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Author Topic: CHEAP CHINESE REEL: FishDrops BC-150 Baitcast Reel - Revealed...  (Read 409 times)

FloridaFishinFool

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CHEAP CHINESE REEL: FishDrops BC-150 Baitcast Reel - Revealed...
« on: November 17, 2018, 10:06:31 AM »

I decided to give this reel its own thread rather than put it in context of a continuation of shop reels thread where it could get buried.

I have seen this reel advertised many times in its numerous variations the manufacturer has tried in order to sell this reel into the American market.

Manufacturer sales hype is one thing... and reality is another.

I personally would never have purchased a reel like this one new. It is regularly sold for $38.00 new on numerous websites. So the price is our first clue as to quality... but let's take a look at the sales hype before reality sets in...

I was sitting at my bench 2 days ago when someone, a customer, walked in the front door of our shop with a pile of reels he wanted to repair and service. My boss, the owner of our shop talked to him and took in all of his reels except for one, this one. My boss informed the customer that this $38 reel would not be worth the repair, and they were right!

And you know that old saying you can not tell a book by its cover? Well reels are certainly one of those books you can not tell its quality from looking at it from the outside because this reel actually looks pretty good. But looks are deceiving!

So, the customer, knowing this reel was not worth repair, he gave it to the shop. Well, my boss the shop owner did not want it either. So they walked back to my bench with this nice looking reel and handed it to me and said here, it is yours! As in get it out of the shop ASAP. A reel like this one is not really even good for a parts reel! Its that bad inside... but here is the sales hype designed to fool us fishermen into making a $38 mistake!



https://fisherreel.com/fishdrops-baitcasting-reel-review/

Are you looking for a baitcasting reel that has a quality brake system to help you have a better control over the fishing line? Do you like ball bearings that make little noise and make you feel easy and comfortable? Fishdrops Baitcasting Reel is really close to being what you intend to have.

Fishdrops Baitcasting Reel has aluminum spool which is incredibly strong and rigid to hold the fishing line when rotating on the spindle through the gears during the cast. This robust spool provides strength without adding excess weight, and you can pull the fishes with the rod easily.

Good news for the left handers! Fishdrops Baitcasting Reel offers both the left and right handles, so you can choose to use one that suits you. The reel is suitable for use in saltwater or fresh water. The gear ratio is appropriately set to provide high torque power and capacity for the trophy hunters who use the casting reel for competitional purposes.

01. Fishdrops Baitcasting Reel Overview

It is lightweight yet capable enough to drag big fishes. When you pull big fishes from a long distance, you may lose the motion if your reel is heavy. But, this casting reel is perfectly sized. The spool and the gear offer high speed so that there is no risk of missing the target, and you can become the trophy hunter by winning the race if you use this fish drops 17+1 ball bearings baitcasting reel.

02. Specifications
Item Weight   211g/7.4oz
Handle   Right Hand Or Left Hand
Gear Ratio   6.3:1
Max Power Drag   5.5KG
Bearings   17 Ball Bearings + 1 One Way Clutch Bearing
Brake System   Magnetic
03. Feature Analysis

3.1 Looking Good

This is a combination of stainless steel main shaft, aluminum pinion gear, shielded bearings all these things together provide an aesthetic look to use the fish drops 17+1 ball bearings baitcasting reel deep in the offshore for the professional purpose.

3.2 Sturdy Aluminum Spool

The sturdy aluminum spool provides a perfect magnetic tape or thread so that the giant fishes or beasts in the sea can be wounded as it has a perfect rotation power. Controlling the distance and speed of the lure is possible through thumbing the spool.

3.3 Low Noise

Magnetic brake system can control your fishing line better when you are casting. The shielded 17+1 ball bearings provide smooth operation without making noises when the spool is rotating at high speed. Strength is a sure thing when it comes to a machined aluminum spool. So, it does not make too much noise when the giant fishes need to handle with this reel.

3.4 Smooth-Gear Ratio 6:3:1

Most of the baits are best served with a medium speed reel. The gear ratio of 5:1 is just too slow-rolling, and 7:1 is too fast, and you have to slow down just to keep your bait in the water. A medium gear ratio is just right. This Fishdrops Baitcasting Reel offers 6:3:1 gear ratio which is perfect enough to handle the large or small fishes.

3.5 Saltwater Fishing Approved

Low profile baitcasting reels are 100% corrosion resistant and are approved for fresh and saltwater fishing. These conventional saltwater reels have attractive anodized red side plates and spool made from high-grade aluminum. The brass worm shaft and stainless-steel components give superior corrosion protection, even in saltwater. The red paint is very durable and sturdy that make the left-handed fishing reels to be your trusted partner at every time you hit in the water.

04. Pros & Cons
4.1 Pros
Lightweight enough to drag big fishes
Easy to pull big fishes from a long distance
Perfect in size
Offers perfect speed
Smooth operation and flexibility

4.2 Cons

Need to clean frequently, especially after a saltwater fishing event

05. Final Verdict

Though this Fishdrops Baitcasting Reel provides a wonderful drag system with its flat EVA handled knobs on the front of the spool to increase or decrease the amount of friction or drag applied, the durability of this reel is not beyond question.

The only issue you might encounter is that you might need to clean it after each saltwater fishing event. Professional saltwater anglers usually do the cleaning, but for leisure seekers the job might feel tedious, but it is essential to keep its appearance good so that corrosion or rust triggered by saltwater may not stain the appearance of the reel. After all, the reel is still worth your consideration.

« Last Edit: December 24, 2018, 09:17:23 AM by FloridaFishinFool »
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FloridaFishinFool

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Re: FishDrops BC-150 Baitcast Reel - Revealed...
« Reply #1 on: November 17, 2018, 10:52:37 AM »

"saltwater fishing approved" it says in the sales hype... just clean the reel and all will be well!

Yeah right.

Whoever bought this reel did exactly that. They used it in saltwater right here in central Florida. And they kept the outside nice and clean too. But it did not help...

The first thing I noticed with this reel was how rough the bearings were. Definitely rusted up some. I tried backing off the drag, but it would not budge. It was completely locked up.

And, as a reminder to everyone here with really nice reels, back off the drag after each fishing trip! Don't crank the drag all the way down and leave it like that! It is not good for any reel. Always back off the drag after use!

Back to this reel... since it was now mine, I had to follow shop rules... no personal rod and reel work is to be done at the shop without permission. And this reel was not worth stopping work on good reels just so I could play with mine. So home it went and right onto my garage workbench for later on when I could enjoy some imbibement along with the work... and this is what I found...







It says 17 ball bearings plus 1 AR bearing. Really?

I took this reel completely apart and did not find anywhere close to 17 bearings. So I wonder how they came up with this number.

I counted 3 ball bearings on the spool itself. There was 3 on the main drive shaft with 1 of them the AR bearing.

This particular reel I had did not have any bearings on the worm gear either. Just white plastic bushings. And if the handle and knobs have any ball bearings inside, I was not able to see them nor get to them because the knobs are not removable. They are hammered or stamped into the handle, a tight press fit that is not removable.

So my bearing count from actually seeing and touching the ball bearings in this reel added up to a total of 6. Even if there are 4 ball bearings in the handle, it still only comes up to 10 same as the other version of this reel claims.

So where the heck are the other bearings I can only wonder??? I'm not seeing them inside of this reel.

So let's take a look at the insides a little bit... once I pried off the cover, this was the first thing I saw:



The AR bearing sleeve was completely rusted up and pitted badly from saltwater intrusion into this reel. I was not able to remove this sleeve by normal methods. It was frozen in place, locked down tight. I tried everything to get this sleeve off and it did not budge.

So the drag variability of this reel was done and over with right here.

I had to get out the surgical forceps and go underneath the main drive gear and slowly remove the 2 screws holding the drive shaft to this reel's cheap plastic frame.

If I pried too hard, I could have stripped the small plastic screws right out of the frame. And, with the small amount of prying I did do, I wound up bending the plate that holds the drive shaft to the frame which I straightened later on once I got this thing apart in unconventional ways...





In the following image you can see the plate holding the drive shaft to the frame is slightly bent here from my prying trying to get this rusted up sleeve off the drive shaft.

Once I removed those two little plastic threaded screws, the drive shaft came off the reel and I had to hammer off the sleeve carefully not damaging any parts in the process.

Oh, that bearing you see at the bottom of the drive shaft? It is the only bearing in this reel not rusting up because it is surrounded completely by plastic and a metal plate that kept saltwater from getting to it. Only one bearing survived and that's it...





Once I got the drive shaft apart, I found that the drag washers were completely GLUED to the main drive gear and pressure plate, key washer as it is sometimes called. I don't mean the customer went inside and glued his drag washers down.

Nope. The stuck effect was caused by the material the drag washers are made from combined with the cranked down drag left that way always compressing the drag washers.

Now if you look at these drag washers, they are not really drag washers! This blue material is actually a gasket material made for industrial pipe fitting connections. This material was never made for drag washers by the original manufacturer. So what you are looking at is an industry-wide short cut a lot of reel manufacturers have done... buy some cheap material by the sheet and just cut it up and use it for drag washers even though it was NEVER made for this purpose!

So I had to pry off the drag washers and I used a brass wire brush to clean the stuck on gunk from off the main drive gear also made of brass. So that is a plus for this reel. At least they used brass...







The next problem really became the kicker for this reel... the AR bearing. It just fell apart.

Upon examining the AR bearing I discovered it is an in-house bearing made cheaply by the company that made this reel.

Shimano, Daiwa, Zebco, Quantum, Lew's and every other reel manufacturer making reels DO NOT use in-house AR bearings!

Take apart any quality reel and you will find an AR bearing made by another company that specializes in such bearings. They make quality AR bearings that the big name brand reel companies buy in bulk to install into their reels.

Each of those quality AR bearings usually has an original part number stamped into the metal case. Not so with this reel. This in-house bearing has no such markings. None what so ever. So it is not a high quality AR bearing and can not be crossed to quality AR bearings. And since I had some laying around I decided to see if I could fit a quality AR bearing into this reel and I was not able to find one with the same size dimensions. So this is a major problem and drawback for this reel.

Here is what I was dealing with:



Taking a closer look into the AR bearing retainer cage, I find that the springs are so cheap, so thin, they are virtually worthless. And on this reel that had been hardly used, some of the springs were simply worn away and gone which is in part why this bearing just fell apart into pieces.



I decided once I saw this, that this reel was not worth putting not one single new part into this reel. Not a one. I decided I would complete the overhaul, but I would use the original parts and rehab them as much as possible and just put the reel back together and get rid of it.

So I hand sanded each of the small needle bearings just to get the surface rust knocked back down to solid metal and clean up the AR bearing parts and just put it back together and use it as is. PURE JUNK!!!

Another issue I found with this cheap reel was the sloppy tolerances. Take a look at how the pawl fits into the line guide. Notice there is open space between the metal pawl and the line guide? You will not find this kind of sloppy tolerances in Shimano and Daiwa and other big name reel companies. They have solved this type of thing decades ago. Not so for this company.



However, this company did do one thing right... they constructed the entire clutch mechanism out metal! You don't see this in a lot of modern reels. Shimano, Daiwa, Quantum, you name it. They have now gone to using plastic parts in the clutch even in some of their high end reels. So this was a surprise to find.

You have to go way back in time to the 70's to find all metal clutches in older reels. In the 80's is when the conversion to plastic began in earnest.



So my bottom line conclusion is this reel is just basically pure junk simply because of sloppy tolerances, and inferior metals. The bearings are junk. The AR bearing is junk. The AR bearing sleeve is junk. The plastic frame is junk. The drag washers are junk.

Saltwater is deadly to this reel! No doubt about it. A little bit of corrosion protection would go a long way to keeping a cheap reel like this one working providing nothing else failed. And good luck getting parts and service for a reel like this one. Just not worth it. Use it and toss it and go buy another type of thing.

I was able to get this reel back in good working condition. But with the rusted bearings on the spool it is noisy and rough as hell. But at least it now has variable drag and will cast and is usable...

So I took it back into the shop and asked the boss if they wanted it back. Hell no! Um, how about donating it to the teenage kids fishing pile we are to donate soon? Hell no! Let's not even give this reel to a kid! So now what? A thrift store donation? Maybe.

Trash can? Do a fellow fisherman a favor! Trash it before he gets it!

One way I can profit from this reel is to put it on a comparable junk rod and use it for trade in credit at any pawn shop I might find something I actually do want! I might get $10 for it if lucky.

Bottom line conclusion... avoid this reel! Save yourself the trouble and expense!

« Last Edit: November 17, 2018, 11:27:15 AM by FloridaFishinFool »
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Pacific NW Ron

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Re: FishDrops BC-150 Baitcast Reel - Revealed...
« Reply #2 on: November 18, 2018, 10:49:06 AM »

Like you said, I have seen this reel advertised a lot of places.  I've seen them listed under KastKing and TritanX too.  I always wondered how good a $35.00 baitcaster was.  Now I know.  Sounds like a piece of junk.  Thanks for your very detailed report.
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Enjoying retirement in the great Pacific Northwest.  I've turned into a fair weather angler.  Why do it today when I can do it tomorrow?

merc1997

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Re: FishDrops BC-150 Baitcast Reel - Revealed...
« Reply #3 on: November 18, 2018, 02:06:54 PM »

guess what?  that looks just like my buddy's $400 shimano after he used it salt water fishing, and it locked up.  i took it apart to see if it was fixable with a cleanup, but it needed too many part replaced.  he had to send it in to shimano.  bottom line?  any reel that is not taken care of expensive or cheap will fail.  so, if you put all the same parts back into the $400 shimano, how much would the repair run???

bo
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loomisguy

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Re: FishDrops BC-150 Baitcast Reel - Revealed...
« Reply #4 on: November 19, 2018, 05:14:30 AM »

It would still be a Shimano not a door stop.
« Last Edit: November 19, 2018, 05:25:23 AM by loomisguy »
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merc1997

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Re: FishDrops BC-150 Baitcast Reel - Revealed...
« Reply #5 on: November 19, 2018, 07:46:32 AM »

It would still be a Shimano not a door stop.
his $400 dollar shimano could be called a door stop also.  i don't how to get the thing adjusted to cast and that is why he really never uses it.  pretty overpriced from my viewpoint and his.

bo
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loomisguy

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Re: FishDrops BC-150 Baitcast Reel - Revealed...
« Reply #6 on: November 19, 2018, 08:04:29 AM »

User error ? I've fished Shimano for 35 years and never had one I couldn't set up.
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FloridaFishinFool

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Re: FishDrops BC-150 Baitcast Reel - Revealed...
« Reply #7 on: November 19, 2018, 08:16:18 AM »

Morning Bo!

If I did not work at a Shimano warranty repair facility, and I had to pay for every part in a $400 reel that could corrode I'd probably be able to do it for less than $50.00 in parts, minus the gears and a spool I could hopefully reuse... and labor is around $30.

So an over the counter repair would more than likely be under $100 for a $400 Shimano. Whether it is worth it or not is up to the owner.

To me a $400 Shimano would be worth the repair under $100, while a $38 reel to me is not worth the repair if I had to replace all the bad parts.

But since I work for a Shimano warranty repair facility, my parts cost would be almost nil since I have piles of reels to get free used parts from, and my labor would be free. So that really makes restoring a $400 reel worthwhile for me, and even a $200 reel worthwhile.

All a matter of perspective of the person with the reel I suppose.



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FloridaFishinFool

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Re: FishDrops BC-150 Baitcast Reel - Revealed...
« Reply #8 on: November 19, 2018, 08:18:01 AM »

Oh shoot. A double post some how... skip this one...
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merc1997

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Re: FishDrops BC-150 Baitcast Reel - Revealed...
« Reply #9 on: November 19, 2018, 10:51:26 PM »

Morning Bo!

If I did not work at a Shimano warranty repair facility, and I had to pay for every part in a $400 reel that could corrode I'd probably be able to do it for less than $50.00 in parts, minus the gears and a spool I could hopefully reuse... and labor is around $30.

So an over the counter repair would more than likely be under $100 for a $400 Shimano. Whether it is worth it or not is up to the owner.

To me a $400 Shimano would be worth the repair under $100, while a $38 reel to me is not worth the repair if I had to replace all the bad parts.

But since I work for a Shimano warranty repair facility, my parts cost would be almost nil since I have piles of reels to get free used parts from, and my labor would be free. So that really makes restoring a $400 reel worthwhile for me, and even a $200 reel worthwhile.

All a matter of perspective of the person with the reel I suppose.
that is what i was wondering, just how much a similar repair would be.  and, you are right about the other reel, just toss it and get another one.  but, for me, i have used both ends of the spectrum and a $400 shimano is not worth the price when it does not perform any better and that includes smoothness, drag smoothness, throwing different weights of lures ect.  but, for those that fee it really does up their game, and they can catch more fish using the $400 reel that is what makes the world go 'round.  i have almost two years now on my first "cheap" reel.  i have not had it apart to clean it.  i do regularly lube the bearing and the level wind.  believe me that reel has a lot of mileage on it, and it is still smooth as butter, makes no noise at all and throws a mile is needed be.  in fact, i have $24.50 in the reel, and if i did have to replace it every two years, i think i got my money's worth.

bo
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SteelHorseCowboy

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Re: FishDrops BC-150 Baitcast Reel - Revealed...
« Reply #10 on: November 19, 2018, 11:32:34 PM »

You definitely got your money's worth.
I personally wouldn't spend more than I paid for my Curado, $180, on a reel. Actually, as much as I love that reel, I'll probably never spend that much on one again.

Money doesn't buy skill. It's that simple.
I'M NOT GOOD ENOUGH for a $400 reel.
A $30 reel in the hands of a good fisherman, is far better than a $400 reel in the hands of an amateur.

Sent from my SM-G930U using Tapatalk

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