Daiwa Sol - Mini-Lube and
Inspection (Also applies to Daiwa Alphas reels – all variations)
||TD Sol (and
Introduction: Join ChuckE, TT's latest
edition to the "TT Gear Crew," for an extremely detailed "how to"
article dedicated to the maintenance of one of the most popular palming
baitcasters out there, the Daiwa TD-Sol. No matter how fine of a reel you are
using it is wise to learn how to inspect and maintain your reels once a season
to ensure optimal performance over the long haul.
ChuckE: Most of the fishing I do
in the winter is from the shore, and there always seems to be more of a
potential for debris and foreign material to enter the reels that I use at these
times. Combine this with the temperature extremes that one encounters in the
cold of winter, and you can have a situation where moisture and condensation can
form in the reel. I always wonder about the condition of the reels I’ve used in
winter, even though they are kept in a heated area when not in use. The
following tutorial are the steps I take to inspect and lubricate my reel after a
season of fishing under these conditions.
I like to have an open
area when I work on my reels, and also like ready access to my tools, schematic,
and lubes. Before beginning I cover my area with clean and lint-free white
terry cloth rags. The texture of terry cloth prevents small parts and pieces
from rolling around and becoming lost and white seems to make it easier to see
the parts, as they are laid-out. The use of lint-free rags and wipes mitigates
the potential for fouling of components. Tools you will need are shown in the
Did I say schematic? You
bet! I always have the schematic available when disassembling and reassembling
one of my reels. Although the layout and construction on Daiwa low profile
reels are similar, the order and placement of small washers and other components
can be different. I do not advise doing any type of major reel assembly or
reassembly without the schematic. To clarify, the purpose of this tutorial is
not to replace operating instructions or diagrams provided with a reel, but
simply to illustrate the steps I take to inspect and lubricate my reels.
To remove the palm plate,
loosen the large screw located in the center of the magnetic brake adjustment
knob. I like to use a reel wrench that came with one of my Daiwa reels, to
initially break the screw free, and use a finger tip to loosen it the rest of
the way. (Be careful not to scratch the side of the palm plate or “ding-up the
screw head”, with whatever tool you use.) The locking screw is retained to the
palm plate and is spring loaded, but should turn easily.
Once the screw is loosened
the plate can be pivoted approximately 1/8 of a turn to disengage it from the
frame and it can be removed from the frame. The spool will often come out with
the plate, when it is removed, because of the fit in the anti-backlash magnets.
However, just slide it out if it doesn’t. Sometimes the spool pin may hang-up
in the pinion gear, so it may help to disengage the spool with the release bar.
When you remove the spool, you are actually pulling the spool side clutch
bearing from the bearing socket built into the frame, and the fit will be a
little snug on a new reel. I like to put a rubber band or piece of tape around
the spool once it is removed, to prevent line from spilling off the spool.
You can check the spool
bearings for proper movement, by flicking the bearing attached to the spool with
a finger tip, and turning the inner race of the bearing attached to the palm
plate with a sharpened hard wood dowel (that doesn’t splinter). Inspect the
visible part of the bearing for debris and signs of corrosion. Since the spool
bearings in my Sol were very clean and in good condition, the only thing
required was to add a small drop of oil to each. Use a small drop of oil, since
excess oil will just spin off the bearing during the first few casts, and will
splatter inside the spool, frame and magnets. Add the drop of oil to the
outside of the inner race so it will flow into the bearing, and then slowly spin
the bearing to distribute the oil.
Remove the handle by
unscrewing the small retaining screw, and remove the nut that holds the handle.
The Sol handle uses a special nut, so the tool that came with the reel will be
needed. Remember, that the reel handle shaft has reverse tapered threads, so
you’ll want to turn them the opposite direction than you normally would.
To lube the knobs on the
reel handle you will need to pull the plug out on the end of each knob. You can
fashion a small tool from a paperclip, by straightening out one end, and bending
it over at a 90 degree angle, approximately 1/8 inch from the end. If you have
ever upgraded the knobs on a reel, chances are you will already have a plug
removal tool, so you can use it instead. The plugs are friction fit into the
knobs, and a little effort may be required when pulling them out, especially if
the reel is new. Just be careful when pulling the plugs, so they don’t get
The stock handle on the
Sol has rivet knobs that have been lubricated with light grease at the factory.
You can add a small drop of oil or a dab of grease to the inside of the knob in
the location that is marked in the picture. [As the knobs wear, you can restore
some smoothness by using grease.] If you use oil, you can also put a small drop
on the bottom of each knob, where the knob meets the bottom of its shaft. Press
the knob plugs back in when finished.
The stock knobs on the Alphas reels are held in place with a screw and can
removed for cleaning and lubrication or replacement of the knobs altogether.
The handle cup washer
(spacing sleeve, Part 89) can be removed from the center of the drag star by
tilting the reel on its side. It loosely fits on a collar machined on the drive
shaft, and should slide right off, unless the handle has been tightened
excessively. Once removed, you can remove the drag star by unscrewing it from
the shaft (remember it will turn the opposite direction than normal).
You will see the drag
spring washers on the drive shaft once the drag star has been removed. Notice
how the washers are curved and how they are positioned in relation to each
other! More on this later…. Remove the drag spring washers by sliding them
over the end of the drive shaft. Once removed, look for the small bearing
washer that rides on top of the outside frame bearing. [It may be difficult to
see, since it is usually covered by grease, and may actually look like part of
the bearing.] Remove the washer and carefully set it aside, and trust me when I
say it can be easily lost! It is so light and thin that it sticks to anything
it comes in contact with, and you can spend hours looking for it. It protects
the outer shaft bearing from damage by the drag spring washers, and you do not
want to use the reel with out it.
Remove the spool
adjustment cap and remove the pinion shaft. Be careful handling the pinion
shaft, since the tabs are subject to damage, especially if worn.
Remove the handle plate by
unscrewing the three side plate screws. Note how one of the screws is smaller
than the others, since this will help with reassembly. I like to use a larger
screwdriver to initially get the screws broken free, and then use a smaller
bladed screwdriver to remove them the rest of the way. Be careful not to mar or
scratch the side plate, since it can be easily damaged by a screwdriver.
The side plate can be
removed after the screws are out, and I like to do this with the reel on its
side (with drive handle up). [This is a habit that I learned on early Daiwa
reels. They had very loose fitting parts which tend to “spill out”, if the reel
was not on its side while the side plate was removed.] Once the plate is
removed, the internal part of the reel will be exposed.
Sometimes the outer
bearing, gear shaft collar and even the top drag key washer will be left in the
plate when it is removed, due to adhesion by the grease. At other times, the
collar, bearing and key washer will remain on the drive shaft – so I always
immediately remove them no matter where they are, rather than loose them.
The yoke, pinion gear, and
yoke springs are removed by lifting them from the frame and side of the drive
gear. You can remove them all at once by pulling the pinion, or can remove the
pieces separately. Just be careful not to loose the springs, they are very
small and hard to see on the ground!
The drag stack (metal
washers, eared metal washers, and drag discs (Parts 77-81)) rests in the 4 keys
on the inside of the drive gear. They loosely fit on the drive shaft, and
should be easy to remove. However, sometimes the metal washers will get hung-up
and bind on the metal drive shaft as you try to remove them, especially on the
threads. Exercise caution so you don’t damage the threads or bend the washers,
and they will eventually come off. If you have trouble try removing each one
separately. Also note that the black drag discs are very fragile and can break
if you bend them, so be careful when handling them.
Sometimes when you remove
the drive gear, the composite level wind gear will be attached to it. (The
level wind gear is held onto the bottom of the drive gear with tabs that fit
into holes in the drive gear.) Grease can adhere the two gears together, even
though the tabs are not a very tight fit. So, look for this and remove the
level wind gear, so you don’t accidentally loose it.
The drag discs and washers
are not lubricated on Daiwa low profile reels. However with use, the drag
components may get wet or oil may contaminate them, which can affect their
operation. Carefully lay the drag components out, and wipe each one lightly
with a dry and lint-free rag. Again, exercise caution when doing this on the
black drag discs, since they can be easily broken. Inspect them for cracks and
plan on replacing them if you find damage or excessive wear.
All of the frame
components that get lubricated are now accessible, except for the drive shaft
lower bearing. A little more disassembly is required to get to the grease
points on this bearing. It will be necessary to unclip the level wind worm so
you can partially slide it out, so the anti-reverse ratchet (funny looking gear)
can be lifted from the bottom of the drive shaft. [Sounds complicated, but it
really isn’t, although getting the retainer off the worm shaft can be a little