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   For fresh water, are there any negatives associated with removing the shields from Boca SS spool bearings and running them "naked"?  Those shields are heck to put back on.   Thnx.   jj

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I don't have any shields on mine. It is easier to clean and maintain bearings without shields. I've never had any problems doing it this way

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I remove a lot of my shields also, the one thing I try to do is make sure to keep them oiled. I feel like they dry out faster without the shields in place. If you run ceramic bearings you don't have to oil them at all.

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14 minutes ago, Jrob78 said:

If you run ceramic bearings you don't have to oil them at all.

   I've heard that the ceramic balls in ceramic ball bearings are brittle and prone to breakage or cracking. Have you found that to be true or not?     jj

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3 minutes ago, jimmyjoe said:

   I've heard that the ceramic balls in ceramic ball bearings are brittle and prone to breakage or cracking. Have you found that to be true or not?     jj

I've never experienced that and I have quite a few reels with Orange Seal ceramics but I don't normally run them dry.

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I have converted to all SS bearings and leave the shield on.  No problem cleaning or lubing, at least for the 15 years I have doing my own reels.

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Ceramics are noisy when run dry.  I have ceramic hybrids in the spool, cog wheel, and level wind on one of my Abu reels and it sounds like a freight train without any oil.  Oil quiets them down considerably without sacrificing much casting distance.  Even then, for bass fishing you are mostly casting inside of 20yd, so oil them up if the noise bothers you.

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