Understanding Drag Part 5: System Maintenance

Using your drag correctly is one thing, maintaining it is another altogether.

Replacing washers should happen roughly twice a year depending on how often you’re fishing. Most manufactures will suggest every season or three times a year, which seems slightly excessive.

I don’t think I know anyone who keeps up with this maintenance, but I’m going to do my best and see what a difference maker it is by trying it myself. I like the days when I used to receive two spools with my reel and that was my way of replacing drag washers.

When greasing your reels you’ll want to keep this in mind:

  • More grease = smoother drag.
  • Less grease = more drag pressure.
  • Excessive grease will yield insufficient drag pressure.

Each manufacture will usually have unique lubricants and I suggest that you stick to that.

Washing: As weird as this might sound, you don’t want to use high press to rinse down your reels. With a light spray you’ll avoid pushing any sand and salt further into the reels.

Storing: After drying or storing your reels you’ll always want to leave them with the drag loose. I know especially in the hotter climates, such as Florida, this can make or break you reels. Hot weather causes reels to compress and expand, by leaving the drag loose it’s one less thing adding pressure to those washers. When you purchase a new reel notice that when you take it out of the box it has been stored with little to no drag. I try to avoid this whole heat deal on my tackle by storing everything inside.

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