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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Akron, Ohio

    Default Cleaning and lubricating Abel cork drags

    What does everyone use?

    I have several that I need to clean and lube - especially the ones going to CXI with me next month..

    I've read about neatsfoot oil - just wondering what everyone else uses...

  2. Default Re: Cleaning and lubricating Abel cork drags

    I just bought a Super-12 (used) in prep for next year's trip. I then bought the smallest bottle of 100% pure neatsfoot oil I could find. That's what I'm gonna use. Tis is my first cork draw-bar reel and I was surprised by the amount of obvious start-up friction. Hopefully that doesn't hurt me if I hook up on a nice GT.

    If you want, I'll send you a vial of neatsfoot oil from the 8-oz bottle I bought.

    PM me your address and I'll send it.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Isle of Lewis, UK.

    Default Re: Cleaning and lubricating Abel cork drags

    Hi, I picked up a Bauer reel with a cork drag this year and did a bit of reading on lube. Bauer used to recommend neatsfoot oil but no longer do as, in the long term, it can go gunky. They now recommend ReelX which will cost about $10 for, I imagine, a lifetime's supply.

    See this NAFF thread, post 2 & 4 and also here on WFF, post 3.

    I certainly don't mean to decry Denver1911's kind offer in any way.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Cleaning and lubricating Abel cork drags

    Any dirt on the inside of the Abel should be wiped away with a cloth, Q-Tips for tight areas. The springs get a tiny droplet of light machine oil and the dogs a thin coat of marine grease. Abel continues to recommend Neatsfoot oil obtainable at any tack shop. Again, wipe off the cork and apply a few droplets of the Neatsfoot then rub it in with you finger tip, a very light coating. Do this prior to a trip and you should be good to it regularly and it will last a lifetime.

    Treated cork against the perfectly flat inner surface of the spool is a fair bit of surface friction to break loose so it feels like more startup inertia than the smaller slicker elements in say, a stacked sealed drag with carbon discs. I always suggest Abel Supers (Steve Abel was a saltwater fisherman) are more big game than trout oriented designs and if and when you connect with a tarpon, tuna or trevally, you will not sense any inertia issues, just powerful, reliable massive amounts of stopping power. Having said this I do own for decades an Abel BG Pt.5 with the same drag only scaled down and it has caught countless trout. Reel Shootouts can make all manor of measurements but fishing a reel reveals its true performance and character.

  5. Likes rsagebrush, flytie09, von behr liked this post
  6. Default Re: Cleaning and lubricating Abel cork drags

    Neatsfoot oil, exactly as S and S says. Clean the surfaces and a few drops of the oil rubbed into the cork with your finger does the job. A small bottle lasts a long time.

    I understand start up inertia when you use 2lb tippets but not 20lb. You'll be thankful when you've had to screw that drag down.



  7. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Hills South Of Las Vegas, NV

    Default Re: Cleaning and lubricating Abel cork drags

    Discontinued in 2016 after being available for nearly twenty years, the Abel Sportsman's Lube Kit took care of the needs of most casual Abel cork drag reel users. It contained all the lubes recommended from bearings to the cork, rust removal pad, polishing cloth, etc. If interested, check around the net, someone is bound to have a kit in stock still.


  8. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Hudson, Florida

    Default Re: Cleaning and lubricating Abel cork drags

    I use a small amount of lithium grease on finger rubbed into cork when needed. Also coat moving parts sparingly. Since it doesn't lift from parts like oil. Only touch up cork ever 4 or 5 washings of frame.
    Start up on Super could be drag setting being heavy. Never a problem with mine unless so. I keep all drags on light side. Adjust if needed after fish is on.
    Picking another reel over the Super 12 would be nit-picking. It will work as good as anything for what you have intended. For a long time to.

    ........ pc

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