Troubleshooting baitcast reels

Possible Cause:  Spool tension knob not adjusted properly.
Solution: Hold rod at 45° angle and depress spool release button/bar. Adjust spool tension knob to the point where the lure is descending very slowly (almost to the point of stopping). This adjustment should be performed each time a lure is changed. Also see setting the correct cast control for instructions.

Possible Cause: Magnetic cast control is not adjusted properly.
Solution: Increase the magnetic cast control to maximum and adjust downward after a few casts until the desired spool braking is obtained.

Possible Cause: Centrifugal cast control is not adjusted properly.
Solution: Remove the spool and “turn on” all of the brake weights. Then turn one at time to the off position until the desired spool braking is obtained.

Possible Cause: Lack of lubrication to gears and/or bearings.
Solution: Add light lubrication (oil, not grease) to gears and bearings.

Possible Cause: Lack of cleaning or maintenance has allowed dirt or debris in gear system.
Solution: Clean inside of reel by disassembling side covers, rinsing, and lubricating with light oil. While reassembling reel side covers, be sure not to force. Handle may have to be slightly turned to insure proper alignment of level wind gear.

Possible Cause: Gears are stripped or damaged.
Solution: Have an authorized technician replace gear set. Find an Authorized Service Center near you.

Possible Cause: Star drag knob has been left tightened down after use.
Solution: Add lubrication (light oil) to spool shaft and spool shaft ends.

Possible Cause: Oil or grease on drag washers.
Solution: Remove the handle, drag star, and gear side cover. Clean or dry the drag washers, removing the oil or grease. Reassemble the washers and reattach the side cover. Reattach handle and drag star.

Possible Cause: Braided line slipping on spool.
Solution: To check for this condition, hold thumb on spool rim (securing spool) and see if line can be pulled from spool.

If you prefer using one of the new “super lines” (braided or fusion) on your reel, it’s best to pre-spool with 15-20 yards of monofilament line to prevent further drag problems and to prevent the super line from slipping around the spool arbor. Place a single layer of electrical tape on the monofilament line just before the knot on the braided line. The tape keeps the braided line from “sinking” into the monofilament line.

TIP: You may also fill half of your spool with monofilament to reduce the amount of expensive super line you actually need.

Possible Cause: Pinion gear and/or spool shaft damaged. This type of damage may occur with the following conditions:

  • The spool is engaged before the spool quits turning or before the lure hits the water.
  • When thumb bar is released in mid-cast while in flipping mode.
  • The drag is set too tight while fishing with super line.

Solution: Replace pinion gear and/or spool assembly. Use the following tips to avoid conditions that will damage the pinion gear and/or spool shaft:

  • Do not engage spool before the lure hits the water.
  • Do not release the thumb bar before the cast has finished (while in flipping mode).
  • Set drag to allow for some line slippage on hooksets when fishing with super lines.

 

Possible Cause: Line gude pawl and/or worm shaft is worn or damaged.
Solution: Replace line guide pawl and/or worm shaft. Visit the Parts section to order a replacement line guide pawl or worm shaft.

Possible Cause: Line guide pawl spring bent or missing.
Solution: Replace line guide spring. Visit the Parts section to order a replacement.

NOTE: Not all models come with a line guide pawl spring; some models have shims to support pawl. Make sure the shims are in place.

Possible Cause: Line guide carrier screw (pawl cap) is loose.
Solution: Tighten line guide carrier screw.

Possible Cause: Lack of lubrication (oil) to spool shaft and/or spool shaft ends.
Solution: Add lubrication (light oil) to spool shaft and spool shaft ends.

Possible Cause: Spool tension washers are worn.
Solution: Remove spool tension knob and turn spool tension washer over. Replace if this has already been done once before. Remove spool bearing spring clip (on opposite side of reel), remove bearing, and turn spool tenison washer over again. Again, replace after both sides become worn.

Possible Cause: Spool tension washers worn.
Solution: Replace or reverse spool tension washers (see reel squeaks solution).

Possible Cause: Spool tension adjusted too tight.
Solution: Hold rod at 45° angle and depress spool release button/bar. Adjust spool tension knob to the point where the lure is descending very slowly (almost to the point of stopping). This adjustment should be performed every time a lure is changed.

Possible Cause: Spool shaft needs lubrication.
Solution: Lubricate spool shaft and spool shaft ends with light oil.

Possible Cause: Old grease on spool shaft.
Solution: Clean and relubricate spool shaft with light oil.

Possible Cause: Spool shaft bent.
Solution: Replace spool assembly. Visit the Parts section to order a replacement.

Possible Cause: Thumb bar/button or release slider spring is bent or broken.
Solution: Tighten the star drag knob.

Possible Cause: Star drag knob is not properly tightened to engage spool.
Solution: Replace thumb bar/button spring or release slider spring. Visit the Parts section to order a replacement thumb bar/button or release slider spring.

Possible Cause: Dirt or debris in release slider.
Solution: Clean and relubricate release slider.