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Penn 975CS reel tuning guide

Continuing his reel tuning series, Neil Mackellow explains how to tweak the sexy Penn 975CS reel.

Penn 975CS reel tuning guide

A CT framed International baitcaster with a powerful drag, the Penn International 975CS is perfect when serious grunt is required. Stainless steel main and pinion gears, oversize HT100ä drag system and a spool running on two aircraft quality stainless steel bearings creates a great package. The two spool bearings are buried pretty deep, but subsequently need little maintenance. A three position centrifugal braking system is easy to use and the blocks cannot fall out! By twisting the flat white plastic cog under the brake carrier you can set all four, just two or no blocks engaged.

Gear ratio: 4.5 : 1

Brakes: Four centrifugal plastic blocks.

Spool end tension: Set spool end float so there is just discernable lateral movement

Fishing tune: Red RF plus two blocks engaged

Pro’s: Bullet proof

Con’s: A bit of a looker!

Bearing access

Download reel schematics

Click the tutorial pictures below to see step-by-step instructions.

Step 1 - Penn 975CS reel tuning guide

To gain access to the spool bearings and centrifugal brakes loosen the two screws under the drag star and remove the right end plate

Step 2 - Penn 975CS reel tuning guide

Remove the spool to expose the bearings

Step 3 - Penn 975CS reel tuning guide

Here is the left hand spool bearing seen though the frame. To access the bearings undo the three small silver slot head screws and remove.

Step 4 - Penn 975CS reel tuning guide

Push out the endplate and now you can get at the bearing

Step 5 - Penn 975CS reel tuning guide

Remove the wire circlip then extract the bearing

Step 6 - Penn 975CS reel tuning guide

The other spool bearing is on the opposite end of the spool. It is fixed in position by a pin through the spindle. Yes you can – if you have engineers tools and skills remove the pin. However, you are liable to damage the spool shaft which will mean a new spool so I strongly suggest you simply flush and relube it on the shaft.

Step 7 - Penn 975CS reel tuning guide

These are the centrifugal brakes, in this pic all four are engaged.

Step 8 - Penn 975CS reel tuning guide

To alter the brake setting twist the white plastic cog under the pins, here two blocks are engaged

Step 9 - Penn 975CS reel tuning guide

And finally all blocks engaged

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Neil Mackellow

Neil Mackellow