getting the most out of your reel...?

Discussion in 'Fishing Reel Review' started by The_Mickstar, Sep 2, 2005.

  1. The_Mickstar

    The_Mickstar New Member

    Messages:
    19
    I saw a post the other day that mentioned installing aftermarket drag washers in a baitcaster, so I did a little searching around on the 'net and was surprised at all of the info that I found. It got me thinking about all of the ways that I could improve the performance of my '87 Ambassadeur 6000.

    So, for those of you that have experimented with this, what are the various options here?

    I see that there are replacement drag washer sets (Smoothie and Xtreme Smoothie being the most popular) as well as replacement Stainless bearing sets manufactured to tighter tolerances (and possibly Ceramic bearing sets, as well). Anything else that I'm missing, besides a thorough cleaning?

    Also, can you tell me the real-world difference between the Smoothie and Xtreme Smoothie washer sets? What about the different levels of bearings and Stainless vs. Ceramic?

    Thanks.

    Steve
     
  2. MUDHOLE KID

    MUDHOLE KID New Member

    Messages:
    1,178
    State:
    Anderson,S.C.
    A couple of us have started apost on reel repair and upgrades on the repair section.I have converted 3 of my early model 6000's to 6500 reels.They are "SWEET".I replaced the spool bushings with bearings and I have also removed the clutch dog inside the reel and installed a one way clutch bearing in the sideplate to make it anti-reverse.All you have to do is exchange from bushings to bearings.You will not believe the difference.The smoothie drags are well worth the money.You can get the commplete set for 5.00$ plus a little shipping.Check your reels though.Some of the 6000's have 4 washers and some only have two.They are what they say ,smooth.Thats why I try to find cheap no name reels that mimic the ambassadeur,I use the clutch bearings.To buy the bearing off the market(if you can find them) they're about 10.00$ each.Check in on the other repair post every now and then . I used stainless bearings because I didn't see paying that high price for ceramic :D
     

  3. Abu

    Abu New Member

    Messages:
    248
    State:
    Hemlock,Ohio
    Found 10 packs of the 4mmx10mmx4mm stainless bearings for $19.95, they are double shielded and self lubricating, rotating speed 100000 rpm. 10 packs of Abec-3 Stainless 3mmx7mmx3mm, rotating speed 100000rpm for $19.95. The Abec-3 stainless bearings are what comes standard in the Abu Garcias. Take a look at vxb bearings. I am going to have alot of brass bushings and plastic inserts laying around. :) Abu
     
  4. MUDHOLE KID

    MUDHOLE KID New Member

    Messages:
    1,178
    State:
    Anderson,S.C.
    Hey Man,I just realized that's were I bought my spool bearings.That's the best price I've found.
     
  5. The_Mickstar

    The_Mickstar New Member

    Messages:
    19
    I'm having trouble finding the reel repair/upgrade forlder that you mentioned. Any help?

    Also, since both of you guys seem to be "up" on the older Abus, and have the parts on hand to convert to bearings from bushings... Are either of you interested in making a few bucks to convert/upgrade my '87 6000?

    Steve
     
  6. gottafish

    gottafish New Member

    Messages:
    308
    State:
    Chesapeake, VA
    Go to the "Repair Help" forum and scroll down past the sub-forums. You will see the thread. It's not actually a sub forum but a thread. Hopefully the BOC staff will pick up on it and give us an actual sub-forum...hint hint ;)

    /Scott
     
  7. The_Mickstar

    The_Mickstar New Member

    Messages:
    19
    I see (said the blind man).

    Thanks, Scott.

    Steve
     
  8. Abu

    Abu New Member

    Messages:
    248
    State:
    Hemlock,Ohio
    Mickstar..... Here is the difference between the drag washers taken directly from Smooth Drag website:

    "Smoothies are now an improved high density fiber blend,Smoothies are now treated with a fantastic new dry lubricant, making them smoother than ever, and are also much longer lasting."

    "Xtreme Smoothies offering the finest performing drag washer friction material available today. Xtreme Smoothies provide xtreme smoothness and xtreme durability, with the greatest range of drag progression. Xtreme Smoothies use a specially formulated material designed for the best performance of sliding surfaces, with self lubricating qualities. Xtreme Smoothies can be used dry or with a very light coating of Cal's Universal Reel and Drag Grease."

    "New! "Carbontex" Our line of Carbontex drag washers, New Generation Carbon Fiber drag washers. This very high quality carbon fiber drag material is the perfect combination of unrivaled stopping power, silky smoothness and outstanding consistency, with a high heat tolerance. Carbontex may be used dry or with a very light coating of Cal's Universal Reel and Drag Grease."

    I have read several endurance tests on the Carbontex and they holdup under stress better than all others, alot of reel manufacturers have already adopted the same Carbon material for their new model reels as Smooth Drag has been selling. I have ran my drag washers dry but they sometimes get contaminated with grease from the gears and require disassembly, cleaning and drying. I have started using a very light coating of Cal's reel and drag grease on the drag washers and the main drive and pinion gears. If there is any contamination in the drag system it will be from the Cal's grease that is designed to be used on the drag washers so no harm done.
    About the bearings.... ceramic bearings will be a very long lasting bearing, require less maintenance and endure higher temperatures. All the bearings I have seen advertised as ceramic are a hybrid with ceramic balls inside a stainless or chrome bearing case even if you do pay $40.00 a set that would equal 20 sets of stainless bearings. I don't feel the need for ceramics for a reel to be used as a fishing reel especially at these prices. For fishing I use stainless bearings with stainless casings, all I want to acheive is smoother casting, 15-20 extra yards distance and eliminate constant reoiling of the brass bushing. Tolerances of the bearings are measured by a system called ABEC. The higher the Abec number the tighter the tolerances are and the faster the bearings will rotate when cared for correctly. Most Abu Garcia reels comes standard with Abec3 bearings. There is a good reason they don't put higher numbered Abec bearings in their reels, the higher the Abec number the more maintenance the bearing will require because of such tight tolerances. Tournament casters sometimes use high Abec numbered bearings but reoil after every cast or two with a super fast oil. For fishing I use Abec3 bearings and would not want to use a bearing higher than Abec5.
    Another upgrade you can do to your Ambassadeur 6000 is to replace the plastic bushings in your levelwind system with a dual bearing levelwind. You would need part#25195 which is actually the worm gear for an Ambassadeur 6600c5 mag but fits perfectly in most 6000 and 6500c3 reels amongst several other models, part# 25196 which is a larger 6600c5 mag worm gear cover to accommodate the bearings and part# 21680 which is the 3x7x3mm bearing that fits the opposite side of the worm gear. You can order these parts directly from Abu Garcia (Pure Fishing) by calling 1-800-228-4272 or you could order the whole kit that includes a titanium line guide for $26.95 from Mike's Reel Repair If you look on the Abu Garcia website under the schematics section you will see 4 different schematics for newer and older Ambassadeur 6000's. If your reel matches any of the schematics on the Abu website the levelwind upgrade will be a perfect replacement for your 6000 that uses the original levelwind system with part#5205 for the worm gear and part#2496 for the worm gear cover and plastic bushing. If in any doubt of the correct fitting levelwind kit for your reel give Mike's Reel Repair a call at
    1-888-404-1119 with your model of reel and reel foot number and they will make sure you get the right kit. Upgrading reels is like upgrading auto engines, what counts is under the hood. :)
    I will try to get a step by step instructions with photos up this week for changing your bushing to a bearing in your Ambassadeur 6000.
    Abu
     
  9. The_Mickstar

    The_Mickstar New Member

    Messages:
    19
    Excellent post. Thanks for all of the info.

    Now, to go back through it for comprehension...

    Steve