Get free tips to catch more and bigger catfish

Adding A Bait Clicker To An Abu Garcia Reel

Adding Abu Garcia Bait Clicker

I have written a number of articles about Abu Garcia fishing reels and covered them from a number of different aspects. There a number of reasons the Abu Garcia Ambassadeur series is the reel I suggest for all catfish anglers when choosing a catfish reel.

I prefer the 6000 series reels overall because of their line capacity but have many of the 5000 series reels that I use for fishing for channel catfish (specifically the Abu Garcia 5500C3 reels.

One of the huge advantages of these reels besides the fact that they are durable and cost effective is they are very easy to upgrade and modify. This was covered in one aspect in the article about upgrading from a C3 to a C4 . There are a number of other upgrades that can be done and I am sure as things progress I will continue to be able to add these here at  Learn To Catch Catfish.

My biggest complaint about the 5500C3 series reels is the lack of a bait clicker (see bait clicker uses for catfish). Other than the absence of a line alarm (bait clicker) the only real difference between a 5000 series and 6000 series reel is the line capacity. If you don’t have a demand for the larger line capacity then a 500o series with a bait clicker is a prefect option (and the 5000 series reels are significantly cheaper than the 6000 series reels).

This is a simple upgrade that only costs a few bucks to complete.

Search: Abu Garcia 5500 On eBay

Search: Abu Garcia 6500 on eBay

This is a guest article sent in by Ron Bean from Frisco Texas. I would like to thank Ron, Stephen and everyone else that puts these tutorials together and sends them in to me. The information you share is greatly appreciated!


How To Add A Bait Clicker To An Abu Garcia

Tools Needed

Parts Needed

You can usually find Abu Garcia parts very inexpensive on eBay. If you don’t want to buy on eBay you should be able to find these parts from your local reel repair facility or at any reel repair facility online.

If you are apprehensive to try this because it is a bit technical you can buy new side plates often for less than $5 on eBay so in the event you do completely botch it up the first time you can get another side plate and start over or restore the reel to it’s original condition.


If you have an Abu Garcia reel with a bait clicker you might be able to just copy the measurements. Ron suggests the digital caliper but if you decide to try to get by with a tape measure just convert the decimals to fractions (1/16” is .0625).

Use a fine tip marker to draw the lines on the reel hub so you know where to cut.

The diagram and pictures below should explain the process, but there are a couple of items to point out:

  • Make sure when you are cutting the long slot that you assure it is cut square with the reel hub.
  • Make your cuts very slowly little by little
  • When putting the click knob and click spring back together add a drop or two of super glue
  • When the project is complete and the fishing reel is back together if it does not seem smooth, it is probably because you cut the slot too close to the inside of the reel hub and the clicker mechanism is rubbing against the inside of the reel. To resolve this just widen the slot a little toward the outside and that should correct it.
  • On the diagram note the position of the click spring when in the “off” (down) position. If you don’t have it in the off position when you put it together, it will not click. If you make this error just take the hub back off, move to the off position and reassemble the reel.
  • This modification is very easy and will take you 5 minutes to complete.
  • If you refer to this schematic this is exactly like the 6000 series fishing reels come from the factory.



Click The Diagram Above For The Full Size Image


Slot Cut In Reel Hub


Position Click Spring Screw Hole

Position of clicker spring in relation to the screw hole (bait clicker on off position)

This article is part of an ongoing tutorial on rods and reels, check out the catfish rods and catfish reels tutorials for more information.

Ultimate List Catfishing Tips
About Chad

Chad Ferguson is a professional catfish guide and founder of Learn To Catch Catfish. Click here to subscribe for more exclusive catfish fishing tips by email and then follow on Twitter or Google


  1. Hey there Chad. Great stuff you’ve been publishing lately on the Abu reels. These reels are real work horses. The design on the 5000 and 6000 series hasn’t changed much in the past 30 years, parts are readily available, and if you take a little time to learn how they’re put together, they are easy to service and maintain, and will give many years of dependable service.

    Don’t know if you’ve covered this yet, but it’s also very easy to take reels that have bushings or fewer bearings and replace all bushings with bearings for much better performance.

    Thanks for posting my article. Keep up the great work – I learn something new with each new article.

  2. just got my clicker on my 5000 works great thanks for the article

  3. Did this to my 5500 works well!!!

  4. I have a question, I found an old abu-garcia 5000 c in my garage, I took it apart and cleaned it up and put it back together it works like a dream, Can i do this modification to the 5000c? If I can which side of the reel is cut the crank handle side or the other side? The model I have is a right hand reel so i am guessing left side plate if I am wrong please let me know.


  5. could this work with a 5600 bcx

  6. Ray VanHoosier (@Porkchop613445) says:

    Just put the click plate and side plate from my 6500 c3 on my 5500 c 3. Matched up perfectly and works great.

Speak Your Mind


Comment moderation is enabled. Your comment may take some time to appear.