Sunday, April 14, 2019

Zebco Bullet Casting Problem Repair

We have several of the Zebco Bullet reels. I LOVE these reels for zero backlash long distance casting and high retrieve speed. One of our Bullets would occasionally hang the line internally, immediately upon casting, and slam the lures down right in front of us (and sometimes break  monofilament line). After searching the web and finding several other people posting about this issue but no fix found, I decided to investigate the issue with my own reel. 

Every time this would happen, I'd remove the spool cover to look and see what the problem was. By the time I'd pull the cover, it would unhang and I could find no issue. Finally, on a recent fishing outing, I removed the cap and found the problem...the line was snagged around the mushroom head stud (looks almost like a tiny brad) that secures the bearing on the retracting line pickup arm. 

When the cast button was depressed and the pickup pins were retracted, it would leave the head of the stud exposed just enough to occasionally snag the line on cast...seen in the photo below...

I removed the spool cover (hold the handle to resist turning, and turn the spool cover counter clockwise), removed the bearing / stud assembly from the retracting pickup arm, pressed the stud to firmly seat it into the bearing with the head flush, and reinstalled it. We've cast a few hundred times since with not a single hangup. Problem solved! Below is a photo of one of my Zebco Bullets with Proline braid installed, and you can see the pin pressed all the way in against the bearing's inner race.

I hope this helps someone else with the same problem!

****NOTE**** Since the original posting of this message, I contacted Zebco and learned they have an updated / improved spool cover / spin head for this reel. I sent them the serial # of my reel, and they sent me a new cover. It looks as if the bearings are now retained with an improved fastener, and they look to retract a bit more when in the cast position. Thanks to Zebso for AWESOME customer service!