Each time before buying a new inertialess reel, the fisherman faces the question: which one to choose? The number of different models on store shelves is simply huge, from miniature ones for ultralight to massive marine ones. Prices also vary from a few hundred to tens of thousands of rubles. If you listen to the opinion of sellers of fishing shops or rummage through forums on the Internet, you get an unambiguous picture: a good spinning reel must be powerful, light, it must have a “black pair” in the mechanism, the maximum number of bearings, the front friction clutch, and the side on the spool should be covered titanium nitride. Most of the above are really inherent in good coils, but how much does all this affect the performance of the coil in real conditions? Let's try to figure it out.
It is worth noting that not all anglers whose opinions on this matter can be read on the forums or in the press have a good idea of what it is. Therefore, in a nutshell we will explain. Most often, gears made of non-ferrous metals — bronze, hard alloys of aluminum — are used in the mechanisms of coils. But there are models in which the driving and driven gears are made of high alloy steel. Such a knot is also called a “black pair”. Since steel is superior in strength to any non-ferrous metals and their alloys, the presence of a black pair in the mechanism can, it would seem, be welcomed. It dramatically increases the strength of the main unit, which means it increases the power and reliability of the coil. In theory, this is how it should happen, but in practice, not everything is so rosy. In the production process and the operation of such mechanisms, many problems arise.
The production of parts made of solid steel itself is quite complicated and, therefore, more expensive. Further, two steel parts, even manufactured on high-precision equipment, rub against each other very slowly, therefore, at least a slight beating of the assembly lasts for a long time. So that it does not lead to the destruction of the bearing seats, the housing must be made of durable metal, which simply cannot be light. The result is a powerful but very heavy coil. Almost all such models are characterized by a characteristic crunching when the handle is rotated, which does not disappear during the entire operation.
The first such coils appeared in the early 80s. They were developed and manufactured by the Korean company Bando and the Japanese Rioby. Initially, reels with a black pair were made for sea fishing in a plumb line and shore fishing for large baits. That is, for those types of fishing in which the coil mechanisms are subjected to maximum loads. However, the use of steel parts in reels intended for fishing in salt water required their protection against corrosion. For this purpose, such parts began to be coated with anti-corrosion spraying, which has a black color. This is where the term "black couple" came from.
In our market, such coils appeared about 15 years ago and began to be very popular. We can say that the phrase “black couple” had – and still has on some anglers – a magical effect. Sellers of fishing stores assured that such reels combine the power of the multiplier and the convenience of inertialess.
This, of course, was an exaggeration, but the draft indicators of such models were really higher. However, it quickly became clear that this is far from always an indisputable advantage. Knowing that the reel has great power, many anglers use force fighting, as a result, they either overload the rod, or simply turn it off and pump the fish out with a reel, which is also not the best option. Such violence over tackle usually ends either with a cliff line or a fish gathering, as the rod no longer extinguishes jerks. But this is at best, at worst – breaking the rod or jamming the coil.
It should be noted that in order to avoid breakdowns, forceful fighting must always be approached very carefully. It is no coincidence that on most coils of well-known companies, the friction clutch cannot be tightened completely – it rotates at critical load. This precaution is simply necessary: it helps to avoid destructive loads on the nodes, regardless of their design.
To date, the "black pair" as such on reels intended for ordinary spinning fishing is practically not used. In any case, neither Shimano nor Daiwa have such models in their product lines; however, this term is sometimes found in advertising reels of these companies. In particular, five years ago, in the brochure of the Twin Power F-series Shimanov coil, information was printed that it contained a “black pair”. My friends and I could not resist and checked. Dismantled this model: the gears were really black, but they were made of hard aluminum alloy with a black coating. After that, the question of the “black pair” did not arise anymore.
How many bearings are needed and which ones?
It seems that the issue of the number of bearings in reels has recently worried our fishers somewhat less than before, but manufacturers, mainly Chinese, still continue to increase the bearing-to-weight ratio of their products. If earlier the number of “balls” reached 12, now there are already models with 15, and this, apparently, is not the limit. However, an increase in the number of bearings is welcome, but only if a number of conditions are met.
It is known that the cost of good bearings is 6-10 times higher than low-quality ones. Therefore, some manufacturers believe that it is much more profitable for them to put 10-15 cheap bearings into the coil than 4 high-quality ones. Today it can be said that 4-6 good bearings are enough for the spinning reel to operate normally for a long time.
As follows from the catalogs, the latest series of coils of both Daiwa and Shimano are equipped with ball bearings with a special anti-corrosion coating. Perhaps this decision really makes sense, but it is also possible that this is just an advertising move, since high-quality bearings themselves have a very large resource. For all the years of fishing on my reels there was only one case when a ball bearing in a roller failed in a good Shimano model. However, before that he had been working properly for 6 years and problems appeared only because I did not lubricate him on time after a trip to the Lower Volga. In those places there is a lot of sand, small particles of which often fall into the mechanism of coils.
By the way, fine sand dust is perhaps the most dangerous thing for a coil of any class. To combat this, attempts were made to make even completely sealed models. Such at the time released Daiwa. This is the Force coil, in which the insulating gaskets stood wherever possible. Penetration into the water was completely eliminated, it is more difficult to say about dust, but the price of the coil was appropriate.