How to Repair a Zebco 202 Reel

How to Repair a Zebco 202 Reel

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Zebco model 202 reels are widely known for their ease of use, simple design and durability. Many anglers, both young and old alike, have been introduced to the world of fishing with the aid of a Zebco 202. Periodically, due to normal use, it may be necessary to troubleshoot your Zebco in order to identify problems. Tight handles, stuck line, and squeaks are a few of the issues that 202 owners may experience.

Items you will need

  • Zebco 202 reel

  • Schematic diagram

  • Rags

  • Reel oil

  • Reel grease

  • Cotton swab

  • Toothbrush

Familiarize yourself with the Zebco 202 spin cast reel. This will help you understand and identify the parts of the reel, how they work together and assist with assembling the reel. Reel parts include the handle, front cover, spool, spinner head and reel body.

Wipe down the exterior body of the reel including the handle, spool cover and spool release button. Use a damp rag to remove dirt and debris that may interfere with inspecting or operating the reel. Release line from the reel by pressing the large spool release button at the rear of the reel and then retrieve the line by turning the handle. Take note of any resistance or noise and from where it originates.

Clean the handle of the Zebco 202 with a toothbrush. Use the bristles to clean around the grip handle and around the base of the crank handle. Remove any debris or dirt and apply a drop or two of reel oil to all moving and adjoining parts.

Remove the front cover from the reel by turning slightly to the left and then pulling straight forward. The front cover is located on the front of the reel and covers the internal spool mechanism. Inspect the spool to ensure there is enough line for casting. Also make sure there are no tangles or knots that would interfere with the line spooling from the reel. Use a toothbrush and cotton swab to remove any debris from the spool area.

Remove the spinner nut from the center of the reel with a small adjustable wrench. Pull the spinner head, spool clip, wind spool and body forward and off the reel. Inspect the gears of the reel and remove excess or old grease with a cotton swab. Place a small amount of reel grease on the moving parts and reassemble the reel.

Replace any broken parts, such as the spool release button, with replacements from Zebco. Typically, plastic parts cannot be adequately repaired and should be replaced.


  • Refer the reel to a service center if you do not feel comfortable opening or assembling the reel after inspection and cleaning.
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