One of the greatest things to come to the world of fishing reels was the implementation of a one way roller bearing, or anti-reverse bearing, into spinning and casting reels. These bearings, now found in most all of the modern fishing reels, provide for a solid retrieve with near zero back play in the handle. The new systems are a far cry from the older ratchet style anti-reverse systems which only catch in certain spots when you turn the handle backwards.
The anti-reverse bearings can and will fail over time, as with many of the highly used parts in a reel system. The issues always start as an intermittent issue. You will be fighting a fish and the handle will take a 1/4, 1/2 or even a full revolution backwards, and then lock up again as if nothing happened. This may not happen again for several trips, or it may happen again later in the day. These intermittent issues are always a sign of pending complete failure. When you notice any intermittent issues with the one way bearing, it is time to consider having it replaced.
Many reels now, like the Shimano casting reels, are going to a backup system in the event of one way bearing failure. This is an extremely great idea and an asset to us as fisherman. They implemented something called an “Assist Stopper”, which is the old style anti reverse technology which kicks in if the bearing decides to fail during a fishing trip. Without such an “Assist Stopper”, when your one way bearing would fail, you were done fishing with that reel until you replaced the bearing.
Feel free to contact me with any questions you may have!
Tight Lines 🙂