Minimum parts needed to tune an Abu 1500c to be BFS?

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raindance
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Minimum parts needed to tune an Abu 1500c to be BFS?

Post by raindance » Mon Jul 31, 2023 3:02 pm

What are the parts I need to change? I was gifted a 1500c among other reels. I want to pair this with my Old18 UL casting rod. I know it's not cheap at all but I dont want to sell this reel so this might be a fun project. I am looking at hedgehog studios for the parts and its dizzying. I am guessing the spool and new bearings? What other parts would I need? thank you.

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Re: Minimum parts needed to tune an Abu 1500c to be BFS?

Post by Aquaftm45 » Mon Jul 31, 2023 5:45 pm

I'm not going to point myself as the expert, but I did complete a full Avail build a couple of months ago and did it in steps. As you mentioned, I would start with the spool and bearings (Abu won't accept the Hedgehog BFS Air, just the Air). Spool size depends on what you will be throwing and line size. A 40 is fine for general 3-10 gram BFS, a 20 or the 18 for 2-6 grams. It should work just fine for BFS with just the spool and bearings. You can either get the mag brake or stick with the centrifugal. There are people who swear by both.
Next step up would be the double BB cog and double BB worm shaft.

After those items your pretty much just refining the reel and dropping weight.

A high speed gear ratio is helpful if you need a fast retrieve. (very helpful in moving trout streams)

My last peice of advice is to think long and hard about how far you want to upgrade before you order. That $25 shipping adds up when doing it in steps. Also, order a couple of extra bearing retainers and e-clips. You don't want to lose one during a build and have it come to a standstill for a $2 part.

Good luck. Building my first Abu has been loads of fun. I started out just thinking I would change a couple parts and ended up doing a full build. It's my favorite reel to use even though I have a fleet of other high end reels. It can be addicting.

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Re: Minimum parts needed to tune an Abu 1500c to be BFS?

Post by tincanary » Tue Aug 01, 2023 4:23 am

The parts you should start with in order; spool, bearings, line guide, level wind, idler gear, driveshaft, and pinion bearing. If you want to go deeper, then get the gears, frame, and brake plate. The faster gears are nice but keep in mind you will lose maximum drag capabilities, so if you like to fish with your drag locked down you will want to keep the factory gears in there. The Avail gears max out a little over 2lb before too much stress is put on the pinion gear. Keep in mind, 2lb is pretty considerable for a drag number. If you set it with a spring scale you will see. Some people fish a locked down drag with the Avail gears without issue, but replacement pinions are available if something were to happen. The factory gears max out at 6lb. I run the 4.7 gears in one of mine and don't find it to be too slow, it's actually about perfect for small crankbaits and T-rigs. These reels are a lot of fun and are very sensitive to the lubricants used as they have the synchronized level wind. I like to use Super Lube ISO 10 oil as it's the thinnest oil you can get without buying a 55G drum. You can buy a 4 oz bottle direct from Super Lube for $12. Use it on your worm gear, spool bearings, and idler gear. All 4 of mine are easier to cast and do cast further than my Conquest BFS and Millionaire CT, even with the factory centrifugal brake. Speaking of, I only run one brake block in mine. Even with loose spool tension they cast so easy that no thumb is required until I want my lure to drop.

Here's my little stash of small Abus.
Image

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Re: Minimum parts needed to tune an Abu 1500c to be BFS?

Post by kakaryan » Tue Aug 01, 2023 6:43 pm

All 4 of mine are easier to cast and do cast further than my Conquest BFS and Millionaire CT, even with the factory centrifugal brake.
That is interesting. From my previous experience those old school reels with non-disenganged levelwind are not very good reel for bfs as the mechanism itself added start up inertia. You can reduce it by replacing all those parts mentioned above with like ceramic worm gear parts with double bearing supported and all those related bushings with bearings but there would still be some start up inertia there, higher than those modern reels with disengaged level wind.

I have like 4 or 5 those types of reel (Isuzu and Abu) and did try all those upgrades and with Avail spool. After the mod. they are OK for casting bfs weight but no way as far as my modern bfs reels. For casting a 7 gram plug, with the stock spool, that is another story, easy to get 30m with 1 brake block or none. The added friction from the non-disengaged levelwind works as some sort of brake for casting. :lol:

I now only fish them for casting 7 gram and above and mostly topwaters. Those Avail bfs spools have been sitting in the carbinet for long.......

Think twice before you spend the money and do the upgrades, they are not gonna be cheap after all. If you are after distance, NO. For small streams where you do not need to cast far, well they are capable.

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Re: Minimum parts needed to tune an Abu 1500c to be BFS?

Post by tincanary » Tue Aug 01, 2023 8:53 pm

kakaryan wrote:
Tue Aug 01, 2023 6:43 pm
All 4 of mine are easier to cast and do cast further than my Conquest BFS and Millionaire CT, even with the factory centrifugal brake.
That is interesting. From my previous experience those old school reels with non-disenganged levelwind are not very good reel for bfs as the mechanism itself added start up inertia. You can reduce it by replacing all those parts mentioned above with like ceramic worm gear parts with double bearing supported and all those related bushings with bearings but there would still be some start up inertia there, higher than those modern reels with disengaged level wind.

I have like 4 or 5 those types of reel (Isuzu and Abu) and did try all those upgrades and with Avail spool. After the mod. they are OK for casting bfs weight but no way as far as my modern bfs reels. For casting a 7 gram plug, with the stock spool, that is another story, easy to get 30m with 1 brake block or none. The added friction from the non-disengaged levelwind works as some sort of brake for casting. :lol:

I now only fish them for casting 7 gram and above and mostly topwaters. Those Avail bfs spools have been sitting in the carbinet for long.......

Think twice before you spend the money and do the upgrades, they are not gonna be cheap after all. If you are after distance, NO. For small streams where you do not need to cast far, well they are capable.
The 2500C was designed from the ground up to cast the same lures as the Cardinal 3. Back in the 1970s, 1/4 ounce was considered ultralight. In stock form it does that well. Additionally, it doesn't take much outside of elbow grease to get them throwing 1/8 in stock form. Don Iovino was doing that back in the 70s with a polish job and good lubricants. The aftermarket didn't exist at that time but earned his fame hand tuning 2500Cs.

Image

Keep in mind that these are very sensitive to lubrication. Your run of the mill reel oil isn't thin enough with most being in the ISO 46 to ISO 68 range. As it is, the BFS oils that I've been able to obtain a specification sheet for are ISO 22 (Deuthlon) and ISO 32 (Shimano BFS oil). Hedgehog nor ZPI say they have spec sheets for their oils which makes me believe they are repackaging some readily available oil and bumping the price up. Every one of mine has more than lived up to the hype around them so much I seldom reach for anything else.

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Re: Minimum parts needed to tune an Abu 1500c to be BFS?

Post by Aquaftm45 » Tue Aug 01, 2023 9:39 pm

kakaryan wrote:
Tue Aug 01, 2023 6:43 pm
All 4 of mine are easier to cast and do cast further than my Conquest BFS and Millionaire CT, even with the factory centrifugal brake.
That is interesting. From my previous experience those old school reels with non-disenganged levelwind are not very good reel for bfs as the mechanism itself added start up inertia. You can reduce it by replacing all those parts mentioned above with like ceramic worm gear parts with double bearing supported and all those related bushings with bearings but there would still be some start up inertia there, higher than those modern reels with disengaged level wind.

I have like 4 or 5 those types of reel (Isuzu and Abu) and did try all those upgrades and with Avail spool. After the mod. they are OK for casting bfs weight but no way as far as my modern bfs reels. For casting a 7 gram plug, with the stock spool, that is another story, easy to get 30m with 1 brake block or none. The added friction from the non-disengaged levelwind works as some sort of brake for casting. :lol:

I now only fish them for casting 7 gram and above and mostly topwaters. Those Avail bfs spools have been sitting in the carbinet for long.......

Think twice before you spend the money and do the upgrades, they are not gonna be cheap after all. If you are after distance, NO. For small streams where you do not need to cast far, well they are capable.
You should probobly get someone who knows what they are doing to fine tune your Abu's and then give it another whirl.

I've fished my Abu along side of my 23 Conquest BFS, and my Steez CTSV with KTF spool with 2-5 gram minnows and it has no issue keeping up with them. Not quite as modern, but refined and fully capable in it's own right. Better at pitching, but a little shorter in distance casting. I've got mine set up with magnetic brakes and MC Squared double ball bearings, which is more of a low trajectory pitching bearing.

If someone can't afford it, that's whole other conversation.

Not bad to look at either..
2f12e0ee-04a5-4825-bc14-1dc12e1d5a77.jpg
2f12e0ee-04a5-4825-bc14-1dc12e1d5a77.jpg (41.38 KiB) Viewed 2629 times

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Re: Minimum parts needed to tune an Abu 1500c to be BFS?

Post by kakaryan » Fri Aug 04, 2023 7:09 am

Aquaftm45 wrote:
Tue Aug 01, 2023 9:39 pm
kakaryan wrote:
Tue Aug 01, 2023 6:43 pm
All 4 of mine are easier to cast and do cast further than my Conquest BFS and Millionaire CT, even with the factory centrifugal brake.
That is interesting. From my previous experience those old school reels with non-disenganged levelwind are not very good reel for bfs as the mechanism itself added start up inertia. You can reduce it by replacing all those parts mentioned above with like ceramic worm gear parts with double bearing supported and all those related bushings with bearings but there would still be some start up inertia there, higher than those modern reels with disengaged level wind.

I have like 4 or 5 those types of reel (Isuzu and Abu) and did try all those upgrades and with Avail spool. After the mod. they are OK for casting bfs weight but no way as far as my modern bfs reels. For casting a 7 gram plug, with the stock spool, that is another story, easy to get 30m with 1 brake block or none. The added friction from the non-disengaged levelwind works as some sort of brake for casting. :lol:

I now only fish them for casting 7 gram and above and mostly topwaters. Those Avail bfs spools have been sitting in the carbinet for long.......

Think twice before you spend the money and do the upgrades, they are not gonna be cheap after all. If you are after distance, NO. For small streams where you do not need to cast far, well they are capable.
You should probobly get someone who knows what they are doing to fine tune your Abu's and then give it another whirl.

I've fished my Abu along side of my 23 Conquest BFS, and my Steez CTSV with KTF spool with 2-5 gram minnows and it has no issue keeping up with them. Not quite as modern, but refined and fully capable in it's own right. Better at pitching, but a little shorter in distance casting. I've got mine set up with magnetic brakes and MC Squared double ball bearings, which is more of a low trajectory pitching bearing.

If someone can't afford it, that's whole other conversation.

Not bad to look at either..2f12e0ee-04a5-4825-bc14-1dc12e1d5a77.jpg
All I have been saying is casting distace and you have also admitted it in your second paragraph, quoted as below.
Better at pitching, but a little shorter in distance casting.
I think I know what I was doing, and it is simple physics that no matter what oil you use and what polish you do, added non disengaged levelwind added friction and added start up inertia. You could do all to keep it low, but it is there and is higher than modern bfs reels.

Not blaming old school reels, I love them. Just sharing facts and personal experiences that what to expect if someone plan to spend and tune them.

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Re: Minimum parts needed to tune an Abu 1500c to be BFS?

Post by jvelth74 » Fri Aug 04, 2023 7:33 am

Talked with my friend of different reel, so I'm just writing some thoughts outside box...As we know 4500 C is really narrow reel and in strong cast synchronized level wind travels back and forth like crazy. So hi said hi did a 'performance tune' for that reel by removing casting brake / centrifugal weights from it and reel was OK after that...

In this topic was asked minimum parts to tune 1500c to BFS. I think minimum parts is as light and shallow spool as possible and flush spool bearings and lube those with a drop of good oil or TSI321 trick (or replace to new if those are worn) and of course flush and oil also bushings of worm gears and level wind.

Level wind is geared down and therefore it effect to inertia is not that significant. But due to construction of it, it losses pretty much all of kinetic energy of it every time when it change direction. And also gears of level wind and bushings creates mechanical braking. So actually effect of synchronized level wind is not too far away from a little spool tension / mechanical brake.

But if reel feels like that there's too much friction and casting performance is not good in BFS, then more parts need to be changed to lighter and more bearings to be added.

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Re: Minimum parts needed to tune an Abu 1500c to be BFS?

Post by abbor » Tue Sep 26, 2023 4:38 pm

I have several tuned 1500C and 2500C reels. After a lighter spool with good hybrid ceramic bearings what gives the largest benefit is an aluminium line guide and ceramic pawl. The lighter aluminium line guide reduces the energy loss when it changes direction. I have idler gears and level winds with dual hybrid ceramic bearings in all reels, but the aluminium line guide is much more important especially for the narrower 1500 reels. I use Rocket Fuel Tournament Forula or Hedgehog Ultra Light oils.

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Re: Minimum parts needed to tune an Abu 1500c to be BFS?

Post by jvelth74 » Wed Sep 27, 2023 10:40 am

Aluminium line guide obviously weights less than half of standard line guide, so effect of it can be significant.

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