View Full Version : drag washers

10-21-2010, 11:53 AM
I just ordered some new carbontex drag washers from Smoothdrag.com for my new (to me, thanks Jonathan!) BPS Musky Angler reel. When I opened it up to weatherize it for fishing in saltwater I noticed that the drag washers were almost exactly the same size as the ones in the Abu 7000 series. Swapping them out for greased carbontex washers is going to make for a pretty powerful drag stack that is super smooth. Iíll post some pictures of the weatherizing and drag install once I get the washers.

10-24-2010, 08:44 AM

10-25-2010, 11:08 AM

Sorry to ask stupid question but what is exactly a drag washer?
Is it a custom drag to replace the original drag of your reel?
What is the aim? Does it make the drag smoother? More powerful? if more isn't it dangerous for the mechanic of your reel?

Thank you


10-26-2010, 12:43 PM
Sorry to ask stupid question but what is exactly a drag washer?

Itís the fiber discs that go in between the metal washers in you drag stack. Could be as few a 1-2 and as many as 5 (perhaps more but Iíve never seen more than 5).

Is it a custom drag to replace the original drag of your reel?

It only replaces the non metal discs. More and more reels are coming with carbonex style discs these days (Penn for example). Personally Iíd still pull them and add a good dose of Calís Reel Grease. Donít use grease or oil on non-carbon fiber drags.

What is the aim?

See below

Does it make the drag smoother?

It can and the way Iím doing it the drag should be SUPER smooth. There will be no shuddering of the rod tip or sharp bends in the rod with quick release of all tension. This allows you to use a higher drag setting without the fear that a sharp tug or head-shake will snap the line instead of pulling drag. You lose a couple of pounds of drag power but the carbon fiber vs carbon paper (or whatever the drag washers are made of) gives you so much more drag that losing a bit is more than made up by the smoothness.

More powerful?

It will be but also much smoother.

If more isn't it dangerous for the mechanic of your reel?

Yes and no. You need to know the strength of all of your components. It is totally possible to install a drag stack into a reel that would destroy the gears if locked down. For example: putting 35lb of drag power into a Abu C3 with 65lb braid would allow you to strip the main and pinion gears. Instead you put in a greased 15-20lb stack and pretty much never lock it all the way down. A lot of folks run into problems when using braid thatís way over the rating of the reel. If a reel is designed for 12-20lb mono you need to be careful using 40-65lb braid.

Here is a great resource:



10-26-2010, 02:46 PM
Well i've learned something new today anyway!

10-27-2010, 03:37 AM
Thank you really much for your clear explanation


10-29-2010, 07:12 PM
Excellent explanation CB! and good links, I have 2 reels that could use a drag upgrade!

11-02-2010, 02:36 PM
Just checked out the schematics on my Calcutta 251 and I will be buying some new washers soon! The drag is shot from several years of muskie and about a dozen tarpon!

11-03-2010, 09:42 AM
My new carbontex washers came in so I'm going to install them tonight. I'll take some pictures!

11-03-2010, 09:50 AM
good stuff, I found this guide for my reel, which is actually pretty similar to the maina reel I bet...


11-04-2010, 01:35 PM
Yeah, it looks almost identical except that there is only one upper and one lower drag washer in the Calcutta where as mine had three uppers. Also, I hope your reel isnít as rusty as that one! :sarcastic:

I rebuild my drag last night and as we say here in Boston ďitís like buttaí ď.

Hereís a quick picture of the reel opened up. Notice the white drag washers that are being replaced with the black one beneath. The only problem is that the lower washer is totally the wrong size. I just used the one that was already there. Looking at the guide you found I think I could use the lower washer for the Calcutta.

http://i680.photobucket.com/albums/vv165/cbiegel/Muskie%20Reel/th_IMG_2901.jpg (http://s680.photobucket.com/albums/vv165/cbiegel/Muskie%20Reel/?action=view&current=IMG_2901.jpg)

The carbontex washers were just a few millimeters too wide. I sandwiched them between two cutting wheels on my dremel and sanded them to the correct size on 600 grit sandpaper. Worked like a charm.

http://i680.photobucket.com/albums/vv165/cbiegel/Muskie%20Reel/th_IMG_2906.jpg (http://s680.photobucket.com/albums/vv165/cbiegel/Muskie%20Reel/?action=view&current=IMG_2906.jpg)

11-05-2010, 09:58 AM
You're the real, Reel mechanic!

11-07-2010, 10:43 AM
Very cool. This is almost worthy of a tech section.