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Goose52

Bps Pro Qualifier Bc Reel – 5-Year Challenge – A Speed-Bump On The Road To Paradise

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The test reel for the PQ 5-Year Challenge became inoperative on July 3 due to some debris jamming the line guide pawl, requiring a repair and detailed cleaning; thus prompting this special report. During this repair, I also finally addressed the issue of centrifugal brake wear that had been getting gradually worse since this past winter (the “speed-bump” mentioned in the title of this thread – see below for details).

Background:

This previous thread detailed the background of the PQ 5-Year Challenge: http://www.bassresou...interim-report/

Briefly, the challenge resulted from some board members expressing the opinion that the PQ reel was a “one-season” reel, and certainly wouldn’t stay in an angler’s arsenal for as long as 5 years. The subject reel is being used to test those opinions.

Current Statistics (based on documented catch data and assumptions as discussed in the earlier thread):

Reel placed into service: 26 Oct. 2009

Months of service as of this report: 33

Number of “catch days” (days when fish were caught with this reel): 234

Number of fish caught: 513

Biggest fish caught: 48.6 lb grass carp

Biggest bass caught: 8.4 lb LMB

Number of cycles (casts & retrieves): 26,000+ (see note)

Note: Number of cycles is based on catch data, not on total days/hours of use. The reel was used on a number of days where no fish were caught, especially during the winter months. Actual number of use days probably easily exceeds 300. Actual number of cycles could easily be in excess of 35,000.

Previous Maintenance/Repairs:

December 2010 – Annual cleaning.

December 2011 – Annual cleaning. Replacement of line guide pawl at about 26 months of use. Interesting factoid – the pawl had probably made at least 320,000 passes across the worm shaft at the time of replacement.

July 2012 – Repairs:

Repair 1 - debris jammed the line guide pawl causing the pawl to create a burr on the worm shaft. Filed off the burr and thoroughly cleaned the reel. The problem is solved for now but I will probably order several worm shafts to have on hand in the event that I get more wear at the spot I filed on the worm shaft.

Repair 2 – centrifugal brake wear – see the “Speed-Bump” section below.

Current Condition:

When disassembled for cleaning, parts were examined for wear. The clutch return pawl continues to show wear from impact of the clutch ratchet, but the wear is not on the surface that affects clutch release so it presents no problems at this time. The drag stack is still stock and serviceable (capable of dealing with near 50-pound fish) but the drag washers look/feel a bit thinner (however I did not “mike” them and compare to a newer PQ). The spool bearings are noisier than when new but are still serviceable. The reel is starting to feel a bit “loose” as compared to a new PQ but this is a subjective perception and I can’t attribute it to any particular causal factor. Exterior rash (dings, scratches) is minimal considering the amount of use. Exterior markings on the palming side of the reel were considerably worn at the time of the last report (December 2011) but have now been nearly completely worn away – see photos.

This reel has not been babied, and has often been rode hard and put away wet. Indeed, this past winter the reel was frequently rode hard and put away frozen, with ice still in the line guide when taking the rod out of the trunk of the car!

gallery_25379_89_18170.jpggallery_25379_89_29083.jpg

The “Speed-Bump” – Centrifugal Brake Wear:

I call this the speed-bump since this is the first problem with the reel that is not attributable to expected wear or damage from ordinary use. On a low- to mid-price reel like the PQ, one might think that failure modes would occur in the bearings, the clutch system, soft/cheap parts, etc. I’m not sure that I had envisioned a problem with the braking system.

Starting in the late winter, I noticed that centrifugal braking capability was gradually diminishing. I usually use 1 or 2 centrifugal brakes and minimal magnetic for tossing 5/8 oz lipless cranks. I was having to add more and more magnetic braking; as time went on, I added a 3rd centrifugal brake. At that point, I finally got around to examining the reel with a magnifying glass. I was surprised to see a groove cut into the brake drum, and considerable wear on the brake shoes. In the nearly 2.5 years of use, I had probably not been attentive enough on the condition of the brake drum – assuring that it was clean anytime I removed the side cover. So, I can’t say if the wear at this point is endemic in all PQs, or was caused by my failure to properly clean the reel. See next photos for brake drum and brake shoe wear.

Brake drum wear - note groove in the drum on the left:

gallery_25379_89_107685.jpg

Brake shoe wear - worn shoe on left - new shoe on right:

gallery_25379_89_330538.jpg

Several months ago, I ordered replacement parts to address the brake wear issue. And yes Virginia, you can get parts for PQs…or the next higher assemblies. In the schematic below, I needed part number 87 to replace the worn brake drum. That part is not available separately; you have to purchase a complete cover assembly (parts 79-90). Cost was a reasonable $14 and you get a new bearing as part of the deal; this also addresses the cosmetic wear of the markings on the cover. I inquired about getting some new brake shoes (part 75) – but those are not available separately and the next higher assembly is (gulp) the spool assembly. I passed on those. This is the penalty you pay for the DBS system. Other centrifugal (only) braking systems have readily replaceable brake shoes – but the captive shoes on this design, made necessary by the addition of the magnetic braking system, are a wear point that is not conveniently serviced. At some point, the brake shoes in this PQ will become worn to the point that they are ineffective, at which time I will cannibalize some brake shoes out of my lower-mileage PQs.

gallery_25379_89_21974.jpg

When the reel locked up several days ago and repair was necessary, I finally installed the new side cover. While the brake shoes have considerable wear, the brake drum inside-diameter is small and precise enough for the brakes to still be effective. A test run yesterday showed that I am back to needing only 1 or 2 centrifugal brakes for my usual 5/8oz lipless crank, with minimal magnetic and spool tension.

After repair:

gallery_25379_89_26763.jpg

Added Maintenance:

BPS does not show the inside of the brake drum as a lubrication point. However, Shimano does show that as a lubrication point for their reels. I will now be paying attention to keeping the brake drum clean, and I will be adding a thin coat of lube to the brake drum surface (when I get to it – remember – rode hard and put away wet…. :lol:)

Closing:

Despite the required repair to the braking system, I’m still very pleased with my PQs. I have six of them, some bought new on sale, some bought used. My average cost per reel is $64. I have already, in my opinion, received more than that in value/use and it’s all bonus here on out.

In regards to the long-term durability of a PQ, my use data could be compared to your fishing activity. If you fish the same reel, for several hours a day, every day of the year, then indeed this PQ might have only lasted one “season” before requiring repair. However, if you are a once-a-week angler, for the 9 months a year that you have soft water, then this PQ would have lasted you over 7 years of fishing before repair. AND, I still don’t know if the repair was necessary as a result of my failure to maintain, or whether this wear occurs to all PQs. My other 5 PQs show some minimal wear in the drums, but then none have the amount of use of this reel.

More to come – 5 years is a long time…

(If you've read all the way down here - you must be a real PQ fan... :lol:)

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(If you've read all the way down here - you must be a real PQ fan... :lol:)

nope just bored lol good review

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Thanks for the review. I just got this reel today

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Great review goose !!! And yes I am a pq fan. I more of the recreational type so it will take a long time to reach the numbers that you have. Most of the pqs that I have we're bought USED over 4 years ago and I haven't had to make any repairs and no work other than the normal annual servicing. The only pq I bought new was a tournament edition 2 years ago and again haven't had to do a thing. All in all pqs are a great value and thanks again for taking the time to post the review.

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Got rid of mine, but still interested in reading your review of this reel. I liked that reel, but love my Shimanos better, so I had to sacrifice. Cant wait until the next stop in the review.

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Now that's how to write a review!

I bought mine about a month ago and really like it. Almost as much as my Revo S.

Thanks Goose

Mike

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I like my PQ just as much as my Citica E. Maybe even a little more since I caught it on sale. I do have it in my hand more than the Citica.

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Well done Goose. I enjoy reading your comprehensive analysis. As you know, I am a PQ fan. Your experience after more cycles than many will have in a lifetime, confirms my opinion that the PQ is a very good value. I have yet to have any problems with the 4 that I have. I will check for wear on the braking surfaces. Two of the reels have many hours of use. I have no idea how many, since I do not keep accurate records. I appreciate that you do. Thanks for the post my friend.

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A light film of oil applied with a swab on cent. brake drums is a standard when I service a reel. I agree that the PQ is an entry level, workhorse type reel but definetely not a "throw away".

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Well, you don't have to be a PQ fan to appreciate your ongoing review.

I am VERY impressed and enjoy every follow-up post you have made.

Keep up the good work! I look forward to the next installment.

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I've had this happen. I used to have seven Quantum PT baitcasters, two of which exhibited the same problem. The other five never had this wear pattern appear. One can only conclude that something got in there and caused the wear. After replacing the drums, I started paying more attention to this area. The brake block assembly on your PG is very similar to the PT version I had.

I soaked the end of the spool in a diluted Simple Green solution, scrubbed with a fine brush, hit it with a hair dryer, then gave them a spritz of light silicone spray. The drum was scrubbed, dried, and lubed with the same oil used for bearings; applied with a q-tip.

Never had the problem again.

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MY PQ should last forever with as much as I get to fish. LOL

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Great review man. Glad to hear the parts are reasonably priced too. At the rate I get out these days my PQT may, may have a speed bump in about 7 years lol. Ill definetely keep an eye on the centrifugal blocks on my DBS equipped reels.

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I've had an extreme for 6-7 years and it has been a good reel. Might not last as long as my Quantums, Abu's, or Diawa's but at a third of the cost, it was a good deal. Just recieved the newer version it the mail yesterday. No adjustment on the centrifugal breake on this one. Feels great in the hand.

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Great review! Amazing follow through. I just bought a PQ and, so far, I'm liking it a lot. I can't compare it to higher-end reels, but it is better than my BPS Extreme. A thought: do you think that you can reduce the wear on the brakes themselves by rotating which brakes are active?

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Thanks guys for the supportive comments and the maintenance tips. It has been interesting to monitor the service of the reel and document the findings. I hope it makes better reading than the usual reviews - something like; "The MagicCaster 1000 is a POS, it fell apart while I was casting - right after I ran over it with my truck." Or: "The MagicCaster 1000 is the best reel ever made, I bought one 5 years ago and it's still going strong. I've had absolutely no problems and I fish it a lot - at least once a month during the summer."

A thought: do you think that you can reduce the wear on the brakes themselves by rotating which brakes are active?

When I noticed the wear on the brake shoes, my first thought was - no problem - I always use only 1 or 2 brakes, very rarely 3 in a high wind. So, I should have a couple shoes with little wear. However, the random nature of turning the shoes on and off between 1, 2, and 3 brakes meant that all 6 brakes had roughly equal wear. If one was to try to establish a methodical approach to get as much brake shoe life as possible, I guess you could use a permanent ink Sharpie to mark the 2 "in-service" shoes with a dot on the spool and use those exclusively until they are worn down, then go to another pair, then the last pair until all 6 shoes are completely worn down.

In any event, as we have discussed, it looks like the brake drum and brake shoe should be "maintained" and not taken for granted!

Now, if I could only find a "castometer" to attach to a reel that would record number of cycles, line-out/line-in, and a strain gage to measure force against the reel - then I wouldn't have to do all the calculations and paperwork... :lol:

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I've had an extreme for 6-7 years and it has been a good reel. Might not last as long as my Quantums, Abu's, or Diawa's but at a third of the cost, it was a good deal. Just recieved the newer version it the mail yesterday. No adjustment on the centrifugal breake on this one. Feels great in the hand.

i know alot of guys who fish the extreme hard and have no problems. i have a pq myslef which works great

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Goose, thanks for this very informative thread. I wouldn't be afraid to own a PQ based on your findings. Thanks again.

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Great review, what reel will you do after this five year test?

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Great review, what reel will you do after this five year test?

Hah - no more 5-year challenges after this...and I certainly didn't bite on a recent 10-year challenge someone threw out there... :lol:

I've got 24 BC reels right now and some of them are pretty nifty reels; but they're not getting as much "love" as they deserve since I'm trying to rack up the miles on the test PQ. In fact, after I catch a fish with the test PQ, I'll often put it aside and grab another combo so I can get some use out of the other BC reels...

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Goose52, Your attention to detail is over the top! Thanks for the review.

With the little bit I fish, It will probably take about 5 years just to break my Pq's in. :grin:

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I'm still stunned by the level of detail and your work gives proof of DVT's statements that it is a reel worthy of recommendation. Outstanding thread and work. Thanks again!

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I'm still stunned by the level of detail and your work gives proof of DVT's statements that it is a reel worthy of recommendation. Outstanding thread and work. Thanks again!

Thanks. There are quite a few PQ owners on the board (some perhaps reluctant to admit it), and probably some other folks that are considering purchasing one, so hopefully the info has been found useful.

I've got a total of 13 BC reels having DBS braking. On a rainy day, I need to inspect them all for any noticeable centrifugal brake drum wear and if found, I'll post some more photos. It may turn out that the test reel is the only one with significant wear. As mentioned in the original post, it has the most use, by far, of the 13 reels. Also, the test reel was the primary BC reel that I used to fish through the past three winters in sub-freezing temps and I'm wondering if that may have been a contributing factor to the wear; cold temps congealing oil and grit that may have been inside the brake drum, forming a sort of abrasive paste, thus causing rapid wear of the drum and brake shoes.

More to come...

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Great review of the reel and just purchased one myself in the 5.2:1 version for deep cranking and it should last me at least that long since I only get to deep crank during tournament season.

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