Release Reel - SG

Started by Bryan Young, February 01, 2014, 09:09:08 AM

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Bryan Young

:D I talk with every part I send out and each reel I repair so that they perform at the top of their game. :D


Very well done!

How do you like the mag ball handle?  What are your thoughts of using anodized aluminum screws?  Do you know what the size and pitch are?

I hope you get a sticky and a wrench.  ;)
Ua Mau ke Ea o ka Aina i ka Pono


Great write-up Bryan. The new format is awsome. Nice reel.thanks for the hard work!
luck is the residue of design.

Shark Hunter

Life is Good!


I have this exact reel too.
May I know how you removed the cam and lever after taking off the preset knob and spring? Is there a retaining ring somewhere that I should remove first?

I tried taking out mine and it seems to be stuck, although I dare not force it out for fear of breaking something.

I've removed the cam and lever of my Shimano reels and they always come off easy once I removed the preset knobs.



Hello Bryan
Thank you for finally opening this reel. I've own mine since May 2013, and I really like the low weight and line capacity. I don't like the handle. Way to much resistence in the connection between the handle knob and handle arm. You cannot spin the handle knob, and during pressure the handle knob can actually get caught making the reel hard to retrieve. I've told Release Reels about this, and I know the guys at have a custom handle knob and handle arm being manufactured at this moment.

Some comments: the gap at the gear guard plate is by design. This is for drainage. Not sure about those loose screws. It seems strange you have to leave the screws untightened in order for the drainage to work.

Post from how to do handle maintenance
Release reels does use locktite. Below is the advice I got from Release reels before removing the handle
"Heat main shaft with lighter to help loosen locktite.
Use a .050" standard allen key remove set screw
Then use a 16mm pan wrench and turn counter clockwise for removal. "

Bryan, the bearing sleeve, what improvements did it give you? Can I buy a sleeve from you?


Here's my post Richardr linked to on how to do handle maintenance on your SG:

After Richardr and a few others mentioned their handle knobs were sticking on their SG reels I decided to take my spare arm and handle apart to see how it was put together.  My second SG purchased was supposed to be the t-bar but they sent me a magnum knob instead. I just bought an extra handle with the t-bar in case I didn't like it so have an extra magnum knob laying around.

Tools needed:

Small alan wrench (don't know what size, the smallest one I had) and a 5/8" wrench.

Unscrew the locking alan thread and take it all the way out.

Use the 5/8" wrench on the bolt head and firmly grasp your reel knob and unscrew the bolt:

At this point you will see that the handle arm has some brass bushings pressed into the end of the handle arm on each side.  

I actually like the design as you have no bearings to corrode and that brass will last you a very long time.  Clean these off and either grease with marine grease (the blue yamalube works great) or a quality lubricant (TSI 301 or 321 oil are probably the best out there, ReelX would probably do well also) and then reassemble.  Before screwing everything back together grease the threads on both:

This will add a degree of protection against corrosion and keep it from seizing up if you need to service again.

Some people don't like the handle knob because it is not free spinning.  While it is not, I find that when fighting a fish I don't notice any problems with sticking at all.  Even my wife doesn't have any problems reeling with either of mine and if she can do it without complaint surely some of these grown men can too.   ;D


Bryan, nice job on the break down of the reel.  Now I'm going to have to go out and buy me some ΒΌ" brass tubing and sleeve mine.  While my two SG's had very nice free spool out of the box I really like what sleeving did to my accurate boss 197's when I did them and now you've go tme wondering how much performance improvement I'll get with the SG's.  Did you notice if the sleeve stopped the binding at highest drag setting?  I know on mine I can get free spool up to 98-99% but when I go full drag mine start to bind.

Bryan Young

Quote from: fishtight on February 01, 2014, 05:47:03 PM
May I know how you removed the cam and lever after taking off the preset knob and spring? Is there a retaining ring somewhere that I should remove first?

I tried taking out mine and it seems to be stuck, although I dare not force it out for fear of breaking something.
mine just lifted right out. There is nothing holding the cam or lever to the side plate once the preset knob is removed.

Richardr, thank you for the link. Actually the free spinning knob doesn't bother me.  I have yet fished the tell to determine if I like the mag 44 knob. We will see.

bnz, thanks for the breakdown of the handle assembly. I figured that was the construction and just lubed with tsi321 would be sufficient. I may open the Allen screw and squirt tsi321 in there.

Richardr & bnz, my reel out of the box, unloaded, got about 3 seconds of free spool. Partially because of excess grease that ended up between the spool and the frame. With that cleaned, I got about 5 seconds of freespool. Bearings were opened and spool sleeve installed, I got 30 seconds of freespool.

I have no binding at any drag range. Probably because I have rolled edges so the sleeve doesn't bind with the bearings and only contacts the inner races of the bearing.

Richardr, I could make a sleeve for you.   I'll pm you shortly.

Ill be expanding the write up with additional comments so please stay tuned.
:D I talk with every part I send out and each reel I repair so that they perform at the top of their game. :D

Alto Mare

Nice job on the break down Bryan, I like the way they set the carbon fiber washer, maybe a couple of additional ears would have been better though. I also like the way the stand gets attached, but the aluminum screws don't make sense to me :-\.
Thanks for your hard work buddy ;), the new format looks good.
Forget about all the reasons why something may not work. You only need to find one good reason why it will.

Irish Jigger

Great job Bryan,see it mentioned on another Forum. First time most people have seen the inside of this US made reel.


Brian , excellent work . Im glad that you broke apart this little beautiful workhorses.

I own two of them  ;D Yes im in love with this reel. I few think that I've found by trail and error.

1.- Dont spool the reel up to the rim , leave about 1/8 of  spool exposed.

Why ? As I was told by RR Justin explained that at a full packed spool when the reel is engaged at a decent amount of drag it will put a lot of pressure on the spool making hard to crank.
That was my first error , had it full loaded at 20# of drag & when i hook my first fish was virtually impossible to reel it in. Reel was send to RR , service updated it as it was an older model ( pre June 2013 ) send back to me. I haven't put it to the reel test yet but it feels smother.  

2.- To remove the Knob out of the handle just a challenge. Note I don't like the Magnum ball at all , so i replace them with Tbar handles. Heat is the key to remove that tiny pesky locking on the knob.

3.- The drag preset somehow is tricky , I feel that the drag curve jumps from Less to More fairly quick without to much room for precise adjustment of the drag # you want set.

ll in all an EXCELLENT reel for a fraction of $ , I had the pleasure to spoke with Wes Seigler & Justin Mayer in few occasions. This guys are truly DEDICATED & COMMITTED to deliver an excellent reel with an outstanding costumer service.
Probably Brian may agree or not with me , but every single reel out in the market now a days will have some room for improvement as to be seen in this awesome brake down from Brian.
Dangerous to me as of now I want to brake apart my two babies & updated as it should be . Only fear...I might not able to put them together , needing then to be send to Master Guru Brian or Alan to assemble them  ;D


Brian , the brass sleeve .Does it go between the two bearings on the cranking shaft with the spool plate? Excuse my ignorance.

Thank you 

Bryan Young

Anthony, the sleeve goes between the two spool bearings. Bryan
:D I talk with every part I send out and each reel I repair so that they perform at the top of their game. :D


Thanks for the report.

Too bad the format it's presented in cuts off much of the photos on the right-jigging back & forth doesn't help at all.