20 February 2009

Magazine - Fishing Addict

Our local fishing community is really small, just 4 days after DesT mentioned to me about a soon to be launch local fishing magazine, Fishing Addict, I met the publisher at Taman Jurong Pro pond. It is really a tale of sheer coincidence, or as the Chinese would say, fated to meet.

Last Friday night, I meet up with DesT at the Taman Jurong Main pond when I learn that he is fishing there, as usual we talk cock and he mentioned to me about this new soon to be published local fishing magazine. As much as I am excited about it, I have my misgiving about how well receive it will be as our fishing area is so small compared to Malaysia. Given that we have 'Rod and Lines' available here, will it help to have another fishing magazine given the much smaller fishing community we have here.

Just a couple of days ago, I receive an SMS from my neighbour and also fishing kaki to have dinner together to catch up. After a good hearty dinner of Nasi Brani and tea, we decided to pop by the Taman Jurong Pond vicinity to look at the 'After Dark' activities. Well, after less than 3 minutes I got bored and decided to go to the pond just to see how the catch there is like, although I know it is very very bad USUALLY. While we seated at the Pro pond talking cock, an angler come along and set up his tackles. Hey from the way he does his stuff, he know what he is doing and we both think he is an experienced angler, so decided to pay a bit more attention to him while continue to chit chat.

Seconds later, BANG, fish ON!!! WOW, that's real fast, fluke catch? Maybe....... now we are giving him the full attention at his next cast, wanting to know if the first catch a Fluke shot. Again, BANG, fish ON, now that cannot be true given that the other angler is not catching anything on Live prawn. And over his first 6 cast, he have hits on all of them and landed 4 in like what 10 minutes. Unbelieveable, Unheard of, is he THAT lucky? Is this the same ultra unproductive Taman Jurong Pro Pond that I came to know?

His hit rate really really stirred up my interest, I just have to find out more about the lures he is using. Knowing that some experienced anglers are super secretive about their 'secret' weapons, we need to tread carefully in order not to have hooks embedded in my face or having leads thrown at me. He is very nice indeed to show us what he is using and from then on we struck a nice conversation going about fishing. When he mentioned that he is working on a nice local magazine, he is so surprised that I knew about it and one things lead to another and now I am in the mist of being part of Freelance writer on the mag. Most likely on Reel maintenance and modifications Section, not too sure which other section I can contribute in.

Hope to be part of the team, more so on the Reel Maintenance Section as I really really hope that some beginner anglers will learn the proper way to maintain their reels, the correct way to change roller bushing to bearing, and the right lube and oil for their applications. A cheap reel, if well maintained will last a long long time.

Well, till I have more update on my role or on the Magazine, I will give an update. For now, nothing is firm up yet, they might find me too 'Ah Beng' in my writing style or what so ever. Finger crossed, hope I can do something to return to the fishing community that I learn so much from.

11 February 2009

Change Bushing to Bearing

A very simple reel upgrade - Change the bushings (usually plastic) to a ball bearing. This will result in the reel giving you a smoother operation and with the correct lubricant, your economy reel can give you a very good fishing experience.

How do I do it?
This is the most often asked question seen in the local fishing forum. And it does irks me too see people asking it time and again with doing a search. Also seen questions like can this xxx model of reel can be upgraded?

First thing to do - You NEED to have the schematic of your reel on hand, as you need to open the reel at lease twice to do this upgrade. The schematic will give you an idea how to put back your reel after you dismantle it AND also tell you where to locate the bushings. If you cannot read the schematic, STOP whatever you are doing and bring it to a tackle shop and ask them to do it for you.

Locate where are the bushing to be located on the schematic, and open up your reel and take out the bushings to be replaced. Either take the necessary measurement ID, OD and Height OR bring these bushing to the bearing shop and seek their help to measure.

Get those bearing and replace the bushings and you have finish your upgrade. Reassemble your rell and you are ready to go!

Sometimes the bearing size might not have the exact size as the bushing for the height, so you need to see your reel housing can fit the bearing. Also unshielded bearing are shorter then shielded bearing, so get the correct sized ones.

10 February 2009

Reel Servicing

I have been servicing my own reels for a few years already, tried a few of the specialty product for fishing tackles. While most works but which one suit your application best is what you will need to find out. It irks me to see in forums where some contributors will slam one product and proclaim another product better. For me, it is to understand what the specific part you intend to oil/ grease and it's function. One very important point is how often do you service your reels.

In almost all reels, the first thing to go is the bearing. Most reel comes equipped with steel bearing, which will corrode over time. So most of the time, when servicing reel, bearings are changed and oil (will touch on that later). But given the types of bearing available these days what type of bearing to change to?
Manufacturers corrosion resistance bearing - Example Shimano ARB (Anti Rust bearing), SARD (Shielded ARB), Daiwa CRBB (Corrosion Resistance Ball Bearing). These bearing DO rust as well, BUT will still continue to rotate as it is claimed to be. But usually, will change it when it rust as I cannot take rusted bearings.
Steel / Stainless Steel / Precision Bearings - Widely available, relatively cheap, comes in shielded and unshielded. Easy to rust, but again cheap to replace. I use them mainly as I service my reels on a regular basis and oil these bearing often as well. Most works well to 3000rpm and above, fast enough even for surf fishing for me.
Ceramic Hybrid Bearings - Expensive, while the ceramic balls does not rust, the inner and outer race which is usually stainless steel will still rust. Used in application where HIGH speed is important. Usually it is TOO fast for most, so oil it lightly to SLOW it down.
Full Ceramic, SIC bearings - Super Expensive, super fast, and will not rust. Too expensive for me to try out and use it. If you have money to burn, replace all the bearings in your reel and you will never need to worry about rusted bearings again.

Bearings - Dry, Greased, Oil? Open, Shielded? What type of oil to use?
I will talk about NORMAL steel bearings only. Let's talk about the easier topic first, Open or Shielded.
Personally, I prefer to use Open type (I remove the shields of those shielded), as visually it is easier to identify which bearing is dirty or rusted. But if you seldom service your reels, then it is better to keep them shielded as it keeps out dirt and water. Also with Open bearing, it is easier for me to clean them using a pressurized degreaser to clean them. I do packed some with grease and put back the shield for some specific bearing and model of reels when I find it extremely rust prone and where rotating speed of the bearing is not important.
Dry, Greased, Oil - Most bearing usually have grease or oil when you purchase them. So clean them off using some solvent like Lighter Fluid. Now to lubricate them, what type of oil or grease should I use? Before you do anything, let's understand for that bearing, what is it's function and is speed important, where will you be using the reel mainly?
Let's take an Abu 6500 series BC reel as an example, there are just 3 bearings, 2 for the spool and one for the handle. For the 2 spool bearing, speed is pretty important obviously (if you are doing surf casting), so use a thin oil to ensure it will spin fast. For the handle bearing, speed is not important at all, so use a thicker oil for more protection. However, I usually open the shield and pack it with grease and put back the shield as I find the Abu 6500 and 7000 series handle bearing rust easily. BUT if you want to get a very smooth cranking feeling when you retrieve your line, you can use thin oil for the handle bearing as well, however it will provide less protection.
Spinning reels bearing does not need speed as most supports and provide a smooth cranking feeling only. So thin oil for smoother operation and thicker for protection make your own choice. For me if I use the reel for freshwater luring only, I will use thin oil as I want the smoothness as I cast and retrieve a lot.

Grease - Gears and drag are the 2 main thing we will be greasing. Some grease 'stick' better then others, thus will take a bit more effort when cranking. Let me share with you this experience I have, the Daiwa SS700 that I have been using for freshwater luring are greased using Teflon grease, which is smooth and cranking back the lures takes little effort. One day, because I need to use the reel for some Saltwater usage, I greased it using ZPI grease, which I know 'stick' better to the gears. The reel is still as smooth but it takes a bit more effort when retrieving, more torque required to work the reel.
As for the drag, I usually give it a thin coat of Cal grease, only grease I have for drag material. There are other drag grease available, pick one you like. Reason why I grease my drag - I prefer smoothness to raw power of dry drag.

One more item I miss out here, level winder worm shaft and paw. Grease or oil? I leave it to you, smoothness or protection. For me, usually I oil it as it is usually exposed and grease will pick up too much dirt.

Quick summary in my own view of type of fishing and type of oil to be used for conventional reels.
Boat / Bottom - Thicker oil for protection, spool speed not critical.
Surf - Thin oil for spool bearing, surf caster are suckers for distances (me inclusive)
Luring - Thin oil and Teflon grease preferred, as a lot of casting and retrieving required.

Click on the thumbnail below for the product I uses for reel servicing, I will give a quick run down for each of these product. More details on the product please Google yourself.

TG Rocket fuel (Yellow) - I use it mainly for my surf reel bearing. Specially created for surf casting, also comes in Red and Tournament.
ZX1 Oil - Very thin and smooth oil, I use it for BC reels for luring. Like this oil a lot, except that it makes the bearing goes too fast for me usually.
Corrosion X - Thin oil and suppose to repel water and thus it rust proof. I use it on roller bearing (extremely easily to rust), and spinning reels handle bearing for SW luring. Some use it to coat their spool before spooling up with line, as it is suppose to provide a rust inhabitant properties.
Abu Teflon oil - Think oil but with Teflon thus makes it pretty smooth on bearing. Use in mainly for my spinning reels handle bearing for FW luring as I find that it kind of dry up pretty fast.
ZX1 Grease - I use it for SW reels, as I find that I 'sticks' very well to the gears and over long period of time. Because it 'sticks' well, retrieving takes a bit more effort. I also use it to coat my spool before spooling in line, give the spool a layer of protection as I seldom remove the lines when washing the reel.
Cal Universal Grease - Good for all application and for drag too. Using it for drag material for now as I have a hell lot of grease to use.
Abu and Supergrease Teflon Grease - I find these 2 grease thins out pretty fast, although it still give the gears a layer of grease after it thins out, I don't trust it enough for SW application. Thus use these on my FW outfit only. However, these teflon grease are the smoothest grease in my arsenal right now, and I love them, only if they can come up with a new formula that does not thin out too easily.
Luthium Grease (in red small container) - My GP grease, I use them for the screws and screw holes, coat the interior metal parts with this grease and also pack bearing with this grease. cheap for one big tub.
OWS degreaser - Use it to clean those Open bearing as it is faster then soaking it in lighter fluid and dry it, also use it to remove old harden grease esp in old never serviced reels (which I help friends to do it sometimes).
Local Anadoize solution (not in picture) - For spool with some form of corrosion like pits of deep scratch, I use it anadoized the exposed aluminium and stop further corrosion.
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