Penn 525 Mag (Slidy) reel tuning guide

by Neil Mackellow

Neil Mackellow explains how to tune the Penn 525 Mag (Slidy) reel.

Penn 525 Mag (Slidy) reel tuning guide

The 525 Mag is a very powerful reel thanks to all those bearings in the spool and drive system. It can also run pretty quickly so use at least Red RF and keep the brake slide on max for starters. Only the two inboard spool bearings need attention on the tuning front, the two shaft bearing only come into play when the spool is under load. The mags come off in equal increments so each step will increase/decrease braking by the same amount. If your reel runs too fast you have three options: Add a couple of extra magnets back to back on the two outer mags, reduce the line level or use a very thick oil in the spool bearings such as Liquid Grease.

Gear ratio: 6:1

Brakes: Four rare earth magnets with sliding adjustment

Spool end tension: Set spool end float so there is just discernable lateral movement

Fishing tune: Red RF or 80/90 weight gear oil. For maximum control use Liquid Grease. Start with the mags on max and move off one notch at a time

Pro’s: Powerful retrieve, precision spool, reinforced drive train

Con’s: Can be a little lively out of the box

Bearing access

Only the two inboard bearings in the spool affect spool rotational speed. While the shaft itself rotates in a pair of bearings, these bearings do NOT effect spool speed, only coming into play when the spools is under load, ie retrieving a fish.

Download reel schematics

Click the tutorial pictures below to see step-by-step instructions.

Step 1 - Penn 525 Mag (Slidy) reel tuning guide

To gain access to the spool bearings loosen the three screws in the left hand endplate and remove

Step 2 - Penn 525 Mag (Slidy) reel tuning guide

Now remove the spool and spindle

Step 3 - Penn 525 Mag (Slidy) reel tuning guide

Lift off the white clicker cog to reveal the LH bearing

Step 4 - Penn 525 Mag (Slidy) reel tuning guide

Remove the bearing

Step 5 - Penn 525 Mag (Slidy) reel tuning guide

The drive end

Step 6 - Penn 525 Mag (Slidy) reel tuning guide

Remove the circlip then lift out the clutch plate (stop sign) to access the RH bearing

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