Student-Contributed Wiki

Student-Contributed Wiki

An awesome student from our education program made this wiki. It is not managed by iFixit staff.

Zebco 33 Troubleshooting

In this trouble shooting page we will identify issues with the Zebco 33: drag system, reel handle problems, spool issues, damaged back cover, and stuck thumb button.

Drag System Problems ¶ 

Drag Will Not Tighten Up ¶ 

I would like to tighten my drag; however, the line keeps pulling out.

Replace Drag Gears

If your drag will not tighten, you may need to replace the drag gears.

Frozen Drag ¶ 

I am trying to cast my reel; however, the drag seems frozen.

Dirt Build Up

You may need to clean the dirt and debris out of the drag system. Another possible solution is to lubricate the drag system.

Line Snaps

My line keeps snapping when I catch fish.

Drag Not Properly Set ¶ 

Adjust the setting on the drag. Without properly setting the drag, the line will snap because there is too much tension on the line.

Handle Problems ¶ 

Handle Will Not Crank

I want to crank my handle; however, the handle won't crank.

Replace Handle ¶ 

If your handle will not crank, you may need to replace the handle.

Lubricate the Handle ¶ 

I am trying to crank the handle; however, the handle will barely move.

Dirt or Grease Build Up'

You may need to clean dirt, debris, or old grease out of the handle.

Replace or Lubricate the Gears ¶ 

The gears will not turn smoothly, so they appear to be rough when I am turning the handle.

Spool Issues ¶ 

Line Will Not Cast ¶ 

I cast my line, but it stops and drops after only about 10 feet, even though I have enough line for around 70 feet. Most rods hold in excess of 100 yards of line.

Line Jamming ¶ 

Your line may jam above the spool line around the tensioners and become wrapped and tangled. You will have to remove the top cover to untangle the line.

Spool Line Properly ¶ 

If the fishing line is old, brittle, stiff, or kinky, you need new line.

Damaged Back Cover ¶ 

The Outer Back Cover Is Cracked and Needs To Be Replaced

I want to use my reel, but there is a grinding sound when I turn the handle.

Replace Damaged Back Cover ¶ 

Your cover has been damaged in some way which can lead to moisture, dirt, and grime entering the back cover of the reel, and that may lead to rust. You will need to replace the back cover.

Stuck Thumb Button ¶ 

Thumb Button Will Not Release ¶ 

After I cast the reel, the thumb button will not pop back up after reel has been engaged.

Thumb Button Hinge Ears are Broken

Your hinge ears might be broken. Replace the thumb button or back cover assembly. These parts can be ordered online.

Thumb Button Spring is Broken or Bent

Your thumb button has been hanging up because of the hinge ear. You will need to pop the back cover off and bend the spring back to the original position.

One Comment

My drag will not loosen up .you can adjust the knob but it does not loosen up.

stevie rudolph - Reply

View Statistics:

Past 24 Hours: 4

Past 7 Days: 20

Past 30 Days: 161

All Time: 2,960