Upgrading a $39.00 Chinese Centerpin Reel

Discussion in 'Center Pin Fishing' started by boppa, Jan 23, 2020.

  1. boppa

    boppa

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    Bought this reel several years ago and have seen some uTube videos comparing and upgrading these reels. Recently Amazon had this reel for sale with replacement ceramic bearing size shown (14mm x 7mm x 5mm). Ordered 2 bearings of that size on eBay ($15.00 for pair) and received them 8 weeks later. It was very simple to replace them.
    Before replacing the bearings , I spin tested the old bearings with line on the reel. Got slightly over 1 minute of spin. Did approximately the same test with the ceramic bearings. Got slightly more than 3 1/2 minutes of spin. Interesting...
     
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  2. anticipation

    anticipation

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    Start up is more important than how long it spins in my opinion
     

  3. Steve

    Steve Staff Member Admin

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    You didn't mention the reel that you have or the part number of the replacement bearings. I'm wondering because I might have the same reel and wish to upgrade.
     
  4. damkeeper

    damkeeper

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    Screenshot_20200124-062914_Chrome.jpg
     
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  5. flyrodder46

    flyrodder46

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    Don't worry about upgrading bearings, most reels work just fine with the original bearings. If you treat your reel well, and keep the bearings clean, the reel will work just fine for years.
     
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  6. boppa

    boppa

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    I would mostly agree with that - how would you test for that? Just bump it a little??
     
  7. boppa

    boppa

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    That's probably true, especially if you have one of Danny Colville's beauties (I wish, wish , wish) or any reel over $150. Just saying that with a $40 reel, the original bearings can't be that good...
     
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  8. boppa

    boppa

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    Look on Amazon under "centerpin reels" . The brand name is Salon ,4 -1/4" diam. - identical to mine. Also identical unbranded ones there too. Go to eBay under "ceramic bearings 7x14x5", brand (type) is Abec-7 Hybrid ceramic bearing 7 x 14 x 5 (lots of these, look for 2pcs w/ free shpg). I paid $15 for 2 pcs- the shipping time was 8 weeks, but who cares for this time of year and pricing...
     
  9. tincanary

    tincanary

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    Be very careful ordering Chinese bearings, I got burned a few times when I first got into modifying reels some years back. If you buy them from a reputable manufacturer, such as ZPI, Boca Bearings, Sapporo, etc, you're guaranteed to get good bearings. The thing with bearings is that it's extremely difficult to tell what they are in fact made from and who made them. You can take pretty much any ball bearing out there, say it's a X kind of bearing, and people will buy it. You get what you pay for.
     
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  10. anticipation

    anticipation

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    I usually judge it on how easy the start in really slow water
     
  11. boppa

    boppa

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    You have a point; we shall see. Ebay had 36000 items under "ceramic bearings", so there are lots of choices and varying prices. So far so good in my case...
     
  12. tincanary

    tincanary

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    It's not guaranteed you'll get dud bearings, but the likelihood is definitely greater. I've had great luck with even factory bearings. Assuming the bearing is good, proper cleaning and a good oil will make them fly. Even when receiving new bearings, it's a good idea to soak them in a solvent of some kind to remove the factory applied oil before use. I use acetone, it works great and evaporates quickly once you remove the bearings from the jar. Once you can smell no acetone on the bearings, you then want to apply a small drop of oil. Spin it on the tip of a pen a few times to work the oil in. A little oil goes a long way. Too much and your bearings slow down. If you have a precision oiler, it will be a snap. If not, put a drop on a toothpick and touch it to the bearing. 3 in 1 oil works well if you need something easily accessible. My favorite is TSI 321; super slick, bonds to the surfaces of the bearing, and also repels dirt and moisture. It lasts a long time as well, you can go a year or more without having to reapply.
     
  13. damkeeper

    damkeeper

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    I put a set of abec 7 bearings from boca in a Saion 4 3/4 inch. Bearings cost $35. Liked it so well,put same bearings in my Matrix. Both reels are smooth,great start, money well spent. I had one bearing that was not as smooth as other. They sent me another no questions asked. Get em tuned up,the fish are snapping . What a winter!!
     
  14. flyrodder46

    flyrodder46

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    The vast majority (more than 98%) of ball bearings sold every year belong to the ABEC 1-3 classes – with tolerances that are down to the 4th decimal place! – and can satisfy the vast majority of applications. Bearings in higher classes, called high/super/super high/ultra-precision (falling into ABEC 5,7,9 classes), have much tighter tolerances, that require more precise machining and longer production times. These bearings are available in more limited supply and have prices 4-5 times higher than ABEC 1-3 bearings.

    The above is a quote from a bearing manufacture. The bearings being put to use in the majority of our float reels are designed for use at speeds of 3K to 9K rpm. Now we all know that our reels will never see those kind of speeds, so why would we need the ultra precision rated bearing. With the correct care and lube, a ABEC 3 should work just as well as a ABEC 7 so why spend the extra money. Most of the high end reel makers now use the ABEC 7 bearings, but the biggest reason is because the customer thinks that they might make the reel better. And guess what, the extra cost gets passed on to the customer, duuhhh.
     
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  15. Steve

    Steve Staff Member Admin

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    I have the Chinese centerpin from Amazon that many are swapping the bearing on as my backup reel. I just can't get over spending as much on the replacement bearings as I spent on the reel to begin with. I used it last year as is and it seemed to work find a real world application.