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Fall fish

Real Problem with Abel Reel

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A year ago--after taking a hiatus of about three years--I started fly fishing again.  I soon discovered that the drag plate on my Abel Super 9 had adhered to the spool, so that when I pulled the spool out of the frame the drag plate came with it.  Plate was stuck to the spool--it took only a little force to pop the plate off the spool with a knife, but it did take a little force.  There was a tacky residue on the surface on the spool where it had come into contact with the cork on the drag plate.   I had no idea what happened; as I said I had not used the reel for a few years, so I wrote it off as bad luck and counted myself fortunate that none of my other reels exhibited the issue.  I sent it off to Abel and they cleaned it and sent it to back to me almost exact a year ago.  I used it three or four times after receiving it back from Abel.  After each time that I used it, I disassembled the reel, rinsed it off with fresh water, and let dry before reassembling it and storing it in the canvas reel pouch.  
 

I tried to use the reel this weekend and discovered that I had no drag.  Took it apart and found that the drag plate had adhered to the spool again.  The spool has the same tacky residue where it came into contact with the cork drag and the cork drag has a slight tacky feel to it.  There's nothing indicate that this substance came from anywhere other than the reel itself.  There is no residue on the pouch in which the reel was stored and I put anything on the reel since receiving it back from Abel.   Anyone encounter this issue before with an Abel or other reel?  Is it possible that the adhesive that holds the cork to the drag plate is somehow seeping out?  A picture of the spool with the residue is below.  

UNADJUSTEDNONRAW_thumb_86d2.jpg

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How hard are you rinsing it off, it really should only be a light spray if used in saltwater, like the nozzle of a garden hose when you barley depress it and it sprays a mist. keep the water away from the insides of the reel, it is possible that it is because you are getting it too wet and the water is washing the adhesive into it, I use my reels in fresh water all the time and never rinse them off, when I clean my reels (Every few months) I blast them with a little WD-40 on the spindle and bearing until the old grease and oil run off in a black stream, then I wipe it down with paper towels and q-tips and re lube, that said, I would use the same procedure if I fished salt water, except I would mist the outside my reel face and back side plate after each use, dry it off and call it a day. a once a week or so check the insides around the drag if its not sealed, I always wipe down the outside of my reel with WD-40 and wipe it dry so its not greasy. avoid saturating the reel with freshwater or saltwater.

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Posted (edited)

Never heard of that.  Don't they recommend Neat's Foot Oil for the cork drag surface?  From the picture it almost looks as though the surface on the spool is pitted?

Edited by DrBob

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Are you saying you took the whole reel apart and rinsed it while it was disassembled, including the cork? If so, that's where the problem is coming from. You're letting water get into the space between the cork and the drag plate. There should only ever be cork and neatsfoot oil in that space. 

 

To rinse the reel, leave it assembled with light drag pressure and run water over it, then let it dry. Never let water get inside the drag area. The light drag pressure will exclude the water.

 

Cheers,

Graeme

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Ditto on applying drag pressure before rinsing. Not sure it really helps with "sealed" systems but was told by an old salt to do it years ago and have always. 

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 That's pretty impressive. From the picture it would appear that you're using some kind of highly corrosive substance to lube your drag. I have a 9/10n with literally thousands of hours on it, and it's not unusual for me to leave it in a 130 degree car for a few hours after a day on the water, and there's no signs of wear on the spool or drag plate. I use a graphite based lube on the cork, and a synthetic grease on the bearings & handle. I service them maybe twice a year.

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I have an Abel 3N and after long periods (months) on not using it I take is apart and get off that sticky residue that I wipe with a rag and something like Dawn dish soap.  I then add a few drops of synthetic super lube from the pen style dispenser.  These Abels are supposed to be known for having a low start up inertia.  I'm pretty sure that is not adhesive you are seeing.  What doesn't make sense is that Abel would return a reel to you where that mess would develop that quickly.   Try wiping that stuff off with a damp paper towel and a little dish soap to verify whether it is caked on sticky grease and at least eliminate that piece of the puzzle.

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15 hours ago, BigFly said:

How hard are you rinsing it off, it really should only be a light spray if used in saltwater, like the nozzle of a garden hose when you barley depress it and it sprays a mist. keep the water away from the insides of the reel, it is possible that it is because you are getting it too wet and the water is washing the adhesive into it, I use my reels in fresh water all the time and never rinse them off, when I clean my reels (Every few months) I blast them with a little WD-40 on the spindle and bearing until the old grease and oil run off in a black stream, then I wipe it down with paper towels and q-tips and re lube, that said, I would use the same procedure if I fished salt water, except I would mist the outside my reel face and back side plate after each use, dry it off and call it a day. a once a week or so check the insides around the drag if its not sealed, I always wipe down the outside of my reel with WD-40 and wipe it dry so its not greasy. avoid saturating the reel with freshwater or saltwater.

I use it in brackish water that has varying concentrations of salt depending on a number of factors (e.g., rainfall, tides, etc.)  Immediately after use I will rinse the reel off with a hose, but I don't use anything that that would be described as high pressure.  I deliberately avoid  using anything other than low pressure, because I don't want to chase any salt in the nooks and crannies of the reel.   

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9 hours ago, DrBob said:

Never heard of that.  Don't they recommend Neat's Foot Oil for the cork drag surface?  From the picture it almost looks as though the surface on the spool is pitted?

The spool isn't pitted; the apparent pitting is an artifact of the film on the surface.  The spool looked like this last year when I sent to Abel; it came back pristine.  

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8 hours ago, Hirdy said:

Are you saying you took the whole reel apart and rinsed it while it was disassembled, including the cork? If so, that's where the problem is coming from. You're letting water get into the space between the cork and the drag plate. There should only ever be cork and neatsfoot oil in that space. 

 

To rinse the reel, leave it assembled with light drag pressure and run water over it, then let it dry. Never let water get inside the drag area. The light drag pressure will exclude the water.

 

Cheers,

Graeme

I am guilty on rinsing the cork.  When I first got the reel many years ago, Abel was instructing people to rinse the reel in soapy water without any further qualification.  (I never used soap, just fresh water).  They seemed to have changed their care instructions to be more in line with what you suggest.  

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8 hours ago, Local66 said:

 

 That's pretty impressive. From the picture it would appear that you're using some kind of highly corrosive substance to lube your drag. I have a 9/10n with literally thousands of hours on it, and it's not unusual for me to leave it in a 130 degree car for a few hours after a day on the water, and there's no signs of wear on the spool or drag plate. I use a graphite based lube on the cork, and a synthetic grease on the bearings & handle. I service them maybe twice a year.

No corrosive substances were applied.  The only thing I ever put on the reel was a little neat's foot oil on the drag (which Abel recommends).  I am glad your Abel's are holding up.  Other than this reel, my Abel's have also performed flawless.  

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5 hours ago, JohnDe said:

I have an Abel 3N and after long periods (months) on not using it I take is apart and get off that sticky residue that I wipe with a rag and something like Dawn dish soap.  I then add a few drops of synthetic super lube from the pen style dispenser.  These Abels are supposed to be known for having a low start up inertia.  I'm pretty sure that is not adhesive you are seeing.  What doesn't make sense is that Abel would return a reel to you where that mess would develop that quickly.   Try wiping that stuff off with a damp paper towel and a little dish soap to verify whether it is caked on sticky grease and at least eliminate that piece of the puzzle.

I will try that when I get home and let you know.  Do you think the sticky residue is grease from the frame?  If so, I wonder if the position that I store the reel in would make a difference.  Right now I tend to put them on their sides.  If its on its side so that the drag knob is above the spool, the grease holding the springs in place may migrate to the spool if given enough time.

 

Also, do you have other Abels and, if so, is the 3N the only one that exhibits this issue.  ( I have a few Abels and I see the issue in only one).  

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9 hours ago, JoeSWFF said:

Ditto on applying drag pressure before rinsing. Not sure it really helps with "sealed" systems but was told by an old salt to do it years ago and have always. 

I will try it going forward.  Thanks.  

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