

 I  do a complete breakdown of reels during the offseason to clean and lube everything thoroughly. When I do that I don't repack some parts with grease, like the frame bearings for example. I oil them instead. You're kind of committing to maintaining them that way from then on in (frame bearings are grease packed from the factory because they kind of expect most guys won't take off the handle shaft to get to them) but I do it anyhow so why not? I do use a little heavier oil on frame bearings (and handle bearings) than I do on spool bearings though.

I just recently got an ultrasonic cleaner, ran bearings through it, and holy cow... lot of crud came out of them. And those were bearings I'd already cleaned the way I'd done it in the past... 

 

 

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Robb, can you post a link to the ultra sonic cleaner you got, or just name the model?  Thanks

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19 hours ago, PropsterII said:

Robb, can you post a link to the ultra sonic cleaner you got, or just name the model?  Thanks

I think the brand is a Kendal or something like that. Got it off Amazon, fairly cheap. Has a timer, which is nice - I can set the time and go do something else without worrying about forgetting it's on - which is something I would totally do. It does work, but I can already see some features I wish it had. It'd be nice if it had a heated tank, for example. Hot water works better, and I'm always running to the sink for fresh water. I got a 1.3 litre model, and it's big enough for a couple reel frames plus the misc. odds and ends I just toss in the basket. For bearings and stuff like that I put them in glass jars filled with acetone and put the jars in the tank full of water. For the frames, I use a 20/80 Simple Green/water mix in the tank and just toss the parts in. Have to be careful with plastic parts and solvents like acetone, so I only use that on brass gears like the main gear, levelwind gear, etc., and bearings.

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Thankis Rob. Can you expound on putting the bearings in jars with acetone and then putting the jars in the water?  Are you sealing the jar I assume and the purpose of putting it in the water is for the vibration?

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17 hours ago, PropsterII said:

Thankis Rob. Can you expound on putting the bearings in jars with acetone and then putting the jars in the water?  Are you sealing the jar I assume and the purpose of putting it in the water is for the vibration?

Yup. The ultrasonic water tank is how the vibration gets transmitted to whatever is in the tank. I put parts I want to degrease or clean like bearings, levelwind and pinion gears, etc., in a tall skinny jar with acetone that's filled about to the level of the water in the tank (seems to work best that way). Between the acetone breaking down the old grease/oil and the ultrasonic rattling it loose, it gets cleaned. Ultrasonics actually work by creating microscopic air bubbles next to the surface of whatever you're cleaning which blasts away the crud - which is kind of cool when you think about it. Kind of amazing how much stuff comes off a set of bearings. The glass tubes I use are about an inch across, and sometimes after 10 minutes in the cleaner, you can't see through it.

For bigger parts like frames, handles, etc, or plastic stuff that might not react well to a solvent I use Simple Green/water and just toss them in the pool... 

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Bass; Just a heads up/warning. Bait casters have numerous parts. Before you start be sure you have the schematic for each reel. AND!! Be patient!

 RK  Love the ultra sonic tank idea. May have to invest in one this year.

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I am very familar with taking a part a spinning reel for maintenance and re-lubing but I'm less confident when it comes to baitcasters. I always save the schematics. I have a broken down pflueger trion (my 1st baitcaster about 7 years ago) that I don't plan on using anymore, maybe I should experiment with that one to gain some confidence.

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If you can change a lightbulb without killing yourself you can take apart a reel.

Have a place to set things out and a system of some kind. I lay things out in a row in the order it came off in and orientation (up/down) kind of by major part (handle, drag/main gear, level wind) i use blue shop towels to set stuff on amd you can just write notes on the towel if you need to. Some guys use an old egg carton and put one part in each cup. I always take side plate screws off in the same order (counterclockwise starting at the top). If it's a reel you've never worked on, take pictures with you phone every so often. Lots of YouTube vids too. Tacklejunkie has some good ones.

Lots of brands are very similar too. Lews, Abu, pflueger and most bass pro reels are almost identical design-wise (and the easiest to work on IMO). 

Really, nothing leaps out at you when you take one apart. Go for it.

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I really need to learn how to break down and clean baitcasters. I think for my first (or every) try, I will fire up the GoPro and catch it on video so if (when) I screw something up, I can go to the video and see where I went wrong.

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2 hours ago, RK said:

If you can change a lightbulb without killing yourself you can take apart a reel.

Have a place to set things out and a system of some kind. I lay things out in a row in the order it came off in and orientation (up/down) kind of by major part (handle, drag/main gear, level wind) i use blue shop towels to set stuff on amd you can just write notes on the towel if you need to. Some guys use an old egg carton and put one part in each cup. I always take side plate screws off in the same order (counterclockwise starting at the top). If it's a reel you've never worked on, take pictures with you phone every so often. Lots of YouTube vids too. Tacklejunkie has some good ones.

Lots of brands are very similar too. Lews, Abu, pflueger and most bass pro reels are almost identical design-wise (and the easiest to work on IMO). 

Really, nothing leaps out at you when you take one apart. Go for it.

You make me feel more confident about taking one apart now! I'll give it a whirl

1 hour ago, thatoneguy said:

I really need to learn how to break down and clean baitcasters. I think for my first (or every) try, I will fire up the GoPro and catch it on video so if (when) I screw something up, I can go to the video and see where I went wrong.

That's not a bad idea! "Let's go to the tape..."

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RK, I got a us cleaner. Wish it was a little deeper but I'll make it work. How do you reclaim or reuse either the Simple Gree/water or the acetone once you've done a reel or two and have all that crud in the liquid? Can you strain it thru a filter of some sort?

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Propsterll. You should be able to run it thru a coffee filter.

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Coffee filter seems to work ok. For the simple green I just dump it. Acetone, if it's really cruddy I'll ditch that too. Part of why I use small jars. I can try to look up where I got them, but I found these glass jars with silicone seal lids online at a science lab supply place. For bearings I use one of those that's tall and skinny - not much bigger around than the bearings, so it's about 1/3c of acetone is all. US seems to work best, btw, when the water level in the tank is about even with the acetone level in the jar. 

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Got it, thanks guys.  After doing a few reels over the weekend, I guess you can pretty much tell when you want to dump vs trying to re-use it.

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