How to Fix an Abu Garcia Reel

How to Fix an Abu Garcia Reel
Abu Garcia is a maker of fishing reels, rods, tackle and gear. Spinning, baitcasting, saltwater and fly casting reels are all made by Abu Garcia. Like any piece of mechanical gear, reels break down over time and need repair or basic maintenance. Many of these repairs are doable yourself in your home hobby shop or in the field. Knowing some of the basics will keep your reels working properly and help you land more fish.


Difficulty: Moderately Easy

Inspect and Assess

Things You’ll Need:
  • Lubricant spray
  • Small screwdrivers
  • Replacement parts, if necessary
Step 1
Troubleshoot your reel by determining where the problem or broken part is. Common breakdown locations on an Abu Garcia reel are the bearing cartridges, handles or drag switches. Cast out and reel in the line and feel for rough or a dry feel to the spool as you spin the handle.
Step 2
Spray the handle with the spray lubricant on the locations where the handle spins on the spool and where the finger holds rotate off the main handle arm. Let the lubricant soak into the mechanisms. Cast out and reel in the line, feeling again for any dry or rough feeling. If none exists, do not apply a second portion of lubricant. If there is still a dry or rough feel when reeling in, apply a second spray of lubricant to the moving mechanisms and let soak in.
Step 3
Remove the housing cover and visually inspect the cartridge bearings, which are found next to the spool. The cartridge bearings are a round cylinder with five to ten stainless steel bearings housed inside, packed in grease. Look for sediment or grit in the grease, or if the grease has been worn down and is no longer in the cartridge. Replace the cartridge if it is corroded or the grease has dried up. Replacement cartridges are available through the Abu Garcia website.
Step 4
Lubricate the drag washers if the drag is slipping, not holding or feels rough. Apply the spray-on lubricant to the washers on the attachment arm of the drag mechanism, found on the outer edge of the casting reel. The drag washers are small, round metal cylinders found between the drag switch and the spool with the braiding line. Let the lubricant soak into the washers and test by casting out and reeling in, turning the drag adjustment both directions while doing so.
Step 5
Spray lubricant on the thumb switch if it is locked into position and will not pop back out upon casting. Allow the lubricant to soak into the thumb button mechanism and then push down with your thumb to see if it releases. If it does not release, apply one more coat of the lubricant and repeat the push. If it does not release the second time, take the housing off the reel and grease the thumb button housing. Reattach the housing and push down on the thumb button to test.


Article Written By Eric Cedric

A former Alaskan of 20 years, Eric Cedric now resides in California. He's published in "Outside" and "Backpacker" and has written a book on life in small-town Alaska, "North by Southeast." Cedric was a professional mountain guide and backcountry expedition leader for 18 years. He worked in Russia, Iceland, Greece, Turkey and Belize. Cedric attended Syracuse University and is a private pilot.

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