How to Change Drag Washers in Abu Garcia Fishing Reels

How to Change Drag Washers in Abu Garcia Fishing Reels
The drag washers on Abu Garcia reels are durable but may need to be changed after years of heavy use. You can extend the life of the washers by adding lubricant on a regular basis. Also, clean the reel to prevent dirt and grime from building around the washers. Use a loose drag setting during storage to reduce pressure on the washers, and allow the reel to dry after each use. Basic maintenance will reduce the risk of drag failure while fishing, but eventually the washers will require replacement.


Difficulty: Moderate

Things You’ll Need:
  • Flat-head screwdriver
  • Phillips screwdriver
  • Reel lubricant
  • New drag washers
Step 1
Use the flat-head screwdriver to remove the three side plate screws on the opposite side of the handle. Pull to separate the plate from the reel. The entire spool assembly will come off with the side plate. Set the spool and plate aside.
Step 2
Use the flat-head screwdriver to remove the screw and nut from the reel handle. If the screw is not visible, locate and remove the plastic screw cover, then remove the screw and nut. Set the handle aside with the screw and nut.
Step 3
Pull the star-shaped drag adjustment off the plate. Set the drag adjustment piece aside. Use the Phillips screwdriver to remove the side plate from the drag assembly. Set the side plate aside.
Step 4
Lay the flat side of the drag assembly on an even surface. Use the flat-head screwdriver to remove the screw in the vertical drag assembly bolt.
Step 5
Pull the round notched drag piece to remove the drag. The bolt will separate with the notched piece. Separate the notched brass piece from the bolt.
Step 6
Remove the washers from the notched brass piece and the bolt piece. Replace with new washers.
Step 7
Add a small bead of lubricant to the spool side of the reel. The lubricant must be applied on the side that connects with the drag. Reassemble the reel and test the drag.

Tips & Warnings

Label all of the parts when you disassemble the reel. Place the parts in the order they were removed. This reduce complications during the reassembly. Also be sure to order the correct washers for the reel size. The wrong size washers will cause the drag to malfunction.
Do not add an excessive amount of lubricant to the reel. A small bead is enough to last for several fishing trips.


Article Written By Zach Lazzari

Zach Lazzari is an outdoor writing specialist. He has experience in website writing as well as standard newspaper writing. He wrote an outdoor column for the Silver World in Lake City, Colo., and articles for Lazzari is currently completing his bachelor's degree online through Arizona State University and lives in southwest Montana.

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