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ReelGuts - Okuma Metaloid 5Ns + A/C Bearing Mod

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    Posted: 19 Apr 2016 at 7:29pm
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Okie dokie, welcome to the first of what I hope to make a series of posts about the insides of some interesting reels, and in this case the performance of the reel and how to hot it up a bit...
As a warning, this is a long post, more for the people who really like to know what makes a reel tick.

Today's victim is my little Okuma Metaloid 5Ns. I reckon it's a pretty cool little reel, especially with what they cost, lots of features for the $$.

Start by backing off the preload knob until it comes off the reel - the handle has to be on the right angle before this will pop off. Don't try to pull the lever off yet, the spool shaft makes it tricky at this stage.


The knob is ratcheting... it uses 2 tiny little pins in the knob that have even tinier springs underneath. Don't lose these wee blighters, they will make a getaway given half a chance. They work against the little detents in the drag cam.



Grab a T10 screwdriver and remove the 3 stainless steel sideplate screws. These are greased from the factory, nice touch, I hate to see Loctite on these screws as they can be hard enough to remove anyway.
Pop the side plate off.... the drag lever and cam will probably drop off at this point.


The sideplate has some cool stuff going on. Most obvious is all the stainless steel in here. It all has a light coat of grease from the factory, again good to see. This reel (and I believe the Andros as well?) uses a double dog system with silent "dog-ears" gripping the anti-reverse ratchet. The dogs are alternating on the 16 tooth ratchet, meaning you'll never get more than 11.25 degrees of back-play in the reel. If you look at how the dogs engage with the gear you'll see that you're never going to make this anti-reverse system slip unless you either smash the dog to pieces or it sheers off the post in the side-plate.


The drag plate has a bearing in it, 6x13x3.5 - shielded and greased.


The drag washer is a large carbon fibre item, according to the box it's greased with Cal's Drag Grease and it definitely has something on it.


After removing the 2 stainless steel screws holding down the dogs you can lift out the entire ratchet gear and dogs as a unit. Don't try to get the gear out with the dogs in place or you risk damaging the ears that grip it. If you can keep the dogs exactly in the position they were when you remove them it makes reassembly much easier.
At this point you can pluck out the pinion gear with the little drive adaptor on it.


Next you remove the plastic gearbox shield at the bottom, then you shout at the big E-clip on the driveshaft for about 5 minutes until it pops off. Don't let it go flying!! Then you can lift out the drive gear, cross-pin and the 4 washers - 1 on top, 3 underneath.
At this point you can slide the driveshaft and handle out of the reel. Note there is a washer on the outside too, it may remain stuck to the outside of the side-plate.
Check out that drive gear! Burly as, along with the oversized driveshaft it runs on.
The shaft runs on a large brass bushing - I would guess oil impregnated - and it runs quite smoothly on this too. The Andros has bearings here which make the reel slightly smoother but I was surprised at how easily the driveshaft spun in it. This bushing seems to be pressed in and I don't think there's any real way you could change it to a bearing or instant anti-reverse bearing.



At last you can pop out the pinion bearing - its 6x17x6, a common size in lever drag reels around this size. This one is shielded and well packed with grease. As you'll know if you've fished lever drags much the pinion bearing is the limiting factor in terms of drag - as the drag increases the whole assembly squashes this bearing, apply too much preload and the reel will get grindy and eventually the bearing will collapse.
Now for the sake of "can it be done" and the kiwi spirit of always thinking we can improve things I'm replacing this bearing with an angular contact bearing. These are made to take axial loads where a normal bearing doesn't like them at all. Note that this probably voids the hell out of your warranty... oh well.
The bearing I'm using is a 706C from VXB.com

These come un-greased, unshielded and it's a chrome steel bearing so I packed it with a saltwater-rated lithium bearing grease - this is a horrible messy job..........
I popped this in the sideplate then reversed the process to reassemble it.


I also pulled the spool out, and because I forgot to tape the spool before removing it the heavy fluorocarbon leader went a bit mental, there was much cursing. The spool and frame looks to be machined aluminium (from billet?), continuing the theme in this reel.



The spool and shaft assembly is a bit of a bugger to get apart, there is another e-clip that is under tension from the belleville washers inside the spool and it requires quite a lot of shouting to make it all go back together so I'm not going to go into that today :) The spool bearings are shielded. I got 22 seconds of spin-time from the spool-on-shaft assembly, pretty good.
Note there is this fiddly little cross-pin at the end of the spool shaft, if you don't line it up just right with the slot in the frame your (nicely taped) spool won't drop back in.



Once it was all back together I did some drag testing.

Before changing the bearing I could get about 8.5kg of drag out of the reel with the lever rammed up to Full but at this point the handle was getting really raspy. This translated to all of maybe 3kg at Strike. Not bad, but not exactly amazing either.

With the angular contact bearing in there it was a different story. I could wind in around 12.5kg of drag on this little tank, at Full. The handle does get harder to turn but it's still smooth, not grindy or binding. Still had perfect freespool and gave line smoothly. I reckon I could have dialed some more in but the lever was getting hard to push up to full and I was starting to worry about the threads on the end of the spool shaft! This translates to about 8kg of drag at strike which is heaps for the 50lb braid it's spooled with. Realistically I will probably dial it back to around 9kg at Full as I felt like I was probably stressing other parts of the reel at over 12kg.
Pretty impressive from such a little reel!

I've got it spooled with right on 200m of Daiwa J-Braid 50lb, which is pretty thick for 50lb and I reckon breaks well over rated strain. Line lay is really nice, it's basically self-managing with how narrow it is.

With a high rate of retrieve, grunty drag and solid build I reckon this reel is a pretty good option for anyone getting into any form of jigging without wanting to break the bank on shelling out for one of the traditional options.
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote CanadianJohn Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 Apr 2016 at 7:34pm
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thats sone post mate! cheers for the effort.
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote dalgo Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 Apr 2016 at 8:17pm
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I am in awe of anyone who can comprehend the intricacies of a task such as this. Just looking at the pictures scares the bejesus out of me.
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote smudge Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 Apr 2016 at 8:24pm
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That's a very cool thing you've done Rozboon. The Reelguts ..  I love it!
Best gurnard fisherman in my street
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote CoastalStan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 Apr 2016 at 8:27pm
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I bought the wider version as an 8kg strayline reel. Saltwater Connection had them on a pretty good special.
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (1) Likes(1)   Quote kaveman Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 Apr 2016 at 8:32pm
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Nice reel report. I await your report of a Poseidon 150 or 200R. From what i see of the Andros in your review, i think you would be impressed by the Poseidon reels of same size
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote Grunta Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 Apr 2016 at 9:28pm
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Nice work and what a great post. Thanks for taking the time to put this together and look forward to the other reviews. What do you think about keeping them in the same thread and we could pin it?
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote Uncle Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 Apr 2016 at 9:40pm
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Excellent Rozboon~~liked Clap
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote Fishb8 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 Apr 2016 at 9:18am
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I have one of these reels but just use it on a snapper with 20 lb braid....might just leave it as it is.Ermm
Thanks for the strip-down!
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote Lethal Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 Apr 2016 at 4:30pm
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Brilliant Rozboon,
explaining synectics of a reel is not easy, congrats on a great job well done.

i used to do them in video format many years ago, but i like your approach keep it up.
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote krow Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 Apr 2016 at 7:55pm
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Big thumbs up from me too. Thumbs Up 

How do I identify a bearing that can take Axial loads? Would The gold reels and TLD50's etc have them fitted at factory? 
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote Rozboon Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 Apr 2016 at 9:21pm
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Originally posted by CoastalStan CoastalStan wrote:

I bought the wider version as an 8kg strayline reel. Saltwater Connection had them on a pretty good special.


Yep I've seen them for $259, lots of reel for the money.

Originally posted by kaveman kaveman wrote:

Nice reel report. I await your report of a Poseidon 150 or 200R. From what i see of the Andros in your review, i think you would be impressed by the Poseidon reels of same size


If I can get my sticky mitts on one I'd happily pull it to bits and write some guff about it Smile

Originally posted by Grunta Grunta wrote:

Nice work and what a great post. Thanks for taking the time to put this together and look forward to the other reviews. What do you think about keeping them in the same thread and we could pin it?


Thanks. Umm good question... if you were going to pin something (that would be awesome!!) maybe an index of the posts, then discussion within can be focussed on the reel in particular?

Originally posted by krow krow wrote:

Big thumbs up from me too. Thumbs Up 

How do I identify a bearing that can take Axial loads? Would The gold reels and TLD50's etc have them fitted at factory? 


They are pretty rare, I don't know of any manufacturers that currently use an angular contact bearing. That's partially because they are heinously expensive. The SKF version of this bearing is like $240 which is madness. These bearings are $13 US and I fully expect this one will die within a year or so from salt water use as they are just not made for it.
The "gold reels" achieve lots of drag through a combination of the following:
-Enormous drag washers
-Similarly enormous bearings, plain old ball bearings but they will handle some axial load and the larger the bearing the larger this is
-Dual drag systems on both sides of the spool
-Use of Thrust Bearing assemblies - this is basically the holy grail of axial load handling. Currently the only reels I know of that have them are the Okuma Makaira and the Penn Squall and Fathom (I think?) lever drags.
Maybe next I'll do a goldy and show that they're fundamentally not that different to a TLD15, just everything is enormous...
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote riga Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 Apr 2016 at 9:43am
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Been using one of these for a few months now.

Great reel for the price.  It has caught kingis to 27kg with pretty heavy drag pressures, probably close to 12 or 15kg of drag which must be maxing the reel out but it is still going.

Have it matched to a jigstar L rod and seems a perfect match.  Also have used the same rod with a accurate 400 DFS slammer reel.

While the accurate is a nicer reel to use the okuma isn't too far behind and is a whole lot cheaper.

Okuma seems to be going in the right direction now for reels, also have a makaira 10 2 speed and that is going mint live baiting for kings for over a year now.

You could start a service for upgrading the bearings.
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote Docjun Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 Oct 2017 at 5:45am
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Nice review & tweek tips!
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