21 September 2009

Spinning Reel - Complete Strip down, Clean & Re-Lube

PhotobucketThis is a picture intensive posting, but I will put up the images in Thumbnail (as for this series of Reel Maintenance), these images are for reference mainly as there is an old Chinese idiom, a picture is worth more then hundred words.

Most of us started fishing using a spinning reel, as it is easier to operate and also generally cheaper then a conventional reel. And usually your first experience using a spinning reel will be a budget model, either you purchase or borrowed from friends or family member. (No one in his or her right mind will lend an expensive reel to a newbie fisho)

Some friends I know can’t be bothered to service these budget reels, they would only spend money to service the higher end models. However, budget reel can last a long time if one bothers to take a bit of time and effort to keep them in tip top shape. One fishing pal I know of uses the same budget reel and have landed hundreds of fishes, while mine have landed maybe a hundred plus and both of our reels are still going strong.

Many a time anglers are afraid to open up their reels to clean and re-lube them, worried that they will not be able to put everything back together again. Spend a little time and effort, that first reel that your parents buy for you (most likely hidden in your storeroom) could once again become your workhorse and rekindle the fishing passion that have long passes you by.

Before you start, please do make sure that you have the schematic drawing of the reel with you. In the older days, it is printed on a sheet of paper, while nowadays some are printed on the box itself. Having the schematic drawing will guide you along if you have lost your way while putting the reel back.
Some classic reels schematic are available off the web, Google for it if you can't find yours.

Disclaimer - Dismantle your reel at your own risk. I will NOT be liable for any responsibility if you are unable to re-assemble your reel back together.

Roller Bushing on Spinning Reel - Direct Replacement

Roller BearingVery often you heard about by having a roller bearing instead of a roller bushing will enhance your fishing experience. I will show you how to do it, however should your roller bushing is of an odd shape or size; it is not possible without any modification. See previous posting on having an odd shaped roller bushing Roller Bushing to Bearing

In this posting, if your reel is equipped with a bushing that have a bearing that is of exact fit or if you think your roller bearing is rusted and need a change, you will find it useful.

Before you proceed, do ask yourself if you really do need to 'upgrade' to a roller bearing. Reason being roller bearing are highly prone to rust due to it's exposure to the elements esp the salty water that your line picks ups.  And if you do not maintain your reels often, this might not be a good idea.  Nothing wrong with the bushing design really, it is almost a maintenance free part, thus I am not really surprise to find some mid range reel, ie.g. Daiwa Kix, using bushing rather than bearing.  Anyway if you do fish on a regular basis and have some extra cash, do consider to upgrade those mid range reels' bushing to ceramic hybrid bearing, not fool-proof but definitely a few notch above the standard ball bearing in terms of being rust prone.

Changing Drag Material on Spinning Reel

Old Drag vs New DragAnglers how fishes regularly will know that drags will degrade over time, either loss of drag or jerky drags. Most time, a simple clean and service of drag will be suffice to get it back to shape, but sometimes, a change of drag material is required.

This is a simple tutorial on how to change the drag material on your spin reel. I choose a budget reel instead of a high end reel for a simple reason, I believe 95% of reel volume sold are budget reels. Most spin reels have the same configuration and the choose reels for drags, though some have washer proof washers (e.g. Daiwa Freams 4500J), or have the drag material at the bottom of spool instead (e.g. Penn SpinFisher). Least not forget some reel have duel drag (top and bottom of spool) but not going to cover them simply because I do not have such reels.

Before I proceed, I do recall a fisho asking why I bother to service and upgrade my spin reels (which are mainly budget reels). He say "Just get a new one when you old one breaks down, why bother with them when they are so cheap". Actually I am stump for an answer to him, in economic sense it make no sense, but boys being boys, they need to take things apart to investigate and try to improve wherever they can. Some modifications I do are to suit my style of fishing, while others are just for the heck of it.

Enough of this off-topic discussion, back to the tutorial

20 September 2009

Simple Spinning Reel Maintenance

Reel OilsIn recent times I have not been fishing much, so updating this blog with a series of reel maintenance tutorial. This posting will cover the most basic one of all, oiling the bearings on your reel to simply keep them in a smooth operating condition.

Ever wonder why the brand new reel you purchased feel silky smooth when you first start to use it but after a few fishing trips and been kept in the storeroom after a period of time, they does not feel as smooth as your first purchased it?

Irregardless of either a budget or high end fishing reel, they do need to be cleaned, serviced and lubricate. Reason being these reels are basically mechanical equipment, and with all mechanical equipments, without any lubrication they will fail to function well and wear and tear rate will increase drastically.

Some anglers have their lucky reel, some reels have sentimental value, and some might feel it is a waste to throw away a reel just because it is not longer just as smooth as it is just purchased (like me.....)

Though spinning reel have different gearing methods, but some parts remain very identical from budget to mid range to high end reels. And one such part is bearings that are found on either side of the reel support the handle assembly. Lubricate these bearings not only will it prevent rust and will also bring back some of the smoothness back. If you have never oil them before, imagine what is happening in the bearing – steel rubbing against steel without any lubrication. Albiet, some budget reels have bushing rather then bearing, in this case, then there is not need to oil those busing.

What about the gears inside the reel? Does it need to be lubricated?
As a matter of fact, the answer is YES. However, as most reels are packed with grease internally when they are shipped out, thus there is a good chance that there is enough grease to keep it going for a while.

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