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How Sweet It Is! Sugar... To Fix A Slipping Drag Brake In The Okuma

drag brake slips

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#1 Piscivorous Pike

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Posted 02 June 2012 - 10:55 PM

I have an Okuma line counter reel used for precision trolling and down rigging.

After a missed season I put it to work and found the drag would not set and slipped terrible. First to say it is a simple cheap lousy drag. It consists of two flat concaved washer springs cupped against each other on the crank shaft. The disks ride on the shaft and turn with it. They are locked to the shaft by an elliptical center hole. They ride on a seat that is the reel body on the bottom of the drag recess. Tightening the star compresses the disks against the seat which is part of the body increasing the resistance by friction and therefor the shaft does not turn easily. The disks, shaft and spool are one system, connected and turn together.

Summer heat in storage caused the factory grease to melt into the drag disks and of course it slipped. After cleaning and finally running it totally dry of lubricant I was still not satisfied with the braking. It needs better disks or a rosin of some sort to increase the friction.

I lubed the mechanism with LPS 1 which forms a dray film so as to keep lubricant out of the drag disks.

I solved the slipping. Remembering that sugar in the gas tank will carmalize on cylinder walls into a high friction coating I simply added a few grains of sugar between the two cupped washers and the drag seat on the reel and against the first spacer, keeping it away from the shaft bearing.

IT is a success, it is a smooth tight drag now and even if it gets wet, maybe all the better to leave a uniform coating on the metal surfaces from the dissolved sugar.

#2 BobP


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Posted 09 June 2012 - 10:23 PM

I've cracked and serviced lots of reels. The 2 curved washers on the main shaft apply tension to the drag system. They have to be placed on the shaft either facing each other () or facing away from each other )(. To keep them from getting flattened out, back off the drag when not using the reel. As far as the drag disks go, if they are fiber disks, they should be LIGHTLY lubed with a drag grease like Penn Muscle, Cal's, or Shimano Drag Grease. Drag grease is a thick, sticky cosmoline-based grease. It's the only grease that will keep a drag system working for a long time. If your reel has carbon fiber or Teflon (PTFE) drag disks, you can leave them dry or apply a thin coating of drag grease, which will make the drag a tad smoother. On most reels, the main drag disk is inside the main gear covered by a stainless disk but there is usually another fiber disk on the shaft UNDER the main gear. This one controls at what pressure the drag system begins to work (or "break over"). Lube it just like the other one.