Brass gears in reels ?

Discussion in 'Fishing Reel Review' started by kyron4, Jul 3, 2006.

  1. kyron4

    kyron4 New Member

    Messages:
    185
    State:
    Indiana
    I see alot of reels that boast of solid brass gears. Isn't brass a soft metal for gear use ? How long do the last compared to steel or diecast ?
    -Thanks
     
  2. BoG

    BoG Member

    Messages:
    46
    State:
    Delaware
    Name:
    Bo
    It's my understanding that the softness of the brass actually works in your favor when breaking in a reel. Before computer controlled cutting with EXTREMELY tight tolerances, they needed the softer metal to make up for the lack of precision.

    I have brass gears that have held up to alot of abuse, and are still as smooth and strong today as they were years ago. Just keep them maintained and all will be well.

    Bo
     

  3. peewee williams

    peewee williams New Member

    Messages:
    3,111
    State:
    Pembroke,Georgia
    This struck up a memory of my metallurgy schools and training,so I looked it up to make sure that I was right.Brass is mainly a alloy of Copper and Zinc.As a alloy it can be mixed to be quite weak and soft to quite strong and hard.It can be Tempered and annealed to be soft or brittle.It makes good gears and excellent bushing type slow speed bearings that will take heavy loads and much abuse.It will self machine or wear in to fit,so it;s initial tolerances are not as critical.When made porous these bearings will look like they are made of sponge when magnified.These porous bearings are often impregnated with various lubricants and release them under wear,heat and pressure.Salesmen in the advertising business no longer call them bearings,as a sales gimmick.These are the bearings and gears in the reels that have been passed down for generations.These are the bearings and gears in the reels of the manufactures that had LIFETIME guarantees.Install ball bearings,count the ball bearings,cut your guarantee to 5 years and tell you what a deal you are getting.It all boils down to profit margin.As for the "REEL RODDERS" who install the aftermarket drag washers and the strong super lines.They are the ones most in need of a strong bearing that will stand up to the abuse,yet they wish to swap to ball bearings which are built for speed.They seem to mechanically build for Daytona,yet they only run at tractor pulls.A souped up Largemouth Bass reel,is still a souped up Largemouth Bass reel.I don;t care what you do to it.It was not designed or built to be souped up.They and ultra-lite reels have been known to catch gigantic fish when everything went right.I am not knocking this.It is your reel and you should use it for your enjoyment as you see fit.I loved to use Ultra-lite gear on all size fish when I was able.I did not try to modify the gear to heavy duty as is mine and your privilege.I just never have been into making something better so that I can abuse it.It is often cheaper to buy a tool made for the job that you wish to do.It usually does a better job too.peewee-williams
     
  4. catseeman

    catseeman New Member

    Messages:
    1,189
    State:
    Indianapolis, Indiana
    Well said PeeWee, I was thinking aout it when your post poped up.I wonder how many people know that hard copper tools cut the steel tool for use in factories.
     
  5. laidbck111

    laidbck111 New Member

    PeeWee your a wise man. Good info. Thanks and I coulnd't agree more with you on the part about buying the tools you need instead of beefing up what you have.
     
  6. barbel

    barbel New Member

    Messages:
    486
    State:
    Somewhere
    Every metal when melted and cooled will form crystal structures within itself depending on how quickly it was cooled, or what temperatures it was cooled at, etc.... Brass can be the same way. It is a mix of copper, zinc, and probably a few others depending on the intended use. When it is melted, and then reformed into things (gears, ball bearings etc...) the way it is cooled has a lot to do with how hard or soft the metal is. Now if something is hard, then, while it may hold up to a certain load, after that load it will shatter. Something that is soft will hold up to a much lighter load, but it will bend, and still retain its basic shape (assuming someone doesnt smash it to death with something, say a hammer). So your brass gears could very well be a harder form of it, but then again it could also be softer. Either way has advantages and disadvantages. Whew...I hope that wasnt too long winded lol
     
  7. peewee williams

    peewee williams New Member

    Messages:
    3,111
    State:
    Pembroke,Georgia
    Right on! Would it not be great if something were perfect for everything.Many steel ball bearings have brass or bronze cages.Every time we think that we are at the limit with alloys,someone somewhere comes up with something new.Prisoners were tempering soft metal"shanks"in rotting tomatoes for years before industry starting "Acid Treating"steel and alloys for bearings.For thousands of years man has used metal from meteorite deposits,that he is still trying to duplicate today.Have we yet to duplicate "Sperm Oil" with its qualities so valued,or is it still all very hush hush? There is so much that is so much better than in my childhood.There is so much that is so much worse than in my childhood.There have all ways been people that will tell you whatever you wish to hear,if it will benefit them.Look at the reputable company's that have gone down lately due to greed.It ain;t over with.peewee-williams.
     
  8. thomas

    thomas New Member

    Messages:
    17
    State:
    CA
    Look for my post.

    I opened up the new Tidewater and it's all stainless steel inside. The big main gear, pinons, and the drag disc too sandwich with carbon discs.
     
  9. peewee williams

    peewee williams New Member

    Messages:
    3,111
    State:
    Pembroke,Georgia
    Great! What kind and size Tidewater?Thanks.Please keep us up to date as you break it in,peewee-williams
     
  10. barbel

    barbel New Member

    Messages:
    486
    State:
    Somewhere
    Absolutely. Not too long ago (I think it was in the seventies, but maybe sooner than that) someone discovered a titanium and nickel alloy that, when heated to incredibly high temperatures and shaped, would hold the shape. When it was cooled, you could bend it. After it was bent, heating it slightly (say in warm water) would return it to its original shape. It found a lot of use with eye glass frames; some could get bent, and all that was needed to repair them was dipping them in warm water. I love science :big_smile:
     
  11. thomas

    thomas New Member

    Messages:
    17
    State:
    CA
    It was the black graphite with a gold spool and silver metal drag and spool adjustment, TW30LA2. It's built pretty good, because on the package there's a picture of a Marlin and a circle logo that say BUILT FOR SALTWATER. So I was thinking, really now?!?! Well we'll see about that. So I took it all apart, it's built with steel, screws, main gear, drag discs, the sleeve that encompasses the main shaft, pinon, reel foot and levelwind are obvious, as well as the package mentioning the bearings as being stainless steel. It still has the plastic breakaway levelwind gear though. It was pretty easy to open and take apart too, nothing will come flying out.

    I don't work for Shakespeare, I'm just putting down what I saw.

     
  12. peewee williams

    peewee williams New Member

    Messages:
    3,111
    State:
    Pembroke,Georgia
    Thomas.I have found that putting a little touch of clear silicone sealer on each nut or screws thread keeps them from getting loose and lost.It does not interfere with removing them when you want as it does not set up hard.I have not lost a screw on anything that I have ever done it with.peewee-williams.