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Boca Bearings worth it?

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Gonna get my reels tuned for the upcoming season. Was wondering if maybe I should upgrade the bearings in some of my lower end reels to give them an edge (revo sx, helios, citica 209g6)

 

I honestly find all those reels cast pretty decent. Will upgrading the bearings make a huge difference? 

What am I going to gain?

 

distance?

smoothness?

 

theyre pretty expensive so I don’t really wanna waste money upgrading unless the performance blows me out of the water. 

Thoughts?

 

oh and also, does it change the sound of the reel? Curious to know what they sound like.

 

cheers

 

 

 

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Bocas are louder when casting. As far as performance, if you flush and properly lube your stock bearings you may not notice much an improvement. You may notice some improvements like ease of casting lighter lures and needing less power to cast the same distance. Of all the aftermarket bearings, I like bocas the least personally. I like hedge hog and zpi better.

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Meh if your reels are maintained and like @Yudo1 said a good flush and lube could bring back some life into a stock bearing. I've got bocas on one of my Quantum energy reels and the stock reel casts a very impressive distance but I don't really notice more then 5 feet when I did a comparison between a stock energy and an energy with bocas. If the bearings need to be replaced and you've got the loonies to spend, go for it.

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The Helios has ABEC 5 so no need to upgrade those. 

The Citica if you can use just one brake and able to control that easily there are gains to be had by going aftermarket bearings. 

It will basically come down to your casting abilities if upgrading bearings will be of any benefit. Most seem to get better bearings then add oil or increase braking or spool tension because the new bearings spin so freely thus they lose all the benefits. Like you will read people comment -"I can cast the same distance more easily but not any farther cause when I give the same effort I backlash"-. Thats the users fault, if that person could cast with same effort and still control the spool distance will increase its simple physics. 

I also feel the brake system will determine the gains as well. The old Shimano VBS and gen1 SVS I saw bigger gains with BOCAS than the latest Shimano SVS Infinity system. Daiwa SV reels of mine not much gains on those with ZPI or HH air.

 

 

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Right on, seems as tho it’s not worth the price to upgrade bearings. I have no problems casting with these reels and I’m happy with the distance. Mind you I have issues with the Helios’ spool tension nob.

-it goes from extremely tight to super loose. If I tighten it perfect it can actually loosen in a cast and cause backlashes. Is that do to the bearing or would could be that the spool tension “bolt” is stripped?

 

Also the Helios is “grinding” pretty badly, it doesn’t feel smooth whatso ever. Is that a bearing issue or could it be something else?

 

thanks

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14 minutes ago, juicebass said:

Right on, seems as tho it’s not worth the price to upgrade bearings. I have no problems casting with these reels and I’m happy with the distance. Mind you I have issues with the Helios’ spool tension nob.

-it goes from extremely tight to super loose. If I tighten it perfect it can actually loosen in a cast and cause backlashes. Is that do to the bearing or would could be that the spool tension “bolt” is stripped?

 

Also the Helios is “grinding” pretty badly, it doesn’t feel smooth whatso ever. Is that a bearing issue or could it be something else?

 

thanks

When's the last time you had her serviced? Maybe it could use some love. Could be dry or dirty bearings or the gears could be dry and need some grease. I think most people around here including myself do a deep clean and relube our reels during the winter brake. 

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5 minutes ago, DomQ said:

When's the last time you had her serviced? Maybe it could use some love. Could be dry or dirty bearings or the gears could be dry and need some grease. I think most people around here including myself do a deep clean and relube our reels during the winter brake. 

I’ve heard it’s bad to lube the bearings no??

ive cleaned them a bit but I’m not a big fan of taking them apart. I’m bringing them in... the Helios spool nob is definitely not normal being that loose tho, hope to find a fix, thoufht it would be from the bearings maybe

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No.

 

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5 hours ago, juicebass said:

I’ve heard it’s bad to lube the bearings no??

ive cleaned them a bit but I’m not a big fan of taking them apart. I’m bringing them in... the Helios spool nob is definitely not normal being that loose tho, hope to find a fix, thoufht it would be from the bearings maybe

A drop of oil after a deep clean on the bearings is all you need. You don't want to over oil them or else you can hold the bearing up and it won't perform to its full potential. As to the tension knob, have the checked inside the knob to make sure that the little tiny pad is there? If its not then you might have taken it off when you were cleaning it in past services. Ill include a picture of what to look for, this one is on a Abu. Also it could be worn out if you keep it cranked down a lot. Depending on the material used. 

abu-garcia-abu-garcia-ambassadeur-spool-tension-co.jpg

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On 2/12/2018 at 1:24 PM, juicebass said:

Gonna get my reels tuned for the upcoming season. Was wondering if maybe I should upgrade the bearings in some of my lower end reels to give them an edge (revo sx, helios, citica 209g6)

 

I honestly find all those reels cast pretty decent. Will upgrading the bearings make a huge difference? 

What am I going to gain?

 

distance?

smoothness?

 

theyre pretty expensive so I don’t really wanna waste money upgrading unless the performance blows me out of the water. 

Thoughts?

 

oh and also, does it change the sound of the reel? Curious to know what they sound like.

 

cheers

 

 

 

In my experience, upgrading the bearings helps get a negligible amount of additional casting distance while adding a lot of casting noise.  I don't do it any more.  What IS nice to have is an inexpensive bearing flushing tool.  The bearings in our reels have very small moving parts and all it takes to degrade their performance is a tiny bit of silt or debris.  An annual flushing and re-lubing can have surprising results.  You can buy the bearing flushing tool and an assortment of lubes to try for a lot less than the price of one set of ceramic bearings.

 

Tight lines,

Bob

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I had three Citica 200E's and put ceramic bearings in two and quality SS Abec7's in the third.   I really could not tell the difference in the ceramic performance and the SS.  Fishing heavy grass most of the time, I really do not care about the bait going a mile and in fact, grass fishing is short casts.  I have not bothered upgrading the recent Shimano reels as the bearings give me all I want in performance.

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I did one reel with hawgtech bearings than I did all my reels,the biggest difference I noticed was the reels we're smoother,casted a little bit further,but the biggest difference was able to cast lighter lures.I like them ,try them on one reel if you like them keep them, if not put the old ones back in,each person's preference is different from each other's.

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Bocas are worth it. They are smoother and faster than anything else and quieter when reeling than anything else. But they are expensive. If you are going to buy them buy them now because there are coupon codes for 25 to 35% out for Christmas 25HOLIDAY18 will get you 25% off. 35THANKRC18 might still get you 35% off.

 

But in terms of performance to price, Hawtech is probably best. But they make fewer sizes.

 

Smoothdrag has top quality bearings, too. They have nearly every size, even if it’s not on their lists.

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The answer to most "is it worthwhile " questions begins with your expectations. Any potential gains must be compared to a properly cleaned, flushed, lubricated and setup reel. Adding high performance parts is largely an enthusiast endeavor. Actual gains are modest at best. The cost of bearings is driven more by ABEC rating than material. A fishing reel does not experience sustained high speeds to gain from anything more than ABEC5 bearings. 7's might make sense in a true BFS application. The main advantage of ceramic hybrids is that they can be run dry. Oiling them slows them down enough to negate the gain. If longevity and silence are priority stick with SS. The exception would be in salt water reels to fight corrosion. Lastly on bearings, like many things, they're made in a couple places and rebranded by many sellers. Just stick to trusted sources to avoid counterfeiting of ABEC ratings. In my opinion here are upgrades in order of bang for the buck:

 

deep cleaning

Carbontex drag 

SuperTuning (on appropriate models)

spool bearings

after market BFS spools

bushing to bearing swap for crankshafts & levelwinds

handle bearings

other personalized parts. 

 

One more thought: improving free spool whether by cleaning, Tuning, bearings or spools aids accuracy more than raw distance which is arguably over rated anyway. 

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On 12/22/2018 at 4:26 PM, Delaware Valley Tackle said:

The answer to most "is it worthwhile " questions begins with your expectations. Any potential gains must be compared to a properly cleaned, flushed, lubricated and setup reel. Adding high performance parts is largely an enthusiast endeavor. Actual gains are modest at best. The cost of bearings is driven more by ABEC rating than material. A fishing reel does not experience sustained high speeds to gain from anything more than ABEC5 bearings. 7's might make sense in a true BFS application. The main advantage of ceramic hybrids is that they can be run dry. Oiling them slows them down enough to negate the gain. If longevity and silence are priority stick with SS. The exception would be in salt water reels to fight corrosion. Lastly on bearings, like many things, they're made in a couple places and rebranded by many sellers. Just stick to trusted sources to avoid counterfeiting of ABEC ratings. In my opinion here are upgrades in order of bang for the buck:

 

deep cleaning

Carbontex drag 

SuperTuning (on appropriate models)

spool bearings

after market BFS spools

bushing to bearing swap for crankshafts & levelwinds

handle bearings

other personalized parts. 

 

One more thought: improving free spool whether by cleaning, Tuning, bearings or spools aids accuracy more than raw distance which is arguably over rated anyway. 

 

Perfectly said

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Debating bearing replacement myself. As others have stated above it's hit or miss depending on the end users casting skills. I'm still researching my options....Been debating for a week already.

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