alan tani @ alantani.com fishing reel repair rebuild tutorial The XB95
Reel Repair by Alan Tani
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Author Topic: The XB95  (Read 455 times)
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mo65
The Freshwater Kid...Chillicothe, Ohio
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« on: November 14, 2019, 12:46:35 PM »

   While going back and researching many of these "forgotten" reels, I've been finding some real gems. This Zebco XB95 is a prime example, not a particularly flashy reel, but a rock solid design. It packs a very large spool, has two ball bearings, and boasts a brass main gear. What's that? A brass main? Ya heard me right Skippy!
   This reel made it's first appearance in Zebco's 1972 catalog and lasted until '77. The '78 catalog featured the new Omega series reels. The catalog shot below describe the gears being brass...which really sparked my interest.




   Then in the '77 catalog the description changes. Now it has a zinc main...looks like they joined the masses.



   I decided to take a chance and buy one off eBay, see if I could get lucky. Opening up that side plate I must have looked like Charlie Bucket...half scared to look...but there it was...the golden ticket! Shocked



   Here's a better look at both sides of that gear. It appears to be cast, and then machined. Just click on the images for zoom.



   The pinion is a nice hefty piece too.



   It still amazes me how easily the bail spring gets held back by a little dirt. I didn't think this one looked too bad, but it would barely move. Just washing away the grime it snapped to life.



   Check out the line that was on this reel...looks like 50 pound test...they must have been after big game. Cheesy



   Once again, like most of these early Zebcos, there are no plastic parts. I'd like to run into the guy who started the "Zebco is junk plastic" rumor and slap him right in the mouth. He must have only seen a 202.



   The drag stack is that 3-stack with the detented washer on top and the big coil spring on bottom. I replaced the red fiber discs with HT-100s...the #6-60 size drops right in with a tad ground off the inside diameter.



   I love a brief parts list...these tidbits cleaned up very nice.



   Tucking the bearings back in their beds. I don't grease these for freshwater use. Oiling them makes the reel spin nice and free, but use grease for the best protection.



   Other than the drag washers, I only made these two modifications. The purple arrow indicates a shim washer I added to tighten up the main gear fitment. The yellow arrow points to the AR dog spring, which I tweaked for a snappier action. I don't care for a weak slow AR dog.



   This reel has that same big beefy handle that the SBL90 uses. It will be hard to resist putting this beast on a rod, but I already have a line formed of reels to be fished. Might just have to ditch the line...Grin





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festus
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« Reply #1 on: November 14, 2019, 02:04:14 PM »

Way to go, Mo, that's definitely an A grade Zebco.  That Fishingtalks website gives a good description of their spinners.  Makes it easier to roll the dice for bidding on a classic Zebco.
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Crow
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« Reply #2 on: November 14, 2019, 02:21:25 PM »

Great reel...and a great write-up !
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There's nothing wrong with a few "F's" on your record....Food, Fun, Flowers, Fishing, Friends, and Fun....to name just a few !
Midway Tommy
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« Reply #3 on: November 14, 2019, 06:29:29 PM »

Nice walk through, Mike! Heck, I've got an old Toro elec weed eater with smaller line than that thing had on it.  Grin

Chester, I have to disagree with you on the "A"grade. In my mind, regardless of how many and where the ball bearings are located, a reel has to have a worm gear drive train to qualify as an "A" grade. I don't think you noticed that the main shaft isn't supported by any bushing or bearing at the rear. Too bad they didn't mold an oilite support back there in the body.  "B+" maybe, but not an "A".
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Love those open face spinning reels! (Especially ABU & ABU/Zebco Cardinals)

Tommy D (ORCA), NE



Favorite Activity? ............... In our boat fishing
RELAXING w/ MY BEST FRIEND (My wife Bonnie)
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« Reply #4 on: November 14, 2019, 07:01:05 PM »

...
In my mind, regardless of how many and where the ball bearings are located, a reel has to have a worm gear drive train to qualify as an "A" grade.
...

You may generate some conversation with that, Tommy.

Frank
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Midway Tommy
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« Reply #5 on: November 14, 2019, 08:26:14 PM »

...
In my mind, regardless of how many and where the ball bearings are located, a reel has to have a worm gear drive train to qualify as an "A" grade.
...

You may generate some conversation with that, Tommy.

Frank

Maybe, but like I said, "in my mind".   Grin
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Love those open face spinning reels! (Especially ABU & ABU/Zebco Cardinals)

Tommy D (ORCA), NE



Favorite Activity? ............... In our boat fishing
RELAXING w/ MY BEST FRIEND (My wife Bonnie)
mo65
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« Reply #6 on: November 14, 2019, 08:33:10 PM »

   I too was a bit put off by the lack of a bushing on the non-handle side, but then after servicing the reel, I screwed the handle on and cranked the reel. Did you ever turn the handle and just "know"? I knew immediately this thing wasn't going to be posted on the B-Grade thread!
   I remember Tom rating the Mitchell 304 an A-/B+...and it has no non-handle side support...and no worm drive. This XB95 is definitely an A- if a 304 is! Cool

Edit: I just noticed Tommy was referring to the main shaft the spool is on. I see lots of reels with no shaft support at the rear. I believe the bearing support at the front and the support behind the pinion are enough to do the job.
« Last Edit: November 15, 2019, 06:08:40 AM by mo65 » Logged

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« Reply #7 on: November 14, 2019, 08:40:52 PM »

I'd like to run into the guy who started the "Zebco is junk plastic" rumor and slap him right in the mouth.

That would be me.... and I'll try to duck.  Smiley
-steve
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Midway Tommy
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« Reply #8 on: November 15, 2019, 09:50:38 AM »

 
   I remember Tom rating the Mitchell 304 an A-/B+...and it has no non-handle side support...and no worm drive. This XB95 is definitely an A- if a 304 is! Cool

Edit: I just noticed Tommy was referring to the main shaft the spool is on. I see lots of reels with no shaft support at the rear. I believe the bearing support at the front and the support behind the pinion are enough to do the job.[/color]

Ever heard that ol' saying "It must be his butt _ _ _e talking 'cause his mouth knows better"? Guilty as charged.  Shocked I let the sentimental value of my first open face spinner, a 304, and the longevity of the line get in the way of my better judgement.  Roll Eyes Those little CAP & 304s have held up pretty well over the last 65 years, but most that have been used extensively are pretty loose and somewhat noisy in comparison to, say, Microlites, Microns, early 2052s, Card 3s, 716s, etc. If I'm honest to my own assessment criterion, at best, the CAP & 304s would rate a B+.  Wink

Now, back to tearing apart and resto-ing spinning reels.  Grin
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Love those open face spinning reels! (Especially ABU & ABU/Zebco Cardinals)

Tommy D (ORCA), NE



Favorite Activity? ............... In our boat fishing
RELAXING w/ MY BEST FRIEND (My wife Bonnie)
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