Servicing: Surfcasting Reels

  • James Gibbons

In this series, reel technician James Gibbons presents a basic maintenance plan for several different reel styles. This issue, he shares some simple tips to keep readers’ surfcasters up to scratch.

Spring is here, and with it, the ocean starts to come alive from the winter slumber, and the trout season opens for those seeking an escape up the river or a peaceful day on the lake. Now is the time to get your gear prepped for the season and to have it ready for those impromptu fishing trips, whether by boat, coastline, lake, or river. If you look after your gear, it will keep performing when needed. Grab yourself a Deuthlon Starter Kit and practice the steps I’ve shown you over this series, and you will find your gear lasts longer, and you don’t get such a shock at your next service bill! It is that simple to look after your kit. For the final instalment of this four-part series, we’ll examine how to keep your surfcasting reels prepared for those long summer stints on the beach. Surfcasting, from my perspective, is just as hard on your gear as saltwater trolling. While some people are happy to get just their feet wet to cast, some wade out deep into the surf for the perfect placement. Sadly, the reels can pay the price for that ideal placement. These are a few tips below to maintain the main pain points of your surf reels.

We’ll be using the below products from the Deuthlon Starter Kit:

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• Deuthlon Cast Oil (Deuthlon Generic Reel Lube is great too)

• Deuthlon Semi Fluid Grease.

Step 1: Handle Bearings

Depending on the brand/model of reel you have, you can remove the gland cap and undo the handle knob screw. Slide off the handle knob, making sure not to lose any washers or bearings. Using a small paint brush, spread a thin layer of Deuthlon Semi Fluid Grease along the handle shaft. Place a drop or two of oil on both the bearings and apply a thin coat of grease on the handle shaft and where the bearings sit into the handle knob. Assemble carefully afterwards, placing the correct bearings and spacers into their respective spots.

Step 2: Side Cap

Depending on your winding preference, remove the side cap (opposite side to your handle) on your reel frame, opening up one of the main gear bearings. Place 1-2 drops of Deuthlon Cast Oil to the bearings, then with your paintbrush, place a coating of Deuthlon Semi Fluid Grease over the top to act as a grease barrier (don’t over pack it, as this will compress once the side cap is put back on). Using a light grease like this won’t hinder the reel’s wind. If you use a thicker grease, this can cause your reel to feel heavy when winding. The oil keeps your bearing lubricated and protects it from corrosion, placing the grease barrier helps to reduce water intrusion, which is likely when surfcasting. The reel pictured has bushings instead of bearings, which is great in surf casting reels for longevity but not as smooth to use.

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Step 3: Handle Side

Unwind your handle to expose your reel’s other main gear bearing. Repeat the steps above. 1-2 drops of oil and a light coating of grease will act as a barrier to water ingress. With your paintbrush, place a coating of Deuthlon Semi Fluid Grease over the thread of your handle that winds into your reel. This will prevent salt water from seeping in and seizing the handle thread into your main gear. This is an expensive replacement and can be easily avoided by doing the above! The reel pictured has a handle shaft that goes through the main gear instead of screwing into the gear. Using the same principle, coat this with grease to prevent the handle from corroding to the main gear.

Step 4: Anti-reverse Lever

Depending on your brand and model of surfcaster, you may or may not have an anti-reverse switch on your reel. If you do, add a small drop of oil to the anti-reverse mechanism, flicking back and forth to seep the oil into place. Then apply a light coat of grease into the anti-reverse lever area to help prevent water intrusion.

Step 5: Secondary Drag System

If you’re using a Shimano Baitrunner, Penn Live Liner, Daiwa Free Swimmer, Okuma Bait Feeder, etc., the lever can act as a point of water ingress. After a couple of drops of oil on either side, flick the lever back and forwards to let the oil seep into place. A light smear of Deuthlon Semi Fluid Grease to act as a further barrier.

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Step 6: Line Roller

Apply Deuthlon Cast Oil to the line roller to keep lubricated and spinning freely. Some reels will have bearings in here, and others will have bushings like the reel pictured. You can disassemble the line roller and put a light coating of Deuthlon Semi Fluid Grease on the internals.

Step 7: Line Roller

Apply Deuthlon Cast Oil to the line roller to keep lubricated and spinning freely. Some reels will have bearings in here, and others will have bushings like the reel pictured. You can disassemble the line roller and put a light coating of Deuthlon Semi Fluid Grease on the internals.

Step 8: Drag Washers

The reel pictured has felt drag washers, which can disintegrate over time when mixed with water. This is a common issue with surf reels. A great upgrade is to replace the factory felt washers with high-quality Carbontexx Drag washers. When used with Deuthlon Power Drag Grease, these can greatly improve the drag performance of your reel from the factory.

These are just a few tips that can significantly increase your reels’ longevity using the Deuthlon Start Kit. If you’re mechanically minded or like a good puzzle, you can service your own reels using this kit. The Deuthlon Ceramic Reel Gear Grease is excellent for fine tooth gears such as baitcasters, light spinning, or small star-drag reels. I would recommend a thicker grease on game reels or reels with large-toothed gears. I suggest downloading the reel schematic and working through it slowly. When taking apart the reel, line up the parts in the order you took them apart. I hope you learned something new from this series and can now look after your hardearned fishing gear confidently!

For more on servicing overhead reels:

For more on servicing spin reels:

October 2022 - James Gibbons
New Zealand Fishing News Magazine.
Copyright: NZ Fishing Media Ltd.
Re-publishing elsewhere is prohibited

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