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BrianBM

Sealed Drags and Dave T.'s comment

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From another thread, Dave T. made the following interesting remark.

 

"I am quite positive that 98% of the people who buy sealed drag fly reels will not encounter any problems because 90% dont need a sealed drag to begin with."

 

Okay, but who does?

 

Let's mull over whether sealing drag mechanisms is a design and fashion fad of the moment, a flyreel equivalent to tailfins on a car, or something of genuine utility. And if we don't ALL need it, who exactly does?

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100% of my fishing is done from beach, bay and jetty...My reels get dunked a lot more than I would like and the amount of sand on a beach makes the chances of it getting into a reel pretty good. I have a couple Nautilus CCF's and the fact that I don' have to worry about the drag getting contaminated while I live in my truck for a couple days is priceless...do I NEED a sealed drag....probably not....but it is a BIG plus in my book.

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Brian, I think sealed drags are an evolution not a fad brought to us by an excellent aerospace engineer named Jack Charlton in fly reels.

 

I feel beach fishermen need sealed drags the most due to the high probability of the reel being contaminated with sand and saltwater. Being sealed assures your drag will be predictable no matter what we may do to catch the fish, wet or dry.

 

Are Charltons overbuilt for the fish we face from shore in the USA? Definately! They were built to last a lifetime and land anything that swims.

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I think Jim has it right that sealed drags are an evolution but I see no real reason to have them.Its more of a "feel good" item than a necessity.I also fish the surf and jetty and my reels have open drags.If theres a problem I can flush them out.Matter of fact,most of the drags I have heard that do fail are the sealed drags that develope leaks.By then its too late to correct.Tibor,J Ryall and a host of others dont think they are a necessity and neither do I.

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I don't base my drag decisions on whether the drag is sealed or not although it can be a nice feature. I think the best fly reel drag is the Mako/Charlton but not because it's sealed but rather because it's evolution is based on repeatable precision and self compensating mechanism for wear. That, IMHO, is the true genius of that design, not the sealed bit.

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I've never had a situation where the temporary loss of drag due to dunking has made a practical difference to me. I've just palmed the reel on those rare occasions.

 

OTOH, most problems over the years have been from salt water/sand intrusion into the bearings. If not addressed that day it has lead to the need for new bearings.

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As Skip said and I agree fully, sealed drags are not a neccessity. They are a "feel good" item but then so is any drag system more than say a spool overrun like a Medalist as a shorebound coastal fly angler. The reality of the matter is no fish I have caught with my feet on the ground in the 46 years I have been waving these long rods could not of been easily landed with a Medalist and a bit of educated spool pressure.

 

"Needs and wants" drive the evolution of product development and what each of us are willing to settle with. I can think of several evolved drags that have never caught on with the public like magnetic drag that I first had on a Johnson Magnetic reel in the 60's or STH's turbine drag for two examples that come to mind. Product evolution is slow especially dramatic changes because most get comfortable with what they have and that is what they want if they buy new again no matter how innovative something else may be.

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I have a habit of not washing my gear after I use it so I need good quality anodized finishes and sealed everything.

 

I have an Orvis Battenkill mid-arbor. I failed to clean it after use one time and the bearings were toast.

 

For stripers and blues, ANY reel will work just fine as long as it has the capacity to hold the line and backing AND you are willing to clean it thoroughly right after each use. Having a sealed drag is more of a convenience than a necessity. I use Lamson and Van Stall fly reels in the salt exclusively. I often don't clean them, and usually I just rinse them off after use. Never had a problem.

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ahh- this is where my earlier "new concept" post was heading..... the truth is that shorbound flyrodders need very little in terms of drag requirements- however, we all use fancy, high tech reels that are way more advanced than necessary.... sealed drags are certainly a part of this. It is convenience/piece of mind for those of us that can afford to have it on our reels. in reality a simple, dependable. easily-serviceable drag would be is all that is needed.

 

"wants" and "needs" are 2 different things

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View Postahh- this is where my earlier "new concept" post was heading..... the truth is that shorbound flyrodders need very little in terms of drag requirements- however, we all use fancy, high tech reels that are way more advanced than necessary.... sealed drags are certainly a part of this. It is convenience/piece of mind for those of us that can afford to have it on our reels. in reality a simple, dependable. easily-serviceable drag would be is all that is needed.

 

"wants" and "needs" are 2 different things

 

 

Who cares?

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View PostAs Skip said and I agree fully, sealed drags are not a neccessity. They are a "feel good" item but then so is any drag system more than say a spool overrun like a Medalist as a shorebound coastal fly angler. The reality of the matter is no fish I have caught with my feet on the ground in the 46 years I have been waving these long rods could not of been easily landed with a Medalist and a bit of educated spool pressure.

 

"Needs and wants" drive the evolution of product development and what each of us are willing to settle with. I can think of several evolved drags that have never caught on with the public like magnetic drag that I first had on a Johnson Magnetic reel in the 60's or STH's turbine drag for two examples that come to mind. Product evolution is slow especially dramatic changes because most get comfortable with what they have and that is what they want if they buy new again no matter how innovative something else may be.

 

I have to agree with Jim on this. For years I used cork draw bar drag reels and did not consider anything else. I bought into the line that cork is the best and nothing else warrants consideration (this also came from a writeup that interviewed Steve Abel, the funny thing is a few years ago he tried to produce a carbon fibre drag...) until a thread on this forum opened up the possiblity of a better drag that would suit my purposes better (big fast hard running fish). I grudgingly decided to give it a try and ordered a Charlton...I've never looked back since. I have not bought a cork drag reel since 2002. In my case I had both a want and a need - want for the best I could buy, and a need as I knew I'd be spending the next 3 decades or more chasing blue water fish.

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To clarify my earlier post, want and need are irrelevant in my opinion. I live in America and I can do with my cash as I please. Also, different folks demand different things from their gear. I fish a lot and I put my stuff through hell. In my experience, you get what you pay for. It's not that a cheap reel can't do the job, but will it still do the job for the 200th time? or ten, twenty years from now? When I come home at 4AM from an all night fishing trip, the last thing I feel like doing is taking my reel apart and scrubbing the salt and sand from every piece. I also do overnight trips where I am sleeping on the beach or in the car. I don't have access to fresh water or a place to field strip my reel. I fish often enough that cleaning my reel thoroughly after each use would be a major pain in the ass. For me, sealed reels are a very real "need".

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View PostBrian, I think sealed drags are an evolution not a fad brought to us by an excellent aerospace engineer named Jack Charlton in fly reels.

 

I feel beach fishermen need sealed drags the most due to the high probability of the reel being contaminated with sand and saltwater. Being sealed assures your drag will be predictable no matter what we may do to catch the fish, wet or dry.

 

Are Charltons overbuilt for the fish we face from shore in the USA? Definately! They were built to last a lifetime and land anything that swims.

 

 

 

JIm,

 

The term overbuilt is a term that really gets to me. In a way it could be interpreted as an insult to the reel maker. Reason being that it may imply that to get the longevity the builder has built in unecassary redundancy which means more weight etc. In fact The JC reel may well have been built the way it is because thats the way it has to be built as a minimum to meet Jack's design criteria. Jim not aiming this at you as I often see this term applied to JC reels and I think it does him a miss service unintentionally.

 

I aspire one day to own one of his fabulously engineered reels.

 

Mike

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Brian,

 

If you could really buy a 100% totaly sealed drag for life and a drag that would not fail,beacuse the lubs used were damaged by age then I would love a sealed drag.

Why because as you know I at times fish a bit aggressively and swim out to rocks and also stand right in the dumping waves. So my reels get to spend a lot of time under water. They also in a big NE wind get plastered in sand. To have a reel that can cope with that just like a VS spinning reel would be just great.

Right now I get by with an unsealed drag but a drag that still works pretty well when abused in the manner I have described. I just have to service the drag about twice a week as the price.

 

Abuse would not apply if it were possible to buy the silver bullet sealed drag.

 

I agree with Dave in that I hardly see other Fishers getting their kness wet let alone their fly reels. Not a critisism or a dig just a straight forward observation. Those Guys can get away with the std sort of crap tackle companies dish out to us and often at high prices. They also often tend to be the Guys who defend their often suspect reels on forums like this. Their reels do not fail because they never really stress them.

 

Mike

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Mike, Charltons are overbuilt like the old Range Rovers were or the original H1 Hummers. Throw anything and everything you want at them and they will continue to perform as intended day in and day out! Not a bad thing just more than what most require.

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