I‘m a liberal leaning outdoorsman attempting to open the minds of right wingers to the idea that libs fish too. Anglers come from all walks of life, left, right, and center. Not everyone who fishes for bass is a redneck fond of Nascar, country music, and religiosity. Expect posts about largemouth bass fishing, techniques, reviews of lures and other products, but not any condemnable conservative rants. I hope to inspire the online angler community to dial down rhetoric which will do more harm than good to our sport.

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Wednesday, September 9, 2009

• Open Up A PQL10P Baitcaster

With this post, I'll briefly show you how to open up a PQL10P baitcaster. I was not going to bother writing up this post, but someone did a Google search for this info and landed on my blog, so I might as well share and help a few folks out. Since it was a limited edition reel, you probably did not get schematics with it. Because I don't have a schematics sheet, I'm not going to venture too deep into the reel. I'll take you down to the drag and some of the gears. Parts might be hard to find, so I am not in any mood to get risky with a reel I actually use. For routine maintenance, access to a couple of bearings, the drive gear, and the drag washers should be enough. For a full break down, you'll need to go a little deeper than what I'm showing here to get into the worm gear and possibly two other bearings. If you can tell me how to approach removing a worm gear assembly, please post a comment. Each photo might be larger than it appears here, so if you want a slightly better look at what is in a particular photo, click on it.

Start by pushing the sideplate release button and tilting sideplate up. Then remove the sideplate. Tilt the reel to the side and let the spool slide out. This will reveal a screw located on the opposite side. Remove that screw.

I won't go into taking apart the spool cover. It has a bearing in the center and three screws holding the spool cover to the sideplate. The magnets are located inside the spool cover as well. One mod some enthusiasts like to dabble with is to swap out magnets of different strengths.

Now switch sides.

One interesting quirk about this reel is that unlike other BPS reels, you don't have to turn the handle counterclockwise to remove it, a chore that seems somewhat mysterious at first. This reel is held together with screws. It's a little more straightforward in terms of design.

There is a screw going through the cap that holds the handle on. Take out that screw. Then turn the silver cap counterclockwise until it comes off. Notice that there is a gold colored nut inside the recess of the cap. Set those parts aside.

Remove the handle by lifting it away from the reel. Notice underneath the handle, there is a thin metal spacer. Pay attention to the orientation. The flat side goes against the handle, not the drag star. Grease is holding it in place on my reel, but it may fall off on yours. Set the handle aside. Remove the drag star by turning it counterclockwise. Then slowly slide it off of the crank shaft.

Remove the cast control knob by turning it counterclockwise. It's much easier to take the cast control knob at this point because the drag star is out of the way. Next, remove the pair of cupped tension spacers. Also pay very close attention to the correct orientation here. These two spacers are arranged facing each other like a couple of parentheses like so - (). Then remove the clutch behind them. In my situation, one was stuck to the washer because of grease. I placed one spacer over a flathead screwdriver to illustrate how it is cupped.

Next, you need to remove three screws on the sideplate. One is at the back above "PQL10P." One is located at the front. Then the third is towards the back along the bottom edge. The front screw was difficult to remove on my reel, so be careful not to strip or core any of these out. No sense in making life more difficult than it already is.

Slide the sideplate off. This exposes the drag washers, gears, and crank shaft. Remove the metal sleeve around the crank shaft. Then remove the drag washers above the larger drive gear. Then remove drive gear. Underneath the drive gear, there is a ratchet washer and a ratchet. Pay very close attention to how the ratchet is positioned against the mechanism for the clutch.

That gets you down to the idler gears, crank shaft, pinion gear, pinion yoke, and clutch spring. There are some more screws on that side and one on the opposite side near the worm shaft bushing for removing the rest of the guts from the sideplate. There is also one more screw holding the clutch bar in place. Removing most or all of those screws should get you access to the worm gear and line guide/line guide pipe. There is probably a bearing behind the crank shaft protected by a bearing plate screwed in below the crank shaft and an E-ring further in. Can't help you much with the bearings. They are easy to spot, so if you are comfortable with popping off bearing retainers, you're set.

Some easy to spot bearings are located underneath the cast control knob, at the center of the spool cover, and one held in place on the spool shaft (requires very careful removal of the pin above it). Like I said, there is probably one behind the crank shaft. There might be one between the worm gear and the idler on the right as well.

Put everything back in reverse order making sure the ratchet and pinion gear are both correctly oriented. The twin pair of springs inside do push against the sideplate, so when you slide that back on, it might require you to press down a little. The next tidbit of info is very important. When you put the drag star back on, the clutch has a spring loaded mechanism (see photo). The tab sticks out away from the clutch. You'll have to push this tab in to slide the drag star over it safely. Readjust your drag and brake settings. Then make sure the reel is back to normal.

If you have any additional information, feel free to post a comment. Breaking down reels is not one of my strong points. I'm still learning. Seeing as how I no longer shop at BPS, I had better take it upon myself to learn a thing or two before I eventually sell a couple of reels. One question I have is about the drag washers. I don't know what size they are, but has anyone upgraded them? The drag as it is now feels too mushy to me, even when fighting 2lb fish.

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