Troubleshooting

TROUBLESHOOTING

SPINCAST REELS

Possible Cause: Spool empty of line or insufficient line length.
Solution: Fill spool with new line or replace with new wound spool.

Possible Cause: Line tangled behind spinnerhead.
Solution: Remove front cover and spinnerhead assembly to untangle line. Remove all damaged line (i.e. abrasions, kinks).

Possible Cause: Reel spooled with inappropriate line (i.e. too heavy or braided line).
Solution: Remove line and respool with proper size line. NOTE: Braided line may not work with spincast reels.

Remove the front cover by firmly rotating counterclockwise. Pull the old line off the reel. Thread the new line through the front cover. Tie an arbor knot around the spool arbor and pull tight. Reattach the front cover.

Put tension on the line between your thumb and forefinger and slowly wind on line by pulling it off the filler spool. Periodically remove the front cover to see how much line has been spooled until the line is approximately 1/8″ below the top of the spool.

For all Zebco® Spincast models:

Remove the front cover by turning counterclockwise while holding the handle from turning. Continue holding the handle and turn the spinnerhead counterclockwise until it is completely unthreaded and removed. This allows access to the spool area for cleaning or maintenance. Reattach by threading the spinnerhead back on and then align the front cover and twist clockwise to secure.

 

 

The old 33® reel: Grip the reel tightly around the main body. Rotate counterclockwise. The back cover will become free. To reattach, align the back cover notch in the slotted area and turn approximately 45 degrees clockwise until cover is tight.

The new 33® reel: To remove the back cover on a new 33®, 33® Max, or 33® Micro, insert a small screwdeiver in the gap between the back cover and the top of the thumb bar and gently pry up. The back cover will pop off. To reattach, align the top of the front cover in the body groove and snap the bottom of the cover onto the tab on the body by applying a steady inward force.

Possible Cause: Lack of lubrication (oil/grease) on gears, bearings, and/or crankshaft assembly.
Solution: Add proper lubrication to moving parts.

Possible Cause: Spinnerhead spring missing or broken.
Solution: Replace spinnerhead. 

Possible Cause: Lack of lubrication on spinnerhead pick-up arm.
Solution: Add lubrication to spinnerhead pick-up arm on bottom side of spinnerhead. Learn How to add lubrication in our tips section.

Possible Cause: Thumb button hinge ears are broken.
Solution: Replace thumb button or back cover assembly.

Possible Cause: Thumb button spring is broken or bent.
Solution: Bend spring back to the original position.

Possible Cause: Covers were over-tightened.
Solution: Replace broken parts. Visit the Parts section to order a replacement cover.

Possible Cause: Anti-Reverse pawl is damaged.
Solution: Replace Anti-Reverse pawl.

Possible Cause: Trigger and/or trigger link assembly worn or broken.
Solution: Remove old grease or dirt/debris and relubricate with new grease. Learn How to add lubrication in our tips section.

Possible Cause: Drag washers are corroded or have dirt/debris in and around spool and drag washer area.
Solution: Disassemble spool and drag washers and clean spool, spool boss (on body of reel), and drag washers.

Possible Cause:  Gears, mainshaft, or crankshaft have old grease, dirt or debris present.
Solution:  Disassemble entire reel and clean thoroughly. Relubricate with new grease. Learn How to add lubrication in our tips section.

Possible Cause: Very little line is left on the reel or line is very old and memory loops are preventing casting distance.
Solution: Respool the reel.

SPINNING REELS

Possible Cause: Bail spring is weak.
Solution: Replace with new bail spring. 

Possible Cause: Bail spring is weak.
Solution: Replace with new bail spring. Visit the Parts section to order a replacement.

Possible Cause: Bail spring is broken.
Solution: Replace with new spring.

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

Possible Cause: Dirt or debris in bail hinges.
Solution: Remove bail wire assembly, clean thoroughly, and lubricate with reel oil. Learn How to add lubrication in our tips section.

Possible Cause: Drag disc seized to washers due to debris on disc.
Solution: Loosen drag tension and turn spool until drag discs break free. Remember to always loosen drag completely after fishing.

Possible Cause: Dirt or debris between spool and rotor, or in gear system.
Solution: Clean inside of reel by rinsing thoroughly and lubricate properly. Learn How to add lubrication in our tips section.

Possible Cause: Line was spooled on improperly.
Solution: Replace line or play out line (without lure) behind boat or in river current to remove line twist. NOTE: When installing new line, make sure the line from the supply spool is feeding off in the same direction as the rotor is turning.

Possible Cause: Lure spinning on retrieve.
Solution: When trolling, make sure the line is not wrapped around your lure so it’s running true. When using in-line spinners, attach a ball bearing swivel to the line.

Possible Cause: Bail wire is misshapen.
Solution: Replace bail wire assembly. Visit the Parts section to order a replacement.

Possible Cause: Spool is overfilled with line.
Solution: Reduce amount of line to 1/8" below spool lip. Be sure to use the line size that is recommended for your reel.

Possible Cause: Line memory.
Solution: Soak reel spool of line in water prior to use. Also see tips on Preventing line problems in our tips section.

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. Learn How to add lubrication in our tips section.

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. Learn How to add lubrication in our tips section.

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. 

Possible Cause: 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.

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. Learn How to add lubrication in our tips section.

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 above).

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. Learn How to add lubrication in our tips section.

Possible Cause: Old grease on spool shaft.
Solution: Clean and relubricate spool shaft with light oil. Learn How to add lubrication in our tips section.

Possible Cause: Spool shaft bent.
Solution: Replace spool assembly. 

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.

Possible Cause: Dirt or debris in release slider.
Solution: Clean and relubricate release slider. Learn How to add lubrication in our tips section.