Strange Behavior from Nautilus NV drag

johan851

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I picked up a Nautilus NV 5/6 used a few weeks ago. Appeared to be in excellent shape, but the drag adjustment didn't feel linear. Turning the drag knob didn't increase tension (as far as I could perceive) until getting into the last 1/3 or so, with resistance increasing pretty substantially starting at one particular "click" of the adjustment knob.

I called Nautilus, they were great, and advised sending it in for service. It did feel a bit as we talked that my use case for trout maybe required some more sensitivity in the lower end of the drag range than they typically expect for their reels. $45 service fee + $15 shipping later, and I have it back. It's... basically the same. Observations:
  • It now has a more audible outward click and more resistance at the lowest setting, which is good for preventing overrun
  • Adjusting the drag upward from the bottom is not linear. There's almost no difference until the drag substantially increases ~1 click towards the back third or so of the adjustment range.
  • Adjusting back down after that one click does feel more linear - the resistance decreases evenly enough going back down. Until I adjust up again...
  • If I adjust up, then back down, then up one click, the drag feels like it decreases a tiny bit. Like it's disengaging somehow.
I plan to use this in the salt for SRC or possibly pink salmon. Right now I don't have a lot of confidence in the drag - I feel like I'll accidentally go one notch too far and pop a fish off. The adjustment is pretty linear in the back third, but it's a lot of resistance. I think it would feel linear (but very powerful) if I ignored the first half of the adjustment range or so.

Apparently these are identical to the NV-G in terms of the reel and drag components. Does anyone have experience with Nautilus NV/NV-G? Is this just how they are?
 
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Ard

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I do not have this reel but you can consider this a bump of the thread so maybe others spot it in New Posts. What I do have is a Hardy MTX7000 that is very similar in the way the drag functions. It's a large reel and I use it for salmon and trout here so I got used to it well enough. The first 4 index spots on the knob have little impact on the drag but once you pass 4 things get serious. If you like the reel then you'll get used to yours too I guess :)
 

el jefe

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To echo what Ard said, I have several reels that have "non-linear" drag, and they are some of the most renowned reels out there, with the smoothest drags. It is my impression that such is how reels typically function. One reel I have, a rather large diameter reel, doesn't get serious on the drag until the last half turn (of about 2-1/2 turns). It is my supposition that the lack of any kind of drag at the bottom end is just to protect the parts in the drag, so that they are well and loose when you back off the drag to store the reel.
 
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I picked up a Nautilus NV 5/6 used a few weeks ago. Appeared to be in excellent shape, but the drag adjustment didn't feel linear. Turning the drag knob didn't increase tension (as far as I could perceive) until getting into the last 1/3 or so, with resistance increasing pretty substantially starting at one particular "click" of the adjustment knob.

I called Nautilus, they were great, and advised sending it in for service. It did feel a bit as we talked that my use case for trout maybe required some more sensitivity in the lower end of the drag range than they typically expect for their reels. $45 service fee + $15 shipping later, and I have it back. It's... basically the same. Observations:
  • It now has a more audible outward click and more resistance at the lowest setting, which is good for preventing overrun
  • Adjusting the drag upward from the bottom is not linear. There's almost no difference until the drag substantially increases ~1 click towards the back third or so of the adjustment range.
  • Adjusting back down after that one click does feel more linear - the resistance decreases evenly enough going back down. Until I adjust up again...
  • If I adjust up, then back down, then up one click, the drag feels like it decreases a tiny bit. Like it's disengaging somehow.
I plan to use this in the salt for SRC or possibly pink salmon. Right now I don't have a lot of confidence in the drag - I feel like I'll accidentally go one notch too far and pop a fish off. The adjustment is pretty linear in the back third, but it's a lot of resistance. I think it would feel linear (but very powerful) if I ignored the first half of the adjustment range or so.

Apparently these are identical to the NV-G in terms of the reel and drag components. Does anyone have experience with Nautilus NV/NV-G? Is this just how they are?
I purchased on off another forum from a good guy couple years ago. Whatever you set the drag to the wind up had the same tension. I called Nautilus and they said just send it in and they went through the reel and fixed the problem and I think all I was out was the postage and $30. It works great now and turnaround was quick too. Good guys down there. Hang in there with that reel it's a good one.
 

johan851

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Thanks for the bump and the reference point Ard! Agree that I can probably get used to it. The drag knob does provide feedback, so at least it's pretty clear when it starts engaging.

To echo what Ard said, I have several reels that have "non-linear" drag, and they are some of the most renowned reels out there, with the smoothest drags. It is my impression that such is how reels typically function. One reel I have, a rather large diameter reel, doesn't get serious on the drag until the last half turn (of about 2-1/2 turns). It is my supposition that the lack of any kind of drag at the bottom end is just to protect the parts in the drag, so that they are well and loose when you back off the drag to store the reel.
I was wondering about this as well, I think that theory makes sense. I counted the clicks of the drag knob. ~18 clicks of roughly no adjustment, starts ramping up at 19. 35 clicks in total. I would probably use notches 19-22 for trout. The last couple notches are probably suitable for industrial applications, like lowering I-beams from a 10-story building.

You're right on the smoothness though, it is super smooth with no inertia at all.
 

johan851

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Thanks for the input all, nice to get some perspective from more experienced folks. I'll hang on to the reel and give it some time on the water.
 

scrapiron

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I have an NV/G 5-6 and I'll need to check my drag, but I believe it's the same as yours. Mine doesn't 'click' into place, but the drag resistance is not linear to the amount I'm turning the knob. Unlike my CFO Disc where a small increase really makes a difference. :)
 

scrapiron

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So I took my NV-G out yesterday and when starting the drag from zero, there were no clicks. After 1 to 1.5 turns there was detente feeling like clicks. Never noticed that before.

It took about quarter turn before I felt resistance- and then it was linear with turn ratio.
I must be thinking of my 8/9 as fas as what you’re experiencing as the 5/6 seemed fine. I had the 5/6 at Nautilus to switch from right to left and any service needed.
 

Roosterman1

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So I am now not sure if my 2 NVs need to be serviced or not. Both my 6/7 and 10/11 (not G) have drags where almost nothing happens to the drag resistance until the last full turn and a half of the knob. It goes from very light to almost unusable in that range. After the last audible click you quickly lose feel of the detents (steps) and only have at most one full turn.left. Abel, tibor nautilus X, galvan ,etc. none have such a limited number of turns in the usable range. Is that normal? Having said that the reel is certainly still usable and the drag is smooth. I just wish i had more turns before it went from min to max. Thx
 

johan851

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So I am now not sure if my 2 NVs need to be serviced or not. Both my 6/7 and 10/11 (not G) have drags where almost nothing happens to the drag resistance until the last full turn and a half of the knob. It goes from very light to almost unusable in that range. After the last audible click you quickly lose feel of the detents (steps) and only have at most one full turn.left. Abel, tibor nautilus X, galvan ,etc. none have such a limited number of turns in the usable range. Is that normal? Having said that the reel is certainly still usable and the drag is smooth. I just wish i had more turns before it went from min to max. Thx
Apparently this is normal, as mine has similar behavior after service.
 

sweetandsalt

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I don't have my NV-G8 with me here but I do not recall it being so none linear. I will say that while I myself always look for linearity in drag adjustment, rarely is it the case.
 

Roosterman1

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Thx for the replies. Non-linear is one thing but to have literally 90% of the range limited to one turn of the knob can be a problem while fighting a fish - just IMHO.
 

scrapiron

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I’d call Nautilus to see what they recommend— most likely they’ll want you to send them in for service. For a nominal fee that would be the best path… well unless the drag is fubar and they could maybe tell that to you upfront prior to sending in.
 

johan851

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I’d call Nautilus to see what they recommend— most likely they’ll want you to send them in for service. For a nominal fee that would be the best path… well unless the drag is fubar and they could maybe tell that to you upfront prior to sending in.
If you check my first post the symptom is similar, and that's what I did. They recommended service, I sent it in, and it came back about the same in terms of drag adjustment.
 

johan851

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Ahh.. yes I saw that. Was replying to Roosterman1; should have quoted him in my response.
Right, and I'm kind of responding to you and Roosterman1. :) That is, based on my experience I don't have faith that sending it in for service will change much...
 
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