Drag Maintenance

Discussion in 'Catfishing Library' started by Whistler, Sep 8, 2005.

  1. Whistler

    Whistler Well-Known Member

    Original post made by Darrel Miller(Cornhusker) on May 12, 2004

    It will not be possible to explain how to clean or if you should lube the fighting drag on your reel. There are far to many types of drags to give a general recommendation. I own reels that my thunb on the spool is the drag all the way up to the currently popular multiple disc drags.

    So I will comment on the multiple disc drags. They come in the lubricated and non-lubricated variety. Both varieties are made up of from 1 to 10 discs or washers. In the more complex 10 disc systems there are 3 different washers and these must be assembled in the correct order or you will damage your drag when you use it. Since this is important and most schematics that come with the reel do not show enough detail on the washer to determine which of the 3 they are showing, carefully line them up in the order that you remove them. Then when you rebuild return them in the reverse order. The pattern will most likely be friction or felt washer, metal washer to grip shaft, felt washer, metal washer to grip outer housing or spool, felt washer and so on.

    Reels like the Garcia 6500C3 and Master 180 casting reels use a friction washer. Garcia's instructions to me when I called them was that the all the washers must be dry, no lubricant. Clean the friction washers by rubbing with a clean cloth to remove as much dirt and oil as possible. This should be adequate for the metal washers as well. Assemble dry, no lubricant.

    The Okuma AZ-90 spinning reel drag uses lubricated felt washers between the metal washers. The new felt washers in a new spool were lubricated and as I pinched and released the washer it felt slightly sticky suggesting reel grease. Oil would not have a sticky feel. On the older drags that were opened I removed the dirt from the felt washers as best I could with the blade of my pocket knife. If the washer was compressed and remained very thin or if it was extremely dirty it was replaced. I put a small amount of grease on the new washers and rubbed it in with my fingers. I repeated this process until the washer appeared to have greased worked into it in all areas but no grease was visible on the surface.

    One final comment. If you are not sure don't take a chance. Most reel manufacturers have toll free numbers for you to call their service departments. I find these folks very helpful. Give them a call.