Clutch Bars

Abu Garcia Revo SX with a Rogue River springer
The Abu Garcia Revo Sx is one of the many casting reels with a thumb bar disengagement system.

By John Strenk of The Reel Tech

Im sure you guys all have reels with a thumb bar disengagement systems such as Shimano Curados, Citicas, Calcuttas, Chronarchs, Abu Garcia Revo’s, Pfleuger Presidents, Trions, Daiwa baitcast reels etc etc.

All of these systems have a bar, either metal or plastic, that extends from inside the reel and into the plastic or aluminum thumb bar that you actually press down to disengage the reel and put into free spool. Looking from behind the reel, the actual button you press is either closer/connected to the left side or right side of the reel depending whether it is a left or right hand retrieve.

A recommendation on my part to prolong the life of your clutch system on your reels and reduce wear to the parts, is to make sure when you depress the thumb bar, your thumb is as close to the side plate that the button is set. This results in more of a straight down push and disengagement. Pressing down on the outside edge of the thumb bar adds undo stress to the assembly. The top of the button actually pulls away from the area where it is connected when you are pressing down. This adds much added stress to the system and causes both the internal and external parts of the clutch system to wear out quicker.

The bar that extends out from inside the reel into the thumb bar actually can break or bend out of shape, and once this happens, you have issues with buttons that stick in the down position or have a hard time depressing. Most of the well worn Curados I service all need a slight tweaking and reshaping of the metal bar that goes into the thumb bar.

ALSO, it is a GREAT idea to every once in a while put a little lube (light grease, or a little oil) on the surface where the clutch bar slides up and down along the plastic shim or the side plate. Once this area becomes dry and gets dust/dirt/grime on it, it is like sandpaper and will wear out the shim and side of the clutch bar.

By heeding the recommendations above, you will increase the longevity of your clutch system and slow the wear down process of the parts

I hope my descriptions make senseā€¦..if not, please feel free to ask any questions you may have

Tight Lines!!


The Reel Tech LogoJohn Strenk is the owner of The Reel Tech, a local company specializing in fishing reel repair and service. For more information visit his website www.thereeltech.com or follow him on Facebook /TheReelTech

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