what's your experience with carbontex drag washers?

Discussion in 'Fishing Reels' started by alantani, Oct 26, 2005.

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  1. alantani

    i had written off the smoothie drag company years ago. they're standard black and green washers are garbage. i've been using greased drags for all my reel repairs for the last 7-8 years, combining penn ht-100's and shimano drag grease. i've enjoyed a zero failure rate for at least 5,000 reels. woven carbon fiber and teflon grease gives you a smooth drag, no start-up, no chatter, it actually extends your drag range and gives you a lifetime of absolute reliability. well, the smooth drag company just came out with a thin woven carbon fiber drag washer early this year. you guys have surely seen it before, but it's new to me. it's called carbontex.

    i have a torium 16 on the bench right now. it's all ready to go except for the drag washers. i have always had a problem with the trinidad/torium line. there is no room for the thicker penn washers. after talking to dawn with the smooth drag company, i ordered 20 sets of carbontex drag washers. they will arrive next week and i will get this reel back to the owner.

    i've put greased carbon fiber drag washers in almost every reel on the market, and many antiques. the only reel that i stll have problems with is the trinidad/torium line. that is about to change!
  2. Reel Trouble

    I can't wait to hear how it turns out, I read your 2 speed upgrade......Who would have thought a little masking tape would do so much for you. Thanks for sharing your knowledge. I enjoy your reads

  3. bertram31

    The carbon drags are very good. They have had a problem with drag stack size that you need to pay close attention too. The perfect measurement for the three washers is .092 inches. One problem I have had in obtaining higher drag amounts is the bottom washer under the main drive gear in the carbon fiber will compress too much this resulting in less drag. To fix this a thin hard nylon washer under the carbon fiber washer prevents most of the compression.

    One other trick i do is replace or add a very thin nylon washer on top of the oil gasket under the handle. This will be in the second position as you are putting the star drag and handle assembly back together. What this does is shorten the drag ratio throw by reducing the amount of turns the star drag has to make to go from zero drag to full. I personally like this option but some people have not. I have my trinidads this way and have received 26# at full at still around 3# with the drag all the way backed off. But the beauty of this is when you are fishing in the mid drag setting range it only takes a small turn of the star to make several pounds of difference in either direction.

    One side note here. The grease I use on my reels and have never had drags burn since I have been using it is Mobil One racing synthetic wheel bearing grease. Why you ask well it is simple. Every car in Nascar from Cup down to the Super Late Model I use to race at Irwindale uses this grease in the front wheel bearing. When the brake rotors are glowing red hot at over 1200 degrees this grease doesnt melt down and run out of the wheel bearings. proff is in the pudding to me and Mobil One has proved its worth to me.

  4. Reel Trouble

    Good info thanks Jack.
  5. alantani

    i got the carbontex drags a while back and finally had a chance to go through the torium. this was a brand new reel, straight out of the box. here's a shot of the reel with three carbontex drags and a penn ht-100. going right to left, you see a coarse weave carbontex, next a thinner fine weave carbontex, another coarse weave carbontex, and a standard penn ht-100 #6-320.


    first, let's remove the handle (key #'s 128, 603, 262, 604 and 264)


    now the star (key # 605), the washers underneath (key #'s 266, 267, 268, 269, 270), the click pin and spring (key #'s 295 and 296), and the bearing (key # 486) if you can get to it.


    now back out the side plate screws (key #'s 606, 305 and 306), noting first the difference in the shapes of the screw heads. remove the right side plate (key # 607) and set it aside.


    now pull the gear/drag cluster out (key #'s 287, 288, 289, 288, 290, 291, 292 and 418) and line everything up. in the photo, i cleaned off the black grease so you could tell the difference between the carbon and metal washers. the carbon tex washers are lined up as well.


    here's a shot of the base with the guts in place. note that the anti-reverse ratchet (key #294) is also still in place. you'll save yourself some time this way.


    now we're going to rebuild the drag cluster. i like to slap a generous coat of grease on the washers. use more or less if you'd like. this is just what i do.


    dig the roller clutch inner tube (key # 494) out of the roller clutch bearing (key #493). place the roller clutch inner tube over the drive shaft (key # 609) and seat it into the key washer (key # 287). wiggle the side plate on. don't forget the line clip (key # 280). you always wondered what that was there for, huh!

    reverse all the above steps and reassemble the reel. the only tricky part left is the installation of the click pin and spring. i install the drag spring washers (key #'s 267 and 268) and the star drag washer (key # 266) first, then install the click spring and pin (key #'s 295 and 296). push the pin down with a small flat screwdriver and wedge the star drag washer over the top of the click pin. when you spin on the star (key #605), the pin will stay in place.

    so i spooled up this torium 16 and got 18#'s of smooth drag. a trinidad 20 that i worked on yesterday had 10#'s of drag with dartaniums, and 15#'s of drag with carbontex. needless to say, i'm very happy with carbontex!
  6. vellocity

    so the stock shimano replacement drag washers are dartaniums?
    i'm doing the drag plate upgrade on a TN30.. where can i get the carbontex washers?

  7. alantani

    try this first. skip the the metal plate and try carbontex first. i recommend shimano or cal grease. other's do not. either way, check it out, then decide if you need the metal pressure plate or not. let us know what you think! here's the link to the site.


    not affilliated, etc.

  8. Baja Dreamer

    I installed the carbontex drags in my 533 and 540 Newells using a small amount of Cal's grease on them. After a little initial fade while the grease worked into them, they are just fine! The drags are smooth as silk and I can still get a heck of a lot of drag without that sticky little "pop" that the old factory washers or the green smoothies gave when a fish would start to run!

    I'm sold on 'em!


  9. Craig N

    Great read and great information. I am in the process of some changes to both my sweetwater bass reels and now my salty stuff. Thanks!


  11. Craig N

    I know, I know....but maybe he is watching and would appreciate someone getting on the carbontrex train a little late. What is the cutoff to someone finding a good, old thread?
  12. reel man

    Shimano came out with a kit that consisted of a new Key washer, side plate, longer handle post, for the Trinidad 16, 20, and 30 models. This was their answer to allow the user to get more drag pressure because we, on the west coast, fish heavier line on these reels than they were originally intended to use.

    They also came out with a deeper main gear to totally encapsulate the drag stack. You had to buy this modification, and it included a new pinion gear and main gear. The cost was some where around, $43.00.

    They (Shimano) knew there was a problem with the top drag material (Dartanium) would float around even under pressure and tear up the inner diameter of the drag material which eventually work it's way down to the lower drag stack.

    Along with antireverse pawl failures would indicate these reels were not engineered properly, and beta testing did not show these failures prior to releasing them to the public.
  13. alantani

    i was probably pretty ticked off at something or someone that evening. people were still saying that grease on carbon fiber was bad. it's actually nice to be vindicated.......
  14. doughnut

    LoL Alan, only took half a DECADE!