greases and oils - an update (9/14/2010)


I just want to find out which reel grease & oil do you prefer best. I usually drop off my reels to a tackle store to get it cleaned and lubricated, but it's quite too much in this economy. There's alot of brands out there and I want to see what you can help me on, anything positive or negative, feel free to say. Some brand I saw include:

Abu Garcia Silicote
Quantum Hot Sauce
Ardent Reel Butter
Daiwa Reel Grease & Oil
Penn Synthetic

grease is easy. shimano drag grease still works very well at $50 per pound. cal's drag grease is every bit as good, probably even better, and is half the price at $25 per pound. for general purpose grease, i still prefer the $5 a pound yamaha marine all purpose grease. the omc stuff is too tacky for my liking. penn makes a great product, daiwa's blue grease works great, they all work great. for coating the inside of a reel, i use a ratty old tooth brush that is mostly yamaha marine grease, but it has residue of maybe 20 other greases mixed in. it's no big deal. you just need a light coat of something, anything, to prevent corrosion on the inside of a reel.

for a general purpose oil, i use corrosion x. i have no idea what's in it. the company won't tell, but it's cheap enough and has worked well enough over the last 10 years that i feel very comfortable recommending it even though i don't know what it's made out of. you're looking at $17 for a big pump bottle or spray can that will last me a couple of months, but will last the average fisherman a lifetime. compared to some other lubes, corrosion x has the viscosity of pancake syrup, but i think that it is the single best all purpose product out there. and it's cheap!

then there are the performance lubes that cost $5-10 for a single one ounce bottle. ok, if it's going to cost as much as a single malt scotch, i want to know what's in it before i recommend it. products like quantum's hot sauce, metaloil, reel-x, and all the house brands from penn, daiwa, and shimano, all fall into this category. these products are all much faster than corrosion x, they are much more expensive than corrosion x, and the formulations are all secret. it's fine to have secrets, but until these products are all objectively (there's that word again) evaluated, it would be tough for anyone to make an objective recommendation.

now for xtreme reel +. i used it for over a year and stopped. it is, without a doubt, the fastest stuff out there. it is a teflon polymer lubricant suspended in a freon carrier. the freon evaporates in microseconds and leaves a thin dry film of teflon. the freespool from a reel properly cleaned and then lubed with xtreme reel + is mind blowing! but it only lasts a few weeks. after that point, the freespool is the same as corrosion x, meaning mediocre. still, if you are a tournament guy or a long ranger and you service your reels before every trip, try xtreme reel + and prepare to be amazed. it will absolutely, positively, deliver the fastest longest freespool of any product on the market today.

and finally, there is tsi 301. jim nomura has been working with me for the last half a year. he is an engineer and brought a level of engineering expertise that was sorely missing in this little hobby endeavor of mine. one thing he brought in was tsi 301. i'm guessing that the freespool from reel treated with tsi 301 is perhaps 80% that of a reel treated with xtreme reel +. the big advantage of tsi 301 is that it lasts much longer. i believe that we are looking at 6 to 12 months of great freespool for tsi 301 versus 1-2 weeks for xtreme reel +. this puts the performance on a par with the other superlubes mentioned above, but at a half to a quarter of the price of the superlubes. i've been using it for the last 6 months now (as of 9/2010) and have been very, very, impressed. the downside? it's $20 plus shipping, it is only available on line, and shipping is slow as molassas.

so right now it's yamaha marine all purpose blue grease for all the non-exposed metal surfaces, cal's drag grease for carbon fiber drag washer, corrosion x for a general purpose low speed oil (bearings, levelwinds, handles), and tsi 301 for high speed bearings and levelwinds. for your application, you could grab any of the superlubes online or at any shop and do just fine!