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trevor

Upgrades for baitcasters?

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Questions I'll tag on here would be... Are the bearing kits worth it? Which sets? Wouldn't some higher end reels have as good as or better kits available already installed?

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i put Orange Seal bearings in my Sol and to be honest the difference really wasnt night and day. just playing around the yard doesnt tell the whole story but its not like a magic wand was moved across the reel.

id do a good cleaning and re-lube and i bet you would be surprised how much better the reel performs.

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Depends on the reel.  Orange seals aren't a huge upgrade over stock in a Sol.  People screw up the seals on them all the time too.  If the bearings are in good shape, then a flush and lube with quality oil will add all the performance gains most need.  If the bearings are toast, sure, get good replacments.

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Depends on the reel. Orange seals aren't a huge upgrade over stock in a Sol. People screw up the seals on them all the time too. If the bearings are in good shape, then a flush and lube with quality oil will add all the performance gains most need. If the bearings are toast, sure, get good replacments.

one thing i did do out of boredom was i did spool and drive shaft Orange seal bearings on an old Daiwa BW2. ive not messed with it at all yet but it should be interesting to see what the thing does.

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It really depends on the reel model and condition. There is some polishing of critical points that can also be of benefit, but like with bearings the potential benefit depends on the starting point.

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Depends on the reel. Orange seals aren't a huge upgrade over stock in a Sol. People screw up the seals on them all the time too. If the bearings are in good shape, then a flush and lube with quality oil will add all the performance gains most need. If the bearings are toast, sure, get good replacments.

one thing i did do out of boredom was i did spool and drive shaft Orange seal bearings on an old Daiwa BW2. ive not messed with it at all yet but it should be interesting to see what the thing does.

Orange Seals are probably overkill for a graphite framed reel, but at the blowout sale prices Boca is offering, replacing the bushings with ball bearings makes this reel a cracker.

I just finished an old Daiwa Prolite rebuild, replacing metal spool bushings with SS bearings, and adding a bearing to the crank stack, pinion support, and worm guide, and this 30+ year old reel casts as well as any new reel. Funny thing is, it weighs less than most modern aluminum frame reels, LOL.

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Here's a few ideas for you.

1. Go to tackle tour and look up their article on supertuning a Daiwa Sol. Most of what is detailed in the article can be done to any reel, and costs nothing but some of your time. I've done these things to all of my Daiwa reels, and the the results are a positive improvement.

2. If you have reels with centrifugal braking systems, remove the brake race ( or drum ), and polish it. Use a Dremel, small felt wheel and super fine polishing compound. Take your time and polish it until it shines. Another no cost procedure that will give you a very positive result.

3. As far as bearing upgrades go, that will be up to you if they are worth the cost. I've tried Boca ceramic ABEC 7's, and did not like them. Way too noisy for me. And, way to much money for the small gain.  I have recently bought some SS ABEC 7 bearings from biggreenfish that I do like. Nearly identical performance increases with lower cost/bearing, and no annoying bearing noise.

4. Replace any bushing with bearings. Obvious locations are outer pinion gear bushing, if your reel has one that is. At the base of the drive shaft and on the level wind worm gear. Also, the handle. Replacing a stock handle with an aftermarket 4 bearing handle is one improvement I really like, but can be costly.

5. Carbontex drag washers. Fairly cheap and easy to do. You will get a much smoother and more consistent drag with the simple upgrade.

6. If you don't mind spending some cash, an aftermarket spool upgrade is possible in some cases. I'm glad I only did this once. Spent a little over $100 to get a super light spool, shipped from Japan, to fit one of my Millionaires. It helped, but no where near $100+ worth. I sold the spool to a bud for almost what I paid for it, so it was a cheap lesson.

7. The best thing you can do is to learn how to service your own reels. Once you've done that, you can maintain your own reels in peak condition, and that may be the best performance upgrade you can get.

Cheers,

GK

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I'll add a few comments to .ghoti.'s list, which is pretty thorough.

1. I'm not going to say that this method won't work, but I think there's a bit too much greasing going in there, especially in the clutch cam components. And be sure the drag spring washers are installed like this: (), not )( as shown in the picture.

2. This works well on well worn reels. Simply wiping this out with a cotton swab is enough on newer reels without any wear.

3. Very true, though I like the sound. Boca was blowing Orange seals out for dirt cheap, and it made sense to use these as replacements to bad bearings, since often the Orange Seals were less than OEM! Stainless ABEC 5 are sufficient for 99% of all replacement applications, though. No sacrifice in smoothness, and properly oiled offer great performance.

4. I'm not totally sold on the replacement of the pinion support bush with a ball bearing. The pinion is disengaged from this bearing during the cast, though I can see where it would add smoothness to the retrieve, and reduce wear on the spool shaft. Revos don't use any bearing here, and they're pretty smooth.  Now replacing a bushing on a spool shaft support, crankshaft base, or where the crankshaft protrudes from the handle side plate is a totally different thing.

5. If you're going to change anything, this is the one to do. Period. I wouldn't fish a reel without them.

6. You found pretty much what I've found. On certain apps it makes sense. Most cases, its just bling.

7. David (the old "Reel Mechanic") has the perfect book for those thinking about this. I picked it up a year or so ago, not so much to learn how it was done, but really to see how he did it, and validate what I was doing. I did find a nice surprise in there: spool bearing removal pliers. One my best tool investments.

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For 5. - which reels come with them, or, how do you tell if your reel has them or not?

None.  They are aftermarket product.  Get them here: http://www.smoothdrag.com/

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Trevor,

What do you want to accomplish by improving the performance? You can improve bearing quality and/or super tune the reel and get more distance in your casts and possibly make the reel a little smoother but I doubt you will be able to notice the difference in smoothness.

If you want to reduce backlashes or accuracy that comes with practice and improving you skill level.

All the suggestions have merit but you will have to decide on the cost/benefit to YOU!

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i put Orange Seal bearings in my Sol and to be honest the difference really wasnt night and day. just playing around the yard doesnt tell the whole story but its not like a magic wand was moved across the reel.

id do a good cleaning and re-lube and i bet you would be surprised how much better the reel performs.

Try removing the seals from them and see what difference they make. I just installed a set of spool bearings and out of package thay spun like sh_t. So I removed the shields, flushed, dried, lubed... It is incredible what a difference there is. I left the shields off. They won't be put back on.

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hitchhiker, I did the same thing to my Sol with the orange seals, and the first cast I noticed a big difference over  previously cleaned-oiled stock bearings. No need to cast as hard anymore and I like the sound of them too.

j franco, I don't see any grease on the yoke and friction washers like () in the article. Maybe I dont have the right one? (tackletour.com/reviewtdsolpolishing.html)? ::D

gohti, thanks for helping a newbe get started and spool information.

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hitchhiker, I did the same thing to my Sol with the orange seals, and the first cast I noticed a big difference over previously cleaned-oiled stock bearings. No need to cast as hard anymore and I like the sound of them too.

j franco, I don't see any grease on the yoke and friction washers like () in the article. Maybe I dont have the right one? (tackletour.com/reviewtdsolpolishing.html)? ::D

gohti, thanks for helping a newbe get started and spool information.

Here's what I mean:

imgdaiwatdsol21.jpg

imgdaiwatdsol32.jpg

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Reel performance depends mostly on the design and the quality of factory machining and assembly.  Except for bearings/bushings, drag discs, and handles, few reel parts are upgradable.  So you can't make a silk purse from a sow's ear.  I upgrade parts with "better than stock" when they are worn.  I replace handles if I want a longer one.  I keep it clean and properly lubed.  Other than that, you get into supertuning, which is mostly about polishing to reduce friction and obtain longer casts.  If you aren't careful and don't know how, you can screw it up worse than when you started.  I understand the attraction but it's a lot of work to get 10 extra feet of casting distance, and it isn't permanent.  I envision guys with supertuned reels sporting $75 carbon fiber handles arriving at the lake in 10 yr old Honda Civics with $20,000 of aftermarket speed and bling parts ;D  Nothing wrong with that but it isn't really about fishing, is it? 

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