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What I Learned About Ceramic Bearings

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I have been curious about upgrading my reels with ceramic Boca Orange Seal ABEC 7 reel bearings , so I asked BOCA for answers to my five questions below and got a great response from Garith Burrows at Boca. I thought it would be worth sharing his responses with other anglers. I am not selling these things, just sharing.

Some comments on bass fishing forums indicate that the user removes the seal, flushes the bearing and then applies oil.

Orange seal bearings are supplied without lubrication and do not need to be cleaned. They come lube dry so that you can use whatever your favorite oil is.

Are these bearing intended to be maintenance free?

Not really. Because you use oil as a lubrication it is very difficult to retain it even with seals. The seals will prolong the use of the bearing before re-oiling however.

If left dry will they wear faster?

Yes, they will wear quicker. We do not recommend using them completely dry, although some people do.

If the seal is removed and the bearing oiled, should this be a regular maintenance?

It is advisable to regularly maintain your bearings. By doing so you will extend the life and the performance of the bearings.

What are BOCA's recommendation for caring for the Orange Seal fishing reel bearings?

We recommend that when you receive them the first thing you do is add your own favorite oil to the bearings. Because the orange seals are non-contact we advise keeping them on. The seals are easily removed and replaced, and if you should damage them we will replace them for the lifetime of the bearings at no cost. You should clean them and replace the oil every 2 - 3 months. Cleaning can be done with any solvent or a good thing to use is brake cleaner. Just be sure that the bearings are completely dry before putting in the new oil. Always take the orange seals off before cleaning.

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You didn't really ask, but thought I would share.

I've been quite happy with the Abec 5 Ceramics from Boca. They are quality bearings and the shields are easily removed and replaced as they are the normal stainless shields.

I've installed them in a few reels now with good results. They are a little cheaper too.

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Orange Seal Bearings, a lot of hype, a little performance.

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Had them in a reel a bought online over a month ago. The reel was much smoother and freespooled longer than those with stock bearings. That is until I took apart the reels; cleaned the bearings, dried, and relubed. This made all the difference in the world.

Will clean/lubed orange seals freespool longer than a clean/lubed stock bearings? Definitely. But for me, there is no added performance in them. What I get out of my reels now is perfect for me.

Basically what I learned from all this is how much performance is gained from a good reel cleaning and lube. :)

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