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Aluminum parts in reels

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The Rooster

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Iím starting to think about getting a new bait cast reel for a jigging rod. The Bass Pro Shops Carbonlite 2 appeals to me because of its weight, its cost, and its looks. My concern is that it has an aluminum main shaft that the drive gear rides on. My mind immediately goes to past experiences Iíve had with aluminum and mechanical parts, such as stripped threads, bending under load, and all that kind of stuff, and this sort of puts me off. So I wanted to ask, is there anything to be concerned about with that, or am I overthinking it?

Iím only thinking of stripped threads as a concern when I take it apart for service, when removing and reinstalling the handle nut, that is.

Also, this reel has a brass drive gear, but others out there have aluminum gears. Iíve asked this and read about this before; it seems they develop gear grind after a while when the drive gear is aluminum. My friend has the Bass Pro Shops Johnny Morris reel, the $200 model with aluminum gears, and it feels like a coffee grinder to me. He had it for about 2 years before it was serviced, so I took it apart for him and cleaned and lubed it like I always do for mine and it didnít return to a smooth state. Still grinded like it had sand in the gears when reassembled, but my much cheaper Abu Garcia Orra SX reels with brass gears are still smooth as butter after 5 years of use and being taken apart multiple times. I had read that this was due to aluminum gears. However, Iím starting to wonder if it could also be due to using the reel as a winch in a fish fight, rather than using the rod to move the fish and just using the reel to take up line in between for another pull with the rod. The latter is how I fight fish, and I think he uses the reel more as a winch. I never do that. So, with that in mind, would aluminum gears be ok, or would I just end up paying more for such a reel and then be disheartened when it starts feeling rough on the retrieve? I know people buy $200 and $300 reels everyday, and many of these have aluminum, and they swear up and down theyíre smooth and how much they love them.

Whatís odd, is my friend hadnít seemed to notice how rough his was until he sampled mine. His is BAD! I wouldnít even fish with it cause of how it feels, and yet it still works just fine. Just rough as heck.


Oldfart9999

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I have a bunch of BPS PRO QUALIFIER reels that have duraluminium gears and so far have had no issues, some are 4 or 5 years old.
Rodney
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LgMouthGambler

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Tory uses a Carbonlite 2.0, and I have the JM Signature reel. No problems with either. Dont over tighten things, its that simple. As far as the aluminum gears in the Sig, I have pulled some big fish out of some sloppy stuff with that reel, and no gear issues. Im more confident in them gears than I am in Shimano and Daiwa aluminum gears, or even the MM gears from Shimano that are brass.
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fishballer06

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Aluminum parts are always a toss up (no matter the brand). If it's something that worries you that much, spend the money and get something with brass gears.
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Mike Cork

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Of course you have to be careful with handle nuts on any drive shaft... So aluminum doesn't bother me at all.

As far as the coffee grinder feeling, a lot of times it's not the gears but rather the ARB or a pinion gear bearing. I'm betting if you took your buddy's reel and changed both those bearings it would be smooth again. Gears and bearings wear, but bearings go faster because of moisture (even basic condensation) especially in a reel that hasn't been cleaned in two years.

Bass Pro has stepped up the game in the last 10 years. IMO they used to be a throw away reel, buy it, use it until it fails, buy another one. But now, if maintained, you can expect years of service.
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The Rooster

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Aluminum parts are always a toss up (no matter the brand). If it's something that worries you that much, spend the money and get something with brass gears.

It kinda worries me, but reel weight is starting to worry me even more because of shoulder pain and tennis elbow that Iíve had in both arms now. Thatís why I liked that Carbonlite cause itís just 6.7 oz and still has brass gears. If the aluminum shaft wonít be a real issue then thatís probably what Iíll get. 

Mike Cork

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I've had to replace more driveshafts because of stripped handle nuts on ABU than any other brand. Don't know why but they can be trouble. Can't remember every changing a driveshaft on a carbonate, but older models do have clutch return issues. Another issue with BPS that I just thought about, you're looking for a long term reel. BPS only orders two years worth of spare parts, sometimes they last longer, but after that they will ship you parts form old returned reels if the part is available.
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The Rooster

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I've had to replace more driveshafts because of stripped handle nuts on ABU than any other brand. Don't know why but they can be trouble. Can't remember every changing a driveshaft on a carbonate, but older models do have clutch return issues. Another issue with BPS that I just thought about, you're looking for a long term reel. BPS only orders two years worth of spare parts, sometimes they last longer, but after that they will ship you parts form old returned reels if the part is available.

I wasnít aware that they even had new parts to order. Thought they were all used. Thank you for the info.