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Boca Bearings Fishing Newsletter: Issue 23

Introduction: Everything you wanted to know about fishing reel bearings, including how they are created, and what role they play in reel operation. Class is in session as bearing guru, ChuckE, explains the ins and outs of reel bearings in "Bearings 101."

Background: Ball bearings and roller bearings are the most common types of anti-friction bearing found in today's modern fishing reels. However, that was not always the case, and early reel bearings were really nothing more than a guide or alignment sleeve which had a rotating component traveling through it (very similar to a sliding friction bearing). Frequent cleaning and lubrication was often required to maintain performance in these early reels, since the guides tended to wear quickly. So over time, reel manufacturers eventually adopted more robust designs, to reduce friction, corrosion and wear. Ball, roller, journal, needle, thrust and tapered bearings have all been used in reels over the past 100 years.

Anti-friction bearings operate under the principle of rolling friction, where balls or cylinders roll between two metal sleeves to overcome friction. The sleeves are actually round grooved tracks that the balls or rollers ride between, which are called races (or rings). Friction is reduced in this type of bearing because only two points on each rolling member actually contact the races at any one point in time. Roller bearings are typically used in lower speed but higher load applications because more of the roller is in contact with each race. Whereas, ball bearings are used in higher speed and lighter load applications because they have less friction. Ball bearings may also be equipped with shields or seals, which cover part of the area between the races...
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Featured Product

Fishing Reel Spool Pin Pliers are designed to make it easy for spool pin removal. Now it is a snap to remove the spool pin from a casting reel or any reel with a main spool shaft bearing. Boca's new Spool Pin Pliers are made from a special hardened alloy steel with anti-skid grips and a proprietary design to remove your spool pin in a few simple steps...more

Q: How do I properly spin test my fishing reel bearings before installation?

A: We always suggest testing ceramic bearings by putting them under load. Fishing reel bearings are relatively small and ceramic is much lighter than steel so there is just not enough mass to see a prolonged free spin without a load attached to the bearing. The flick test seems to result in a perception that a ceramic bearing does not spin as long as a steel bearing, but as soon as you put both bearings under load the difference is noticeable. New bearings will require a short break in period, so comparing new bearings to old worn in bearings is not an apples-apples comparison. We typically just attach an awl to a bearing and give it a spin like shown in this spin test video.
Catch Of The Month

Red Fish : Where did you catch it? Calcasieu Lake What did you catch it with? Berkley Lightning Rod 6'6" med-heavy action shimano sedona 2500 spider wire 17lb test mono May 21 2013 First trip to Calcasieu Lake, LA to fish for 6 days. Being new to the area I figured I would stay close to the launch (Spicer-hughes) and see what I could learn. I fished all morning catching reds and flounder.

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