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Felt washers , does anyone make their own? and how.


leonardgid
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a number of cheap reels  use only felt washers  , i looked at the Carbontex  and i simply  do not want to waste my money on them  for reels that  are over 20 years old etc, does any one  buy/use felt to make your own washers , what is the most suitable felt  to use for washers?     because there's plenty of  different types   felt out there  , but i don't know what is suitable  , thank you  for your replies.

 

Edited by leonardgid
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The old felt washers were just plain old felt, available at craft shops and most were oiled during assembly, the old Blue Shakespeare reels were great with felt drags. It seems to me so much emphasis revolves around kilos and kilos of drag, fish haven't changed much in the last few decades, and millions were caught on simple reels.

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20 hours ago, noelm said:

The old felt washers were just plain old felt, available at craft shops and most were oiled during assembly, the old Blue Shakespeare reels were great with felt drags. It seems to me so much emphasis revolves around kilos and kilos of drag, fish haven't changed much in the last few decades, and millions were caught on simple reels.

i agree , never had any problem with reels that had  felt washers .

 

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For light line applications, you can't beat the smoothness that felt drag washers deliver.

Spotlight is the place to go. You can buy A4 size sheets around 1mm thick for a couple of bucks. There's all sorts of consistencies, so look for something fairly dense and firm matching your original washers.

After cutting them out add a few drops of light oil, like sewing machine oil and you should be right to go.

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1 hour ago, noelm said:

Correct, it does need to be tightly made or dense or however you would describe it.

I have a 5000 Stradic FJ and the washers that come with the reel are way too soft, fluff up and disintegrate after a few trips.

Some good, firm felt from Spotlight and I get a season out of them.

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7 hours ago, Green Hornet said:

Some good, firm felt from Spotlight and I get a season out of them.

And that’s why I go with carbontex… today I’m just  servicing my 950SSM reels. 8yrs in use and this is the first time I’m servicing the washers. Pull apart. Wipe off old grease. Apply fresh grease.  Reassemble. 
Carbontex does not deform, compress, disintegrate or hold moisture. I have 4 x 950SSM reels and one had a marlin on for 15min until my new crew overtighted and locked the drag trying to stop the fish.
Anyway. Based on my experience you can make a mediocre reel good and a good reel great with carbontex.
cheers Zoran 

51131998-2ECD-4335-94D9-EAB169E7AD75.thumb.jpeg.45c84276563f9e495aafe5925c090806.jpeg

These are the only two carbontex sheets I have ever bought. You can see how little I have used. They are of different thicknesses and when new were sent in the envelope you see underneath the sheet. 
image.thumb.jpg.6b542cb4adc81e713ab1b07017a4a2af.jpg

I have changed washers on all of the reels in this photo from those sheets. 
0E513CB7-0CB9-4707-85F9-5CDDBD8C55AD.thumb.png.714ebaad8403e2c73d1111eec1f66ac0.png

Edited by zmk1962
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12 minutes ago, Green Hornet said:

@zmk1962I tried carbonated in my Stradic and they just weren’t as smooth as the felt. As I’m not using high drag pressures, I stuck with the felt.

Interesting. Did you pack them with grease? 

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Interesting but then I don’t think the OP was referring to higher end reels like the Stradic. He did mention 20yo reels- and some of the stuff in my rack dates bay to 1996 and still in use. I have found carbontex works extremely well on mid priced Penn and even some budget  Diawa and Shakespeare.

On those reels it all comes down to how often you want to service the washers.

The budget reels also do not have good water seals so water on the drag washers is always a consideration. Anyway just sharing what has worked for me. Carbontex provides a smooth and consistent drag and has more than paid for itself in my case. 

ps - Yes I do fish predominately 40-100m water/reefs so keeping a somewhat tighter drag is necessary to help with the heavier sinkers vs fishing estuary conditions.

cheers Zoran 

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22 hours ago, zmk1962 said:

And that’s why I go with carbontex… today I’m just  servicing my 950SSM reels. 8yrs in use and this is the first time I’m servicing the washers. Pull apart. Wipe off old grease. Apply fresh grease.  Reassemble. 
Carbontex does not deform, compress, disintegrate or hold moisture. I have 4 x 950SSM reels and one had a marlin on for 15min until my new crew overtighted and locked the drag trying to stop the fish.
Anyway. Based on my experience you can make a mediocre reel good and a good reel great with carbontex.
cheers Zoran 

51131998-2ECD-4335-94D9-EAB169E7AD75.thumb.jpeg.45c84276563f9e495aafe5925c090806.jpeg

These are the only two carbontex sheets I have ever bought. You can see how little I have used. They are of different thicknesses and when new were sent in the envelope you see underneath the sheet. 
image.thumb.jpg.6b542cb4adc81e713ab1b07017a4a2af.jpg

I have changed washers on all of the reels in this photo from those sheets. 
0E513CB7-0CB9-4707-85F9-5CDDBD8C55AD.thumb.png.714ebaad8403e2c73d1111eec1f66ac0.png

there is no doubt  that Carbontex is the best to use , and i would not risk using  felt on my  (heavy duty reels)   but i also have a number of  made in china  no name brand reels that are  worthless , or at best  $ 40 new , i dont expect to catch anything  bigger then a soapie   on them  so i choose to use felt  in these ones  instead , thank you for your advice , i will be buying 

 

22 hours ago, zmk1962 said:

And that’s why I go with carbontex… today I’m just  servicing my 950SSM reels. 8yrs in use and this is the first time I’m servicing the washers. Pull apart. Wipe off old grease. Apply fresh grease.  Reassemble. 
Carbontex does not deform, compress, disintegrate or hold moisture. I have 4 x 950SSM reels and one had a marlin on for 15min until my new crew overtighted and locked the drag trying to stop the fish.
Anyway. Based on my experience you can make a mediocre reel good and a good reel great with carbontex.
cheers Zoran 

51131998-2ECD-4335-94D9-EAB169E7AD75.thumb.jpeg.45c84276563f9e495aafe5925c090806.jpeg

These are the only two carbontex sheets I have ever bought. You can see how little I have used. They are of different thicknesses and when new were sent in the envelope you see underneath the sheet. 
image.thumb.jpg.6b542cb4adc81e713ab1b07017a4a2af.jpg

I have changed washers on all of the reels in this photo from those sheets. 
0E513CB7-0CB9-4707-85F9-5CDDBD8C55AD.thumb.png.714ebaad8403e2c73d1111eec1f66ac0.png

how do you cut Carbontex  is another interesting  thing to learn here , 

 

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13 hours ago, zmk1962 said:

Interesting. Did you pack them with grease? 

Yes, I used Cal's drag grease.

The Stradic has quite small,( not much between inside and outside diameters) washers for the size of the reel and I think this is why.

That being said, I also have a Daiwa Morethan 3012H. It has carbontex and is smooth as silk.

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9 hours ago, rickmarlin62 said:

Wots wrong with leather   soaked in auto trans fluid  wiped down then installed     smmoootthh

Absolutely nothing. I just find good leather hard to source these days and felt is a simple trip into town.

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10 hours ago, leonardgid said:

how do you cut Carbontex  is another interesting  thing to learn here , 

For most of the small-medium sizes I use a wad punch set … something like this one

D3450871-084C-43F3-86AF-DC304A2B086B.thumb.jpeg.3d93929edef2699b7993b8019d5a1be7.jpeg

Cheers Zoran 

 

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10 hours ago, rickmarlin62 said:

Wots wrong with leather   soaked in auto trans fluid  wiped down then installed     smmoootthh

Actually that’s the first material I tried to replace felt. I just could not find the right thickness. I wad punched an old belt for the correct size washer but again couldn’t find a way to cut consistent thickness. Then I discovered carbontex. 
cheers Zoran 

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For more current model reels, carbon washers are only for heavy duty reels and felt for light reels. Light reels arent designed to take on jobs of heavy duty reels, even though they might be able to, it is not its intended purpose.

Carbon drags will increase the drag pressure on smaller reels, so where the drag might normally fail or not handle fish using felt drags, something else would fail in its place. I personally rather replace felt washers over gears or clutch assembly in the reel. I would only suggest if you do have a more recent reel, that did come with felt and you wanted to replace it with carbon, to not full lock up drag whilst fighting fish, if you want to extend the life of your reel.

I cant say too much about much older reels, as back then, I never really opened up a reel to see what was inside.

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On 9/19/2021 at 3:01 PM, zmk1962 said:

For most of the small-medium sizes I use a wad punch set … something like this one

D3450871-084C-43F3-86AF-DC304A2B086B.thumb.jpeg.3d93929edef2699b7993b8019d5a1be7.jpeg

Cheers Zoran 

 

love fishraider , people here are so knowledgeable  and helpful , would not  think to look for a punch set such as this , thank you for all your advice , very helpful 

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On 9/19/2021 at 3:05 PM, Green Hornet said:

I have the same kit as @zmk1962has shown above.

Makes it so easy to punch them out and no sanding or filing of carbontex to fine tune is required. That dust is no good for you one bit.

just curious  , what if you come across  a reel with slightly  smaller or larger washers then this set of punches, can you  use  the new washer

s even though they are a bit smaller  in diameter  then the original ones ?  thank you for your reply 

Edited by leonardgid
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On 9/19/2021 at 3:01 PM, zmk1962 said:

For most of the small-medium sizes I use a wad punch set … something like this one

D3450871-084C-43F3-86AF-DC304A2B086B.thumb.jpeg.3d93929edef2699b7993b8019d5a1be7.jpeg

Cheers Zoran 

 

just curious  , what if you come across  a reel with slightly  smaller or larger washers then this set of punches, can you  use  the new washers even though they are a bit smaller  in diameter  then the original ones ?  

Edited by leonardgid
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12 hours ago, leonardgid said:

just curious  , what if you come across  a reel with slightly  smaller or larger washers then this set of punches, can you  use  the new washer

s even though they are a bit smaller  in diameter  then the original ones ?  thank you for your reply 

Slightly smaller outside diameter or slightly larger inside will work fine.

That being said, I haven't had to replace washers in a reel that aren't awfully close to the punch sizes as yet.

Always punch the outside diameter first. That way you have the centre hole marked in the felt as a reference for the inside.

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5 hours ago, Green Hornet said:

Slightly smaller outside diameter or slightly larger inside will work fine.

That being said, I haven't had to replace washers in a reel that aren't awfully close to the punch sizes as yet.

Always punch the outside diameter first. That way you have the centre hole marked in the felt as a reference for the inside.

I second what  @Green Hornet has said. Slight size differences are less than 2mm. Carbontex is rigid and does not compress - so on a slightly smaller washer you can tighten more to get the same drag pressure/performance as the slightly larger felt washer. 
But regardless of material generally a larger diameter washer provides better performance and longevity as it has a bigger surface area on which to spread the drag load (friction) and from which to dissipate heat. 
I have only had one occasion where the wad punch set did not have a size to match. That was when I was servicing my overhead penn lever drag reels. The drag washer on those was about¬†50mm OD. I traced the shape to the carbontex and cut it with scissors then smoothed with fine sand paper (wear a mask ūüė∑ the dust is not good for you). I punched the inside hole using the 32mm wad to create the big drag washer which was then glued to the drag housing with JB weld hi temp epoxy.¬†

cheers Zoran 

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