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Riazuli

Very interesting theory/conclusion, for the [shimano] "reel" nerds

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Hey everyone, so I've got an interesting theory/conclusion about spool bearings for the Shimano '13 Metanium 100.  

 

I've come to the conclusion, based on several videos and confirmation from previous owners of two MET100s that I have, that the reel may come with a different set of bearings, maybe based on when/where it was purchased.  Mind blowing, I know...end sarcasm.  

 

What got me started on this was that I purchased two used reels in great condition from reputable sellers.  Upon inspecting the reels and lubricating them, I noticed that each reel had a different set of bearings from the other.  One had a pair of bearings with a black outer ring, and the other had a bearing with a metal colored outer ring (pictures coming).  

 

I've further confirmed this through watching several videos where people are opening up their '13 MET100s.  I've paused the videos when they show the bearings and can clearly see that some have the bearing with a black ring and some have the bearing with the metal colored ring. The black ring on mine has the letters "NMB" on it. 

 

The main thing is of course, does this all really matter in terms of performance and what other factors are involved?  Upon comparing the two reels with free several free spool tests, I am confident that the metal colored ones outperform the black ones.  I did this several times to control for differences in how strong I spun the reels and I started both reels before the other.  The black ones consistently stopped before the metal ones, indicating that they may have more friction which is slowing them down.  The difference isn't huge, but it's consistently several seconds (maybe over 10 seconds, which I can confirm later) behind.  Of course, there are the factors of how much oil is in each (too much or not enough), what other components may be a factor, how hard I spun it (somewhat controlled for by running several tests), whether or not the previous owners were telling me accurate info (I don't have any reason to believe they aren't as they been very open with telling me about the reels, and I never approached them with any issues but more of curiosity), and other factors. 

 

So, my question for you all is, what are you thoughts,  and have you come across something like this before?  I've already sent an inquiry to Shimano and will be reporting back with those findings. 

 

Look forward to my thoughts on the hedgehog Zr bearings after I try them out!  I bought them after I originally thought that the black bearings were not stock and seemingly performed not as well as the metal stock ones.  Yes, little things like that annoy me,  and I want the best performance from what I've got :)

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Spin tests are not a real indication of performance. I would do a pitching test in your yard with the same rod and exactly the same line and bait.  The spin test assumes the same level of lube cleanliness and applied pressure along with exactly the same amount of spool tension and breaking.  The most accurate way would be to swap bearings in the same reel and do the test and not change any settings.

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Could the difference in bearings be a JDM sourced reel versus the American market reel?

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48 minutes ago, Angry John said:

Spin tests are not a real indication of performance. I would do a pitching test in your yard with the same rod and exactly the same line and bait.  The spin test assumes the same level of lube cleanliness and applied pressure along with exactly the same amount of spool tension and breaking.  The most accurate way would be to swap bearings in the same reel and do the test and not change any settings.

I had all brakes (inside and outside) off and the tension knob as loose as it can get without coming off (not sure how loose is too loose, which could be another factor as the spool needs some tension on the knob end).  

 

I definitely considered the other factors you mentioned, and tried my best to control for what I could through running several tests.  I honestly don't think it would make a big difference in casting (although, I do plan to test that with the same rod).  You're right about swapping bearings - that would be a great way to remove some of the other factors.  Thank you!

43 minutes ago, Dwight Hottle said:

Could the difference in bearings be a JDM sourced reel versus the American market reel?

This is exactly what I am thinking.  Check out my comparison pics below (posting soon).  The one with the black ring on the far left is actually from a Japanese video.

 

Far left: Japanese video with black bearing

Second from left: mine with black bearing

Second from right: mine with silver bearing

Far right: video with silver bearing

 

(I found several videos with both bearings)

 

BEARING COMPARISON small.png

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Anyone with a JDM version of the '13 MET100?  Interested to know what color the bearings are on it - I've come across some on Ebay with silver bearings, so rather than a general location thing, it could be a time or specific factory thing.    

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Free spool tests aren't a relevant or even reputable test of how well a reel performs while casting. It's just cosmetic. Go cast them side by side and see which is better. That's really the only relevant test to the bearings quality. A stainless steel shield is the most common shield and found in most reels. Many JDM aftermarket bearings have them, too. Shimano doesn't make reel bearings. They almost certainly buy in bulk. Shimano, generally, has a very good stock bearing, too. You can buy NMB bearings in bulk through them or you can buy them individually on ebay. Shimano spool bearings (the NMB brand and size) are 8$ a piece on ebay. That's what hawgtech charges for theirs for a price comparison.  You're really over thinking this. If you want to know exactly what's in your reel, spend 25$ on some hedgehogs or ZPI spool bearings and call it a day. 

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41 minutes ago, iabass8 said:

Free spool tests aren't a relevant or even reputable test of how well a reel performs while casting. It's just cosmetic. Go cast them side by side and see which is better. That's really the only relevant test to the bearings quality. A stainless steel shield is the most common shield and found in most reels. Many JDM aftermarket bearings have them, too. Shimano doesn't make reel bearings. They almost certainly buy in bulk. Shimano, generally, has a very good stock bearing, too. You can buy NMB bearings in bulk through them or you can buy them individually on ebay. Shimano spool bearings (the NMB brand and size) are 8$ a piece on ebay. That's what hawgtech charges for theirs for a price comparison.  You're really over thinking this. If you want to know exactly what's in your reel, spend 25$ on some hedgehogs or ZPI spool bearings and call it a day. 

I appreciate the info.  I already ordered hedgehog bearings as stated earlier, and I am pretty sure I am thinking about this how I want to think about it ;)  This is more of a question about what bearings are being used for stock more so than an actual performance difference. 

 

I also understand the difference between free spool tests and casting tests - I am just doing an initial assessment here.  As far as relevance, that would be relevant to the person and situation.  A free spool test, with certain factors controlled for, can at least give you an idea in regard to friction, which is more than just cosmetic.  As the title of the post says: for "reel" nerds.  This must be too nerdy for you :) 

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3 hours ago, Riazuli said:

Anyone with a JDM version of the '13 MET100?  Interested to know what color the bearings are on it - I've come across some on Ebay with silver bearings, so rather than a general location thing, it could be a time or specific factory thing.    

Just checked mine...  black bearing!

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1 hour ago, Jelvas said:

Just checked mine...  black bearing!

Thank you!  Can you see if it has "NMB" engraved on it?

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