Smooth Drag Carbontex Drag Washers Review

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Recently I took my old Newell reel down to Baja in search of yellowtail. I left my old felt washers on it because I was too lazy to switch them to newer Carbontex drag washers.

Big mistake.

YouTube video

The 25-pound yellowtail put the hurt on the reel. I felt like I wasn’t winning the battle until the pangadero helped me by moving the boat towards the fish.

I vowed as soon as I got back, I’d upgrade my Newell reel parts and bring them into the modern age. Here’s how I went about it in the video above.

  1. Daiwa Carbontex Drag Washers
  2. Shimano Stradic Ci4 Drag Washers
  3. Newell Drag Washers

Drag Replacement Gear

  1. Cal’s Universal Reel Grease
  2. Penn Reel Grease
  3. Penn Reel Oil

Do You Grease Carbontex Drag Washers?

carbontex drag washers review
A little drag grease goes a long way.

Yes. I put a light coating of Cal’s Universal Reel Grease. This was recommended by Dennis from 2nd Chance Tackle.

How to Grease Carbontex Drag Washers

Ever since I had a podcast with Dennis, I get asked, how do you put grease on drag washers?

I usually tell people to go find his YouTube channel since he does a great job of showing you how to break down and repair old gear.

What I learned was that you should put a little on both sides and rub it in with a glove. Then put the drag washer in a paper towel and move it around a bit to wipe off any excess.

Lightly grease them. Don’t put a lot.

What is Carbontex?

Carbontex is a line of carbon fiber drag washers made by Smooth Drag. This material has more friction than standard felt washers providing more stopping power and a smoother line release under tension.

The material is durable against heat and wear. It’s the modern material for drag systems as you can find carbon drags in most newer reels.

How Do You Replace a Drag Washer?

Replacing a Carbontex drag washer or any other type of drag washer is relatively straightforward. The first thing I recommend is pulling up the schematic of the drag washer set and the reel.

Then as you’re taking out the old drag set, it’s important to take pictures or a video to see how everything came apart in case you get lost. It’s also a good idea to have a parts bucket so you can keep everything in one place.

I’ve lost a spring once…

It’s not fun trying to find it or building a new one.

If you need help getting started, watch my video above for a conventional reel tear down or head over to 2nd Chance Tackle on YouTube to see your specific reel.

How Do Drag Washers Work?

Drag washers provide friction on metal washers in the stack. The amount of drag pressure is controlled by the knob on the reel that tightens or loosens the metal and non-metal washers together.

It’s important for the drags to be smooth since any abrupt motion could add excess stress on the line causing breakage and lost fish.

How to Cut Carbontex Drag Washers

If you’d like to save money you can buy a Carbontex sheet and make your own. You’ll need to save your old washer and use a pencil to outline the inner and outer diameter of the washer on the sheet.

You’ll then need to use a cutting tool like shears or a razor to cut out the new washer. Try not to have any rough edges. You can also use a Dremel tool to smooth things out if necessary.

Jon Stenstrom
Founder & Angler
Jon Stenstrom is a fishing enthusiast. He has over 25 years of fishing experience, and 6 years of spearfishing experience, and is currently learning how to boat. Jon has his Open Water PADI Certification and FII Freediver Level 1 Certification. Jon has traveled the world to fish and dive, most notably in the Great Barrier Reef, Baja Mexico, Thailand, and Malaysia. More Articles
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