alan tani @ fishing reel repair rebuild tutorial 6 reel comparison study of various bearing lubes and reel tuning.
Reel Repair by Alan Tani
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Author Topic: 6 reel comparison study of various bearing lubes and reel tuning.  (Read 8602 times)
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Pro Reel
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« on: March 31, 2011, 05:25:41 AM »

One of my sponsored bass tournament anglers is doing some comparison testing for me. I serviced 6 of his nearly identical condition Shimano Citicas. He did before and after casting tests to judge the performance. The cast he used was the underhand pitch that many bass anglers use. He felt that he could duplicate the mechanics of that cast with more precision than a traditional cast. Here is the before, after and then 2 month of use follow up reports, this will be folowed by a description of what i actually did to the reels.

March 27, 2011 it will be 2 full months of pure enjoyment fishing with these new reels.  I don’t work near as hard casting, find that I’m much more in tune with bait placement and presentation rather than muscling the rod and reel to reach the key location.
I’ve spoken of this already in another thread so for the diehard anglers here is the numbers.

Once again my boys were very helpful in making this happen, Aarain remains the target LOL and Damon ranges the pitch and records the info.  This test I switched to only using one brake now that I’ve mastered the tunes reels.  I did switch rods as I no longer have the original used but the 7ft MH Kistler Jig Rod is identical in performance, tip, action everything but color and price. While I realize some might think changing rods out in the middle of this has had an impact on the results but I wouldn’t have switched them out if that was the case.
1st test are the before service results, 2nd test is the after service results, 3rd test is the 2 month of use follow up resuts

1st test, Reel #1   20y w/BL   22y   20y   19y   20y   21y   21y   20y   19y   21y
Gives an average of 20.3 yards & this reel had 3 seconds of FS, MAX – 22y
2nd test,Reel #1   22y w/BL   24y   23y   23y   24y   24y   25y   24y   25y   25y
Gives an average of 23.9 yards & this reel had 10 seconds of FS, MAX – 30y
3rd test, Reel #1   24y  24y   24y   26y   24y   24y   23y   24y w/BL  25y   25y
Gives an average of 24.3 yards & this reel had 10 seconds of FS, MAX – 28y

1st test,Reel #2   19y   18y w/BL   20y   23y   20y   20y   20y   23y   23y   20y
Gives an average of 20.6 yards & this reel had 4 seconds of FS, MAX – 26y Reel is brand new never used.
2nd test, Reel #2   23y  23y   23y   25y   26y   25y   23y   26y   26y   26y
Gives an average of 24.6 yards & this reel had 20 seconds of FS, MAX – 28y
3rd test, Reel #2   26y  25y   28y   28y   25y   30y   28y   28y  28y   28y
Gives an average of 27.4 yards & this reel had 21 seconds of FS, MAX – 30y

1st test, Reel #3   19y   23y   18y wBL   22y   22y   20y   20y w/BL   21y   19y   20y
Gives an average of 20.4yards & this reel had 10 seconds of FS, MAX – 24y w/BL
2nd test, Reel #3   23y  25y   24y   25y   26y   26y   25y   25y   26y   24y
Gives an average of 24.9 yards & this reel had 15 seconds of FS, MAX – 28y
3rd test, Reel #3   23y  23y   23y   23y   25y   24y   25y   23y 24y   24y
Gives an average of 23.7 yards & this reel had 17 seconds of FS, MAX – 28y

1st test,Reel #4   22y       19y w/BL        19y w/BL       23y     22y     19y w/BL      22y      20y w/BL      20y     19y w/BL
Gives an average of 20.5 yards & this reel had 7 seconds of FS, 22y w/BL
2nd test, Reel #4   23y  23y   23y   23y   23y   24y   21y w/BL   25y   25y   25y
Gives an average of 23.5 yards & this reel had 15 seconds of FS, MAX – 29y
3rd test, Reel #4   26y  28y   28y   24y w/BL   27y   28y   28y   28y  28y   28y
Gives an average of 27.3 yards & this reel had 20 seconds of FS, MAX – 30y

1st test,Reel #5  20y   20y   18y   18y   20y   20y   22y   22y   22y w/BL   20y w/BL
Gives an average of 20.2 yards & this reel had 5 seconds of FS, MAX 22y
2nd test, Reel #5   24y  25y   24y   25y   25y   25y   26y   24y   25y   24y
Gives an average of 24.7 yards & this reel had 17 seconds of FS, MAX – 30y
3rd test, Reel #5   25y  28y   24y   26y   29y   30y   28y   29  29y   30y
Gives an average of 27.8 yards & this reel had 19 seconds of FS, MAX – 31y

1st test, Reel #6  20y   20y   21y   19y   22y   22y w/BL   22y   22y   23y w/BL   23y
Gives an average of 21.4 yards & this reel had 6 seconds of FS, MAX 25y
2nd test,Reel #6   25y w/BL   26y   25y   25y   25y   26y   26y   28y   28y   28y
Gives an average of 26.2 yards & this reel had 44 seconds of FS, MAX – 30y
3rd test,  Reel #6   25y  26y   26y   27y   27y   27y   26y   28y  28y   26y
Gives an average of 26.6 yards & this reel had 43 seconds of FS, MAX – 31y

By the numbers 1 and 3 are a tad bit less but right close to the numbers when I first got them back but everything else is still doing a little bit better.

What i did and used

Those are some great results so far. Thanks for taking the time to check them fogy. Can you tell us if the reels are getting an equal amount of use? Are some of them getting used for power fishing with numerous casts versus some of them only seeing occasional use? I fully expected some of them to speed up with use. I will go ahead and post the info now. Please keep in mind that some of this is completely experimental. Without a test like this, I would have to rely on 2nd hand info or advertising claims to try new products. I would never want to try a new product on a customers reel only to have it fail to perform as expected. I have been testing 2 new produsts in comparison with the known performance of the products I already use. I have done some of these products on there own and some in a combination of use.
I picked this reel as my control. This reel had been used for a full season or maybe more, but was in very good condition. I often tell people that they don't need to send a brand new reel to be tuned, it will absolutely improve the reel, but most new reels don't need it. Therefore this reel was a prime example of an end of season clean and tune. This reel got my version of a super tune. The spool shaft ends were polished with 2000 grit paper and then buffed with metal polish, the side of the shaft where there is very little contact with the pinion got buffed, but not sanded. The brake ring got polished with 1500, and then 2000 grit paper and was then buffed with metal polish. The stock bearings were flushed and then lubed with yellow rocket fuel oil.
Reel #2
This reel was brand new. It got everything that reel #1 got, but I tried a new lubricant called TSI 301. TSI 301 is a very thin, solvent based lube thats widely used in the gun industry. It actually bonds to metal similar to the advertised properties of hot sauce, but is much thinner and I have heard from others that it lasts at least a full season or longer with no need to be refreshed. As you can see, the initial results and this follow up reports show that it has a about a 2 to 3 yd. gain above the rocket fuel lubed #1 reel. TSI is expensive and I won't be using it in normal priced super tune service.
This was one of Fogy's spinnerbait reels. the stock bearing were very free spinning, but they were sloppy. I used this reel to test some Boca OS 7 hybrid bearings. I already know that OS 7 hybrids have amazing free spin when used dry, but I don't like to put them in customers reels when they are dry. These bearings don't need oil to keep from seizing up, but when used dry, they have no protection from corrosion. This reel also got my supertune, but I wanted to try treating the OS hybrids with the TSI 301. I had heard that others were doing this and they said it worked great. So far, I'm not in the least bit impressed with the TSI 301 on the ceramic hybrids. I talked to my Boca rep about it and they think that the TSI can't bond to the super slick ceramic balls and is actually slowing them down quite a bit. Fogy has also told me that this reel is a little noisy. He said it is not at all irritating, just that it is not as whisper silent as the other reels. Thats a known trait of ceramic hybrid bearings, but was something I hoped the TSI treatment would dampen. I will have Fogy continue to use this for a while longer to see what happens, but I will probably send him another set of OS hybrids treated with rocket oil and see what kind of difference that makes.
reel #4
OK, now we are into my Pro tuned service. The pro tune service was always the same type treatment as a super tune, but I used finer grit sand papers, finer buffing polishes I polish the insides of pinion gears and I also used extra treatments of the stock bearings. I was using a product from Boca called bearing soak. To use boca bearing soak, you soak the clean stainless bearings overnight and then dry them. you then use normal oil to lube them. The bearing soak fills microscopic pores and makes the surface almost as smooth as ceramic bearings, but it doesn't last more that a season or 2 without being redone. It's cheaper than upgrading bearings though. I also use a little thinner oil on pro tuned reels. One reason that I use rocket fuel brand oils is that they are available in several viscosities of the same formula. That means they can be custom blended to any viscosity you want. Yellow rocket fuel is a 59 viscosity. Tournament rocket fuel is a 4 viscosity. I blend them 50/50 to get about a 30 viscosity. Hot sauce is a 39 viscosity. I have found that my custom blend will last a full season for most users before it needs a fresh drop, If I was to use pure tournament, it would be very fast but would only last a few weeks. reel #4 got this exact pro tune service.
Reel #5
This reel also got most of my pro tune service, but the bearings were not soaked in bearing soak, instead, they were treated with the TSI 301. So far I am very impressed with the TSI 301 for Stainless Steel bearings ONLY.
Reel #6
WOW. You have probably seen me talk about Tungsten Disulfide. Tungsten disulfide is a nano sized particle of dry powder. It's widely used as a dry lube in industries for extreme conditions. It was used in the mars rover, and thats pretty extreme. The problem with it is thats it not easy to get it bonded to metal. The industry practice is to air blast it on to the part, similar to sand blasting. I don't have that capability, but might at sometime in the future. The 2nd best way to bond it through friction or buffing. To do that, you can mix it into a paste with 99% pure ISO alcohol. You then use that paste as buffing compound. Boca bearings will send out new bearings that have been treated by the air blast method for $15.00 per bearing, plus the cost of the bearing. I wanted to see if I could do the same thing cheaper. I actually made a very thin paste and squirted it inside the sealed bearings. I thin placed them on a shaft and spun them at low speed for several minutes. After that I rinsed the bearings out with the pure alcohol. The alcohol won't remove any tungsten that has bonded. Tungsten also can't bond to itself, so when it's bonded to steel, it will only be one microscopic layer thick On reel #6, i did this to the spool bearings. I buffed the spool shaft with my tungsten paste, i buffed the inside of the pinion with the paste, I also rubbed the paste into the fiber tension washers that the spool shaft spins on. One interesting tidbit about tungsten is that it's not only compatable with oil, it actually likes oil. When used in combination with oil, it acts as a wetting agent and reduces the friction of oil to metal contact. Because i was not at all certain if the bearings got a good bond or not, I added one drop of pure tournament rocket fuel to the bearings. I also added one drop to the tension washers. As you can see by the free spin test Fogy did, there was a huge gain and obviously this stuff works. How long it will work, I have no idea. I do know that it's very expensive. The 99% ISO is also very expensive. I will not be doing this as part of any normal priced service. I may get some bearings from boca, already treated , for a customer that wants this. I will continue to test it the way i did it and see if that way lats as long as the boca way. I may add a premium pro tune service in the future that includes the tungsten bearing treatment. For now, I have already included a tungsten buff to all the pro tune reels I do along with a tungsten rub on the tension washers.
In closing, again, I would like to state that this is only an experiment. Fogys results will not be the same as everyone else. Each reel responds differently and each user has there own capabilities. Also, remember that fogy is getting these distances with a PITCH. This is not overhand or sidearm casts. That speaks a lot about his abilities. Fogy will continue to give occasional reports and we can all see how each one of these reels performs at the end of a full season of hard use. Again, I also want to stress that reel #3 was a test of a treatment on ceramic hybrid bearings and is not at all indicative of there actual performance.
« Last Edit: March 31, 2011, 05:26:46 AM by Pro Reel » Logged
Pro Reel
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« Reply #1 on: March 31, 2011, 05:30:12 AM »

the free spool tests were done with empty spools. The cast tests were done with braid, The results are a 10 cast format with an average distance and a longets distance. He also reported if there was any backlash on the cast. His beofre testing was done with no cetrifugal brake pins on, the after service results were done with 2 brake pins on, he is now used to the better performance and the 3rd test is with 1 brake pin on.
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« Reply #2 on: March 31, 2011, 05:57:13 AM »

Wow! Good work! Smiley
Nessie Hunter
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« Reply #3 on: March 31, 2011, 08:12:18 AM »

Most excellent!!   Thanks.

I have found that the Ceramic Bearings #5 & #7 seem to have a break in period of several dozen casts or more.   
They do get quieter and smoother/faster?? Especially noticed in the #5 (they are noisy when installed).
I have done a bunch for a Bass Guide (Art Hill) and that was his take also... 
He was the best feedback, as he uses the Reels on a regular basis in similar conditions.

With oils on the Ceramics, I have also wondered what oil was best suited for them also. 
Not sure the current ones I use (Oust & 301) are working on them to well?Huh?

Great stuff on all that super tuning, lot of time & work!!!


"Life is not a journey to the grave with the intentions of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body. But rather to slide in sideways, thoroughly used up, totally worn out and loudly proclaiming....
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« Reply #4 on: April 18, 2011, 04:13:06 PM »

Thanks for the thorough testing!
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« Reply #5 on: May 06, 2017, 09:04:51 AM »

Tight Lines !

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