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I am wondering how big a difference between 7 bearings and 10 bearings are in a reel.  Is it worth the $40 dollars? If everything else is the same what is the deal?

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Depends on bearing location :)

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There are only 3 bearings at the most that control what the reel can do as far as casting. Anything else will be in areas of the reel for the cranking feel.

The 3 are spool support bearings and as far as the quality of those bearings ALL stock bearings are of the same tolerances ABEC3 and all are Stainless Steel just the CR's (corrosion resistant) are built different...

This doe NOT include the Hybrid bearings Quantum uses (IMPO they are just plain crap anyway)

Just my .02¢

Tight Lines!!!

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Anything else will be in areas of the reel for the cranking feel.
Or durability, don't you think?

Anyway, most "10 bearing" reels are just the standard 6 bearing reel with four bearings in the knobs.  Its nice to have, but adds weight.

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Or durability, don't you think?

Not really, my old Abu XLT Plus Series have only 1 bearing and they 've been with me for more than 2 decades.

Needless to say that the only bearing they 've got must be really good cuz it 's still there doing the job.

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There are only 3 bearings at the most that control what the reel can do as far as casting. Anything else will be in areas of the reel for the cranking feel.

The 3 are spool support bearings and as far as the quality of those bearings ALL stock bearings are of the same tolerances ABEC3 and all are Stainless Steel just the CR's (corrosion resistant) are built different...

This doe NOT include the Hybrid bearings Quantum uses (IMPO they are just plain crap anyway)

Just my .02¢

Tight Lines!!!

Although most reels come standard with ABEC3 bearings, Ardent reels are an exception, they are outfitted with ABEC5 bearings. Not that it really matters, just setting the record straight............Al

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Bearings are like a lot of other things in life, they don't matter until they stop working and that generally happens at the most inopportune time.

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Or durability, don't you think?

Not really, my old Abu XLT Plus Series have only 1 bearing and they 've been with me for more than 2 decades.

Needless to say that the only bearing they 've got must be really good cuz it 's still there doing the job.

Yeah really.  I've had older Daiwas with NO BEARINGS that are still in perfect working order.  This is due to using brass bushings.  Many lesser reels have PLASTIC bushings which wear out, causing parts to misalign and eventually also wear out.  A bearing in its place would have prolonged the reel's life.  its the main reason most crankshafts have a bearing underneath the dog ear gear and main gear/drag stack.  Even the cheapo reels have one.  your Abus and my old Daiwas are the exception to conventional wisdom, in that they were engineered to perform for years.  Some manufacturers design reels with insanely high bearing counts for marketing purposes.

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The important question is whether it's a spinning or casting reel.

Couldn't tell you much of anything about casting, but bearing count and location can make the difference between a so-so spinning reel and a great spinning reel.

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Casting

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I chime in with Raul on the durability. I have a Pflueger Supreme dating back to 1952 that I used exclusively until about 1978. This reel had bushings in lieu of bearings and still works as it did when I retired it. This reel is not as smooth as my newer reels but it has certainly been durable.

The reason it was retired is no free spool so the crank windmilled, no drag-drag came from your thumb and most important clearances were such that you couldn't use mono in reasonable pound tests because it would get under the sides of the spool and wind around the shaft.. Cast contol was little more than your thumb and unless the thumb was well educated you spent a lot of time picking.

The good old days were not so good when considering fishing tackle.

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