How to Repair a Zebco 33

Written by keith dooley
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How to Repair a Zebco 33
(Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images)

Part of a line of spincast reels, Zebco's model 33 is also referred to as "The Classic," as the design is similar to the original reels made by the company. Featuring a ball-bearing drive, anti-reverse, adjustable drag and a stainless steel spool cover, the 33 also features a handle that can be changed for left- or right-hand users. The Zebco 33 is designed to be simple to use and maintain, and usually running through some easy troubleshooting steps can resolve operating issues.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Zebco model 33
  • Scissors
  • 10-pound-test monofilament fishing line
  • Damp rag
  • Reel oil
  • Screwdriver

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  1. 1

    Wipe the exterior of the Zebco 33 reel with a damp rag to remove any debris or dirt that could interfere with operation. Cut off any lures or terminal tackle from the end of the line.

  2. 2

    Press the spool release button on the back of the reel and remove the aluminium front spool cover from the Zebco 33 reel. Pull old line back through the spool cover and then off the spool of the reel. Cut the line free from the spool with scissors.

  3. 3

    Lubricate the spool shaft and spool shaft end with reel oil. Place a drop of oil around the line pickup pins.

  4. 4

    Feed new 10-pound-test monofilament line through the hole in the reel cover and then around the spool. Tie the line to the spool with an arbor knot and place the cover back on the reel. Apply tension to the line in front of the spool and wind 120 to 130 yards of line onto the spool.

  5. 5

    Insert a damp cotton swab around the spool release button to remove any debris or dirt that could be interfering with operation.

  6. 6

    Remove the screws on the side of the reel that attach the back of the reel body to the reel frame. Remove old oil, grease, dirt and debris from the internal gears of the reel with a cotton swab. Apply a thin coat of reel oil to the gears and place the reel body back onto the reel frame.

  7. 7

    Adjust the drag with the star drag at the base of the reel handle. Apply tension to the line and adjust the drag until the line begins to pull from the reel. Turn the drag back slightly to tighten and make further adjustments, if necessary, when fishing.

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