I went ahead and swapped the pinion and main gear with a new gearset from shimano. I still noiced a light ticking sound but when I took it out and fished with it, it magically disappeared. Don't know how or why really, but I did notice the pinion teeth did have quite a bit of wear on the ends of it.
Don't leave a fish to find a fish!!! Mark Zona
For the love of god man, set the hook!!! Me