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Best Budget Centerpin Reel

Getting into centerpin fishing can be expensive. When people see a reel costing upward of $600, it might deter them from getting into centerpin fishing. For those people willing to take the time with a do-it-yourself project they can have the best budget centerpin reel for under $60.

Best Budget Centerpin Reel FontThe Best Budget Centerpin Reel from China

Best Budget Centerpin Reel BackMost centerpin reel starts at $150. But you can find centerpin reel on eBay or Amazon for around $40. The quality of these reels aren’t really good but they provide a solid foundation for a good centerpin reel.
The signature of a good centerpin is how well the centerpin spins, both in the initial spin start and the smoothness of the continuous spin. And it is the bearings that mediate these two spinning factors. This project will take the cheap centerpin reel and replaced bearings with the high-end ABEC 7 ceramic centerpin reel bearings resulting in the best budge centerpin reel.

Where to buy the best budget centerpin reel?

Click on the buttons below to search for the best budget centerpin reel:

Search eBay Centerpin

Search Amazon Centerpin

These reels are mass produced in China and are not sold under a single brand name.  They are sometimes re-branded under generic names making them difficult to find. The best way to find them is to use the picture as reference. They have a 108mm or 4 1/4 inches diameter and are sometimes referred to as “center pin float reel 4 1/4 inches” or “center pin trout reel”. They range in price from $38-$70. Don’t pay more than $50 for it!

Now click on the buttons below to search for the ABEC 7 Ceramic Bearings:

 Search Ebay Ceramic Bearings

Search Amazon Ceramic Bearings

These bearings are similar to the ones used in high-end centerpin like the Islander Steelheaders.  The bearings are ABEC 7 Ceramic Ball Bearings. You will need 2 of these bearings one for the front and one for the back. The bearings size is: 7x14x5 mm
Inner = 7mm
Outer = 14mm
height = 5mm
Warning: Before you buy the ABEC 7 Ceramic Bearings take the reel apart to confirm the bearing specs are correct.

Once you receive the reel and bearings the bearing upgrade process is simple.

  1. Remove the screw from the front of the reel.
  2. Take off the cap and remove the front bearing.
  3. Take the spool off and remove 4 screws on the back of the spool and remove the sprocket.
  4. Replace the back bearing and re-attach the sprocket with 4 screws and put the spool back on reel bracket.
  5. Replace the front bearing with the ceramic bearing, put the cap and screw back on.

Best Budget Centerpin Reel Spin Test Video Fishing WA

5 thoughts on “Best Budget Centerpin Reel

  • larrythefishingguy

    Nice. Looks like an easy and fun project.

  • I just ordered the 7×14×5 abec7 boca
    bearings. I have this same reel and i caught steelhead and brown trout on it but i really want better start up with smaller floats so im trying this out. Your test seems to be around 55-60% better with the boca upgrade at the very least with a rough test. I’ll tell you how it goes.

    • fishing wa

      keep us updated.

  • toofasttocast

    thanks for the awesome video! how do you find the quality of this reel? What’s diameter you think is the sweet spot 4-1/2?

  • Recently purchased a £35 Chinese copy of a 41/2 “Match Aerial sold by Channelmay. Any good you may ask, bloody amazing for the price. I find all ball bearing pins tend to over run because they spin too fast, This one spun faultlessly like it was not going to stop but was tamed to a slower speed with the fitted drag, just like the Aerial. Most important is a line guard to help stop tangles on windy days, this one has one for R or L hand use. Now given up the intention to buy an Aerial.
    It looks like my regulars, Trudex, Rapidex, Golden Eagle, Merlin, Ikonix and W&R Leeds will all be taking second place in the pecking order, but then again just purchased a 51/2” Maxima, not pretty but first impressions are that it will equal any of my others.
    I have a definate aversion to Ball bearing reels that I cannot slow down to match the current flow,


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