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ZeeBaaS Real Reel "Holy Grail"?

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Body

 

The foundation of the reel. The generation 1 ZeeBaaS is an upgraded version of the VS series.  The traverse guide is better supported on a bearing for less friction and an anti-reverse bearing is added to the pinion assembly (where it should be). The bolt side cover is a copy of the early VS300 (and seen later on the RK Designed "Sea Proof". The reel foot is external like the VS series. 

 

Soon after production, the design changed.  I have heard stories about "why" but that isn't my concern.  the design changed to the "morph" body that allowed it to be interchangeable between left and righty.  The feel foot was now inserted into a slot in the body and a terrible rubber bumper was inserted into the other slot (the bumper is now a nice aluminum bumper)

 

The generation 1 20/22 reel foot was very thin, and is impossible to find now that production of that part stopped.

 

Also note the first generation handle are closer to the body. ZB did sell a silver spacer so these handle would work with larger rotors (but not the second generation bailed rotor - they needs the bailed handle)

IMG_0237.JPG

 

The Generation 1 Body is lighter and more narrow than the Generation 2 body

 

IMG_0238.JPG

 

Generation 1 matte black reel have pinion assembly that is fastened with 3 hex bolts. The generation 2 Blue/Silver has a pinion assembly that is fastened with a knurled nut (like the Van Staal VR)

 

IMG_0240.JPG

 

Generation 1 Body with pinion assembly removed

 

IMG_0250.JPG

Edited by ged

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Main Gear

 

The main gears in both reels are interchangeable, but not exactly the same as seen in the picture.  The generation 1 main gear side cover is bolted directly to the main body with 6 hex screws. This side cover not threaded.

 

 The generation 2 main gear side cover is bolted to the main body from the opposite side (female threads in this side cover)

IMG_0247.JPG

 

The main shaft on the generation 1 ZB is supported by a single bearing in the body of the reel and the traverse guide and roller on the main gear.

 

The main shaft on the generation 2 is supported by the two bearings on the inside of the body in a machined slot.

 

IMG_0248.JPG

 

The generation 2 ZeeBaaS is smother.  The shaft is better supported, and the main gear is better supported.  If you put any side pressure on the handle of the gen 1 reel you can feel the gear mesh.  This does not happen on the generation 2 reel.  The design simply better supports the main gear and its alignment with the pinion assembly as seen in my Canal reel below (Red/Silver)

ZB - VR Pinion Assey .jpg

The ZeeBaaS main gear and main shaft is extremely well supported.  (side by side compared to the Van Staal VR which is a similar design, albeit cheaper.) 

 

Nod goes the Generation 2

Edited by ged

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So far this is where I rank them:

 

Drag:

Generation 1 drag is extremely smooth, but bad drag cap design makes sand/water intrusion possible. Best drag Generation 2

 

Spool:

I prefer the spool with replaceable Titanium ring and removable skirt (personal preference)

Best Spool last generation 1 and current generation 2

 

Body:

The bolt on side cover generation 1 is beautiful. RK seems to start with this design then he moves away from it.  I am not sure why he has done this with 3 different reels.  As far as mechanically, I prefer the main gear and traverse guide support on the generation 2.  I don't care for the bumper slot or the quick access side cover, but the design is smoother and supports stain and torque better.

Best body gen 2

 

Rotor:

Generation 2 has better line roller angle and roller is less likely to accidently pick up line on cast

 

Handle/Reel Foot:

No preference

 

Line Roller:

Gen 1 Early dull Titanium

Edited by ged

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5 hours ago, Wire For Fire said:

I get lined wrapped under spool cap on early 2nd gen spool . You get same with later 2nd gen ? And are the spools interchangeable ? 

 

I have never had issue with line under my drag cap, but I fish with a very tight drag. Most of my fishing is done with the version that doesn't have the ring.

 

The different spool designs have different drag caps, but my early 27 and late 27 are interchangeable.  My early 20/22 drag caps are smaller in diameter than current versions.

Edited by ged

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2 hours ago, bospa357 said:

Nice collection Gary. I once had a sizable collection as well and also ended up giving several away for raffles for IronMike's PMC Challenge rides. I only kept one 1st Gen Piston Bailed 22.

I think at one point I counted at least 20 that passed through my hands as well as some VS reels. I also raffled off an early engraved VS for Mike.

 

Bob you are one of the most knowledgeable people on these reels and their history.  In addition, you are a kind person and very generous with what you have done to help others. I have a special place for that gen 1 piston bailed when you are ready to let go of it :) 

 

Edited by ged

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Generation 1 Rotors:

 

Notice the angle of the line off the spool, the angle of the line roller on the arm, and the contact between the line and rotor arm.

 

 

Gen 1 Rotor Rubbing.jpg

 

Below is the generation 1 bailed rotor.  You can see where line coming off the rotor actually has grooved the arm from contact.

 

If you look close there is a groove where the line comes off the spool and another one where the line contacts the arm at the top of the arm where the line runs out to the guides.

 

Piston Bailed Grooves.jpg

Edited by ged

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What are the current manual pick up rollers made from? I have titanium rollers that were not drilled for weight reduction on my 22 & 27. 

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13 mins ago, ged said:

 

Bob you are one of the most knowledgeable people on these reels and their history.  In addition, you are a kind person and very generous with what you have done to help others. I have a special place for that gen 1 piston bailed when you are ready to let go of it :) 

 

I'll give you first shot bud.

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The Generation 1 ZB is an upgraded VSS body.  The VSS has the traverse guiding rubbing the body.  After time and under pressure this will wear away the anodization on the Van Staal.

 

Below you will see how RK added a bearing to reduce friction on the Gen 1 ZB

Gen 1 ZB Shaft Bearing.jpg

 

Also note the shape of the traverse guide designed was changed to slow the line lay on the middle of the spool to prevent the "hour glass" line lay. After years of saying this wasn't a problem, Van Staal corrected this on the VSX by copying the ZeeBaaS 

 

Edited by ged

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The Generation 2 ZB has a main shaft the is supported by two bearing on rails inside the body.  The is one piece frame attached to the traverse guide.  The travers guide frame is slotted so it can be adjusted for a tight fit - tolerances are very tight and smooth.

Gen 2 ZB Shaft Bearing.jpg

 

As noted in my VR review. The Van Staal VR & RK Subaqua copy the dual bearings, but they are composite (nylon I believe) and they roll on the quick access side cover, not the internal main frame of the reel.

Edited by ged

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Some different handles:

 

The matte black gen 1 has more material

IMG_0242.JPG

 

Both matte black handles are generation 1, one with and one without the spacer.  The handle won't fit the ZPreme mahogany box with the spacer on.  The spacer is needed on generation 1 reels if using the larger rotor.

 

IMG_0243.JPG

 

The round matte black knob has the original retainer for the spindle. You don't see many of there around

 

IMG_0244.JPG

Edited by ged

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It should be no surprise that the history of ZeeBaaS is a mirror of Van Staal VS.  Early "hex bolt" side cover reels were replaced by newer versions with better designs.  RK was always tinkering with design and ultimately the current ZeeBaaS ZX2 was born. 

 

It is my opinion that the latest work from RK under his name (Subaqua), Blue Marlin BMJ/BMC and Van Staal (VR) don't match quality of the ZeeBaaS ZX2.  The ZeeBaaS ZX2 was designed to be the premium reel a decade ago and that is still true today.

 

The smaller body ZeeBaaS has most of what I love about the ZX2 with some differences inside. The traverse guide supported on "V-rails" as seen on later RK designs under the Blue Marlin name.  I don't know if this reel will ever become available, but if so I am ready for #1.

 

Here is to hoping there is a Generation 3 ZeeBaaS

Light Tackle ZX3 .jpg

Light Tackle ZX3.jpg

Edited by ged

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4 hours ago, ged said:

Generation 1 Rotors:

 

Notice the angle of the line off the spool, the angle of the line roller on the arm, and the contact between the line and rotor arm.

 

 

Gen 1 Rotor Rubbing.jpg

 

Below is the generation 1 bailed rotor.  You can see where line coming off the rotor actually has grooved the arm from contact.

 

If you look close there is a groove where the line comes off the spool and another one where the line contacts the arm at the top of the arm where the line runs out to the guides.

 

Piston Bailed Grooves.jpg

I looked at both my 1st gens and don’t seem to have grooves. :squid:

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8 mins ago, Rip-Line said:

I looked at both my 1st gens and don’t seem to have grooves. :squid:

Good point.  I have 3 generation 1 and 4 generation 1 rotors.  There are very slight marks on my TiGrey rotor, and nothing on my 2 black 22 rotors (even through contact is observed). 

 

I think the conditions that would exaggerate the problem are full spool, tight drag and big fish.  A problem that has happened here during certain tides in the last few seasons.  40lb fish in heavy current at your feet.

 

The angle of the line roller was changed when the new rotor was designed, and this was no accident.  I no longer own the PENN Torque bailess, but I would love to measure the angle of that line roller and compare it to the first ZX2.

Edited by ged

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Another thought, the 20 spool would better fit the angle of the generation 1 rotor arm angle.  I wonder what the actual difference is on the angle on the roller.  Tough to make the angle correct for both the 20 and 22 diameter spools. 

Edited by ged

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