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Ceramic Bearings

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I've installed BOCA Orange Seal #7 bearings in many reels. Some are dry and are a little noisy, a little oil quiets them down and I personally don't see any casting differencse except quieter bearings.

There are opinions that running dry will shorten life. The ceramic ball does not need lube but the SS outside race does. Some enthuisists state that runing dry will not effect life at all.

Since I didn't realize an advantage (in casting distance) running dry I give each bearing a half drop of oil. The real difference is of course in the spin test after cleanng, dry runs forever but a litle lube will slow them down, but under load? I'm in the opinion that lube is an advantage and does not hinder spinrate (to a noticable level). They are not noisy and there is an advantage of having a light film of oil for the bearing. I've never worn a bearing out to where you could physically tell it was time for the trash bin. Probably replaced a few-no apparent reason, just wanted brand new.

What do you guys do and what do you think about the life expectancy of a bearing.

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I've heard a lot about the TSI 321 and 301 oils for stock bearings that was mentioned in that article. There have been some discussions about it by alan tani in his reel repair and building forums. It is supposed to be the cats meow to wake up stock bearings that are in good conditon. Its been stated that worn bearings should be replaced because they will be noisy because 301 & 321 is a dry lube.

I haven't read or heard enough about it for use on ceramics, from the small amount I have been told is that it is only about 5% or so improvement if any at all for ceramics but for a stock SS bearing it has been great. If you like to tinker there is probably going to be some improvement treating SS bearings with this stuff and care and procedures should be followed. It is also very expensive but one bottle goes a long way.

I was thinking about soaking the worm drive, brass gears and polished clutch plates in it so the metal would absord the lube so no more lubing those areas. Winter is coming and I don't ice fish so some tinkering and experimenting may be in order.

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I installed BOCA Orange Seal bearings in a couple of lower end reels and in all of my higher priced baitcasters. These bearings were put in dry and I've yet to experience a noise problem. I didn't notice a change in casting distance in the cheaper reels, but there was definately a difference in casting distance in my Calais and Calcuta GTB reels. Maybe the increase in performance can be attributed to the higher bearing count of some reels, not sure, but so far I'm pleased with the upgrade.

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While the ceramic balls need no protection form corrosion, the rest of the bearing does. It's called stainLESS steel, not stain FREE steel, and does need lube if you expect your bearings to last very long.

Its been stated that worn bearings should be replaced because they will be noisy because 301 & 321 is a dry lube.

If you place a period after the word replaced, I would agree.The remainder of the statement is nonsense.

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Remember even dry, they are not actually lube free straight from the distributor. Boca's ceramics have a dry lube put in at the time they are made. Its not really compatabile with wet lubes the consumer uses and very hard to remove from the bearing unless you dismantle them. Not something I'm willing to do with my old eyes. You can request unlubed bearings from Boca I understand.

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The LD (Lube Dry) spec from Boca does not refer to a dry lube being added. From Boca's site : "All Ceramic Orange Seal fishing reel bearings are supplied Lube Dry (LD) without any grease or oil. Lube can be added upon request."

All lubes are coatings without exception. Lube cannot be "absorbed" by metal. Some of course have better adherence than others but that is the best that can be hoped for.

No lube lasts a lifetime and it's important for parts to be kept clean and free of contamination. Regular cleaning and proper care in between should allow ceramic hybrid bearings to have acceptable life. With that said, minimal oiling will add some life with little or no on-the-water performance affect.

Even though the Orange Seals are meant to be non-contact that is not always the case. If you have reels that saw no gain after adding them, I suggest removing the seals and trying again. The bearings can be run open with no problem as long as some sort of regular maintenance is done on the reel.

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I do notice a difference in performance when upgrading a reel, just not noticable performance change between running dry hybrids or lubed hybrids like you said in the above post.

It sounds like some lube, some don't. It would probably be rare to experience a bearing worn out if its being maintained anyway.

I'm curious DVT, do you have customer requests for bearings treated with tsi 301? (or do you have the opinion its hockus pockus)

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Neither the 321 nor the 301 are dry lubes. The 321 is a good bit thicker than the 301. The 301 has a carrier that evaporates after applying it, leaving a thinner film. The 321 has THE best corrosion protection I've ever seen.

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I'm experimenting with the TSI lube. My initial impression is that that it is a good lube for spool bearings. I expect to have it available as part of a service eventually but as I've posted in the past there is no magic there or in any other lube.

My philosophy is to focus on providing quality service and value for the cost. I don't believe it serves long term goals to jump on any bandwagon. I need to be convinced before I can recommend something and never over-sell. There is a lot of hype out there on several common topics. I don't wat to hijack this thread but I'll post a new one soon with some more comment.

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As a test, I am running two Citica 100DSV reels with TSI 301 dipped spool bearings, which I installed in January of this year. One reel is my jig n pig reel and the other is my Ribbit frog reel. Both sets of bearings are doing really well at this point with no further lubrication. Alan Tani claims he has just finished his third year with his 301 bearings and all is well.

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Is he saying that the bearings have lasted 3 yrs with TSI use or that the bearings haven't been lubed in three years? I can't imagine him suggesting the latter since there there are lots of other reasons to periodically clean and service a reel. It just doesn't make any sense to be in there and ignore the bearings. There are also lots of variables. I get reels that haven't been touched in 5 yrs that the owner claims are working fine. They're always pleasantly surprised.

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