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Thread: fly reel drag help

  1. #1
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    Default fly reel drag help

    I purchased my first fly reel with a real fighting drag for a trip to Alaska a couple years ago and was told that the Okuma Helios would be a good quality reel for the money . Had a great trip , fished alot of the rivers from Montana creek all the way down to quartz creek .Got into some nice silvers one day and noticed ( kind of hard not to ) how when hooked one you better hold on for dear life !!! This is going to be hard to explain , but when a big fish takes off what I didn't like abut the reel was first the rod bends pretty far depending how tight you have the drag set and then the drag finally lets line out then the rod un-loads and goes straighter , then this whole thing happens again over and over , its not a nice smooth pull with the rod in the same bent arc . Its not what I'm use to with a good spinning or baitcaster , but might be the way a fly reel drag is suppose to work , any info appreciated .

  2. #2

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    That's called "start up," and it's a sign you got a bum reco on that fly reel. I have not used it, and based on your account, never plan too. A decent drag will have no start up and won't get looser as the fish runs. If you plan to try fly fishing saltwater east of you in the Chesapeake or wherever for bluefish and such, dump the reel. You won't be happy with it there, any more than here in AK.

    Straight talk, but when you move to bigger fish on a fly outfit, a good drag is the heart of it all.

  3. #3
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    Brownbear what do you mean by a reco , also I just took the spool off and turning the center post feeling the drag it goes tight then loose , tight and loose back and forth , doesn't seem right ?

  4. #4

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    I meant "recommendations." And no, that doesn't even sound close to right.

  5. #5

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    I lost a huuuuge fish on a reel whos drag got looser and looser as the fish ran, pretty soon it freespooled and the fish got off. I have used Okumas too, and in the store the drag feels strong but out on the water they are still exactly what you paid for.

  6. #6
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    The drag on this reel doesn't really get loose but its erratic and instead of an even pull and steady arc in the rod it goes from a hard bent arc to a more straight arc and back and forth so the rod is constantly straitening and bending .

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by chugbug View Post
    The drag on this reel doesn't really get loose but its erratic and instead of an even pull and steady arc in the rod it goes from a hard bent arc to a more straight arc and back and forth so the rod is constantly straitening and bending .
    Even worse, by far.

  8. #8

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    Doesn't sound like a fun way to fight fish...especially big ones! One thing you may want to try if that ever happens and you don't have a backup reel is to loosen up the drag somewhat and palm the reel when needed. I would think the reel would run a little smoother that way and you could palm the reel when you really need to bear down on the fish. I almost always palm my reels that way I can let go and let it free wheel if the fish suddenly takes off (rather than breaking off). It sometimes takes practice to learn how to use the current and your rod/reel to fight fish,,,especially in big, fast water!

  9. #9

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    Yeah I would definitely palm the reel. Usually i set my drag so its comfortable for me to pull off line while casting and then palm it if I need to put the breaks on a fish. If you have no other option just back off on your drag.

  10. #10
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    Can you access the drag discs? you may just need a little time tuning the drag if you can get to the nylon/cork/steel discs and some steel wool. This will bring you into intimate knowledge of the reel so in the field it won't be new. I had a client that would take down his reel every evening and clean and work the drag. This was on a upper class reel too boot.

    George

  11. #11
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    This is interesting , I did take the drag apart , quite a few different materials and washers , but what I am finding is with the spool out of the frame I can turn the shaft and I can feel the drag , and its not consistent , it turns smooth then all of sudden it turns easier then more tension and back to an easier spot . If I loosen the 4 screws holding the drag cover on it seems more even . I emailed okuma to see what they will do for me , its only 2 yrs old and it did it on the first trip out , so something wasn't right from the factory .

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    I just picked up a new Okuma Integrity 7/8 with line & backing (cheap) that a guy bought for a backup on a trip up here. I have NOT fished it but drag feels very consistent stripping entire line off the reel (changing from left to right retrieve). Startup is very smooth & seems consistent to drag setting.
    Vance in AK.

    Matthew 6:33
    "But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you."

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    Member G_Smolt's Avatar
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    I had an Okuma reel once. Took me about 45 minutes to completely smoke the drag.

    For exactly 1/2 the money, you can get a better reel in the form of the ECHO Ion. The 4/5 and the 6/7 are $79.99, and the 8/10 and 10/12 are $99.99. Aluminium and stainless steel construction, not sealed so you have to rinse it if you fish salt, but for the price, a dang good reel. Comparatively low start-up inertia (all rulon drags have a slight stick at first...some worse than others), surge-free operation, and a high range of adjustability - they are going on my guide rods for 2012

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    Got my first reply back from okuma , he thinks there is something wrong with the drag or the anti reverse , and said I could send it back for repairs at my expense of a 10.00 repair fee plus shipping and parts , I understand the repair fee is cheap but I don't think this reel was right from brand new and now that I have waited over the 1 year warranty period I have to pay for repairs .Also if they replace most of the drag and anti reverse bearing it could add up to half of what I paid for the reel .What do you guys think ?

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    Member kenaibow fan's Avatar
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    well I guess it depends on how much you like the reel. It isn't a high end real so if you ditch it you really have lost nothing if you dont like it, but if you do and they fix it were it works properly and you do like it, it is better then paying money for a new reel, I would think.

    But I am guessing it will cost you about 20 to 30 dollars give or take to send it off and get it fixed and back to you, not to mention the fishign time lost if you are still fishing..........

  16. #16
    Member kenaibow fan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by G_Smolt View Post
    I had an Okuma reel once. Took me about 45 minutes to completely smoke the drag.

    For exactly 1/2 the money, you can get a better reel in the form of the ECHO Ion. The 4/5 and the 6/7 are $79.99, and the 8/10 and 10/12 are $99.99. Aluminium and stainless steel construction, not sealed so you have to rinse it if you fish salt, but for the price, a dang good reel. Comparatively low start-up inertia (all rulon drags have a slight stick at first...some worse than others), surge-free operation, and a high range of adjustability - they are going on my guide rods for 2012


    Funny you should bring this up..............didn't we just have this conversation? LOL

  17. #17
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    What would you suggest as a step up to a better reel other than the echo Ion , what reel is the tried and true good reel that always works and holds up. I'm looking for a 7-8 wt.

  18. #18

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    Sage makes a pretty nice reel I believe it's the 1600 series and it will run you about 100 bucks

  19. #19
    Member fishak's Avatar
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    I use a gloomis venture 5 and I like how the drag works. I'm assumin the 7 will be the same. Great reel for the price.
    hook, line, sinker, done.

  20. #20
    Member FNG IN AK's Avatar
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    You really owe it to yourself to check out the Lamson Konic. Lamson puts their high-end drags on their modest reels. I have the 5/6 weight and love it. 139 bucks for the 7/8 weight.

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