wet drags vs dry

Discussion in 'Reel Repair' started by captdeej, Apr 10, 2007.

  1. captdeej

    captdeej Senior Member

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    Hi to all,

    This is my first post, this site is the best as I check it daily!

    I have a question about the pros and cons of a greased drag vs a dry one of the same material?

    I am looking as it pertains to accurates boss and tiburons sst.

    Thanks
     
  2. alantani

    alantani Senior Member

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    ah, yes, wet versus dry. seems like i've been fighting this battle for the last 10 years.

    just so we're all on the same page, i'd like to define a few terms i use. the first is "start up." when you first pull on the line, some drags tend to stick a little, so you have to pull a little harder. once the line starts moving, it may take, say, 5 pounds of drag to keep the line moving. that initial pull may take 6 pounds to get it started. that extra pound (or 20%) is what i refer to as "start up." with a horribly sticky drag, the start up might be as high as 100%. my personal preference is zero.

    the next is your drag setting. simple enough. it's the number of pounds needed to keep the line peeling off the spool once it starts moving. that number will increase as the spool height decreases. it actually doubles when the spool height decreases by half. for spinning, star and lever drag reels, i will quote a drag setting but always add "at the top of the spool, " even if i do not.

    then there is "accelleration" or "high speed runout." this is the nasty tendency for a greased drag to become more slippery. a gentleman named cal sheets in the united states, and an gentleman named jack erskine in australia, have both done work on this. imagine a situation with a large shimano tiagra 80, a 50# drag setting, and a 500# tuna. such a fish might take a 100 yard run in 10 seconds. cal sheets had found that the functional drag would decrease as much as 40% during these hard runs. it was not necessarily a function of temperature, it was interestingly more a function of speed.

    the shimano star drag grease is a pure teflon product that has a melting temperature of 300 degrees farenheit. when applied in excess, this problem with accelleration was noted. when the excess was removed, it became less of a problem, but i do not know how much less. cal sheets also now sells a pure teflon grease. it has a melting temperature of 500 degrees farenheit. it is applied liberally to the drag washer of a large lever drag reel, then the excess is vigorously wiped off. cal sheets says that this has eliminated the problem of accelleration. i have no reason do doubt his work, but i have not seen the data.

    and lastly, my definition of a properly functioning drag system. try this with your own rod and reel. spool the reel with a desired line weight. let's say 20 pound monofilament, just to pick a number. place the reel on the rod. run the line through the guides. tie with line off to a 5 pound weight, which is 25% of your line weight. clamp down on the drag star. reel down to the weight. lift the rod up until the grip is at a 45 degree angle. now adjust the drag until the weight drops one foot every 5 seconds. if your reel can perform to this level, then you have near zero start up. this is my definition of a properly functioning drag system.

    now, regarding grease in top drag spinning reels, bait casters and small to medium conventional star drag reels. i find a carbon fiber drag washer that gives me a "best fit." i can cut them down to size pretty easily if needed. i slap a thick coat of grease on the drag washers, install them and let the grease squeeze out the sides. when i first started doing this, my friends were amazed at the smoothness and level of performance and reliability. many tackle pros, shop owners, repair personel and industry were adament that i was totally wrong. sometimes, it got personal. so what i did was to slap in more grease, and then take pictures. and one fisherman, after another, after another, would say "yes, i own this reel," and "yes, it is as smooth as he says." oh, and "yes, these drags last forever!"

    so i use excess grease in non-lever drag reels just to annoy the non-believers. what about lever drag reels? i always wipe off the excess, but that is because it allows me to get a higher strike drag setting before losing freespool. i am also concerned about accelleration, but i believe it will only be an issue with one fisherman out of 10,000. the start up remains zero and that's my main concern. the grease also prevents water damage to the drag washer and aluminum pressure plate underneath. and when i say that i've almost won, here's what i mean. shimano started out with greased carbon fiber. they get credit for that original innovation. you will now see greased carbon fiber drag washer in all of the flagship two speed lever drag reels, including penn, daiwa, okuma, accurate and tiburon. only avet and alutecnos have dry systems. someday, that too may change. and then i will call my victory complete.

    why not star drag reels? only progear has a greased carbon fiber drag system. i can only guess, but perhaps other manufacturers consider this system to be too expensive. why make a reel with a drag system that will last forever, when they would rather have you buy another reel. and spinners? they WANT you to buy a new one each year. otherwise, why would they introduce a new model yearly? basically, start up is the main issue here. accelleration will never be. this is a battle i know i will never win.
     

  3. Bill Fisher

    Bill Fisher Senior Member

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    my apologies in advance for asking about different reels and drag systems, but have you ever happened to have had an opporyunity to examine and form an opinion of the rolling drag sytem of M&T reels?........

    http://www.salt-w-h.co.jp/marlin-tuna-reel/index.htm

    (if you get a japanese text support window, just click 'cancel')
     
  4. rhale

    rhale Senior Member

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    Great info Alantani. Thanks for posting.
     
  5. bpitcher

    bpitcher Senior Member

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    Good stuff. Very informative.
     
  6. captdeej

    captdeej Senior Member

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    Thanks Alantani,

    A lot to think about, great information!

    In your experience how much more life can you expect from a wet drag and upon inspection of a well maintained greased drag is the amount of material that wears off noticeabl less (in a lever drag reel).

    I cant seem to stop wondering what are actual drag settings end up being when scale testing from reel to reel after all the variables are factored in.

    It kinda makes me want to hook a reel up to a electric motor and record the amperage readings from start up to the end of a spooled reel to see the differences in current draw as it relates to the drags performance thruout the run!

    I would think the start up resistance would be the most critical as that is what we are actually setting.
     
  7. alantani

    alantani Senior Member

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    my apologies in advance for asking about different reels and drag systems, but have you ever happened to have had an opporyunity to examine and form an opinion of the rolling drag sytem of M&T reels?........

    http://www.salt-w-h.co.jp/marlin-tuna-reel/index.htm

    (if you get a japanese text support window, just click 'cancel')

    funny, i saw this site quite a while back and never investigated further. i think the first spike in the red line is an example of "start up." actually, it would be an example of a very bad case of "start up." the increasing slope of the red line might be a increase in drag pressure because of the decreasing diameter of line on the spool as a fish pulls line out. this would be normal.

    [​IMG]

    a properly functioning drag washer would have little to no initial spike. but what they may have done is to turn the handle with the line tied off to a scale. then what you are seeing is a drag pressure that tripled as a result of heat. been there as well. it's a bad situation. so who knows what kind of el cheapo drag system the red line is.

    as far as their blue line maintaining a constant drag pressure, i see no mechanism to allow the reel to compensate for the decreasing diameter of the line on the spool as a big fish takes his run. what they had to do was bolt the reel to a bench with a full spool of line, tie the line off to a fixed digital scale, and then hook up the handle arm to a variable speed electric motor and turn the handle. if the graph is accurate, then it looks like they had a 25% drop in drag pressure over time, probably due to heat. that is not good either.

    although i have no data, i believe that a properly greased carbon fiber drag system will give you the same results as the blue line, and maybe even without the 25% fade.
     
  8. alantani

    alantani Senior Member

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    Thanks Alantani, A lot to think about, great information!
    In your experience how much more life can you expect from a wet drag and upon inspection of a well maintained greased drag is the amount of material that wears off noticeabl less (in a lever drag reel). I cant seem to stop wondering what are actual drag settings end up being when scale testing from reel to reel after all the variables are factored in. It kinda makes me want to hook a reel up to a electric motor and record the amperage readings from start up to the end of a spooled reel to see the differences in current draw as it relates to the drags performance thruout the run! I would think the start up resistance would be the most critical as that is what we are actually setting.

    as stated before, i have no data. what i do have is an idiot nephew that got smart when i wasn't looking and is now completing a degree in mechanical engineering. he's going to put together a contraption so that i can lock down a penn 80 international, set the drags to 50#, tie off the line to a digital scale, find some way to measure the temperature of the drag disc, and give me continuous readings of handle rpm, pounds of drag pressure and temperature all as a function of time.

    i believe that greased carbon fiber drag washers will give you consistent lifetime performance over the lower drag ranges. that's where 99.99999% of us fish. you're right, though. it would be nice to have hard data.
     
  9. Bill Fisher

    Bill Fisher Senior Member

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    as far as their blue line maintaining a constant drag pressure, i see no mechanism to allow the reel to compensate for the decreasing diameter of the line on the spool as a big fish takes his run. what they had to do was bolt the reel to a bench with a full spool of line, tie the line off to a fixed digital scale, and then hook up the handle arm to a variable speed electric motor and turn the handle. if the graph is accurate, then it looks like they had a 25% drop in drag pressure over time, probably due to heat. that is not good either.


    i had assumed the reel was somehow attached to a scale and the graph was was over the entire dumping of the line as it was being unspooled

    i don't understand how turning the handle of the reel with an electric motor could allow for measurements to be taken as if a full spool is being reduced to an empty spool if all that's being done is winding the handle

    i don't really understand their RDSystem, (and, of course, no doubt, they used a 'worst-case-scenario' disc drag for comparision purposes in their advertising), but the out-of-the-box performance had caught my eye.......... no tweaking of the drag required (and possibly less maintenance?)

    i'm with you on the heat build up and loss of drag pressure...... especially if an electric motor was used to spool line OFF the reel, increasing the diameter of line coming onto the spool attached to motor all-the-while reducing the line diameter of the reel's spool

    anyway, thanx for the reply and your info on disc drags
     
  10. Bellyups

    Bellyups Senior Member

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    Great stuff! Thanks alantani
     
  11. RoadDawg

    RoadDawg Guest

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    Last night I went through a Accurate Boss 870 and lubed the drags. It now seems that I cant get enough drag. It doesnt seem that the Boss have very much drag adjustment. The disc seemed ok, could they be worn out??
     
  12. alantani

    alantani Senior Member

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    accurate now uses cal's grease. it is applied to the spool and both sides of the drag washer. then the excess is wiped off the working surface of the drag washer. even if left on, you should be able to work it in and get the same amount of drag. they really don't wear out, either.

    does your model have belleville spring washers? if so, how are they oriented? alan
     
  13. Dr Rob

    Dr Rob Junior member

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    ..."he's going to put together a contraption so that i can lock down a penn 80 international, set the drags to 50#, tie off the line to a digital scale, find some way to measure the temperature of the drag disc, and give me continuous readings of handle rpm, pounds of drag pressure and temperature all as a function of time..."

    That's pretty much what I have already. It's a pretty good rig, but I'm finding it has some shortcomings. I'll have to make another one with a few improvements. It really takes a long time to go through a number of materials in an orderly fashion.

    [​IMG]

    Captdeej, about using amperage draw... that's pretty clever; hadn't thought of that. On the other hand, it is also a good thing to aspire to maintain a real-world application scenario as far as possible. I mean, there are dedicated tribometers available, but they remove the components and materials from their environment. Also bear in mind that this talk of the various drag materials is only part of the equation of a functioning drag. The sum total of all components is what does it.

    .
     
  14. Dr Rob

    Dr Rob Junior member

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    There is more to ther picture than just yes-or-no, grease-or-not. Sometimes it works, other times not. As in the pic above, one of those materials performs wonderfully without grease. Smooth, flat curve at all temperatures and pressures.. excellent, just excellent. On test #2 with grease, the drag performed so badly it was just horrendous; never seen anything like it. Jerks, spikes up to double the set drag, runout all over... jeez. Same goes for another material I tested just last week. Too bad; had good hopes for that one.

    Temperature, speed, fade and runout are all things I've written about ad tedium and discussed for years with both Cal and Jack; it's nothing new.

    On the other hand, some of those materials exhibit a slight stick-slip or stiction ratio, which is normal, that can largely be eradicated by use of a proper lubricant. Other lubricants are a nightmare.

    Long story.
    .
     
  15. Dr Rob

    Dr Rob Junior member

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    The RDS drag is a very intriguing innovation, one that I too have considered but not taken further than just a thought. It utilizes an entirely different concept rather than this incessant development-inside-the-box thinking we have now.

    The man behind it is a very capable individual; it isn't just a newfangled gizmo. I think it has been somewhat misunderstood though-- it does nothing to adjust or compensate for line level on the spool. The graph depicted above demonstrates a nice flattish curve over time, but I think the graph has been clipped somewhat... what looks like a 25% drop may rather be only a pound; there are no units of measure visible.

    There are however reams of graphs and charts available on the subject; he has done quite a lot of work on it. Whether or not it is so great in the long run, remains to be seen. I just appreciate the innovative thinking.

    Re carbon fiber as per HT-100 being as good, yes, quite possibly. wet or dry.
    .
     
  16. skip

    skip Member

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    Alan,

    Have you managed to get your hands on an Alutecnos and see how they perform with a wet drag?
     
  17. alantani

    alantani Senior Member

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    they are not very popular out here in california. i don't think i've ever even see one in person. alan
     
  18. bunile

    bunile Senior Member

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    does the drag actually double when the line coming off the reel is 1/2 the diameter as is when set in full spool dia. I mean set at full spool to 10lbs. then at 1/2 full spool the drag will hold at 20lbs. In exact proportions or "NEARLY THAT RATIO ?" That change would happen more rapidly when using thicker mono, the diameter reducing rapidly when line is being pulled off. So , when the reel is full leave the drag set, when the fish takes alot of line out and the spool is getting smaller, are you supposed to lessen the drag or not?
     
  19. Fishhead56

    Fishhead56 Senior Member

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    The drag at the spool remains the same.

    The tension at the hook and along the line
    is the variable.
    And there are many variables to be considered.

    K2
    Son of Hyperman:rolleyes:
     
  20. STx Fisherman

    STx Fisherman Senior Member

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    Fishhead56....I can see the resemblance to Hyperman.

    I am now wondering if Bunile is related to Steven Tyler from Aerosmith...:confused: