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Discussion Starter #1
Been thinking of scrounging up a used abel super 7/8n to use on a 7 wt rod while wading for bonefish. Although I try not to dunk my reels I suspect the reel will get significant water and fine suspended sand exposure since I use a paddleboard to access spots and sometimes end up slogging around over soft bottoms. While I'm sure the reel is great on a boat, I have some concerns about water/ fine sand intrusion through the ported rear plate while wading. Most older style classic cork drag reels had a solid back plate which would offer some protection......and obviously newer sealed drag reels are available (although heavier in the Abel/Tibor class) but the simplicity, strength, and weight of the 7/8n appeals to me. I can't see myself disassembling the reel while on a flat to rinse sand out of the drag, and I worry that repeated water exposure at some point would raise issues with bearings.

So anybody out there have experience with these reels during similar usage? Are my concerns over-blown or is it a real-world problem?
 

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I do it all the time with both my Freestone and Everglade. Also have a Gulfstream.

I break them down, clean them, and lube them twice a year. (Before summer tarpon and before winter reds...)

No problems.

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Discussion Starter #5
Yeah, I'm not worried about cork drags so much as the exposure created by the drilled out frame.

The Tibor reels named above (like the original small arbor Abel 7/8n) all have full back plates that must cut down on water and sand intrusion to some degree more than the drilled out Super Abel series. The Tibor signature series has an open back plate but a sealed drag. All those reels are significantly heavier than the Abel super 7/8n. This is going on a 7wt so I feel weight is an issue. And, yes, I know there are other lighter sealed reels out there (Nautilus, Sage, etc) but the simplicity and ruggedness of the Abel appeals to me. Looking for advice from people who own/fished the Abel.
 

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Don’t worry about it, once the reel gets wet you may have to change your drag setting, but it’s hardly a big problem. I use Bauer cork drag reels, if a little sand gets in, just dunk and pull some line off, it will clear.
JC
 

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There is no reason to worry about it. If lubed properly they are pretty tight to getting intrusion. Of course don't dunk them on purpose. But worst case scenario? You do get some grit inside that starts to make the reel not work up to par is no big deal. They are super (see what I did there...lol) easy to take apart and clean. Super easy. To me that is the huge advantage over a "sealed" drag. They are sealed and great until they are not.
 

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I Love Skinny Water
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I never worry about my fly reels while fishing. Never had one fail in salt or fresh water. My main concern is cleaning and oiling after. Permit, bonefish have smoking runs but nothing has failed so far
My reels for the most part are old SA with caliper and disk drags, like car disc brakes. I’ve shined the disc up so their smooth. My Fin-Nor has a cork drag but again while fishing I never worry
 

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The back plate doesn’t matter because water still gets back there.

You don’t need to seal a cork drag because they seal themselves as long as you leave them in compression. (Don’t loosen all the way.)

High tech drag materials require sealing because they don’t compress like cork does.

The real advantage of sealed drags is LOW STARTUP INERTIA. The fact that they are sealed is consequential.

Get the Abel if you like it.
 

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I have 2 Old Florida reels with cork drags......both appear to be in excellent shape but I've have never used them. What do you use to lube the cork and how much?
 
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