Bearing

Repair your rod and reel

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Repair your rod and reel

If you’re like me, looks are of little consequence when it comes to your hunting and fishing gear. It is all about functionality. Actually, I get a lot of satisfaction showing up with well used gear that still gets the job done.

Here are some ideas on how to repair your rod and reel

During my last trip down to Florida I had a ball going through my dad’s rod and reels and getting them all cleaned, greased and ready for action. We’re talking about 15 to 20 sets of gear and in the end only wound up sacrificing one reel to the parts can. This included Zebco, Shakespeare, Daiwai, Penn, and many others the names couldn’t be read.

The most common problems were stiff cranking, drag not working, and bail not flipping. The Zebco issues were all related to cracked pieces which was as easy as mixing epoxy to fix. For $1.99 at Harbor Freight you can get enough quick setting epoxy to fix hundreds of dollars’ worth of Zebco reels.

Stiff cranking:

Repair your rod and reel
Bushing

On the spinning reels, the stiff cranking was almost always corrected by taking the reel all the way apart until you get to the bearing that holds the shaft the spool rides on. Depending on the make of the reel, this will either be a closed bearing or one you can pack with grease. On few occasions you might run across a bushing as well. The trick is to get the thing free again. Most of the time you will find it has rusted to the point it no longer acts like a bearing and is more of a bushing. This accounts for the stiff cranking of the reel. On my initial attempt at this I started to wonder if it was a bearing at all because I couldn’t get the dang thing to

Bearing
Bearing

free up after drenching it in WD40 and liquid wrench. That’s when my Dad came up with a solution, simply widdle a stick down to where the bearing will fit into it. Make it tapered so you can wedge it down nice and tight. Now you have it by the short hairs and it will have to yield to your demands. You might have to use a pair of pliers (wrap something around the bearing first) but you can break it loose almost every time. For the most stubborn cases heat it up with a propane torch to loosen all the old grease. Never fails. Once you get it loose, spray it down real good with WD40 and then repack it with grease. I have used all kinds of different grease, it’s just a matter of what I have on hand and free at the time. On the closed bearing I just sprayed liberally and tried to get as much grease into it as I could.

Drag not working

Top of spool
Top of spool

Few things hurt more than a fish getting away when your line breaks because your drag wasn’t functional. If you fish in salt water with a reel for very long this is going to happen. The nice thing is the fix is so easy. When you unscrew the spool you will see a clip at the top that holds a metal disc. Remove the clip and remove the disc. You’ll find multiple other discs layered underneath. Most of the time some of the discs will be stuck together due to rust or the fiber material sticking due to getting wet. A thumbnail will usually break them apart but sometime you have to

Drag discs
Drag discs

use a knife to wedge them apart. I usually spray them with WD40 and then wipe them down clean. Just make sure you put them back in the order they came out. Never fails, your drag is once again functional. This has always worked for me but at some point I know I’m going to come across a disc that has to be replaced, that’s why it is so important to keep a parts can for all those total loss reels.

 

Bail not flipping

This problem can be quite aggravating and I have only experienced about a 70% total success rate. The problem is the bail mechanism can wear a groove into itself which limits the affects oil can have to fix it. Also it is a pain in the butt to get back together, but you can do it. I take a small file from a Harbor Freight set and gently smooth out any ruff areas. Clean it good and oil it lightly. This sometimes works. The good thing about this problem is it’s no big problem either way. Just manually flip the bail after you cast, the fish really don’t care one way or the other. Actually, If you pull your rod up just a little after you cast and manually flip the bail, it will prevent that aggravating loop that can develop in your spool.

Thanks for reading my Repair your rod and reel page and please comment if you would like.

Mark

4 thoughts on “Repair your rod and reel”

  1. Thanks Mark! I live at the beach an love to fish. Some people have the false idea of why fix it, when you can buy a new one? They don’t understand how much money they can be saving. I appreciate the helpful step by step instructions. Time to pull out the old rods and reels and have my hand at it.

    Matt

  2. I had no idea that it could be so easy to fix a broken reel, I’ll have to show this to my dad since he has problems with stiff cranking all of the time. He’s a bit older now so I don’t know if he’ll have the dexterity to get it done himself, he might have to get some help with it. Regardless, I’m sure this will help in some way whether it is fixing it himself or recognizing what the problem is and figuring out what he needs to have done in order to get it fixed.

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