2010 12 06 MV: Angler’s Roost Enterprises – an eBay website which is the brainchild of innovative fly fishing legend John Kuhn – has recently been producing some outstanding variable-drag traditional and spey reels.
These reels run $59.95 to $89.95, and possess composite disk drag systems which rival reels costing 10 times that much…
But occasional all such drags get wet, and if disk material wears into tiny granules between composite disks and the metal disks on either side, then water can slip in and hydroplane, causing the entire drag system to free-wheel… typically at the WORST times.
Conventional wisdom says “Keep the reel (and drag system) dry” 😐
Um… we’re FLY FISHING… this typically takes place in the medium known as … WATER.
Mark’s wisdom goes like this:
1. You can’t avoid getting the reel wet… so figure out a way to take water out of the equation;
2. Use something that will always take the place of water between the disks;
3. How about… lithium grease.
The following is a slide show of how to disassemble these surprisingly-easy-to-service reels, thereby making them even more valuable than they already are. The result will be a drag system which provides a full range of drag from near-free to near-locked (but NOT completely locked tight), and though not water “resistent” is at the least water “agnostic”…
OBSERVATION – the A.R.E. reels likely share a common overseas manufacturer, so the everything in this posting applies to any reel whose construction & operation looks like the following diagram:
Here are the slides for 2 separate reels – one is a 7/8 spey reel, the other (my favorite) an 8/9 spey reel:
Once re-assembled, you’ll have a reel which – no matter hot or cold weather, no matter bone-dry or soaking-wet – behaves the same way; dialing out all the way will create a near free-wheel (but not quite due to the inherent microdrag created by the grease), and dialing in all the way will create a near full-stop (but again not quite due to the inherent slippage created by the grease)… and this is a GOOD THING. One of the fastest ways to lose a big fish is to accidentally over-tighten your reel’s drag to the point where the fish is effectively pulling against a fully-braked reel. Since a grease-saturated reel cannot ever be fully braked, you actually have the LEAST chance of the fish out-pulling and breaking your line, and therefore the BEST chance of ultimately landing the fish.
There’s my argument for fully-greased drag systems vs fully-dry drag systems.
No matter which philosophy to which you adhere, the slide show still provides you valuable information on how to service the Angler’s Roost Reel, making them an outstanding value in the fly fishing & spey casting market.