Komodo did not engage, locked spool, lost fish

Apr 10, 2019
59
51
64
San Pedro, CA
Name
Chris
Boat
La Reina
Last weekend, fishing on the American Angler I hooked a school size bluefin while flylining. The fish was really moving and my reel was spinning fast. With a big grin on my face, I placed my hand on the reel handle and started to turn it to engage the reel. To my astonishment, the reel would not engage, but instead made a grinding gear type if noise. Then my spool locked, causing my line to snap. As I stood there speechless, the deck hand standing next to me asked “what happened? I have never seen that before.” I had no answer for him. I don’t think my drag was too tight as I checked it before using it. Now I am afraid to use the reel again for flylining. I am thinking about using it for rock fishing only now. Has this happened to anyone else?
 
Upvote 0

Islanddevil

Figuring it out
Jul 3, 2020
64
217
Arizona
Name
Mike
Boat
Rampage 30 Express
Yes, it happened to me last year on a yellowfin bite. The reel was brand new. The tackle shop I bought it from shipped the reel back to Okuma under warranty. I figured Okuma would just replace it. Instead it took them 2 months to fix the reel and send it back to me. I hope it doesn’t happen again. Doesn’t give me a whole lot of confidence in the reel.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Sailing La Reina
Upvote 0

azbaseball

Member
Apr 2, 2007
743
1,537
la mesa ca
Name
mike de vito
Boat
20ft nitro
I do not own one. But from what you mentioned it seems like A: the spool gear did not mesh with the drive gear on the reel correctly. When the reel would not engage the reel was spinning too fast and there was too much pressure on the spool. When it did engage the gears meshed on an angle instead of flush. The gear teeth locked the spool and before the drag could release it popped the line. Cheers
 
Upvote 0

hucklongfin

Deep release specialist
Jul 3, 2003
9,509
7,919
Mission Viejo
Name
MarkT
Boat
Blazer Bay 1860
The spool is moving fast while the pinion is trying to engage with it and the main and binding. So, while still out of gear, try lifting the rod tip, then turn handle while lowering the tip to decrease the pressure on the pinion and give it a chance to grab the spool and engage the main smoothly.
 
Upvote 0
Apr 10, 2019
59
51
64
San Pedro, CA
Name
Chris
Boat
La Reina
The spool is moving fast while the pinion is trying to engage with it and the main and binding. So, while still out of gear, try lifting the rod tip, then turn handle while lowering the tip to decrease the pressure on the pinion and give it a chance to grab the spool and engage the main smoothly.
Thanks for the tip. I’ll remember that.
 
Upvote 0

swami 805

I Post A Lot But I Can't Edit This
Mar 9, 2016
3,993
5,466
66
805
Name
Bill
Boat
sunk it
That type of level wind is just a poor choice for fly lining for tuna. Getting that gear to engage with that kind of pressure is asking a lot out of something not designed to do that. Great for casting and winding lures, fly lining not so much
 
Upvote 0

hucklongfin

Deep release specialist
Jul 3, 2003
9,509
7,919
Mission Viejo
Name
MarkT
Boat
Blazer Bay 1860
Level winds and spinners are best with lures where the reel is fished in gear, flylining a bait... yeah, not so much. Poppers, stick baits, hard baits, plastics, etc.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Cubeye
Upvote 0
Apr 10, 2019
59
51
64
San Pedro, CA
Name
Chris
Boat
La Reina
That type of level wind is just a poor choice for fly lining for tuna. Getting that gear to engage with that kind of pressure is asking a lot out of something not designed to do that. Great for casting and winding lures, fly lining not so much
Lesson learned (the hard way of course). The Komodo is now out of the flyline lineup, replaced with the Torium 16.
 
Upvote 0

UnBelievable

F.V. UNBELIEVABLE
Jul 19, 2013
345
443
Mission Bay San Diego Ca. USA
Name
Norm Campbell
Boat
UnBelievable
Need to know about the reel mount. Ie dechand style with clamp?
I fish these reels Hard 60-80lb tuna on 40-50lb are the usual as I get the baits out to them. True that I get new ones every year though.
 
Upvote 0

Dbado1

Almost A Member
  • Jul 17, 2020
    117
    140
    61
    Arizona
    Name
    Robert D Bado
    Boat
    Toyota tundra
    The Komodo has very large gears. Does this happen on other LP bait casters as well?
    I've got a Komodo but haven't fly lined with it...probably won't now. I recently bought a Penn Fathom 2 15sdcs just for this purpose...casts a small bait very well.
    Sorry to hear about your reel failure but thanks for the heads up!
     
    Upvote 0

    reelbadlarry

    Member
    Jun 25, 2005
    916
    839
    56
    socal
    Name
    Larry
    Boat
    23ft parker, reel bad
    Why is he looking at the spool....um it's not the spool....its in your drag/gear system....open the other side up....
     
    • Like
    Reactions: Cubeye
    Upvote 0

    KXKH

    Member
    Feb 28, 2018
    312
    327
    NorCal
    Name
    160
    Boat
    19' Hobie
    I had a few Komodo, I sold all of them from this issue and rust issue. My Tranx 400 never had this issue however with fly lining bait for schoolies. When fly lining bait on a bait caster, don't set your drag very tight either. Tighten slowly after you engage the gear.
     
    Upvote 0

    slayrider

    Just a good ole boy.
    Jan 26, 2010
    371
    647
    So Cal
    www.okumafishing.com
    Name
    John Pawlak
    Boat
    Coastal Kayak
    When fly lining bait on a bait caster, don't set your drag very tight either. Tighten slowly after you engage the gear.

    This is true. Not a fix but an operating condition of sorts. I had one of the early models right out of the box. Tightened down the drag max and turned the handle with my thumb on the spool to stop it from turning because I wanted to move the handle out of the way of the spool tension knob. Like in the video above, I disassembled everything but could not discover the problem. Years later, I have never done that again and have never had the same failure.

    Always I have preferred a level wind for all applications and always the elders would say you can’t cast as far with them and it’s just one more thing to go wrong.
     
    • Like
    Reactions: KXKH
    Upvote 0

    Line_Sider

    Newbie
    Feb 19, 2019
    9
    5
    Florida
    Name
    Travis Williams
    Boat
    No
    Similar issue here. Brand new Komodo 463LX. Hooked into a big Snook and the spool locked up during the first run the fish made. I disassembled and determined that the main gear locked on to the shaft. I could not get it off or get it loose. That led to the drag not working. I lost two big fish that night because of this, sadly.

    I ended up returning it and getting a replacement. Now, with the replacement I made sure to do a full service on it before first use to mitigate any potential issues.
     
    Upvote 0