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Looking to upgrade the bearings in my deep cranking setups. I have 2 Abu Orra winch and one has some age on it and I would like to to upgrade the bearing to get some extra distance to maximize the plugs full potential. Since I will be doing the older reel I might as well do both. Which brand do you guys see the most improvements in distance with? Boca, ZPI, etc? Will probably do full bearing sets. Spool, handle the whole deal. 

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I see the most dramatic results simply cleaning the OEM bearings, and properly oiling them.  I've used several, and honestly, any ABEC 5 or better bearing will be good.  Anything beyond that, and it's really just prestige, and you're not going to realize any extra distance or speed that you'll be able to use on the water.

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Give The Tackle Trap a call. They do a lot of upgrades as well as carry tons of upgrade parts. They are great guys too. 

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ZPI bearings from Tackle Trap

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I've been a big fan of Bocas, but just picked up some ZPIs from the tackle trap as they came highly recommended 

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I agree with John that hybrid ceramic bearings don't provide exponentially longer casts.  However I do like the feel of ceramic bearings and have changed the spool bearings in most of my bait casting reels.  Frame and handle bearings don't get changed, in fact, I usually lube them with a 90wt oil.

 

 

oe

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I can third that upgrade bearing for heavy lure might not help you much for distance. If lite lure that might be different story. 

My proof is I have curado 70 with stock bearing and scorpion 70 with AR bearing (Japan made). When free spin test the scorpion spin twice as long compare to curado, but distance let say 3/8 oz is not much different. For 1/4 oz lure the scorpion can cast a mile so does curado. But some how I wanna upgrade my bearing on chronarch 50e since I have to reduce the break to 1 on to get a good distance, will see result after deep cleaning with mike @delaware.

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Haven’t tried ZPI yet, or Boca. Very happy with the Hedgehog ZRs in my Tatula SV, and they are very affordable. Tackle Trap is a great shop and resource as others have noted. 

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All good sources for bearings.  I'll also mention Dawn at Smooth Drags has just about everything you'd need.

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I upgraded some Shimanos with bearings & handles from HawgTech

Chronarch Winn Grips.jpg

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I've had bearing upgrades in several reels.  Unfortunately I have never made a "before and after" test for distance.  Seat of the pants says I don't get much more distance, but achieve normal distances a bit easier.  When I do the bearing upgrades it is to make sure the reel is going to cast its best with me being the limiting factor.  Usually this is with reels I will be using with lighter lures...Pixy, TD-Z 105H, Curado 51E, Alphas SV105....although I have also upgraded bearings in reels for normal lure weights such as my T3 MX 1016.

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I’ve done spool bearing upgrades on almost all my  baitcasters. Boca and Hedgehog. IMO, you won’t see a noticeable increase in casting distance vs. clean, lubed stock bearings. 

Upgrading all a reels bushings with bearings may make it feel smoother, but also won’t result in any noticeable difference. If increased casting distance is your priority, back off the tension knob and brakes. Then get a reputable reel guy to polish the spool shaft and get the gearing and metal drag washers done at the same time. You’ll end up with a reel  that performs at its peak and you’ll feel the difference. 

 

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In my experience, the main advantage of improving free spool is in accuracy with any added distance as ancillary.  

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8 hours ago, Delaware Valley Tackle said:

In my experience, the main advantage of improving free spool is in accuracy with any added distance as ancillary.  

ancillary?

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46 minutes ago, OkobojiEagle said:

ancillary?

adjective
adjective: ancillary
  1. 1.
    providing necessary support to the primary activities or operation of an organization, institution, industry, or system.
    "the development of ancillary services to support its prnoun: ancillary; plural noun: ancillaries
  1. 1.
    a person whose work provides necessary support to the primary activities of an organization, institution, or industry.
    "the employment of specialist teachers and ancillaries"
     
    I had to look it up too.  :rofl_red:

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I've been cleaning my own reels for the last 5 season and this winter I finally treated myself to a cleaning by Mike@DVT.  I wish i had done it years ago.  my BPS pro qualifiers cast like $200 reels. no matter what road you choose i'd recommend a periodic professional cleaning and/or polishing like papajoe222 said. it opens your eyes to the untapped performance within stock reels.

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11 hours ago, Delaware Valley Tackle said:

In my experience, the main advantage of improving free spool is in accuracy with any added distance as ancillary.  

this in a nutshell.....

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My Orra winch is going on like 5 seasons. Basic reel cleaning,oil,and grease is all i've ever had to do to it. Still one of my smoothest and farthest casters.

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8 hours ago, MassBassin508 said:

My Orra winch is going on like 5 seasons. Basic reel cleaning,oil,and grease is all i've ever had to do to it. Still one of my smoothest and farthest casters.

My first one will still bomb a 6xd I just noticed my new one has about 8 ft on it. I clean my reels at least twice a year. But it's getting some miles on it.

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