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MassYak85

Handle Knob/Line Guide Bearings/Bushings

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I'm going through my reels for annual cleaning and wanted to know what you guys liked for replacing the handle and line guide (worm gear) bearings (usually 7x4x2.5 for most reels I believe). On my Tatula CTs at least they have black plastic bushings in these areas which are upgrade-able but I've never bought aftermarket bearings. These obviously don't require the same precision as spool bearings, they just need to be smooth at low rotation speeds, is there anywhere decent ones can be bought in bulk? 

 

As a side note, has anyone ever changed out bearings in these areas for bushings? If so from where? 

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Check out the Tackle Trap, they carry a full selection of after market bearings including handle knob bearings both Hedgehog and Boca.  The Hedgehogs are a few bucks cheaper. The guys at the Trap can help you get any think you need for doing the levelwinds too. 

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I replace all the bushings with bearings. My take on quality vs quantity is handle bearings I can stomach to go the cheap route on via amazon. You can get a 10 pack for 5$ and they are replaceable if/when they rust/fail. I've had high end handle bearings rust/fail in a year so I don't bother spending the extra on a "quality" handle bearing anymore. Frame bearings however, I will spend for. For my reels that are in the 350-500$ range, I'll get w/e frame bearings needed from Hedgehog. Anything else I buy the bulk SS packs from Boca. I'm not a fan of boca spool bearings but their frame bearings (levelwind guide, drive shaft, pinion, etc) have not failed me yet and have shown to be super smooth out of the pack. Spool bearings are all ZPI SIC and Hedgehog ZR's. I do have a CT that I still use. The levelwind bearings were put in place of the bushings and the spool bearings were replaced as well. Super smooth reel. 

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3 hours ago, iabass8 said:

I replace all the bushings with bearings. My take on quality vs quantity is handle bearings I can stomach to go the cheap route on via amazon. You can get a 10 pack for 5$ and they are replaceable if/when they rust/fail. I've had high end handle bearings rust/fail in a year so I don't bother spending the extra on a "quality" handle bearing anymore. Frame bearings however, I will spend for. For my reels that are in the 350-500$ range, I'll get w/e frame bearings needed from Hedgehog. Anything else I buy the bulk SS packs from Boca. I'm not a fan of boca spool bearings but their frame bearings (levelwind guide, drive shaft, pinion, etc) have not failed me yet and have shown to be super smooth out of the pack. Spool bearings are all ZPI SIC and Hedgehog ZR's. I do have a CT that I still use. The levelwind bearings were put in place of the bushings and the spool bearings were replaced as well. Super smooth reel. 

Yea I ordered some cheap ones for the handles I'll see how well they hold up. 

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4 minutes ago, MassYak85 said:

Yea I ordered some cheap ones for the handles I'll see how well they hold up. 

I've had some that are still going after a couple years and others that rust out. The biggest thing /w these cheap bearings is to clean the absolute tick out of them and they will spin like a top. I've come to like the RC car Traxx handle size bearings from amazon. They have a black rubber shield that easily pops off and I run them through an ultra sonic cleaner a few times and they spin really well.

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8 minutes ago, iabass8 said:

I've had some that are still going after a couple years and others that rust out. The biggest thing /w these cheap bearings is to clean the absolute tick out of them and they will spin like a top. I've come to like the RC car Traxx handle size bearings from amazon. They have a black rubber shield that easily pops off and I run them through an ultra sonic cleaner a few times and they spin really well.

I think I got similar ones with the rubber seals. I've heard mixed things about the rubber seals sometimes contacting the balls but I figured I could run them without shields if need be. I also have a cheap ultrasonic I use to clean them as well. Do you oil or grease the handle bearings? I've always oiled mine but have heard some guys like the feel of grease. 

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5 minutes ago, MassYak85 said:

I think I got similar ones with the rubber seals. I've heard mixed things about the rubber seals sometimes contacting the balls but I figured I could run them without shields if need be. I also have a cheap ultrasonic I use to clean them as well. Do you oil or grease the handle bearings? I've always oiled mine but have heard some guys like the feel of grease. 

Take the rubber seals off or they will rub the spacer/handle knob. Box cutter blade pops it right out. Those bearings come packed /w some third world grease that takes forever to come out. I use Daiwa blue oil on my handle bearings. It's a little thicker than the hedgehog long cast I use on spool bearings and seems to last. I wouldn't grease them. Kind of defeats the purpose of having a handle bearing. 

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I don't like handles to free spin, just turn easily with no gritty feeling. I clean bearings then dip them in 80/140 gear oil. Same for frame bearings. Bushings aren't necessarily a dirty word either. Keeping them clean and oiled helps significantly. 

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