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Loop_Dad

Which Bearings Are The Best?

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Ok, so I just watched a youtube video of how to replace spool bearing on Citica. I know some of you say do the other stuff first, but I am very curious because on this video the difference between the original and boca (orange one) were huge.

 

I understand the orange boca are sealed ones.  I also read somewhere the open ones are better. What are the choices I have and what are the pros and cons of different type of bearings?

 

 

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JMHO.  I've switched out stock (often ABEC 5) bearings for ABEC 7's and have tried ceramic bearings in a few reels.  I haven't tried Boca Orange Seals.  I'm sure they're good - but not lots better than other options.  Personally, I never saw a big difference on the water in actual fishing conditions after switching.  If you fish from a boat, does it make a difference whether the reel casts 100 ft or 105 ft?  Not really.  Are the ugraded bearings smoother than the factory?  Not really.  In fact the ceramic bearings I tried were initially louder and rougher, though they did cast a little farther.  I now upgrade bearings only if/when the factory bearings need replacement - and that's not often.

 

Open bearings are easier to clean and lube but they sling their lube out faster than shielded bearings.  I don't mind open bearings where they operate at low speed and where heavier lube is better but on spool bearings that turn at very high RPMs and are lubed with light bearing oil, I think shielded bearings are a better choice.  

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You would be just as well off to take and soak your stock bearings in Acetone and then let them dry on a paper towel and then soak them in alcohol and then let them dry on paper towels again and then add a drop of bearing oil to them. You will be good to go.

 

If you do decide you wan to go the Boca Bearing way then the Orange ABEC7 Sealed bearings on the way. Add a drop of bearing oil to each one and install. I do no run my bearings dry. They do cast father but they make a lot of noise and it really decreases there life in my opinion.

 

Also take into mind that upgrading and or cleaning your bearings will increase performance it will also increase your chances of over runs.

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The best bearings are clean bearings.

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I and others I know removed the orange seals on our ceramic bearings for ease of maintenance.

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You would be just as well off to take and soak your stock bearings in Acetone and then let them dry on a paper towel and then soak them in alcohol and then let them dry on paper towels again and then add a drop of bearing oil to them. You will be good to go.

 

If you do decide you wan to go the Boca Bearing way then the Orange ABEC7 Sealed bearings on the way. Add a drop of bearing oil to each one and install. I do no run my bearings dry. They do cast father but they make a lot of noise and it really decreases there life in my opinion.

 

Also take into mind that upgrading and or cleaning your bearings will increase performance it will also increase your chances of over runs.

 

Thanks, Mr. Swim Jig, I'll give this a shot first.

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The internet is flooded with those 'watch my reel spin' videos and they mean very little. The comparison is almost always a higher grade bearing vs an over lubed, neglected stocker. Proper cleaning and lube of a reel should always be the first syep and is the only way to judge tghe effectiveness of upgrades. The biggest advantage of improved free-spool is in the accuracy os casts that require less physical force. If and when you choose to buy bearings, Boca is as good if not better than whatever else is out there plus they stand behind their products with a satisfaction gurantee. I sell them for 10% off retial to members here.

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In my Core 51, I cleaned the stock bearings and ran them dry. This did increase the casting, but was a bit noisier. I replaced those with the OS bearings and run them dry without the seals and I can't tell any difference. Other than being $25 lighter.

 

As the others have said, give the stock ones a good cleaning and one drop of a thin lube. I use TSI 301 and it works great.

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When I first joined BassResource.com i got really hung up on this subject too and the first thing I tried was just to soak and clean them like many suggest.  Just doing that alone improves casting tremendously (at least for me). The way I see it, I cast far enough for my liking on every rod/reel combo I own now just by cleaning them.  I can't see needing or making it worth while to gain an extra 5-10 yds....  I'd rather be more accurate and cast a normal distance with relative ease.  The only time I plan to replace my bearings is when one goes bad.  That has yet to happen for me.  95% of my reels are Shimano, so their stock bearings must be pretty decent.  Maybe I don't fish enough........ :Idontknow:

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Smooth Drags sells a very good, steel shield (not sealed) ceramic hybrid replacement bearing for most reels.  I have them in a few reels. The best?  I'm not sure the "best" bearings would be the best for fishing.  9/10 of the time, a good flushing and proper oil does the trick.

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Smooth Drags sells a very good, steel shield (not sealed) ceramic hybrid replacement bearing for most reels.  I have them in a few reels. The best?  I'm not sure the "best" bearings would be the best for fishing.  9/10 of the time, a good flushing and proper oil does the trick.

X2  :Victory:

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Lube your reels with moly. They will seem tight at first but once it wears into the pores of the metal it will never wear out.

http://www.ts-moly.com

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I have stainless steel ABEC 7 bearings in most of my reels. Can I cast 25-30 yards further, like you've all read about? Of course not. That is a steaming load of BS. Can I cast with a little less effort, and thus with a little more accuracy? Yes. Is that small performance increase worth the cost of admission? I think it is. WIll it be worth it to you? You'll have to try for yourself, but before you do, give your stock bearings a proper cleaning and lube job.

Stop obsessing about how long your dad-blasted spool will spin. It means nothing.

And, stop obsessing about what to clean the bearings with, which will leave no residue. THERE'S NO SUCH PRODUCT. You hear that? AIN'T NO SUCH THING. GET IT? GOT IT? GOOD!!!

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before you do anything, clean out your bearing first. i did that on my shimano curado and it almost doubled my casting distance when using 50# braid and a hollow body frog...

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I followed Mr. Swim Jig's instruction and cleaned out the stock bearings of two Citica Gs and put a bit of reel oil. After I was almost done with it, I wasn't sure if I soaked long enough. I did about 30 minutes each on both Acetone and alcohol. Was that enough?

 

I meant to do the spin test before and after. But I didn't loosen up the break all the way, so I do not have the base data to compare. However I now realize those video showing off the length of free spooling is without break and it does not mirror how it will be on the water. Tomorrow I go out fishing, so will see what difference cleaning made.

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5-10 minutes soak with a swish or two. Keep changing fluid until it remains clear, you know they're clean then. Let them dry on a paper towel.  A clean bearing in good condition should spin for several seconds, be nearly silent and roll to a gradual stop.

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So not to hijack the thread but how exactly does an increased free spool time due to a bearing change directly translate to on water performance?  Sorry the the ignorance, but it wouldn't be the same as say putting in a lighter spool would it?  Would it be complimentary if used with a lighter spool?

 

Bought a couple beat up curado es locally and just looks like they need a decent cleaning and possibly some new bearings.

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I have replaced several of my reels with Boca orange seals. I take the seals off and use oil. NOT lube. Lube I found is good for gears but oil works better.

 

I bought a T3 off eBay and it had some other upgraded bearings that were not Boca Bearings. I think they are from Japan. Anyway I am starting to have doubt whether they actually improve casting distance but they do make the spool spin longer when you "free spool"

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So not to hijack the thread but how exactly does an increased free spool time due to a bearing change directly translate to on water performance?  Sorry the the ignorance, but it wouldn't be the same as say putting in a lighter spool would it?  Would it be complimentary if used with a lighter spool?

 

Bought a couple beat up curado es locally and just looks like they need a decent cleaning and possibly some new bearings.

it just makes casting the same distance a little easier which in turn makes casting more accurately a little easier as well. a lighter spool costs at times more than twice what it costs for a set of bearings.  most of the reels talked about on here don't offer after market JDM spools either like diawas. 

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Today I went out fishing with Citica with cleaned out / oil dropped bearings. It did make a difference in casting I think. It became a bit more noisy, but I assume that's expected without grease.

 

When I was doing this work for two of my Citica, several mishap happened. First I drop the bearing, I was looking all over the place, but couldn't find it. It turned out it was stuck on the desk drawer and never made it to the floor, no wonder I couldn't find.

 

Then while I was doing this, I noticed that one of the reel was really dirty. I decided to just clean out those dried up weeds and allege. After putting everything together, the reel made horrible grinding noise!

 

I took things apart, but I do not see anything. I thought I might have damaged the bearings, so I swapped them with other Citica. That wasn't it. I noticed this noise became stronger, when I tighten the break. I thought I damaged the spring which holds one of the bearing. I swapped it. Not that's still not it.

 

While I was doing this swapping, the spring decides to jump out. I thought it went behind my desk which is not easy to access. (Sigh.) Went to Shimano site to buy this spring, only to find out they are out of stock (*!@%$!!!)  I gave up and decided to go to sleep, but decided to look the floor one more time. Bingo! It was there. Back to where I was two hours ago.

 

Anyhow, at this point, I am suspecting, something very tiny, like a grain of sand, is in the small groove on left cover (this is righty reel), when I was cleaning this reel.  I think the spool's outer lip goes into this groove, and not much play there, so a bit of sand can cause this problem(?). I will try to clean that out with alcohol tomorrow to see if that fix this problem.

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The potential gain of better free-spool depends largely on the casting ability of the user. If the speed can be harnessed and controlled you can get some added distance, but the biggest advantage is more accurate casts due to the lower physical force required.  A lighter spool will aid in casting finesse baits because it will start up easier but are not for casting distance due to the lower inertia.

 

Always have a schematic in front of you before opening a reel. If you can't get working bag it and send it in.

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The potential gain of better free-spool depends largely on the casting ability of the user. If the speed can be harnessed and controlled you can get some added distance, but the biggest advantage is more accurate casts due to the lower physical force required.  A lighter spool will aid in casting finesse baits because it will start up easier but are not for casting distance due to the lower inertia.

 

Always have a schematic in front of you before opening a reel. If you can't get working bag it and send it in.

 

Solid advice right there. Thanks, DVT.

 

A spacer behind the left bearing was missing. When I lost the bearing, this space flew away too. Since it is black and the hosing was also black, I didn't realize this was missing when I was comparing two reels. Good thing I hadn't vacuumed the carpet, the little black spacer was still there. My reel is good now.

 

Through this exercise Ive gained some knowledge about reels. I have two vintage reels that I still use time to time. I wanted to clean this up, but I am afraid to touch them. I probably cannot get parts any more. In winter, I give myself lots of time to tackle these, if I decided to try.

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JMHO.  I've switched out stock (often ABEC 5) bearings for ABEC 7's and have tried ceramic bearings in a few reels.  I haven't tried Boca Orange Seals.  I'm sure they're good - but not lots better than other options.  Personally, I never saw a big difference on the water in actual fishing conditions after switching.  If you fish from a boat, does it make a difference whether the reel casts 100 ft or 105 ft?  Not really.  Are the ugraded bearings smoother than the factory?  Not really.  In fact the ceramic bearings I tried were initially louder and rougher, though they did cast a little farther.  I now upgrade bearings only if/when the factory bearings need replacement - and that's not often.

 

Open bearings are easier to clean and lube but they sling their lube out faster than shielded bearings.  I don't mind open bearings where they operate at low speed and where heavier lube is better but on spool bearings that turn at very high RPMs and are lubed with light bearing oil, I think shielded bearings are a better choice.  

 

Very few reels come with ABEC-5 or better bearings from the factory.  The Okuma Komodo and Helios are the only ones I know of.  The Ardent Edge reels have "ABEC stainless steel bearings", but that could mean anything from ABEC-1 to ABEC-11.  Doubt if they're higher than ABEC-5.

 

I think Shimano uses the equivalent of an ABEC-3 in their freshwater baitcast reels.  Whatever they use, they're very good after flushing, almost as fast as ABEC-5 ceramic hybrids.  Haven't used ABEC-7 ceramics, though I've used the Big Green Fish ABEC-7 stainless-steel bearings.  They're good, about as fast as the ABEC-5 Ceramic Lightning bearings.  They're also quieter in my experience.

 

I'm not really a big fan of spool-bearing upgrades.  They help, but for normal bass fishing they're not going to do much that flushing the stock bearings and polishing the spool shaft won't do.  Tuning the reel is better, in my opinion, because it decreases friction inside the reel and thus reduces wear.

 

To me, the best reasons to upgrade spool bearings are to improve light bait performance (particularly on finesse reels), or to replace damaged or worn bearings.  

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I upgraded my steez and zillion to boca os bearings. Slightly more distance and a bit more noise. As mentioned for lighter baits it did help a lot though. I also upgraded the spools in both reels right after. That was the best upgrade of the two. I think having a trained thumb is the biggest help. Without that you'll need more brakes and negate the bearing upgrade. Just my .02

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The internet is flooded with those 'watch my reel spin' videos and they mean very little. The comparison is almost always a higher grade bearing vs an over lubed, neglected stocker. Proper cleaning and lube of a reel should always be the first syep and is the only way to judge tghe effectiveness of upgrades. The biggest advantage of improved free-spool is in the accuracy os casts that require less physical force. If and when you choose to buy bearings, Boca is as good if not better than whatever else is out there plus they stand behind their products with a satisfaction gurantee. I sell them for 10% off retial to members here.

Free spinning spools are simply a useless example of casting efficiency!!! PERIOD!! 

 

Smooth Drags sells a very good, steel shield (not sealed) ceramic hybrid replacement bearing for most reels.  I have them in a few reels. The best?  I'm not sure the "best" bearings would be the best for fishing.  9/10 of the time, a good flushing and proper oil does the trick.

I have heard others claim ceramic is possibly a saltwater situation advantage, and only because of corrosion. I disagree If you run it dry it is more likely to have issues with corrosion, and if oiled,,,,,,well SS with the same abec rating of the same quality, properly lubed, is just as good.   

 

X2  :Victory:

 

Excellent information, these are reel world facts!!! I have Used many different bearings from multiple suppliers and the Orange Seal is the LEAST BANG FOR YOUR BUCK! Most expensive and unless you run them noisy and dry, they are no better than a properly lubed abec 7 SS from Boca or other top manufacturer, Boca's abec "5 or 7" is a great bearing for casting reels, and they make an excellent bearing and none back their product better. I suggest The SS abec 7 SS for the best possible setups with noise and smooth effortless speed. The difference in an abac 5 and abec 7 is very very minimal if noticeable to most in a baitcasting  reel!

 

When I tune reels for customers, I suggest a good abec 7 stainles bearing, best bang for the buck, quiet, smooth, and capable of any rpm's a fishing reel can obtain during a cast. If you buy a quality abec 5 most won't notice a difference in it when properly lubed (for your climate!!) over an abec 7, and if using the 7 without proper lube the 5 will outperform it. I try and discourage my customers from using the Orange Seal ceramic's, as they are usually no better than the 7's if lubed, and most dont like the noise when ran dry!!!

 

The potential gain of better free-spool depends largely on the casting ability of the user. If the speed can be harnessed and controlled you can get some added distance, but the biggest advantage is more accurate casts due to the lower physical force required.  A lighter spool will aid in casting finesse baits because it will start up easier but are not for casting distance due to the lower inertia.

 

Always have a schematic in front of you before opening a reel. If you can't get working bag it and send it in.

With that said, anyone who is not a EXTREMELY EXPERIENCED,,,, and,,,, a near PERFECT CASTER,,,,, will usually loose casting distance and increase birds nest's!! Most will benefit from what the Pro's above have recommended, Clean, Flush,,,,, PROPER LUBE, and reinstall!!! once you have mastered casting without backlashing your reel, and can do this without using brake's,,,,, then upgrading might pay off. But usually if you can't control the reel without brakes and get reasonably as good a distance as with breaks and backlashing, higher grade bearings and supertuning will cause most to do as said above,,,,,,,turn on more breaks to control what your thumb should be controling, and actually either loosing distance and getting frustrated trying to control the spool,,,,or spending more time removing backlashes!! 

 

Clean and proper lube you factory bearings first, then when you have become extremely efficient, spend a few buck's on upgrades and see the small benefit in distance and big benefit in effortless accuracy!!! my .02!!

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