Redington ML Series Large Arbor Reels [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: Redington ML Series Large Arbor Reels

05-25-2002, 07:15 AM
Hello All,
I'm new to this forum, but have been a flyfisherman most of my life, and currently about 70% is done in saltwater. I have a question for those of you who have experience with the ML series from Redington. It was their 10th anniversary edition reel, only 10,000 were made, but Redington chose not to sell them because they felt that the drag washer was not large enough on each model. Stupid me did the ultimate no no, bought a pair of them on-line (and I'm not telling what I paid, though I think they were pretty cheap) before I really knew anything about them since they're not on Redington's website and no one was in the office yet that day. Come to find out after a chat with their Tech guy that the drag is indeed too small in his opinion, which is why the reels were sold at Orvis tent sales for liquidation. These reels are very pretty, the two I have are gold anodized 7/8 models that hold around 200 yards or more of 20-lb. backing as well as a full 8-wt. line. I bought these reels because I already own a pair of GD series which I'm quite happy with. So the question is this: anyone have any experiences, good or bad, that they'd care to share so I can figure out if these reels are better off going back on line? I really appreciate anyone's input. BTW, I'll be using these reels to do some "light" striper, bluefish, redfish, and snook fishing this summer.
Have a look at the reels here:

05-25-2002, 12:56 PM
you have a couple of options on the ML series aside from selling them:
1. Replace the drag washer with one from a standard AL series. It is larger in diameter.
2. Form a cork drag washer the same diameter as the drag plate portion of the sleeve.

I've replaced the standard drag washers on the AL series reels with cork, per a recommendation from John Brazelton at Redington. Over time, a combination of grease/oil and debris on the standard drag plate reduces drag capability. That is why I went to cork.

05-25-2002, 04:56 PM
Thanks Jim. I was under the impression that the major problem with the drag washer is it's relatively small size, and that the actual spindle would have to be lengthened (along with the pins) in order to place a larger washer inside the housing; I had actually thought of making a washer from a self-lubricating plastic material that we use in manufacturing. It's fairly easy to work with. I'm willing to try cork, though. Any suggestions as to how I would go about making the washer, and where would I go to get the cork material? TIA for the suggestions and help, I appreciate it!

05-26-2002, 08:41 AM
A larger washer is in diameter, not thickness. Cork material can be purchased at most auto parts stores. It is gasket material. Cutting out the material can be fairly easily accomplished by using various diameter tubing. I use copper tubing, one for the diameter of the spindle and one for the outside diameter of the drag washer. Filing a sharp angle on the cutting end of the tubing insures a smooth, accurate cut. The thickness of the gasket material may vary. If too thick, then sand it to the proper thickness. Use the original washer as a template.

Good luck and let me know the results. Where in the Keys are you located? I spend Jan-Mar at Islamorada.

05-26-2002, 09:31 PM
Thanks Jim, I'll definitely give that a shot; I can get gasket cork material from Mcmaster-Carr, as we order from them regularly. I'll let you know what develops. I'm not actually in the Keys, but I do some research there from time to time. My boss owns property in Blue Water and Shark Keys, and I'll be done sometime in July for a month or so to do some testing on a few new fishing products we're working on. We'll probably be up at your locale a few times to walk through Bass Pro's saltwater "warehouse". Other than that, I hope to be out of Blue Water Key nearly every day chasing anything that swims. Do you get down that way very much?