TEAR IT DOWN! TEAR IT DOWN! The G4 Revo Winch, I mean . . .

Leprechaun

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My new Abu Gen 4 Revo Winch arrived a short time ago. And what a beauty it is! What follows is a fairly comprehensive review of how I prepare my or anyone's new reel for salt water usage. This is not a tear down/rebuild of a well-used reel - that would entail many more steps and much more 'splaining than I will get into here. But I do see that many new low-pro bait casters are being purchased for use in our local salt water environs - and what I will describe here is a representative viewing of my work, in preparedness towards that type of fairly severe usage.

Here's my new fluke slayer. A VERY nice piece, even as delivered. I will go thru it to address "lubricational readiness" for SW combat, and add a couple of upgraded parts along the way :

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And here's the upgrades - a new carbon fiber 100mm handle, carrying a pair of over-sized round EVA knobs, along with a carbon-fiber, much larger than stock drag star. Both are from Ray's Studio, and both purchased through www.aliexpress.com. The handle was $39 and the star was $25 - both prices include shipping from our good friends in the PRC. If you price out the chi-chi Japanese versions of these components, via ichibantackle.com, japantackle.com, or digitaka.com, you will find that such items carry a cost of at least double, if not triple what I paid. Is the quality of the Japanese versions any better? Meh, not in my experience. I've been using these "Ray's Studio" components for at least six seasons now, and they are OUTSTANDING. Between my own experience as well as other's that have had me perform similar upgrades on their reels, not a single issue, of any kind. And I'm talking at least 40 reels. Good enough for me!

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A little better view of the two handles along with the tools that I prefer for this work. Check out the way-cool Abu Garcia 10/11mm wrench. That's certainly something you don't see every day! True nostalgia:



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A better view - including the Ray's Studio aluminum closed box wrench that I use for those delicate aluminum color-anodized handle nuts, like we're working with on this job. Its much more difficult to scuff delicate aluminum handle nuts if you're using an aluminum wrench:

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Next pic shows the factory aluminum-shanked handle already removed from reel's drive shaft. the factory plastic drag star (I think its plastic, anyway) , the factory's four drag washers, and the anti-reverse bearing sleeve, are laid out in the exact sequence of removal (or installation, for that matter) .

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End Part One
 
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Leprechaun

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Next job is to unscrew the three right side plate screws. Take note that the rear two are equal length long ones, and the front one is a small-head shortie screw. Please remember to put them back in that orientation. To complete removing the side plate there's one more screw, on the other side of the frame. It goes through the frame, and also secures the removable "lube port" to the side plate. Remove it as well, along with the lube port cover.

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And here's the right side plate removed from the reel. Note the size of the Abu main gear - massive, given the overall teeny size of the reel:

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Next is a great shot of the gear set, along with the various other bits and pieces that make the magic. No more aluminum main gears - yeah! Note the paucity of lubrication. We will remedy that potential reel-killing issue.

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By way of comparison, here's a side by side comparison of four currently available, popular reel's main gears. Images borrowed with great respect from www.tackletour.com (BTW, I highly recommend that site for great reviews of all the latest gear).
From left to right is the : Daiwa Tatula, Revo4, 13Fishing Concept Z and Curado/Chronarch (and I assume the new Tranx 200):

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I'm not a metallurgist, but to my eye the new Revo4's gears look to be the most substantial, and by a significant margin. That's not by accident. Abu has always designed their reels from the inside out - Swedish or Korean built, they've been well proven over the past 50 or so years. Well, other than the Revo Gen3's aluminum drive gear, I suppose. Hey, no company's perfect, I guess. :rolleyes:

Before we go further, let me list the reel lubricants that I rely upon for pretty much all my work - its actually simple. I like Yamaha Marine Yamalube blue-green grease for most every application that calls for a grease, and I use either Reel-X oil or TSI-321 in the bearings. Reel-X or 3-in-1 for the handle knobs and the such. For level-wind worm gears I like Reel Saver white lube in the syringe applicator.

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A drop of Reel-X on both of the free-spool spring posts - no need to over do it. I also like to apply a thin coat of grease to the thumbar/free spool actuating mechanism of a fresh reel.

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Next pic shows the main gear - lubed half-way round. No need to over do it. Half way is plenty.

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End Part Two
 
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Leprechaun

Kind of a Big Deal - In My Mind Anyway
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Now let's address the right side plate, including its recessed spool bearing. Normally I would pull the bearing, remove a dust shield from one side, flush it with automotive brake cleaner, blow it out with compressed air, and then lube with ONE drop of TSI-321. Or, because its a new reel, we could do the "lazy man's" method. I put ONE drop of Reel-X right in the bearing's dust shield to inner race opening, and two drops of Reel-X into the anti-reverse roller bearing.

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And here's a shot of the right side plate, bearings lubed and carrying a very light application of grease. This will keep corrosion of the aluminum plate to a minimum:

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Here's a shot of the TSI-321 I prefer, along with a needle oiler that I found on Ebay, for like $4. Money well spent. If you have an interest, read up on TSI-321, its really a high-tech coating/protectant: TSI-321 Lubricant More Information

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Carefully reinstall the Right side plate, using the four previously discussed screws, and its time to move on to the left side plate.

One important edit - though I failed to take a pic of it, make an effort to ensure that all four of the right side plate screw holes in the frame's body get some grease inside. This will prevent the tiny side plate screws from salt-freezing in those holes, which invariably causes much consternation and naughty word utterances when trying to remove them, after a few salt water soakings. This is an import and often overlooked step.

End Part 3
 
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Leprechaun

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Flip the reel over and you will see the left side plate release lever/button/thingie down under:

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Push it toward the "open" lettering and give the plate a twist, it should pop right open:

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Note that Abu calls this a "Beetle Wing" side plate - meaning that it emulates the way a beetle's wing covers hide its wings. I guess so . . . One of the reasons I bought the Revo Gen 4 Winch over the less expensive Revo-X Winch is because of this feature. The Revo 4 retain's its left side plate. I can't drop it overboard, while the Revo-X's side plate lacks this feature - meaning it can be dropped and possibly lost. Seems reason enough to spring for the better reel. To me at least.

Pull the spool out of the frame and set it aside:

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A shot of the left side plate. Note its anti-backlash rare earth magnets and the recessed left side spool bearing:

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A drop of Reel-X in the spool bearing please:

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A light application of grease to the three small silver screw heads that hold the magnet assembly and all over the rest of the side plate's inside surface too, for that matter. Don't overdo it. Less is more.


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End Part 4
 
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Leprechaun

Kind of a Big Deal - In My Mind Anyway
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Now back to the spool. One careful drop of Reel-X right into the bearing, via the dust shield/inner race open area.

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Now to the left side of the frame. One or two drops of Reel-X onto the level wind worm retaining parts:

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Now a light application of grease to the exposed aluminum frame areas. Re-install the spool and rotate the LS plate back into position. Push it down against the frame and slide the lock lever back, away from the open position. And we're good to go with the LS of the reel.

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Now its time for the "upgrades." Yipeee!

Gotta begin with the new Carbon Fiber drag star. First, note that Ray's Studio is aware that because this drag star was originally intended for the Gen 3 Revo, it isn't an EXACT bolt-on replacement for the Gen 4's factory drag star. No worries, as they include the fix with their star.

Here's a view of the inside of both the new Ray's star and the factory version. Note that the inner surface of the factory Gen 4 star is flat, while the inside of Ray's new star has a raised "boss" area. If you just screw the new star onto the drive shaft of a Gen 4 reel, you will lose a ton of drag adjust-ability, meaning that the drag will be almost at full "on" while backed off. Let me to put it more succinctly - you will not be able to back off the drag.

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So the solution is to remove the thick-as-a-brick top flat washer in the factory drag stack, and replace it with the pair of MUCH thinner washers that Ray's provided with the drag star. Look at the washers:

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Same diameter, just much less thickness:

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And here are the new washers on the drive shaft, right above the pair of curved washers. Incidentally, those curved washers are installed like this: ( ), not (( or )( :

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Leprechaun

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Next, unscrew the pretty spool tension cap and give the threads underneath a light coating of grease. This is a problem area in all small bait casters, so try to remember this step to prevent that right side spool bearing from meeting an untimely, rusty end. Apply the grease and re-install the cap. Turn it all the way snugly down, and then back it off 1.5 turns - that's a good starting point for spool side-play adjustment, once you have the reel completely reassembled:

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Here's a couple of shots of the new Ray's Studio CF drag star installed on the drive shaft. Screw it down fairly tightly to help with the next steps.:

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Next up is installation of the new 100mm carbon handle. The following shot shows the pair of handle support washers that Ray's includes with their CF handles. So why do they do that? Because while CF is immensely strong, super light in weight, immune from SW corrosion and just about impervious to any type of cracking, it is still susceptible to wear, if it is constantly rubbing against metal - like the aluminum drive shaft, for example. So to hold this new, lighter handle in perfect alignment, one washer is installed under the handle, between it and the new CF drag star. And the second one is installed above the handle, under the handle lock nut. Done this way the handle is super secure. It will never move a micron, and therefore never wear at the handle to driveshaft area.

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Give it a little grease, making sure to get some into the tiny threaded retaining socket for the lock plate screw:

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End Part 5
 
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Leprechaun

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Next install the new colored lock nut, the lock nut plate and lock nut plate retaining screw - all provided with the new handle - and admire your upgrade work. Gorgeous, right?

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A drop of Reel-X at the base of each knob, please! Were this a complete tear down/re-lube after heavy-duty SW use I would remove the knobs from the handle, clean up their inner bearings and re-lube them with Reel-X. Not gonna do that here - just not necessary when dealing with a new reel, in my view.

So you are aware, there are normally two teeny-tiny "stainless" steel ball bearings inside most high-end replacement handle's knobs - including this one. Most times I replace the lower knob bearings with a plastic bushing and leave the upper bearings in there (after proper cleaning/lubrication) - so to remove the possibility of those lower bearings getting all nasty from repeated SW soakings. But in this case I'll let them be - until the first "complete" tear-down, anyway.

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Last task - lubing the level-wind worm gear. Here is where I like the Reel Saver grease - nice stuff and the syringe applicator is the t*ts!

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Squirt it in there and don't be stingy, it won't hurt a thing to overdo it a bit:

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Give the handle a couple of turns, so that the pawl distributes the Reel Saver grease evenly across the LW worm:

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And that's it! Now bolted to my Capt. Neil DNY Impact fluke killer, just waiting for the season to get going! :)

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For further research on this specific reel, I highly recommend this article on the Tackle Tour website: Abu Garcia Revo Gen4 Revo4 Winch Baitcasting Low Profile Product Review
 
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Pete21

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Nice , thanks for the tutorial. I have the same reel in the lefty model. I used it a few times last year but didn't land any substantial fish on it . It does seem like a nice piece though.
 
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Leprechaun

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Ken - Mark/Striper and I were in a large tackle store this early afternoon, right after we toured the Striper Day Expo at Ward Melville H.S. He had previously purchased a Curado K, but was having second thoughts - and so he was looking at the Tranx 200. I asked the sales guy to show Mark the Gen 4 Winch as well - he said he didn't have any - and kind of wrinkled his nose up at the very suggestion. Strike one.

While Mark and he were diddling the Tranx, I wandered across the store, looked in a showcase there - and wonder of wonders - a Revo Gen 4 Winch, prominently displayed, right up front on the top shelf. Huh! When I went back across the store to let the salesman know of his oversight - he said "Wait, what? You mean that Revo in the 'close out' section? Why would you want that reel when we sell 200 Shimanos to every Abu reel?" Strike two.

What a killer sales approach! Maybe I've had it wrong all my years of direct sales. I need to try this new-gen arrogance on MY client sales appointments! I bet it'll just slay 'em at IBM!

I asked if he's ever fished an Abu reel in his approx 20 years of being on this Earth - no verbal response, but his disdainful/dismissive headshake told me he resented the very thought of such a question. Strike three. Its confirmed - he's a d*ck!

I found this entire episode amusing. I know all about BMW snobs, Apple computer snobs, even Starbucks snobs - but a Shimano reel snob? A new one on me!

Anyway, Mark ended up with the Tranx. He's happy, and I suppose the salesman is happy - being smugly assured of his own unassailable logic; and I'm yet further convinced of the raw intellectual horsepower of our wonderful up and coming generation of Millennials. :rolleyes:
 
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Leprechaun

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Hi Cany - I find that if you DON'T do this, pulling it apart after the first season of SW use will typically require the patience of Job, the knowledge of a Japanese reel engineer - and probably a Hilti hammer drill. I can't begin to tell you how many ruined reels I get handed for a "light service" each season. What they actually need is a Priest and a funeral service.

These tiny FW-intended reels do not like to play in the salt without adequate protection, and are a royal PITA to service if you don't take preventative measures right off the bat. The days of Penn 155s, Newell 220s and the like are looong gone. . . unfortunately!
 
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Savvy18

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I thought I was a BIG proponent of Shimano reels....Until I did a little inventory assessment and realized I currently own (3) Shimano reels. Two of which I rarely use anymore...But I have (11) Abu Garcia's that are the majority of my "go-to" fishing reels. Over the years I've always gravitated towards them and I believe it will be so until the day I'm done fishing for good.
 
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cany

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Hi Cany - I find that if you DON'T do this, pulling it apart after the first season of SW use will typically require the patience of Job, the knowledge of a Japanese reel engineer - and probably a Hilti hammer drill. I can't begin to tell you how many ruined reels I get handed for a "light service" each season. What they actually need is a Priest and a funeral "service."

These tiny FW-intended reels do not like to play in the salt without adequate protection, and are a royal PITA to service if you don't take preventative measures right off the bat. The days of Penn 155s, Newell 220s and the like are looong gone. . . unfortunately!


Thanks Lep Now I understand why you do it when their brand new iT make sence
 

Savvy18

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One thing I RARELY do anymore when I go into tackle shops is ask the "guy behind the counter" for advice on reels & rods. I'm not me being a dou___bag, it's just that I know what I like when I see it. I MIGHT have a question here or there but never seek "advice" from the kid behind the counter. When it comes to rods, I prefer to be left alone and most of the shops I visit regularly know me by now. They let me do my thing without interruption - and sooner or later a rod is brought to the counter for purchase...Or, I walk out.
 

buddha162

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Lep, that gen1 winch you recommended years and years ago...I probably logged more fluke on that reel (+ my PB) than all my subsequent fluke reels combined. And as far as I know...it's still catching fluke, albeit in someone else's hand (I think another member of this board!)

Thank you for the breakdown. I know how much work went into photographing and documenting each step...these tutorials are invaluable to any DIYer, esp one as clumsy as me.
 

hartattack

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Dec 22, 2018
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Lep, that gen1 winch you recommended years and years ago...I probably logged more fluke on that reel (+ my PB) than all my subsequent fluke reels combined. And as far as I know...it's still catching fluke, albeit in someone else's hand (I think another member of this board!).

It's the Energizer Bunny of baitcasters . . . Roger's good karma with that reel has now carried over to my son. He used that Winch (OG) on George's Bank for Cod and on Nantucket Shoals for his PB Fluke.. Of course Roger never used more than 1/2 oz with it :p Now using up to 20 oz. (on this low gear Winch) proves that a more appropriately named reel doesn't exist. . . . My son & I thank Roger and Lep for this jewel :)
 
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