Penn 113H cap clearance- is this normal? 2 pictures

UFM82UFM82 Posts: 65 Deckhand
I have a 113H that I am prepping for a trip down in August. I noticed something odd and wanted another opinion. The cap that covers the spool bearing on the handle side moves in the side cover. I noticed it when I was trying to set spool tension on the reel and I almost couldn't get any tension on the spool. Take a look at the two pictures and see if I am missing something or if I have a problem.
One image shows the cap "in" and the other "out". Is the cap supposed to move? I have not yet disassembled the transmission (for lack of a better description) to see how this cap is held in the side cover.


  • XafXaf Posts: 1,098 Officer
    The bearing cover (cap) just slides in from the inside and is stopped by the shape of the side cover. It is held in place by the spool shaft. There's not much, other then the bearing and a thin end disk that could be missing. How were you trying to set tension on the spool? Adjusting the knob (bearing cap) on the opposite side plate? The bearing cover (cap) in your pictures will move in and out and the spool will also move from side to side under very little tension. I would check the tension knob and see if it is bound up and not going all the way in for some reason. I bottom fish with mine and do very little casting so I keep the tension adjustment on mine almost all the way in. Just curious, is it a newer reel or an older one? Some of the newer ones are being made in China and the quality is not as great.
  • UFM82UFM82 Posts: 65 Deckhand
    It's a US made model, not an H2. I didn't know if the cap is pressed into the cover and was loose or if this is just the way they are.
  • FibberMckeeFibberMckee Posts: 12,837 AG
    Here's a link to the Penn Senator instruction manual:


    You should note that Penn says: "Do not use the left bearing cap adjustment as an anti-backlash device."

    Penn did not design it "to set spool tension" (It would actually be compression) but merely to reduce spool shaft end play to a minimum.

    When properly adjusted the crank side bearing cup will be at its extended position & spool free play should be barely detectable. Penn says .003"- .005" of spool play - NO TENSION.
  • waldnerrwaldnerr Posts: 1,029 Officer
    The left side bearing is not adjustable on larger Senators, and bearing cap "play" can vary considerably. I have both a 14/0 (117) and a 16/0 (118) with noticeable play, but it doesn't appear to affect the reels' performance.
  • UFM82UFM82 Posts: 65 Deckhand
    OK, that is what I was looking for. Just wasn't certain and didn't want to mess anything up. I thank you all for the input!
  • FibberMckeeFibberMckee Posts: 12,837 AG
    Note that screwing in the left bearing cap/cover too tight, in order to put tension on the spool shaft, has been implicated in premature bearing failure. It can also bend the plastic side plate, eventually deforming it enough so free play can no longer be properly adjusted as per Penn's instructions.
  • Docked WagesDocked Wages Posts: 2,918 Admin
    Moved to the Penn Forum for Penn Mfr to comment as applicable.
    Mark P. Wilson
    Marine Surveyor, SAMS-SA, ABYC
    Wilson Yacht Survey, Inc
    Old Bahama Bay (Owner / Board of Directors) 

  • PENNPENN Posts: 373 Deckhand

    What you are describing with the RS bearing cap is normal.

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