by Mike Hassan
The 2013 Shimano Metanium XG and HG range of reels is a Japan Domestic Model (JDM) bait cast reel, Exceptional build quality, and innovation in design and ergonomics as well as durability makes this a splendid example of precision engineering as we all have come to expect from Shimano Japan.
Performance tuning the reel with BOCA Bearings is logical for the enthusiasts who seek to take precision and optimization to the peak of ultimate performance. This article aims to assist fellow enthusiasts in understanding the Shimano Metanium XG/HG reels bearing upgrade.
This article is for illustration purposes only and should be noted that taking apart reels is something that should only be attempted by readers who have a thorough understanding of reels, components and of course the ability to put it back together again.
Illustrations and bearing dimensions apply to both; XG and HG series of the 2013 Shimano Metanium
Dimensions in millimeters are: ID (Inside Diameter) x OD (Outside Diameter) x W (Width) - IDxODxW
Picture A1 - 2013 Shimano Metanium XG taken apart
Picture A2 - 2013 Shimano Metanium XG Traditional Spool Bearings
The traditional spool shaft bearings remain in their normal placement on this model of reel; Shimano Japan has also kept their traditional bearing size of 3x10x4.
These bearings are located under the cast control tensioner (Orange Arrow) and the spool SVS side plate (Blue Arrow)
These are the bearings you can replace with BOCA Orange Seal ABEC #7 Bearings (size: 3x10x4)
Fitting BOCA Orange Seal ABEC #7 Bearings will enable a much faster spool startup, as well as faster overall spool rotation. This translates into the ability to cast lighter lures as well as increased distance on your casts.
For many enthusiasts and performance seekers this should be the upgrade point of choice, cost vs. performance, and for many; the optimum solution. Of course, there are enthusiasts that outright seek perfection in everything they tune. The rest of this article is for those that do not put a price tag on going the full nine yards and is for readers who understand load dynamics and the finer points of reel engineering, pinion bearings, drive bearings and support bearings upgrades should only be considered after you have read and understood BOCA Bearings load capacity ratings and schematic design of bearings, as these bearings are critical to the reels operation.
Picture A3 - 2013 Shimano Metanium XG Main Pinion Bearing
The main pinion gear bearing supports the spool as it rotates when you engage the reel and begin your retrieve, this bearing as you guessed gets a lot of load rotations when you retrieve, and should contain grease or ample lube.
The size of this bearing is 8x12x3.5 BOCA Bearing has bearings that have load capacity figures on their bearing specifications, and should be noted when choosing an upgrade main pinion bearing.
Picture A4 - 2013 Shimano Metanium XG Pinion Additional Support Bearing
A new trend in Shimano Japan’s design can be found in their 2013 range of reels, the addition of a Support Bearing for the Pinion Gear, With the introduction of higher gear ratio’s and with micro gear technology, a support bearing has been included to balance the spool rotation better and eliminate play which can damage the micro-gearing mechanism, This bearing size is 5x9x3 and is located just under the bearing found under the cast control tensioner. When replacing this bearing, bear in mind that it works in conjunction with the Main Pinion Bearing, so replacing it with the same ABEC rating and load capacity as the Main pinion Bearing is required, to maintain equilibrium. This bearing must be lubed adequately as it is load bearing.
The illustration below shows how this bearing works in conjunction with the Main Pinion Bearing
Picture A5 - 2013 Shimano Metanium XG Drive Shaft Bearing
The drive shaft bearing supports the reels main gear and level wind gearing. This bearing is load bearing and thus requires adequate grease or lube. The size of this bearing is 5x9x3
Once again, BOCA Bearing has bearings that have load capacity figures on their bearing specifications, and should be noted when choosing an upgrade drive shaft bearing.
The illustration below shows the bearing separated from the drive shaft.
Handle Knobs Bearings
Upgrading the reels handle knob bearings is also an enthusiast goal, for those readers requiring this upgrade; the Shimano Metanium XG/HG comes with 4 bearings, two per knob. The sizes of these bearings are 4x7x2.5
Bearing Upgrade Summary
Upgrading your Shimano Metanium XG or HG reel with BOCA Bearings will definitely reward you with enhanced performance and refined smoothness, for most of us, upgrading the traditional spool bearings should be enough to attain utopia in efficiency and performance; breaking neither a sweat nor the bank.
Qty Description Size (IDxODxW
– in mm)
2 Spool Bearings 3x10x4
1 Pinion Bearing 8x12x3.5
1 Pinion Support Bearing 5x9x3
1 Drive Shaft Bearing 5x9x3
4 Handle Knob Bearing 4x7x2.5
The BOCA Bearing website www.bocabearings.com has everything you need to educate yourself as well as obtain your bearings, lubes and grease or you can contact your regional BOCA Bearing Dealer/Agent for all your requirements.
Darksidetuning – South Africa
BOCA Bearing Africa Dealer/Agent
You can find more information about Mike Hassan and his business on http://www.facebook.com/HASSAN.ZN