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BEGINNERS GUIDE:                  <Go back
(Avoiding Birdnests & Backlashes)
Troubleshooting | SPINNING | BAITCAST |

SPINNING REELS
Problem Possible Causes and Solutions
Line tangles when casting.
Cause #1: Spool is overfilled with line.
Solution: Reduce amount of line to 1/8" below spool lip.

Cause #2: Line memory.
Solution: Soak reel spool of line in water prior to use.

Cause #3: Spool is overfilled with line.
Solution: Remove line and fill spool with line size that is recommended for reel.

Space
Gears rough or reel makes grinding noise on retrieve.
Cause #1: Dirt or debris between spool and rotor or in gear system.
Solution: Clean inside of reel by rinsing thoroughly and lubricate properly.

Space
Drag or spool locked-up at start of day.
Cause #1: Drag disc seized to washers due to debris on disc.
Solution: Loosen drag tension and turn spool until drag discs break free. (Always loosen drag completely after fishing).

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Bail will not trip or becomes sluggish.
Cause #1: Bail spring is broken.
Solution: Replace with new spring.

Cause #2: Bail wire is bent.
Solution: Replace with new bail wire assembly.

Cause #3: Dirt or debris in bail hinges.
Solution: Remove bail wire assembly, clean thoroughly and lubricate with reel oil.

Space
Line is twisting.
Cause #1: Line was spooled on improperly.
Solution: Replace line or play out line (without lure) behind boat if in river current to remove line twist. Note: when installing new line, make sure the line from supply spool is feeding off in the same direction the rotor is.

Cause #2: Lure spinning on retrieve.
Solution: When trolling, make sure the lure is not fouled and is running true. When using in-line spinners, attach a ball bearing swivel to line.

Cause #3: Bail wire is mis-shaped.
Solution: Replace bail wire assembly.

Space
Snapshot trigger lever loose or broken.
Cause #1: Weak or broken trigger spring.
Solution: Replace with new trigger spring.

Cause #2: Trigger and/or trigger link assembly worn or broken.
Solution: Replace with new part(s).

Cause #3: Trigger assembly E-Clip missing or not in retaining groove.
Solution: Replace or install E-Clip in retaining groove.

Cause #4: Trigger Assembly shaft hole in Rotor housing too loose.
Solution: Replace Rotor housing.

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Snapshot feature will not grab or hold line to cast.
Cause #1: Snapshot firing pin broken or missing.
Solution: Replace Trigger Link assembly.

Cause #2: Bail wire bent or mis-shaped.
Solution: Replace Bail Wire assembly.

Space
Bail closes when casting.
Cause #1: Bail Spring weak.
Solution: Replace with new Bail Spring.



BAITCAST REELS
Problem Possible Causes and Solutions
Spool will not rotate when handle is turned.
Cause #1: Star Drag Knob is not properly tightened to engage spool.
Solution: Tighten Star Drag Knob.

Space
Gears appear to be rough when turning handle.
Cause #1: Lack of lubrication to gears and/or bearings.
Solution: Add light lubrication (oil, not grease) to gears and bearings.

Cause #2: 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.

Cause #3: Gears stripped or damaged.
Solution: Have an authorized technician replace gear set.

Space
Drag will not hold, slips, or is not smooth.
Cause #1: Star Drag knob has been left tightened down after use.
Solution: Add lubrication (light oil) to spool shaft and spool shaft ends.

Cause #2: Oil or grease on drag washers.
Solution: Remove spool tension knob and turn spool tension washer over. Replace if this has already been done once before.

Cause #3: Braided line slipping on spool.
Solution: Remove spool bearing spring clip (on opposite side of reel), remove bearing, and turn spool tension washer over. Again, replace after both sides become worn.

Space
Line guide (level wind) will not travel when cranking.
Cause #1: Line guide pawl and / or worm shaft worn or damaged.
Solution: Replace line guide pawl and / or worm shaft.

Cause #2: Line guide pawl spring bent or missing.
Solution: Replace line guide spring. 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.

Cause #3: Line guide carrier screw (pawl cap) is loose.
Solution: Tighten line guide carrier screw.

Space
Thumb bar / button will not pop up after handle is turned.
Cause #1: Thumb bar / button or release slider spring is bent or broken.
Solution: Replace thumb bar / button spring or release slider spring.

Cause #2: Dirt / debris in release slider.
Solution: Clean and relubricate release slider.

Space
Reel will not cast with ease or for a reasonable distance.
Cause #1: Spool tension washers worn.
Solution: Replace or reverse spool tension washers (see Reel squeaks).

Cause #2: Spool tension adjusted too tight.
Solution: Hold rod at 45 degree 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 must be performed each time a lure is changed.

Cause #3: Spool tension adjusted too tight.
Solution: Lubricate spool shaft and spool shaft ends with light oil.

Cause #4: Old grease on spool shaft.
Solution: Clean and relube spool shaft with light oil.

Cause #5: Spool shaft bent.
Solution: Replace spool assembly.

Space
Reel squeaks or makes loud noise when casting.
Cause #1: Lack of lubrication (oil) to spool shaft and/or spool shaft ends.
Solution: Add lubrication (light oil) to spool shaft and spool shaft ends.

Cause #2: 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 tension washer over. Again, replace after both sides become worn.

Space
Consistent backlash when casting.
Cause #1: Spool tension knob not adjusted properly.
Solution: Hold rod at 45 degree 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 must be performed each time a lure is changed.

Cause #2: 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. .

Cause #3: Centrifugal cast control is not adjusted properly.
Solution: Remove spool and "turn on" (see owner's manual) all of the brake weights. Then turn one at a time to the off position until the desired spool braking is obtained.

Cause #4: Sideplate thumb screws are loose.
Note: Disregard for those models that do not have Thumb Screws.
Solution: Tighten sideplate thumb screws. Note: Some modes may have phillips head screws that hold the side cover on.

Space
Gears slip or skip when reeling in fish.
Cause #1: Pinion Gear and / or Spool Shaft damaged.
Note: This type damage may occur with the following conditions:
a) The spool is engaged before the spool quits turning or before the lure hits the water.
b) When thumb bar is released in mid-cast while in Flippin Mode.
c) The drag is set too tight while fishing with Super Line.
Solution: Replace Pinion Gear and / or Spool Assembly.
Note: Use the following tips to avoid conditions that will damage the Pinion Gear and/or Spool Shaft:
a) Do not engage spool before the lure hits the water.
b) Do not release the Thumb Bar before the cast has finished (while in Flippin Mode).
c) Set Drag to allow for some line slippage on hooksets when fishing with Super Line.
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