Avet was closed around that time for remodeling or something along those lines. I had spoke on the phone with one of there tech's right before the date of your post.
I was calling for the same reason. had four customers with MX series reels with the same issue as yours and i thought it was all about a drag issuie, but in fact it was a bearing issue. The tech had shared with me that since the whole system rides on bearings, , And he shared with me that they can go bad right out of the box?
Have done many bearing swaps with this issue and the the start up is just fine.
I would love to find some good solid bearings for these reels, and or roller bearings if they make them that small? If anyone knows let me know please. Thanks