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Pro Tips: Understanding Ball Bearings in Spinning Reels


Take a look at any spinning reel in your local tackle shop and you'll find the the number of ball bearings it contains listed on the tag, ranging anywhere from 3 to 14. But do you know what purpose these ball bearings actually serve within the reel? And is more ball bearings always better than less? In this Pro Tips segment, we break down a few key points of ball bearings that will help you decide which spinning reel is best for you.

Ball bearings are a critical piece to any spinning reel. At a core level, ball bearings are what allow a spinning reel to "spin". They are used within the body of a reel to support and stabilize its internal gears. There are a lot of moving parts with a spinning reel, so ball bearings play an important role in ensuring these moving parts not only remain where they belong, but also maintain their smoothness through years of use. 

Most spinning reels also come with one exposed ball bearing - called the line roller, located on or next to the bail. The line roller bearing is represented through the +1 tag that comes after the number of bearings (for example: 9 +1) and is where your line rests on the bail. A line roller is a must-have for spinning reels, as it provides much needed stability and smoothness for casting and retrieving line.

Are more ball bearings always better? Unfortunately, it's not that simple. Generally speaking, the more ball bearings your reel has, the smoother it will spin and longer it will last. However, the quality of the ball bearings is equally critical to the longevity of your reel as the number of bearings. Make sure your reel uses high quality ball bearings that will ward off rust and decay even in the harshest conditions. The Cheeky FLOTR and CYDRO Spinning Reels use only the highest quality stainless steel ball bearings so you can be sure your reel will be out-of-the-box smooth for years to come. Click here to shop Cheeky Spinning Reels.

Cheeky's CYDRO and FLOTR Spinning Reels use only the highest quality ball bearings to ensure years of smooth use.

Ball bearings are an important piece to any spinning reel, and the number and quality should be considered before making any purchase.