Franken-Tranx: tested (4.7:1 tranx 300)

RWP

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I bought a Curado 300k to "borrow" some parts from to essentially build a high drag and better casting version of Shimano's JDM Baygame.

Using the Curado's main gear, pinion gear, eared and key washers, as well as one of the drag washers, combined with the rest of the tranx drag parts, I was able to convert my Tranx 300 into a 4.7:1 (25IPT) reel with ~22lbs of drag.

The drag may go higher, I set it at 15-16lbs today and it had plenty to go.

I caught a few small reds before I hooked into a monster cownose ray this morning. For 40 minutes it was either pulling drag or pulling my kayak around the bay, emptying the spool twice. I was finally able to get my kayak to shore where it took another 20 minutes to land it.

Perfect test, I guess. Just over 3 feet across, and I'm guessing around 40 lbs. This was also the ultimate torture test for my 3 piece travel rod.

62de65c8357a067c226c437c76c5ecf5ae84be77-1.jpg
 

Amadeus

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  • Mar 17, 2011
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    Wai Jung
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    Increase your maintenance frequency for the hot-rodded Tranx to look out for issues if fishing the reel long term above factory ratings. Typically, failure points of the factory config may transfer elsewhere in the upgraded config.
     
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    RWP

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    Increase your maintenance frequency for the hot-rodded Tranx to look out for issues if fishing the reel long term above factory ratings. Typically, failure points of the factory config may transfer elsewhere in the upgraded config.
    Will do. Thanks for looking out!
     
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    RWP

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    Update. I got the drag washers from smooth drag (in the left of the photo). Max drag, with the star wheel cranked is north of 24lbs.

    Moderately tightening the star well achieves a buttery smooth 18lbs and it holds that weight well during use. The stock washers always seemed to drop in pressure once the drag started letting line out.

    I use a pretty generous amount of lube on the drag stack, more than recommended.

    The pinion is massive on the 4.7 gears, and I don't see the gears being the weak spot in the reel. Most likely the spool shaft would bend if something were to give. If something fails in the future I will post an update.

    IMG_20210611_214604380.jpg


    IMG_20210612_142601886.jpg
     
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    RideHPD

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    Now this is pod racing. Finally, a thread worth checking BD for.

    I'd put my money on one of the pinion support bearings going first, the radial loads are probably redlining

    What was the original gearing? I use a 400HG for tuna popping and set my drag around 15-16lbs for the reel. I'd love to get more out of it, but it starts getting squirrelly above that. I'm curious if those drag washers would be an improvement, or if the majority of your performance increase is resultant of the increased drag surface area/geometry changes with the new gear ratio.

    Is the drag smooth when the angle between the line on the spool and the levelwind becomes significant? Braid snapping over little hills in the spool seemed to be a noticeable contributor to the smoothness of the drag output for me.

    The drag output loss you describe is spot on, I've noticed that with every single Shimano star drag I own with stock carbon drags.

    Looking forward to the updates on this one.
     
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    RWP

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    I could see a pinion bearing giving up, time will tell.

    The stock gearing was 7.6:1, swapping to the curado gears and drag washers was a noticable improvement.

    The smooth drag washers made it even better.

    The location of the levelwind doesn't effect the smoothness of the drag much. I've owned both 300s and 400s and the narrower spool definitely makes for a smoother reel.

    The smooth drag washers I used should fit, but I don't think the 7.6:1 pinion will survive for long.
     
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    jowo

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  • Jul 9, 2004
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    Interesting, the drag was loosening on my tranx 400's cod fishing. I wonder if changing out to smooth drags will fix it.
     
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    RWP

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    Which drag spring washer/coned wavy washers are you using?
    The only coned washer in the system is the key washer, Shimano #5486

    Interesting, the drag was loosening on my tranx 400's cod fishing. I wonder if changing out to smooth drags will fix it.
    I'm not sure. I know a lot of people have issues with the drag loosening. I've owned a bunch of 300s and 400s over the years and none of them gave me any issues with the drag loosening.
     
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    jowo

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  • Jul 9, 2004
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    The only coned washer in the system is the key washer, Shimano #5486


    I'm not sure. I know a lot of people have issues with the drag loosening. I've owned a bunch of 300s and 400s over the years and none of them gave me any issues with the drag loosening.
    Do you have smooth drags on all of them?
     
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    RWP

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    I have been fishing the reel a lot the past few weeks and no issues related to the mods.

    The anti reverse bearing seemed like it was slipping a bit last week, but the reel was pretty nasty inside from water getting in. A quick clean and relube solved it.

    The smooth drag washers are very clean compared to the stock ones. No more black residue in the reel.
     
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