Speed Spooling

By Capt. Steve Chaconas

Fishing reels are really good these days and you can literally keep them going for a long time and still have a well performing reel.

Maintenance Pays Off

Good fishing reels are worth the maintenance and even the investment in parts replacement to keep them on the boat and out of the trash.

I have dozens of fishing reels and all of them are in perfect operating condition.

I keep them that way...and as soon as they start to experience any issues, they get taken off my boat and onto my coffee table for repairs.

You have to be organized.

One of the best ways to learn how to repair your own reels or maybe even set up your own reel repair business is to contact Lake Fork Tackle Repair. Connie and Tommy Kilpatrick have got it down!

Everything from tools to organization plus tricks of the trade to get your reels back in shape.

For now, I'll show you a simple thing you can do that will make your reels a bit smoother and better casting.

Cleaning Bearings

Bearings get dirty and dry. The best way I have found to clean them is with lighter fluid. I soak them for about 10 minutes and then put them on tweezers to spin them to see and hear if they will spin freely.

If not, try cleaning again. If they still don’t roll smoothly, time to replace.

Contact the manufacturer and replace the bad bearing. But first you have to remove the bearing.

Removing Bearings

Most reels have at least 2 bearings, one on each end of the spool.

The bearing under the spool adjustment cap usually will come out by tapping the reel and allowing it to drop out. Otherwise, I use tweezers or a bent hatpin "tool" I made.

For the other side of the reel, the bearing is in the side plate, held in place with a clip. This is where you might run into trouble!

I use a very small screwdriver and locate the part of the clip close to the open end.

Keeping my thumb over the side panel to prevent the clip from launching across the room, I gently pull one of the arms out of the retaining groove and then pull it out.

The bearing should drop out. If not, then you can use either the tweezers or my special tool. Soak and spin and replace if needed.

Before you replace the bearings, you need to lubricate. I like Quantum’s Hot Sauce. It has a great applicator.

Only put a very small drop on the bearing ... one very small drop on each side and spin the bearing to work the oil into the bearing.

Do not over lube! This will bog the bearing down and make it tough to use.

Put the bearing back in, putting the retaining clip in after the bearing is in place. For the one under the spool cap, simply push it into place and replace the cap. Clean the spool shaft and put a drop of oil on each end and reassemble. Done! The reel should cast better and be a lot quieter!