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Ozzie_Md_Bassin

Aftermarket bearings for casting reels ?

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Whats a few good brands of replacement  bearings I should try for my casting reels.  I'd like to increase overall  distance. Thanks.  

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Might do better looking at spool tuning.  Can you cast with the reel wide open, and almost all the breaks turned off.  Bearings are a big expense for little payback in most cases.

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9 minutes ago, Angry John said:

 Bearings are a big expense for little payback in most cases.

Perfectly said. I've purchased ZPI and Hedgehog bearings and wasn't impressed enough to justify the cost. I recommend sending off your reel to a reel tech and let them clean the reel. The last thing I would do is to recommend spending money on bearings.

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Before upgrading, I'd consider thoroughly cleaning and lightly lubing the stock bearings, I think you'll be happy with the results. Otherwise, ZPIs are excellent

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Unless you are casting with spool tension knob completely loose and braking turned off completely, changing the bearings will not increase casting distance

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Several of my reels have aftermarket bearings.  I do it so I know the only the only thing keeping them from being their best is me.  I have 2 Curado 51Es.  One cleaned only, one tuned and with upgraded bearings.  Both done by DVT.  I really have a hard time noticing any difference.  One thing I do notice is that with my tuned and upgraded reels I can usually run lower brakes on them.

 

I've read a post or two where the poster stated he got a much longer cast with different bearings.  I don't see that although I've never measured casting distance before and after.  I do think it is easier to get the same distance with a bit less effort.  Which should also help with accuracy.

 

Personally I think a longer rod with the proper taper can make a bigger difference in casting distance.

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As others have said biggest bang for your buck is a professional cleaning and super tuning of your real. In my experience this makes a very noticeable improvement in castability - ease of casting, less effort, less backlashing bc of effortless casts, and much better accuracy. 

 

Aftermarket bearings can can be fun, but won’t necessarily improve pure distance. At most they help decrease effort on a cast. If you really want to play with them start with Hedgehog ZRs. I think they’re the best bang for your buck. 

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Contact Mike at Delaware Valley Tackle, a site sponsor.

 

I’ve sent him almost every brand of baitcaster for cleaning, tuning, and upgrading.

 

He does great work, is reasonably priced, and doesn’t upgrade a reel if it isn’t worth the price.

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For sure - casting distance will not improve in any significant way. I cast reels with hybrid ceramic, 100% ceramic, and SS. The real benefit to ceramic is they are low maintenance; and can run them dry. SS needs oil - and pretty regularly. I've had my SS bearings yell for oil by accident. Three to six hard long outings, and the oil light comes on! They'll let you know "it's time"!

 

SS bearing performance is reliant on good oil. Good light oil. And flushing between lubes. Remove one of the bearing shields. Can't truly flush a bearing with shields in place.

 

Ceramics can be a bit loud if run dry. It's not a bad loud, but some don't like it.

 

Bottom line is - a clean, properly oiled SS bearing will compete head to head with any ceramic set-up.

 

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