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kenmitch

Reel tuning? Bearings?

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I'm wondering about ceramic vs stainless steel at the same grade. If both are ABEC 7 rated is there much difference in performance? ABEC 9 SS vs ABEC 7 ceramic?

 

I'm looking at doing some reel tuning on a couple of reels soon is why I ask.

 

 

 

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I am going to assume you are not talking about full ceramics due to their high cost and are asking about ceramic balls and SS cages and races.     The two major differences that I have noticed in favor of ceramics is: they require a little less start up inertia, and provide a marginal improvement in corrosion resistance.   To their detriment: they are louder, more expensive, and I find the performance gains marginal at my level of fishing.     A good quality SS bearing properly cleaned and lubricated is really a very good choice for most fisherman.

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Zpi Sic $32 per set. All you will ever need. Yt Fusion hd+ are equally as good but not as easy to pick up. 

 

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Thanks guys!

 

Is there anyway to tell what quality of bearings the stock ones are? Never examined them closely. 

 

Abu MGX-SHS is one reel I plan on doing. Couple years old now and it's my favorite reel. Feel like it'll last and would like more casting distance. Would be nice to be able to do some lighter weight finesse type with it.

 

Abu C4-5600 is the other one. Got this one for less than $40 shipped brand new is why I'm considering it. Was looking at kits for this one. Haven't even spooled it up yet. Best to try it as is 1st?

 

I'd assume ones with shields are better. I've seen some without 1 or both shields. 

 

I kayak fish sitting 99% of the time. Extra distance would come in handy. The C4-5600 will be for swimbaits for the mist part.

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I upgraded one of my Daiwa Fuegos with a set of Hawgtech bearings and saw a tiny increase.  It was in the area of feet.  I was seriously disappointed and believe a solid session with the stock bearings in acetone would have given an even better increase in distance. 

 

I don't think it's a worthwhile upgrade.

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52 minutes ago, Hook2Jaw said:

I upgraded one of my Daiwa Fuegos with a set of Hawgtech bearings and saw a tiny increase.  It was in the area of feet.  I was seriously disappointed and believe a solid session with the stock bearings in acetone would have given an even better increase in distance. 

 

I don't think it's a worthwhile upgrade.

I was never a fan of the Hawtech bearings, that nylon cage always concerned me.  In my experience one of the lesser benefits of a higher precision bearing  is casting distance.   In my use casting distance rarely increased a great distance, but I did find I could reach the same distance with a lot less effort.  I could run significantly less spool tension and braking and my casts were much more consistent.  I also feel that during the early days of ceramic bearings the benefits of lower startup inertia for BFS fishing were vastly overstated.  In fact I felt like in my use the biggest difference maker in the area of spool start up was mainly due to being able to run ceramic bearings without lubrication.   A lot has changed since I last upgraded the bearings in my reels, but I can still easily cast most of them 40 yards consistently without any real strain.   Just sharing an opinion. 

1 hour ago, kenmitch said:

Thanks guys!

 

Is there anyway to tell what quality of bearings the stock ones are? Never examined them closely. 

 

Abu MGX-SHS is one reel I plan on doing. Couple years old now and it's my favorite reel. Feel like it'll last and would like more casting distance. Would be nice to be able to do some lighter weight finesse type with it.

 

Abu C4-5600 is the other one. Got this one for less than $40 shipped brand new is why I'm considering it. Was looking at kits for this one. Haven't even spooled it up yet. Best to try it as is 1st?

 

I'd assume ones with shields are better. I've seen some without 1 or both shields. 

 

I kayak fish sitting 99% of the time. Extra distance would come in handy. The C4-5600 will be for swimbaits for the mist part.

You can ask the MFG of he reel, but that info could be misleading.  Many of even the better reels in the past have used abec - 3 and abec -5 bearings routinely.    With MFG practices being refined and the ease at which they can produce bearings that comply with the abec - 7 rating I would not be surprised to find them used in some instances.

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20 minutes ago, Heartland said:

I was never a fan of the Hawtech bearings, that nylon cage always concerned me.  In my experience one of the lesser benefits of a higher precision bearing  is casting distance.   In my use casting distance rarely increased a great distance, but I did find I could reach the same distance with a lot less effort.  I could run significantly less spool tension and braking and my casts were much more consistent.  I also feel that during the early days of ceramic bearings the benefits of lower startup inertia for BFS fishing were vastly overstated.  In fact I felt like in my use the biggest difference maker in the area of spool start up was mainly due to being able to run ceramic bearings without lubrication.   A lot has changed since I last upgraded the bearings in my reels, but I can still easily cast most of them 40 yards consistently without any real strain.   Just sharing an opinion. 

I think my problem is the actual bearings some of these companies use are already of good quality, so seeing a difference between stock and aftermarket is harder and harder.  I regularly place my baits in the same area at the end of my cast with a stock Fuego, and can do the same with the Fuego with aftermarket bearings.

1 hour ago, kenmitch said:

Thanks guys!

 

Is there anyway to tell what quality of bearings the stock ones are? Never examined them closely. 

 

Abu MGX-SHS is one reel I plan on doing. Couple years old now and it's my favorite reel. Feel like it'll last and would like more casting distance. Would be nice to be able to do some lighter weight finesse type with it.

 

Abu C4-5600 is the other one. Got this one for less than $40 shipped brand new is why I'm considering it. Was looking at kits for this one. Haven't even spooled it up yet. Best to try it as is 1st?

 

I'd assume ones with shields are better. I've seen some without 1 or both shields. 

 

I kayak fish sitting 99% of the time. Extra distance would come in handy. The C4-5600 will be for swimbaits for the mist part.

The MGX may be a victim of weaker bearing tolerances if it's older.  I would try cleaning them first, however.

 

As for the Ambassadeur, they may have skimped on bearing quality with that reel; I honestly don't know.  I still say the single best upgrade I do to my reels is regularly soaking my bearings in acetone and reinstalling with a single drop of oil.  If any bearings need an upgrade, I believe it will be these.  Still, try cleaning and reinstalling.

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A properly cleaned and lubed stock bearing is about all anyone would ever need. No reason to replace them unless one fails, or you’re a person who likes to tinker.  Improved casting distance isn’t really anything you’re going to notice. Remember that 10% of 120ft is only 12ft.  Not exactly a worthwhile upgrade if you break it down.  This is also coming from a guy with over $400 wrapped up in bearings. Easier startup will allow you to cast the same distance with less effort since less effort (not casting as hard) will allow you to use less braking. The user being the variable in this situation. Sometimes you can achieve decent distance when casting lighter lures, due to being able to turn the brakes down a couple clicks. 

 

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This topic comes up all the time.  Your cast control setting will give you more distance in most cases than bearings.  A longer rod will do much better than most reel modifications.  Lighter line will also give good gains.  The one reason i would upgrade now after all the money i have dumped in upgrades is if i was going full ceramic for saltwater.  Lots of guys fish tidal waters and the increased protection from the saltwater would add some value.  These make noise that a lot of people dont like.

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I've often wondered why I would want "slicker" bearings in a reel I was using that required at least some "control" from the anti-backlash controls.  It would seem to me that they would only makes sense if I could cast with all controls off.  ??

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3 minutes ago, MickD said:

I've often wondered why I would want "slicker" bearings in a reel I was using that required at least some "control" from the anti-backlash controls.  It would seem to me that they would only makes sense if I could cast with all controls off.  ??

Your line of thinking is very reasonable and very common.  There is an experience that many users of upgraded bearings will most likely share with you.  You will find that will upgraded bearings you will be able to use lesser amounts of braking due to the increased precision of high quality bearings.  In other words, one of the many factors that cause inconsistent casting is the fact that low quality bearings are often used and in the case where a better bearing is used, they are almost never cleaned and lubricated properly.    

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Noticeable improvement casting distance with older braking system of Shimano VBS(E & Core) & SVS(Chro CI4). With their newest SVS Infinity(70 & Chro MGL) and the ability to run lighter braking profile not much of a differenced noticed.

Casting the same distance easier equates to longer cast using same effort the limiting factor being users ability/skill.

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The areodynamics of the bait being cast will have an influence on casting distance as well

 

oe

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2 hours ago, QUAKEnSHAKE said:

Noticeable improvement casting distance with older braking system of Shimano VBS(E & Core) & SVS(Chro CI4). With their newest SVS Infinity(70 & Chro MGL) and the ability to run lighter braking profile not much of a differenced noticed.

Casting the same distance easier equates to longer cast using same effort the limiting factor being users ability/skill.

I have a deep cleaned (per DVT) stock and a tuned...plus ABEC5 ceramic (not full ceramic) bearing upgrade...Curado 51Es.  I don't notice a difference in distance.  Mike did the work on both.  I forget which Moderator it was, but he claimed a substantial performance increase in the Shimano Mike did for him.  Probably my lack of skill.

 

I do notice what several have already stated.  I usually can run brakes lower on a tuned and bearing upgraded reel.  I'd agree it is probably easier to get the same distance with an upgraded reel.  If I am going to the expense of having a reel tuned, I feel I might as well get a bearing upgrade at the same time.  Then I am assured it is I that is the limiting factor in the reel's performance.

 

As also previously stated, I feel the rod and lure have a greater affect on distance.

 

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12 minutes ago, new2BC4bass said:

I have a deep cleaned (per DVT) stock and a tuned...plus ABEC5 ceramic (not full ceramic) bearing upgrade...Curado 51Es.  I don't notice a difference in distance.  Mike did the work on both.  I forget which Moderator it was, but he claimed a substantial performance increase in the Shimano Mike did for him.  Probably my lack of skill.

 

I do notice what several have already stated.  I usually can run brakes lower on a tuned and bearing upgraded reel.  I'd agree it is probably easier to get the same distance with an upgraded reel.  If I am going to the expense of having a reel tuned, I feel I might as well get a bearing upgrade at the same time.  Then I am assured it is I that is the limiting factor in the reel's performance.

 

As also previously stated, I feel the rod and lure have a greater affect on distance.

 

Most likely is.

Absolutely no reason you shouldnt be casting farther with better bearings that allow less braking if casting easier results in same distance, other than lack of skill. 

This would be like saying 4 brakes on gets the same results as 2 on. Given the same effort 2 brakes on will cast farther than with four brakes on, might be more difficult for some people but less braking 2pins vs 4pins WILL result in longer casts. Are you saying you get the same distance no matter how many brakes you use?

 

And when comparing distance a person usually compares same lure to same lure. Doesnt make sense to compare an Ika casting to a 3/4oz big bladed spinnerbait. You compare ika to ika and so forth. A Stock Core50 with well cleaned bearings throwing an IKA wont hang with a Core50 with ABEC7's thowing an IKA. If gains arent noticed thats on the operator.

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1 minute ago, QUAKEnSHAKE said:

Most likely is.

Absolutely no reason you shouldnt be casting farther with better bearings that allow less braking if casting easier results in same distance, other than lack of skill. 

This would be like saying 4 brakes on gets the same results as 2 on. Given the same effort 2 brakes on will cast farther than with four brakes on, might be more difficult for some people but less braking 2pins vs 4pins WILL result in longer casts. Are you saying you get the same distance no matter how many brakes you use?

 

And when comparing distance a person usually compares same lure to same lure. Doesnt make sense to compare an Ika casting to a 3/4oz big bladed spinnerbait. You compare ika to ika and so forth. A Stock Core50 with well cleaned bearings throwing an IKA wont hang with a Core50 with ABEC7's thowing an IKA. If gains arent noticed thats on the operator.

How can I take offense at something I already admitted to?  :D  Just checked and I am using 2 brakes on the upgraded reel and 3 on the stock reel.  I will have to try each reel on the same rod using the same lure.  Haven't done that yet.  Maybe I will see a measurable distance difference then.

 

I have been using the Curados with lighter lures.  Now that I have a couple reels that fill that spot better (for me) I will have to try a lure or two in the 3/8-1/2 oz. range and see what difference it makes.

 

I'm aware that a Fat Ika and a spinnerbait aren't aerodynamic equivalents.  I have made some very long casts with a 3/4 oz. spinnerbait, tho.  :teeth:

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49 minutes ago, new2BC4bass said:

I'm aware that a Fat Ika and a spinnerbait aren't aerodynamic equivalents.  I have made some very long casts with a 3/4 oz. spinnerbait, tho.  :teeth:

I'll raise you a 1/2oz spin-to-win and a trailer over that there mountain back in 82.

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16 hours ago, Angry John said:

This topic comes up all the time.  Your cast control setting will give you more distance in most cases than bearings.  A longer rod will do much better than most reel modifications.  Lighter line will also give good gains.  The one reason i would upgrade now after all the money i have dumped in upgrades is if i was going full ceramic for saltwater.  Lots of guys fish tidal waters and the increased protection from the saltwater would add some value.  These make noise that a lot of people dont like.

Cast control setting....That's the knob I have to tighten on my MGX to keep my spool from rocking back and forth. I don't set this like the guides say too as it kills my casting distance. I'll start out with my lure dropping pretty fast, but tend to loosen it as I go along. I always wind up at the point where the spool has play so in the end I just take the side play out of the spool and go a click or two more. I've found that I prefer to just use my thumb to control the spool when needed. 

 

I'm currently using the MGX on a St. Croix Mojo Glass 6"10" Med/Mod rod with 30lb sufix braid. This setup for the most part is my lipless crankbait rod. 

 

10 hours ago, QUAKEnSHAKE said:

Casting the same distance easier equates to longer cast using same effort the limiting factor being users ability/skill.

Sounds like what I'd expect out of better quality bearings. 

 

10 hours ago, OkobojiEagle said:

The areodynamics of the bait being cast will have an influence on casting distance as well

 

oe

The MGX rig is my lipless crankbait setup for the most part. These baits tend to be bullet like with little wind resistance. I guess if I go for the super long cast they can get a little sideways and wobbly at times.

 

16 hours ago, rippin-lips said:

Remember that 10% of 120ft is only 12ft.

 

Fishing out of a kayak I like to creep up slowly to potential targets and feel that the further away I can stay the better. Adding even 10-20ft of casting distance would be beneficial too me. I've caught all my larger bass on long casts to cover. I did catch a 4lb'r once more or less pitching my lipless next to some submerged cover as I was eyeing another spot when I noticed the potential of what was up close. 

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I'm leaning towards upgrading the MGX 1st as most likely it'll be the rod in my hand most of the time anyways. I'm currently debating on the bearing choices and if I'll go hybrid or just get some higher quality SS offering. I'm leaning towards the spool bearings and contemplating on the other ones. The reel is pretty smooth when cranking so I'm not sure the others are of any benefit. I did see a kit with the 2 spool bearings and the cast control bearing. Not sure how much impact the cast control bearing has on overall distance.

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Well, I'm still a little skeptical based on the fact that friction, whether from brakes or bearings, is still friction.  From the comments I get the impression that the differences are generally pretty small.  But perceptions are powerful, and if we think there is an advantage in something, we really believe it.  And options will not be as pleasing.  

 

Next time I have a  reel serviced, I'll upgrade and see what I think.  Part of my reluctance to do it is that a "butcher" reel "super-tuner" one time wrecked my first really nice reel, a Calcutta 100.  Cost me over a hundred bucks to get a reputable reel man to build it into a 150, and it really works well again.  It had sentimental value, so was hard to give up on it.  Thanks for all your comments.

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I have tried three different types from Boca and had mixed results.  I put a ABEC7 ceramics (non orange seal) in my Curado 201G6 and it made a huge difference.  I put ABEC5 ceramics in my Core and it made a pretty good difference in feel and casting distance.  Finally, I put the orange seal ceramics in my Chronarch 51E and it was just OK, no major difference.   

 

I think, for me, it all depends on the reel and how the spool initially starts up in wether you're going to see any difference in the reel.   A good cleaning of the reel and flush of the old bearings may be more beneficial. 

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Take the orange seals off and run them open. They're supposed to be non contact seals but often are not. 

 

Also check the Boca Bearings thread for more posts on the same general topic. 

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I'm a jig and plastics pitching fool.....i love pitching and i believe that upgrading to the ceramic / stainless steel ABEC 5 bearings does make it easier to pitch very long distances with very little effort. I don't see as much gain with normal casting since you may have to adjust the brakes and tension knob to stop backlashes. My tournament fishing partner is always telling everyone that i can pitch better than anyone he has ever seen......just the right equipment, bearings and practice. 

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2 hours ago, Kevinator1 said:

I'm a jig and plastics pitching fool.....i love pitching and i believe that upgrading to the ceramic / stainless steel ABEC 5 bearings does make it easier to pitch very long distances with very little effort. I don't see as much gain with normal casting since you may have to adjust the brakes and tension knob to stop backlashes. My tournament fishing partner is always telling everyone that i can pitch better than anyone he has ever seen......just the right equipment, bearings and practice. 

 

I don’t really have a need for pitching, but I still love doing it with good bearings 👍

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5 hours ago, Delaware Valley Tackle said:

Take the orange seals off and run them open. They're supposed to be non contact seals but often are not. 

 

Also check the Boca Bearings thread for more posts on the same general topic. 

I called Boca and spoke to some one (Mike?) about it and they said the same.  I will be removing them in the future.  I have not looked for it yet but he said there was instructions on their website.  

 

Also, the staff at Boca were great in handling my question.  They seem to be really focused on customer service and getting things right.  I will definitely order some more in the future when the need arises.

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I left ceramics and returned to ABEC 5 SS from a quality source, since although ABEC 7 bearings are popular, a  good reel technician (like DVT) will tell you that their are no baitcasters which will reach the RPM's to warrant an ABEC 7 expense.  Even Shimano will tell you that An ABEC 5 is the max advantage you will get.

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