Installing Ceramic Bearings For My Newell Reel!

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Scuba Chris
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Installing Ceramic Bearings For My Newell Reel!

Post by Scuba Chris » Fri Feb 16, 2018 9:19 am

How To Install Ceramic Bearings Into A Blackie Newell 338-F Reel!

Carl Newell was the innovator of the obsolete Newell Conventional Reel. To this day one of the simplest, lightest, strongest casting jigging reels on the market. Featured in this video is the Newell 338-F. The title translates into this reel being rated for 380yd of 30lb monofilament line. The "F" designates a Fast rating of 5:1 which is commonly used for bottom jiggers. On this reel i have slightly over 400yd of 80lb Suffice braid.

This set-up was designed for shore casting. The thinner braid allows for far casting due to the thinner line cutting through the air with little wind resistance. Also the yardage & pound test should be able to hold most shoreline species. Other stats for this reel is as follows-

Spool Width: 2-7/16in

Line Test & Diameter
20lb Monofilament (.0165) 610yd
25lb Monofilament (.0186) 500yd
30lb Monofilament (.021) 380yd
40lb Monofilament (.025) 280yd

To further increase my distance casting with this reel i'm going to replace the steel bearings with ceramic bearings. Why ceramic? Casting is smoother because ceramic bearings are lighter then steel and ceramic won't expand from the heat generated from the friction thus slowing the rotation of the spool. Combining the thinner line with the ceramics will help the angler make longer casts.

I also have a after market Tiburon power handle added. The longer handle & non-slip grip will help power in most catches. The weight isn't to much more then the stock handle so it shouldn't alter the casting ability of the reel. This reel has been in storage & i really didn't have to change out the bearings. The fittings show ample grease as well as the screws. No internal or external wear or corrosion could be seen. This reel is as good as they come.

My goal here is just to show how easy it is to switch out the bearings. Without a proper bearing extractor i was able to use a dental tool with a split ring pliers to dislodge the original bearing from the handle plate with some difficulty, but it worked. Depending on it's usage i plan on servicing this reel once or twice a year. This was actually my first Newell that i serviced. I was amazed how easy it was to work on.

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Re: Installing Ceramic Bearings For My Newell Reel!

Post by f8ldzz » Sun Feb 18, 2018 2:49 am

Be careful with this...

I think for most people, they cannot take advantage going from steel (ABEC7) bearings to ceramic (ABEC9) bearings.
ABEC9 rated bearings are tighter tolerance, so they are actually *worse* for acceleration, which casting reels depends a lot on.
Yes, the ABEC9 bearings will spin longer, but this is after it gets up to speed - in most cases, most casters will see very little gains in distance due to this particular advantage.
Also, the price jump from ABEC7 steel to ABEC9 is HUGE - most ABEC9 full ceramic pair of bearings would be around $100!
Most ABEC7 steel bearings are usually around $20 - $30 for a pair - reasonable.
Can anyone confirm this pricing?
It's been a while since I've priced them out, so this might be outdated...

Don B
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Re: Installing Ceramic Bearings For My Newell Reel!

Post by Don B » Mon Feb 19, 2018 4:51 pm

You should be able to buy a set of ABEC 5 or 7 hybrid ceramic bearings in the 4x10x4mm size in the $20 to $30 range.
Most people run these bearings dry when field casting. However, it must be remembered that the races are stainless steel and the bearings will require light oil to reduce corrosion when using them for fishing.

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