albacized

Are the non sealed, cork drag reels...

103 posts in this topic

I think that the cork drags are becoming more and more rare, but they work perfectly well, and in some cases are superior to a sealed drag. If you are boat fishing, I don't know why the regular cork drag or any other unsealed drag is such a bad thing.  If you are surf fishing, I do see some advantages to a sealed drag, especially if you are fishing in and around the sand.

 

Me, I personally am not convinced that any sealed drag will hold up for a lifetime of abuse in the surf, but I've had good luck with my Van Staal CVEX. Too bad they don't make that one anymore. I guess my next reel will also be sealed.

 

I'm not a big fan of 4 pc rods either, but this is the world we are living in. 

 

Actually it's precisely boat fishing that I don't like cork drags.  The very  nature of cork (compressible material) means that at high drag settings when you crank it down the material will not only compress but distort in shear and cause variation in drag.  If I recall correctly, Jack Erskine, who is famous in Australia for his work with drags, wrote a long post on Blanton's board about this, I am quoting part of it:

 

"Cork having the compressive nature it has produces some good features also some not so good, the Main Problem being the severs "Accelleration" problem they suffer , This is the differential between Slow Speed Running Drag & 

High Speed Running Drag which can vary dramaticaly dependant on spool rotational speed.& as much as 50% increase from the static drag setting can occurr in some instances !!!

 

By the same token it also suffers in reverse, As with a High Static Drag Setting on a big SWF Reel you will find that the Drag starts to slowly slip& creep off at a considerable less Poundage than the Preset when long periods of constant pressure is being applied to a big fish, this is know as "Creep " so you will see this material is very inconsistant especialy with high drag Settings.

 

Carbon Fibre is far superior to Cork in similar situations & applications & a properly designed C.F Drag System can Handle Heat & take Mechanical Energy & convert it to Heat Energy & disapate same thorough the Reel Body & Frame by both Conduction & Convection y ,the intended function of all Drag Systems"

 

It's on a boat that I am most likely to use a lot of drag because the majority of the time when I'm boat fishing I'm hunting big fish and I use a lot of drag on big fish (there are times I will fish non-IGFA leaders and crank max drag on a reel for most of a fight).  I have not been happy with Cork on really big fish so I do not use any cork drag reels on a boat anymore.

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Actually it's precisely boat fishing that I don't like cork drags.  The very  nature of cork (compressible material) means that at high drag settings when you crank it down the material will not only compress but distort in shear and cause variation in drag.  If I recall correctly, Jack Erskine, who is famous in Australia for his work with drags, wrote a long post on Blanton's board about this, I am quoting part of it:

 

"Cork having the compressive nature it has produces some good features also some not so good, the Main Problem being the severs "Accelleration" problem they suffer , This is the differential between Slow Speed Running Drag & 

High Speed Running Drag which can vary dramaticaly dependant on spool rotational speed.& as much as 50% increase from the static drag setting can occurr in some instances !!!

 

By the same token it also suffers in reverse, As with a High Static Drag Setting on a big SWF Reel you will find that the Drag starts to slowly slip& creep off at a considerable less Poundage than the Preset when long periods of constant pressure is being applied to a big fish, this is know as "Creep " so you will see this material is very inconsistant especialy with high drag Settings.

 

Carbon Fibre is far superior to Cork in similar situations & applications & a properly designed C.F Drag System can Handle Heat & take Mechanical Energy & convert it to Heat Energy & disapate same thorough the Reel Body & Frame by both Conduction & Convection y ,the intended function of all Drag Systems"

 

It's on a boat that I am most likely to use a lot of drag because the majority of the time when I'm boat fishing I'm hunting big fish and I use a lot of drag on big fish (there are times I will fish non-IGFA leaders and crank max drag on a reel for most of a fight).  I have not been happy with Cork on really big fish so I do not use any cork drag reels on a boat anymore.

 

Ever modify an Abel's (for example) drag washers with CF washers?  Lots of guys upgrade their spinning reel drags with Carbontex washers - don't see why they wouldn't work better than the cork. 

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Posted (edited)

When you guys start posting pictures of yourself fishing like this guy I will only buy sealed reels from here on out...

 

 

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Edited by Roook13

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I guess when we talk about "boat fishing" we might really be talking about lots of big powerful fish. I don't have that much experience with so many large powerful fish. Striped bass, big bluefish, false albacore, yep I don't see any of those critters testing the limits of cork, so for that reason alone I'd think cork is more than enough. When we start talking about tuna or big tarpon, maybe cork will not hold up after a long season with many fish. I only wish I live to get to the point that I've tackled enough large fast running fish that I could really comment about the cork drags of abels and islanders failing. I've had enough conventional fishermen tell me a cork drag will not last on a season of triple digit tuna. I only hope I live to be able to comment with some level of experience and authority.

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Cork drags have worked well for Tibors 800+ world records!

 

I hear this stat all the time with Abel and Tibor. This is certainly not a knock on 2 of the best fly products, instead it's more of a statistical observation. I'll try to explain with an example. Let's say I made the absolute best fly reel in the world and started selling it in 2015. It is way better than any Charlton and cost about the same as a Tibor. It will NEVER get the quantity of records that Tibor and Abel compiled. They were THE reels when many records were ripe to be broken. Now the established records are much bigger fish than what existed in 1992, as all tackle kept improving. Couple this with ever increasing fishing pressure, the chances of catching that next bigger fish is that much more difficult. I have not looked, but I'm certain most of this records were set more than 10 years ago.

 

Ive gotta think the Billy Pate holds a ton of records but I wouldn't buy one (okay, I would for the right price). Not because of lack of quality, but because newer reels are much lighter, have a greater line retrieval, and while being made to the same standards. They are however one of my favorite reels to look at.

 

I probably did not explain it well.

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Pauleye i hear what your saying and kind of agree but there are reel companies that were out way before Tibor & Abel (Orvis & Hardy) and several that have been around 20 years same as the Tibor Series.  Lamson and Galvan both around 1995. Ross 1973 similar time as Pates

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Cork drags have worked well for Tibors 800+ world records!  

 

Exactly. There are also plenty crappy carbon fibre drags about. An issue with a lot of them is the small drag range or exponential drag range.

 

Discounting Tibors as a boat reel is nonsense as far as I'm concerned

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I am reel shopping for a 10 wt. right now (and have been all fall).  What turns me off with many of these companies is the cost of the extra spool, believe or not. I looked at Tibor and Abel and Bauer and Galvan and Hatch, etc.  Hatch seems to do it right with a discount when you buy a spool and reel (combo).  Whatever the drag system employed, all of the aformentioned reels will subdue what I pursue. I love my Colton Terrapin 789's, but the 10 weight size and 4.5" in diamter.  It's a bit too big for my taste.  The Bauer RX is probably my favorite out of the bunch.

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pauleye

 

Yes I have the Terrapin 10- 12 and on my TH rod it works very well so i guess on a SH rod it is a bit big maybe. So far I am enjoying this reel.

 

Mike

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Cork drags have worked well for Tibors 800+ world records!  

 

It's 250 but who's counting LOL..

 

"As with all of Ted's reels, the drag system is absolutely flawless and has withstood the test of the world's most demanding game fish, including 250 World Records, so far. If you were to own only one fly reel, this is the one to have."

 

http://www.tiborreel.com/tibor.html

 

Many of the records came from a time when Tibor was basically the only game in town and at a time when anglers actually cared about records - when was the last time a world record was discussed on this forum?  I'll stipulate Tibors are great reels, the WR number is good marketing but they sure ain't the end and be all...

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Posted (edited)

Cork drag reels are cool and somewhat 'retro' - I use mine on heavier rods in the 9-12 weight class.   I also tend to keep sinking or heavier intermediate lines on them.  I like the fact that they are generally bombproof (can pound nails with them) but they do require you to keep the cork lubed and maintained in springy condition.  Also they are IMO too heavy for general use.

 

For many uses (and for modern 7-9 weight rods) though I prefer a lighter, larger abor design with faster retrieve rate and better line management (larger arbor means typically less line set/curl).  The only corkdrag reels I own are the TFO Hayden 1s, which can be a great match for a heavy 10w rod and a full sink or fast intermediate line.  The idea of a spare spool is pointless, because that particular reel needs to be opened with a tool (or a nickel) to change spools.  I simply create a large loop in backing and change lines that way.

 

I do have a spare spool for my Hayden 1 reels (I own two of the beasts), but have never had to use it.  It sits lonely right now with a 12 weight Mastery tarpon floater on it.  Had to cut 10' off the rear end of that line to get enough backing on the reel.   Intermediate 11-12 weight tarpon lines fit fine.  The floater is fat.

 

The Hayden 1 reel is technically a 9 weight size reel, but with 50lb spectra backing I have been able to fit Tarpon 12w lines on it.  But the best use for this reel is on a stout 10w (like the Colton Tradewinds UD Blue 10w, or the Albright XXT 10w) with a 10 or 11 weight Striper intermediate (surf set up) or full sink line (boat set up).

 

The Hayden 1 reels can be picked up for $175 or less in new/old stock.  Make sure if you get one you immediately open it up and treat the cork (neets foot oil first, soak overnight, then Cal's two speed grease).   The threading of the screw to open it up is righty loosey, not lefty loosey.

Edited by Killiefish

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Posted (edited)

I'm perplexed by the number of times I commonly hear about switching to gel spun backing to increase the capacity on a smaller reel so that a heavier line set up can be used and at the same time completely overlooking the necessity or at least the benefit of a larger diameter reel line retrieve for a heavier set up. I personally came to the conclusion long ago that I will not even consider a reel smaller than 4" dia. for light saltwater application, especially for fast swimmers like bonefish and such. A good drag and faster retrieve has many benefits not the least, a higher survival rate of released fish before complete exhaustion particularly in shark infested water.    

Tibore and Pate are excellent and proven reels that have withstood the test in many categories however, in my opinion, their weight to diameter ratio is not practical for modern light rods and are therefore more suitable for rods in  #10 wt. and up.

Edited by sidelock

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Cork drag reels are cool and somewhat 'retro' - I use mine on heavier rods in the 9-12 weight class.   I also tend to keep sinking or heavier intermediate lines on them.  I like the fact that they are generally bombproof (can pound nails with them) but they do require you to keep the cork lubed and maintained in springy condition.  Also they are IMO too heavy for general use.

 

For many uses (and for modern 7-9 weight rods) though I prefer a lighter, larger abor design with faster retrieve rate and better line management (larger arbor means typically less line set/curl).  The only corkdrag reels I own are the TFO Hayden 1s, which can be a great match for a heavy 10w rod and a full sink or fast intermediate line.  The idea of a spare spool is pointless, because that particular reel needs to be opened with a tool (or a nickel) to change spools.  I simply create a large loop in backing and change lines that way.

 

I do have a spare spool for my Hayden 1 reels (I own two of the beasts), but have never had to use it.  It sits lonely right now with a 12 weight Mastery tarpon floater on it.  Had to cut 10' off the rear end of that line to get enough backing on the reel.   Intermediate 11-12 weight tarpon lines fit fine.  The floater is fat.

 

The Hayden 1 reel is technically a 9 weight size reel, but with 50lb spectra backing I have been able to fit Tarpon 12w lines on it.  But the best use for this reel is on a stout 10w (like the Colton Tradewinds UD Blue 10w, or the Albright XXT 10w) with a 10 or 11 weight Striper intermediate (surf set up) or full sink line (boat set up).

 

The Hayden 1 reels can be picked up for $175 or less in new/old stock.  Make sure if you get one you immediately open it up and treat the cork (neets foot oil first, soak overnight, then Cal's two speed grease).   The threading of the screw to open it up is righty loosey, not lefty loosey.

killie, why the neets foot overnight?

 

The instructions recommend cals, never mentions neets foot.?

 

I picked up a 1 and an ns1, and i too have a spool for the 1, but can not imagine changing it while fishing.

 

That reel is a tank

 

I like the cork drag reels, sad to hear they are not the trend right now.

 

In my experience as a surfcaster, a lot of time in the surf from M to Breezy and beyond, there is no such thing as a sealed drag.  Maybe my VS reels were ; I never opened them or serviced them, but i always felt they were holding their seals, but there are reports of them failing.

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