albacized

Are the non sealed, cork drag reels...

104 posts in this topic

1 hour ago, Mike Oliver said:

Capefish..

You have way more faith in manufacturers claims than some of us on this thread.

No where close to semantics unfortunately. It is very difficult when there are revolving parts to get a full seal. 

Not sure where you are able to get the 99.9%  figure of users of sealed drag reels who don’t get issues on the basis that the maker declares them fully sealed .

Agree water  pressure is not an issue as most of us don’t fish the reel and turn it underwater. The issues are water getting past simple O rings. Reels get splashed and wave washed.

It is interesting that I have never yet seen a reel maker declare an actual sealing standard such as a NEMA or IP rating. The claim is 100 % sealed. What does that actually mean. It could mean a reel that has seals on all points of potential water ingress but it does not mean that the reel is water tight  or sand tight.

Be interesting to get some feedback from guys who fish fully sealed drags and especially guys who fish from the shore as to how effective those seals have been for them.

There should not be an issue in taking down a reel quite often. In any case if it is O rings these are as cheap as chips and easily available. Fly reels are not complex bits of kit.

I don’t take my reels down after every trip but on extended fishing trips which can be for a week to three weeks I do take then apart after about three days of heavy use. My reels do get very wet .

One usage and then for reel to be stored away for a while can spell corrosion. Not every time. But I am not going to risk costly high  end reel sealed by not making sure all is well.

We have had quite a few discussions on sealed reels in the past and I am sure some guys have posted pics of corroded interiors on reels that are 100% sealed.

For those that wish to interpret the statement full sealed as water tight  that is their decision. My experience tells me otherwise. But of course I can’t fish every reel that is made and it could be that most of the others are totally fine.

 

Mike

 

 

 

I will admit my figure of the 99.9% was made up as a way of quantifying the feedback I do (or in this case do not) see complaining of water intrusion. But I will argue that it is not difficult to get a full seal on revolving parts. Look at lip seals used in automotive applications - granted oil and coolant have different properties than seawater but those rotating assemblies see many many many times more revolutions than our reels will ever see and those seals hold up. Or look at the lower unit on an outboard, water on one side gear oil on the other, granted the weight of the gear oil has an opposing force effect on water attempting to push its way in. While it may be nice to see some kind of corresponding test data that could equate a manufacturer's claim of fully sealed to a standard NEMA or IP rating I guess I personally don't care enough to chase it down any further. I made it many years on a 'sealed' BPS reel that had only three o-rings as a means of sealing and repeated dunks/drops, no issue til the drag started to get funky. I hope the folks at Hatch put a little more time and effort into sealing the Finatic than BPS did at its $150 price point. 

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Also, maybe this was discussed before and I missed it - do you guys that use cork drag reels like Islander, classic Tibor, Abel, etc always crank down the drag prior to any planned submersion? I do as it was a recommendation by Islander for cleaning purposes, it helps keep a film of water from developing on the cork surface. So if I'm going to swim to a rock or I know I will be submerging the reel, I crank the drag down tight. Then back it off when I am out.

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Yes I see your argument with engines which is more than reasonable but I have not had the positive experience you have enjoyed with a sealed reel.

. Which is why I have adopted my own servicing ritual for both sealed and non sealed models.

I have an Abel Super 8 series and yes before starting to fish I make sure the drag is set. Over time I found the cork would go lumpy and the cork face plate needed replacing. Built like a tank and yet just a few  grains of sand will knock out the dog and reel goes into free spool. I hold this reel back now for the time I may get into boat fishing . Swimming and deep wading and having to dunk our reels when deep wading when changing out lines is tough on our reels. Mind just water slopping over our reels when wading to modest depths can do significant damage if reel is not looked after well.

They have a tough life.

 

mike

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The pictures posted of the Mako internals are better than what I have.  Jack Charlton opened up one of his reels for me and showed me the insides.  I took pictures but for some reason I didn't get good focus even with a nice DSLR.  It's not difficult to take them apart, he took the reel apart in literally seconds.  But as noted you need special tools to do so.

 

Like the akos75 I have a number of Charlton and Mako reels.  My experience has been a little different - all of my Charlton made (which includes the Mako reels) have been flawless through many fishing trips and fights.  None have been either tight or loose, just right like Godilocks would say.  The only difference is the Charltons feel more like a Swiss watch in feel compared to the Makos.  Will they fail?  I don't know but I'm confident enough that I use them as my primary fly reels for anything that's big and runs a lot of line off the spool.  I also keep backup reels like Tibors and Abels with me (and one of these days I plan to pick up some Torrent reels as well) but I've never had to go to back up reels.  

 

As cpalms said, Makos and Charltons have a great record.  I don't care if anyone buys them or not, I was convinced based on their disproportionate representation in the record books.  My own personal experience only confirmed that I made a good choice for my type of fishing (big mean fish that don't like to give up...).

 

Good discussion, enjoyable to read the viewpoints posted.

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Posted (edited)

I think this is the Charlton / Mako that Jonah took into the belly of the whale....

 

charlton1.jpg.411c7145555986f65c8493bd32118563.jpgcharlton2.jpg.d2469a8f13949bd723ed91cdedc9f198.jpg

Edited by HillTop

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In those pics the wear on the anodizing was apparently caused by the reel knocking/rubbing against coral during it's diving trip into the ocean for all those months.

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22 mins ago, formula1 said:

In those pics the wear on the anodizing was apparently caused by the reel knocking/rubbing against coral during it's diving trip into the ocean for all those months.

And sand I'm sure, the effect is similar to a sandblaster or rock tumbled finish.

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Posted (edited)

9 hours ago, capefish4231 said:

Also, maybe this was discussed before and I missed it - do you guys that use cork drag reels like Islander, classic Tibor, Abel, etc always crank down the drag prior to any planned submersion? I do as it was a recommendation by Islander for cleaning purposes, it helps keep a film of water from developing on the cork surface. So if I'm going to swim to a rock or I know I will be submerging the reel, I crank the drag down tight. Then back it off when I am out.

 

No I never thought about cranking the drag down prior to swimming with it. Never occurred to me, but I guess I’d try that if it mattered.

 

i guess the revelation for me is that none of these fly reels were designed to be used for these purposes, despite the sealed drag claim, so I had to be careful in terms of my expectations. 

 

Kind of like the whole wetsuit mentality. You agree that you are going to get 100% wet, and submerged, so might as well wear a wetsuit and just make the most of it, even make it fun. 

Edited by JohnP

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Thanks Akos,

 

Very interesting, and it looks like you have been very unfortunate.

 

13 hours ago, akos75 said:

The problem is the teflon grease used in the Charltons dries out in 10-20 years and it turns to powder. My reel had three issues: the drag got sticky because of the powder inside the reel, it was badly assembled by the factory (had a huge play between the spool and the cage) and one of the ball bearings on the spindle was frozen because it was submerged in saltwater and not properly cleaned/lubricated after use.

Good to know. Basically all lubricants will eventually break down. It is just a matter of rate. I can see a few reasons for the use of grease.

 

What do you mean by play? The spindle and the spool didn't tightly fit and thus movement allowed or there was a big gap between the spool and the reel side (=the spool/spindle axial position was not correct)? If there was a gap between the spool and spindle, could be due to the problematic tolerances with type III anodizing.

 

13 hours ago, akos75 said:

I had to send my 9500 back twice, because it was too tight, I really had to work hard to wind it. Now it is a bit better but there is still much more resistance than by the 9550.

This shouldn't have left the factory at all. Is there a chafing sound when turning the spindle?

 

13 hours ago, akos75 said:

Still, the drags work very differently. On the used one I can turn the drag wheel 1/4 of its full way until it starts to work, on the new one it start to increase the drag immediately. Are the drag washers worn on the used one?

I think the wear compensation part is either stuck or out of range (too much wear for the compensation device).

 

13 hours ago, akos75 said:

Also, on the used one the thin rubber sealing around the drag knob peals off. I don't know if it is just cosmetic or the rubber is really there to seal the internal parts. If it is sealing, sooner or later it will come off every reel which is used.

If it is rubber, then it is a seal or just seal against dirt (dirt guard). I would think (and hope) there would be an O-ring on the drag shaft too. Regardless, any rubber even slightly visible and directly exposed to sunlight and is not good.

 

13 hours ago, akos75 said:

I have a couple of spare spools for these reels too and one of the spools does not work perfectly.

Not a perfect fit on the spindle? Maybe because of the anodizing tolerance issue again?

 

13 hours ago, akos75 said:

The release button was completely stuck when I got it. I managed to make it usable, but it is not perfect. I think the spring inside is not where it should be but as I can not open it without a special tool I can not repair it. I think it would be a 3 second job.

 

There was a Charlton 8500 1.2 for sale in a shop with a broken spool release mechanism. The spool couldn't be removed.

Seems like a weak point, probably due to corrosion as this is not under any sealing. Or then there is too much space and spring can move to a position where it should not be.

 

 

13 hours ago, akos75 said:

I will definitely buy a Charlton 8550C with a bonefish spool at one point in my life (I think that is the most beautiful reel ever made)

I also think the bigger Charlton Signatures are the most beautiful reels ever made. I especially adore back side (the drag knob side).

 

I drooled over Signatures for a long time. Then the Makos were launched and I went for it. A friend of mine had a Signature 8550C with bonefish spool with him in 2010 when we fished Ascension Island. Had a quick look at it and was satisfied I went for Mako instead as I did not like how the drag tightening was counterclockwise and the drag tightening resistance increased quite much with tightening drag. After that, I wasn't too interested in the rest and kind of missed the point that the bearings and thus the spool release mechanism are exposed. But, it is still real beauty.

 

 

Reading all this, I am not more determined on opening the black box...

 

 

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4 hours ago, sms said:

What do you mean by play? The spindle and the spool didn't tightly fit and thus movement allowed or there was a big gap between the spool and the reel side (=the spool/spindle axial position was not correct)? If there was a gap between the spool and spindle, could be due to the problematic tolerances with type III anodizing.

 

This shouldn't have left the factory at all. Is there a chafing sound when turning the spindle?

 

I think the wear compensation part is either stuck or out of range (too much wear for the compensation device).

 

If it is rubber, then it is a seal or just seal against dirt (dirt guard). I would think (and hope) there would be an O-ring on the drag shaft too. Regardless, any rubber even slightly visible and directly exposed to sunlight and is not good.

 

Not a perfect fit on the spindle? Maybe because of the anodizing tolerance issue again?

 

Seems like a weak point, probably due to corrosion as this is not under any sealing. Or then there is too much space and spring can move to a position where it should not be.

 

 

I also think the bigger Charlton Signatures are the most beautiful reels ever made. I especially adore back side (the drag knob side).

 

I drooled over Signatures for a long time. Then the Makos were launched and I went for it. A friend of mine had a Signature 8550C with bonefish spool with him in 2010 when we fished Ascension Island. Had a quick look at it and was satisfied I went for Mako instead as I did not like how the drag tightening was counterclockwise and the drag tightening resistance increased quite much with tightening drag. After that, I wasn't too interested in the rest and kind of missed the point that the bearings and thus the spool release mechanism are exposed. But, it is still real beauty.

 

 

Reading all this, I am not more determined on opening the black box...

 

 

Sakari,

 

There would be no grease problems if the reel could be opened and relubed. Alex told me though that they are quite complicated so I guess Jack Charlton decided to make them closed so the users don't mess with the parts. I remember taking apart my first Danielsson LW drag and not paying attention to the right order of the washers (I know, rookie mistake...). It was a nice pastime to figure out the right way to assemble it again without the manual.

 

The play of the 8500 .8: it wasn't a wobble, but you could move the spool 0.8mm freely on the spindle. Doesn't sound like much but it is a lot of play, even the cheapest reels are tighter. I contacted the Charlton repair service (Ross) regarding the problem (made a video of it) and they said it is on the very end of the acceptable tolerance but they wont be able to fix it. I also contacted a friendly Charlton collector, he said it is not normal and he has a similar reel, but it can be used this way too. I was not very happy with this so I have sent it to Alex (Kaplun) and it turned out the reel was not correctly assembled. He repaired it and now it has absolutely zero play (just like my other Charltons or the Makos).

 

There is no chaffing sound coming from the Mako 9500, it just has more resistance when you wind it forward than the 9550 (or other reels). It is not just the longer lever (the handle being further away from the spindle), but simply the reel does not turn as free as it should (I think, the problem is I haven't had an another 9500 in my hand). Mark Vorobik was very helpful, I had to send it back twice because of some unfortunate circumstances. It got much better after the second repair, but I hope I will be able to check an another 9500 at one point too.

 

The rubber sealing on the 8450 is around the ring circling the drag plate. Those reels can be opened from the outside, unlike the 8500s or the 8550s. There is a small groove around this ring and it is filled with liquid rubber (they used the same stuff around the reel foot).

 

The problems with the 8450 spool come from issues of the opening mechanism. The release button can not be pushed all the way in, so I think it does not open 100%. When I got it the whole mechanism was unusable, also had some dirt in it. I soaked it a couple of times with WD40, lubricated it as much as I could and now it is usable but not perfect.

 

I think the 8500 1.2 with the unremovable spool might have been submerged in saltwater and not cleaned for a very-very long time. Maybe the spool release mechanism froze because of this and some kind of lubrication forced inside the reel through the gap around the release plate would cure it. It was purchased by someone I know, I wonder if he will be able make it work properly again. If something in the opening mechanism broke, now then it gets interesting as both the cage and the spool can only be opened from the inside (I think).

 

Actually the bearings being accessible are a great feature of the 8500 and the 8550. At least you can take care of them. I never had a problem with reel maintenance, rather enjoy it. It does not take longer than tying a single fly and you only have to do it once or twice a year. From a practical point of view I would also choose a Mako over the Charltons in the same size I guess. 

 

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The Danielsson LW and HD series were really simple.  As are the current F3W, L5W and H5D. The two latter actually are 100% same reel inside. I have slightly upgraded my L5W 8twelve drag slightly by changing the springs (belleville washers) to stiffer ones. There is normally also some space so you can add original stiffness washers to make the overall spring constant higher. The good thing with Danielsson is that it only takes one allen key to disassemble the reel and do maintenance.

 

I also tend to take all reels apart as soon as I get them as I want to know what they've eaten and how to overhaul them. Funny thou, I have Nautilus CCF #10, Mako 9600B, Sage 8010pro that are not meant to be opened and have so far stayed that way. Also from the Ross Evolution R Salt I haven't removed the hub as it is either with loctite or otherwise just tightened so much that there is s risk of doing some damage before it would open fully. But it is easy to open and access the one way bearing.

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21 hours ago, capefish4231 said:

Now you are getting into semantics of what constitutes a 100% sealed reel. What manufacturers call a sealed drag is absolutely a sealed drag for 99.99% of the fishing population. Even if you fished up to your neck with the reel underwater the entire time, i doubt you would subject it to the pressure needed to push water past the seals. Much like a 100m rated 'waterproof' watch vs. an ISO 6425 dive watch, the general public will experience the same level of sealing performance from each as they are not generally taking it past a few meters of depth.. 

 

I would not want to open my sealed reel and clean it after every outing. That's probably an incredibly quick way to compromise that seal. 

 

FWIW i fish an original Islander and a Hatch so I am not particularly subjective toward sealed reels. 

 

Yeah I got a bunch of dive watches that failed too over the years. 

It’s not the one off dive to 100 feet that creates the problem, I don’t think. I think it’s 38 degree water, then 20 degree air, then 100 degree warm shower when peeling the wetsuit off. 

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Posted (edited)

From a copy of a  printed interview with Ross Reels regarding sealed drags.

 

Bart: The nature of the drag system is that it is not a sealed system. It’s a “semi-sealed” drag. Big particulates aren’t going to get in to affect it, but water can go right through.  That’s very beneficial in saltwater because at the end of the day you can rinse the thing out and you’ve flushed the entire system and you are ready to go the next day, whereas with a lot of so-called “sealed” systems, anything gets inside there and your drag is toast.

 

Craig: We’ve looked at a lot of “sealed” drag systems and determined that most of them are really not 100-percent sealed. It’s a misnomer in a lot of cases.

 

FT

 

 

Edited by Fishin Technician
punctuation

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On 2/17/2018 at 5:42 AM, sms said:

Reading all this, I am not more determined on opening the black box...

I meant "now" with "not" of course.

 

:rav:

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