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Abu Garcia's Baitcaster Troubleshooting Guide
I'm no expert at lubrication, so take my following advice with caution. Several web sites give instructions on baitcaster maintenance and many times, the advice differs so much that some are in opposition with each other. I only perform lubrication maintenance on my baitcasters when I notice changes in casting or about once every month or two. I mainly apply oil in a few spots and grease sparingly albeit much less often.
Remove the cap on the casting control knob (handle side) and place a drop of oil on the bearing there. Place the drop of oil in the easily visible recessed ring going around the edge. You might take note of any light grease on the center knob should you ever decide to apply grease there later.
Remove the sideplate on the left side of the reel by pushing in the release button with the thumb of your right hand and then rotate the sideplate with the thumb of your left hand in a clockwise fashion on a right-handed reel and counterclockwise on a left-handed reel. Carefully pull the sideplate away from the reel revealing the side of the spool. Inside the sideplate, you'll notice another bearing in the center. I place a drop of oil in that ring. Note that there is grease inside the fitting for the spool shaft as well as on the tip of the spool shaft.
Looking at the inside edge of the reel, you'll see the spool and a bushing at the end of the worm gear at the front. Some sites say the end of the worm gear gets oil and others say bushings get grease. I side with those who say light grease. Remove the spool by first making sure the line around the spool is secure (you don't want a mess of line) and then tilt the reel to the side with your hand cupped ready to catch the spool as it slides out. Again, you'll notice light grease on the ends of the spool shafts. On the side with the longer spool shaft, you'll notice another bearing ring around the base. One or two drops of oil will do. Some like to put a drop of oil on the spool shaft. I've found it can make a difference in a positive way as long as you lightly coat the shaft and not the end. Carefully put the spool back into place. If your line is a mess, it helps to keep one finger on the spool of line and use your other hand to pull line out away from the front of the reel. Put the sideplate back on in the reverse order you took it off, although you don't need to push down on the button this time. At this point, I usually work the oil around a little by letting out a lot of line and cranking the reel for a short while.
On the underside of the front of the reel, you'll see the worm shaft and the line guide. Some put grease on the worm shaft and others sometimes add a drop of oil. Seeing as how the worm shaft is exposed and can easily collect debris, I don't overdo it with either. I believe grease is the better choice of the two and I use it sparingly. Your worm gear may already have grease on it and it might also have dirt. Wipe it clean before adding more grease or risk damaging the reel. I also add a drop of oil on the pipe surrounding the worm shaft and the silver pillar just above it that the line guide also slides along. I give the reel a few turns to coat the entire thing.
Handle knobs can also use a little lube, but I never do it. This is another spot that people differ on. Some say grease. Others say oil. Lubricate the handles where they meet the crank. The thumb clutch that engages and disengages the spool might also need a drop of oil along the edges. I oil it by holding the reel upside down, adding a drop on each side, and wiping away the excess with a Q-tip or paper towel. Then I work the thumb clutch a few times and it's good to go.
That's all I do. When I clean the outside of this reel, I use rubbing alcohol with Q-tips and sometimes finish things off with some KVD Line & Lure.
Lubrication Guide. Bass Pro Shops. 2007.