Cabo 70, Saragosa and Penn 950 Drags

Discussion in 'Tackle and Rigging' started by pametfisher, Jul 30, 2009.

  1. pametfisher

    pametfisher Senior Member

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    When I've been asked to add Wind-On leaders to some spinning reels for friends, one of the things I do is check out the drag. The reason is to make sure that it's performing well if someone is going to use/evaluate a leader.

    Yesterday, a Charter Captain gave me a couple of Quantum Cabo 70 PTs--photos below. As I tested the drag, it seemed to grab and release. When I disassembled it, I found the drag washers soaked in WD40. This led to a suction effect and really poor drag performance. So I cleaned the washers, lightly greased them with drag grease and put it back together. The grab-iness was gone, but the drag started high and then dropped down. That turned out to the be plastic (not sure what material) non-drag washer on the bottom of the spool. It needed more than a thin coating of grease. When it was done, a reel that has a 30 lb. max drag spec put out about 13 lbs.

    My overall impression is that this reel was designed for lighter use than Bluefin tuna. The bottom washer support was light metal, the bottom drag washer was not a drag washer at all, the top drag washers were a synthetic woven fabric, and the advertised Ceramic Drag system turned out to be one washer at the top which is probably to insulate the Drag Cap from whatever drag heat is produced. The Drag Cap itself was "inexpensive" in design, with a weak drag spring that had little range. My impression is that the Cabo 70 might put out 30 lbs. of drag with a nearly empty spool for only a short time. (Photo below)

    About a month ago, I was setting up a Saragosa 18000 (14000 photo below) with Wind-Ons, although the drag washers are all top mounted, they are graphite impregnated material, after cleaning and light greasing, the reel put out 22-25 lbs. This is a more expensive reel but in my impression, every aspect is higher in quality.

    I've also included a couple shots of one of my Penn 950 SSMs as a comparison to the Cabo. It has one large bottom washer, one small top washer, but a very strong, well-built drag cap and spring that is heavy, solid metal. The result is a reliable 16-18 lbs. To me, this is a much better budget reel than the Cabo.

    I've also added a close-up photo of the 950 drag cap spring. My method of measuring Max Drag is to turn the cap until that spring is fully compressed and then measure the drag output with a scale. Turning the cap more than full compression of the spring means that the Spindle Threads are being used for drag pressure. That's okay as a last measure to boat a fish but not a fair comparison of Max Drag specs.
     

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  2. fish4stripers

    fish4stripers Senior Member

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    Hi Roger,

    Nice analysis. Have you compared the spheros 14000/18000 with and wothout carbontex drag washers also as a lower priced alternative? While Shimano has made some upgrades in the Saragosa such as gearing, I don't think the drag area is different from the spheros. There was a cap problem but I've seen they updated it for spheros and saragosa.
     

  3. pametfisher

    pametfisher Senior Member

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    Hi Roger,

    Nice analysis. Have you compared the spheros 14000/18000 with and wothout carbontex drag washers also as a lower priced alternative? While Shimano has made some upgrades in the Saragosa such as gearing, I don't think the drag area is different from the spheros. There was a cap problem but I've seen they updated it for spheros and saragosa.

    I own a smaller Spheros and a Stradic. From the drag standpoint, you are right, the Spheros and Saragosa apprear to be the same, making the Spheros a good entry level BFT reel.

    I have not compared the reels with anything but stock drags. The Shimano stock drags put out a good, high level of drag. When one wears out, I will consider Carbontex but there's a lot going on in addition to smoothness. In particular, there's the question of rate of heat transfer from the drag stack in the Saragosa/Spheros to the spool. Since it works well as designed, I'd probably stick with the Shimano washers myself, although I'm probably in a minority.
     
  4. jig

    jig Senior Member

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    Did shimano change the drag stack in the spheros 14000FA vs FB? I seem to recall only having 3 drag washers in my 14000FA.