I have covered a lot of information in the past on Abu Garcia Ambassadeur fishing reels and held nothing back about being a fan of them. This is a guest post submitted by one of the Learn To Catch Catfish readers Steven Gonzalez from the San Antonio Texas area. Steven is a serious gear head when it comes to fishing reels and has done some cleaning and repair on my reels for me over the past year and has quickly become my “go to resource” for all Abu Garcia Ambassadeur related questions.
The tutorial below is a step by step walk through on how to convert an Abu Garcia Ambassadeur C3 version reel to a C4 reel (more bearings). One of the benefits of the Ambassadeur series is that you can make simple changes and upgrades to increase performance or add features to the reels.
I am sure this will generate some questions and Steven checks in here quite often and on the Learn To Catch Catfish Facebook page so I am sure if you have any questions at all about this or anything else regarding Abu Garcia fishing reels he will come along and answer them.
If your not sure of the difference between these reels or the advantages of them you can learn more by reading choosing a catfish reel. In addition you might want to check out all of the articles in the catfish rods and catfish reels tutorials.
If your not sure what these different parts are, the article about the parts of a baitcasting reel is a good place to start.
If you would prefer to download and print this so you can have a step by step guide to work from (on paper) you can download and print this step by step guide here – Upgrading Abu Garcia C3 To C4 Model
If you have an Abu Garcia in the 4000, 5000, or 6000 series, chances are it is built as a C3. The “3” stands for the number of bearing that are in the reel. This consists of one anti-reverse bearing (located in the handle side faceplate), and two spool bearings.
A C4 has one more bearing, located in the level wind assembly. The C3’s perform quite well with the way that they are built, but you can still make the reel a bit smoother with only 2 parts. The actual upgrading is fairly simple and it also gives you a chance to clean and inspect worm gear, cog wheel, and spool pinion gear.
Should you wish to upgrade your reel, you will need two parts:
- Worm gear bearing
- Worm gear cover
Worm Gear and Bearing
The new cover is required because the bearing is slightly larger than the sleeve that you will be replacing, and these worm gear covers are larger to accommodate the bearing.
- Worm Gear Bearing – part number 21680
- Worm Gear Cover – part numbers:
- 4000 series – part number 23936
- 5000 series – part number 23940
- 6000 series – part number 23944
Since you are removing some parts and doing some cleaning, be sure to keep some reel grease and reel oil handy. I use the Abu Garcia Reel Oil because they are only like 2.99 each.
The first step will be removing the pawl from the reel. Run your pawl all the way over to where you can reach the pawl cover with a screwdriver and remove the pawl cover. You may need to use some needle nose pliers to pull the pawl out. Once the pawl has been removed, unscrew the three screws located on the bait clicker side faceplate (even if you don’t have a clicker, it’s the faceplate that doesn’t have the handle on it).
Pawl Cap and Pawl
CAREFULLY remove the faceplate (here’s where working on a surface with corners in front and around you can really come in handy!).
The clicker assembly for the original 6000 reels is pretty simple and it consists of the button itself, and one shaped piece of a copper colored metal.
Original 6000 Bait Clicker
Original 6000 Bait Clicker
The assembly on a 6500 C3 is a little more complex. The assembly also comes with little black spacers, which you don’t want to lose. If the cover doesn’t come off right away, lift up the bottom of the faceplate and kind of shimmy it off. The metal key that actuates the bait clicker is held up against the clicker mechanism. After you’ve pulled off the cover, remove the clicker assembly from the frame, careful not to lose the spacers.
6500 C3 type metal clicker
6500 C3 clicker lever
You will now see the line carriage lock (otherwise known as the worm gear clip). The clip is one piece and its open ended, so just pull it off the worm gear. Slide out your worm gear assembly (including the cover). While you have the worm gear out, it would be a good time to clean it and get any gunk out of the way. Also, check the pawl, too, and remove any grime.
Worm gear clip on left hand side
Worm gear clip removed
On the new cover, place the bearing in the tabbed end. Note that these tabs are used for seating when placed back into the reel. Slide the worm gear into the cover all the way, until the tip slides into the bearing. Place a drop of oil here on the bearing. The bearing will still be loose, so you will have to kind of hold it in place when you put the assembly back into the reel (don’t forget the line guide).
Worm gear cover (tabbed end)
Slide the complete worm gear assembly back into the frame. While it may take a little patience and some finger fumbling, you want to remember 3 key points:
Ensure the top tip of the line guide seats inside the slot of the top frame post.
Line guide frame slotted post
Ensure the bearing doesn’t fall out and onto the floor…..never to be seen again (yup…learned that one the hard way).
Make sure the tabs of the worm gear cover fit snugly into the reel frame on the bearing side
Worm gear assembly slot (bearing side)
Once the assembly is back inside the frame, reinstall the worm guide clip. It should fit between the gear and the white collar that sits just beneath the gear. Once it’s all assembled and locked down with the clip, check the rotation of the gear. Make sure it turns smoothly with no issues. If it doesn’t feel right, the cover may not be properly seated into frame on the bearing side.
Properly seated worm gear clip top view
Inside the faceplate, clear out any excess or dirty grease. Apply one drop of oil inside the center hole (this is where the spool axle will slide into). Apply a little grease around both sets of teeth on the cog wheel. You don’t need a whole lot, but try to cover most of the teeth in a thin layer.
Before you put the faceplate back on, make sure your spool is seated correctly onto the brake plate of the reel (make sure your brake blocks aren’t outside the brake plate rim).
Brake block side of spool
If you have the metal clicker assembly like the C3 has, place the plate back onto the spool. Place the spacers back onto the frame posts and slide your faceplate on. I’ve found that having the clicker in the “up” or “on” position is easier for me when putting the cover back on. Screw on the three faceplate screws and check to make sure the clicker works correctly. If not, then something probably isn’t seated correctly.
Clicker with spacers installed
If you have the 2 piece clicker as on the original 6000, make sure the clicker is in the “down” or “off” position. You can see that the frame post will go on top of the copper colored “spring plate.” Be very careful not to mess with the shape of the spring plate. It can be very tedious trying to get it back to its original shape. If it gets bent, your clicker won’t work properly or at all. Install the three faceplate screws and make sure the bait clicker works.
Now that your reel is almost back together, turn your reel upside down and install your pawl. Not using too much force, turn your handle on your reel while holding down the pawl. You will see when the pawl sits almost flush with the pawl holder. Keep it flush and turn the handle until the line guide is all the way to one side so that you can reach the pawl cover with the screwdriver. Screw down the pawl cover.
Properly seated pawl
Apply 2 drops of reel oil on the worm gear.
You have now upgraded your Abu Garcia from a C3 to a C4!
Quick note: some of the older Abu’s have brass spool “bushings” instead of spool bearings. If your spool has these bushings, I would replace them with bearings before I upgrade. The bearings are a lot smoother than the bushings.
- Spool bearing – part number 13472 (click link to search eBay)
- The part number is the same for the 4000 – 6000 series.