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coolhandlala

what is the deal with bearings?

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I am in the middle of choosing new reels and in that search this question came to me.  What is the deal with bearings?  Shimano reels, such as the curado and mg50 have 6 or 7, but you look at revos and they have 10, now which is smoother?  Which is better?  Does more bearings mean the reel is smoother or better, are there different types of bearings, where is the balance.  How can 2 different $200 reels have such a variance in bearing count.  At some point you can only get so smooth.  Right?

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KVD says in his book, Secrets of a Champion:

"...expensive reels with several ball bearings make casting easier.  I recommend at least three ball bearings, but if you can afford it, buy reels with five or more.  You'll really notice the difference a year or two down the road, when the reels with fewer bearings began to get sloppy."

He then goes on to say "Multiple bearings are more important in spinning reels than in baitcast reels because of a spinning reel's design.  Spinning gears are aligned at 90-degree angles, whereas a baitcaster's gears are side by side.  Therefore, it takes more bearings to keep a spinning reel's gears tight and running smoothly."

So, may I suggest you buy the reel of your choice with the most bearings you can afford.  :)

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Shimano reels, such as the curado and mg50 have 6 or 7, but you look at revos and they have 10, now which is smoother? Which is better??

Better????? It is personal, depend of how smooth you you want your reel to be.

Number of bearings have no impact in casting, quality does.

4 of the bearings in the Revo are in the handle,...I think that bearings supported knobs are smoother. You will find the same features in the Calais and Calcutta CTE.

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I think a reel's overall design and build quality warrants the price tag, not just the number of bearings.  I also think a well designed reel uses quality bearings at critical points and just the right number to  compliment that design to give you the performance you paid for.  I do believe, however, that some companies out there use the bearing number game to make you think you're getting more reel than you're paying for because "more is better" or so we're led to believe.  All in all, it's the placement and quality of the bearings, not necessarily the total number.  That's my take on it anyway.

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Not hard to slap a bunch of cheap bearings in a reel and convince people it's great because it has 19 bearings.

Just ask Bass Pro Shops...

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The number of bearings are totally over-rated and used as marketing ploy for cheaper brands like BPS. If you are ultra-picky, you may notice some additional smoothness with some of the additional bearings. Additional bearings also add weight to the reel. Still, I think it should be low on your list of criteria (maybe a tie-breaker). The 3-bearing Shimano Calcuttas are some of the best reels of all time and I wouldn't trade my 15 year old beat-up Calcutta 100 for a $99 BPS reel with 10 bearings.

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