Drag Act – Installing Reel Silk Fishing Reel Drag Washers

I can't say I was having any issues with the existing washers in my Baitrunners - but - as is in my nature - I like to tinker with things - and knew the older Baitrunner (my 8000OC) was due for some TLC anyhow.

SourceReel Silk


Reel Silk is the latest in Drag Washer technology. Improving on the old style of felt and cross carbon drag washers.

So – I did a search online for something along the lines of ‘baitrunner tweaks’ and ended up on the site of Reel Silk – a local (NZ) website providing upgrade replacement washers for several of the more popular reels – including my Shimano Baitrunners!

I had the original reel that I purchased a few years ago – a Baitrunner 8000OC – and a new Baitrunner Big C14+ I had picked up for Surfcasting. While the new one really didn’t need washers replaced due to age – I figured I might as well do both at the same time anyhow. I ordered both, and the package turned up a couple of days later (with a communicated delay because I ordered them days before Christmas!).

I figured I might as well record a quick video of me installing them – it was a very easy job – the instructions were clear and provided me all the information I needed.

So. Comparisons? Well – it’s going to be tricky – as it’s going to have to be based on memory – but – I do have a spare reel for the Baitrunner Big – which I am planning on using for stick baiting – so it will have the ‘factory’ washers – which might be able to provide a bit of a comparison.

The washers in the older Baitrunner 8000OC (which has been looked after, moderately well) – did look a bit worse for wear – but – need to catch a couple of decent fish on it to really be able to give some feedback.

Regardless, it was a simple install – I learnt a little more about how the clutch/drag system on a fishing reel worked – and – gave both reels a good clean at the same time!


James, the founder of Reel Silk got in touch with these comments:

Two things I noticed, the drag washers will not effect the Baitrunner drag, this is run off a seperate washer inside the Baitrunner dial down the bottom. To access this washer you have to strip the whole reel and isn’t a recommend home upgrade. 

Also for the spare washer you have, I usually send a note about it, apologies for not adding the note. This spare washer is to help with the tolerance difference from the felt washer to Reel Silk washers. Our washers work best in 0.5m thickness rather 1mm we have found. For the Baitrunner OC simply double up the bottom washer (two washers at the bottom of spool, rather than one). This will help clear tolerances and increase the drag a little bit. 
James Gibbons

So – pulled the reel back apart – added the extra washer and replaced the line roller at the same time!


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