Spinning Reel Repair & Maintenance - Page 2

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9) Clean the rotor of any old grease, dirt and sand and place it back over the gear spindle and replace the nut. Tighten the nut firmly but do not over tighten.

10) Now, return to the gear box. Clean the gears you previously removed of any old grease, dirt and sand and lightly coat them with grease. Make sure you get the grease in between the teeth of the gears.

11) Replace the bottom gear that the crosswind block will sit on top of. Then, grease the underside of the crosswind block and sit it on top of the gear you just re-installed.

12) You can now re-attach the spool shaft by sliding it back through the top of the rotor until it slips into the gear case. Push it down until it mates back up with the cross wind block and insert the screws to marry the two parts together again.

13) If your reel contains bearings, you can grease or oil them at this point. If a bearing is seized, you can try to loosen it back up by smearing grease along the side of the bearing case to coat the ball bearings. Work the bearing back and forth to try to get the bearings rolling again. In the event that a bearing will not spin any longer, I recommend replacing the entire bearing rather than trying to disassemble the bearing. The parts are extremely small and fragile and the price of a new bearing is absolutely worth the price of not having to chase a dozen steel BB’s around your work space!

14) Now, apply a generous amount of grease to the spindle gear (the cylindrical gear that goes up through the rotor) and then replace the main gear. The main gear and the spindle gear bear the heaviest load in a spinning reel so you want a good amount of grease on these two parts.

15) Finally, replace the side plate and replace the screws. Replace the spool and spool cap.

16) As long as the bail is working properly you do not need to disassemble it. A drop or two of oil around the pivot points will suffice.

17) If your drag is not operating as smoothly as it should you can grease your drag washers by doing the following:

  • Remove the spool from the reel. Under the spool cap reside the drag washers. Carefully, remove the spring loaded retaining ring with a small tool like a jeweler’s screwdriver.
  • Start removing the drag washers one by one and lay them on a clean surface in the same order as they are removed. Keeping them in exact order is extremely important.
  • Most drag washers are made from felt, leather or a composite material. The need to be coated with a small amount of grease to allow them to slide against one another. Starting with the last washer to be removed, apply a small amount of grease to your fingertips and massage it into the washer. Then, using a clean cloth, wipe any and all excess grease from the washer. Essentially, you want the washers to be impregnated with grease, not coated with it. Re-install the properly greased washer.
  • Continue this last step with all the washers until they are all replaced and then re-install the retaining ring. Your drag is now properly greased. If your drag slips too easily and will not tighten properly you may need to disassemble the washers again and remove more grease from them.

So, as you can see, greasing a reel is not necessarily rocket science but it does take some time, know how and a steady hand to work with small parts. Many spinning reels are a bit more complicated than the one used for this tutorial. This lesson is really to be used for situations where you do not have the time to wait for professional service or you are unable to obtain professional service. It is always recommended that your fishing reels be serviced by an experienced professional. That experience often times allows them to identify issues before they become serious problems.

Now, you are ready to take that newly greased spinning reel down to the water and put it to use!

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