Fishing Reel bearings are generally supplied dry, without any grease or oil. But many Reel Repair shops still like to flush out the bearings to be sure they are completely dry. This is not a necessary step for bearings already supplied dry by Boca Bearings, but it is a good guideline for older bearings or bearings that already have a thick, viscous lubricant in them.
If your bearings have a metal shield on them, you do not have to remove the shield to clean them. If your bearings have a rubber seal then you should remove the seals according to the instructions below. Doing this achieves maximum performance. Using our Clean Touch bearing cleaner, or any standard degreaser, fill a small glass cup or vial sufficiently to submerge your bearings completely. Place the shielded bearings, or the sealed bearings with the seals removed, into the solution. You can also use a small ultrasonic cleaner if you have one.
Soaking time may vary depending on whether you have grease or oil in your bearings or if you are using an ultrasonic, but a few hours of soaking should be more than enough. You can now either blow your bearings dry with compressed air or allow them to air dry for up to 24 hours. For maximum performance the bearings should be thoroughly dry. At this point you can spin test the bearing on an awl or any sharp pointed tool like our Utility Tool. If the bearings do not spin to your satisfaction you may need to repeat the cleaning and drying process.
To replace the Orange Seals on your bearing simply lay the seal on top of the bearing and press it down with the tip of your finger. Install one seal at a time checking that neither seal diminishes the spin speed of the bearing. If either seal slows the bearing's speed, simply remove it, reinstall it, and check it again. Because Boca Bearings Orange Seals are non-contact seals the bearing's speed should not, and will not, be any different when the shields or seals are properly installed.
Next step is lubrication. Fishing Reel bearings generally do not require a lot of lubrication if they are being used for casting. Trolling Reel bearings may require a thicker lubrication depending on the environment they are being used in. Be sure to not over-lube. Over lubricating will kill the bearings performance in a casting reel. Use a light drop of a low viscosity lubrication such as our High Speed Oil. For a thicker lubrication you can also use our Reel Power or Grease Power lubrication. If you are using a shielded bearing or an orange seal bearing you can apply the oil to the bearing with the seals/shields intact. If you are using a contact sealed bearing or grease you will need to remove the seals/shields to apply the lubrication.