Here's a little project that I've been working on for the past few days.
It's Daiwa Ventura 60 and is about 40 years old, as far as I can ascertain.
I got in touch with Daiwa in the US and Toby said they'd been out of production for 30-odd years.
I picked it up off the local buy-and-sell site for about US$40.
The bearings were shot and it seemed like it hadn't been used in a good while.
Despite the scuffing and general wear-and-tear, it's beautifully made and built like the proverbial brick outhouse.
Note the drag pre-set adjuster at the top of the drag lever.
I reckon the reason it slipped off the production line is that the drag material was hopelessly lumpy and sticky, and never worked particularly well.
They'd work alright as a winch, which is how this one was used over most of its life - bouncing the bottom for big hapuku (grouper).
I did some bench-testing on the drag and it's the worst I've seen, especially given it's all mechanically sound.
The drag plate carried the drag washer and pushed against another drag plate on the spool - basically the opposite of most modern lever drag set-ups.
The material is hopeless - ripples and glazed patches etc make it totally ineffective.
Everything else is great though. The dogs are S/S and the spring system is a good one.
You can see from the wear pattern that the functional drag surface area was pretty minimal.
What I decided to do was remove the spool drag plate, switch that over to the floating drag plate, and cut a CF drag washer to fit into the spool cavity.
I've started polishing the drag plate here and buffed it to a fine, lustrous shine later.
Here's the drag washer (cheers Wallace), cut to match the drag plate.
The centre hole has been cut and it's ready to be fitted to the spool...
Just like a bought one...
Now to the drag plate. I drilled and tapped the floating drag plate and fastened on the original spool drag plate.
I also lapped down the outer edge of drag plate by 1mm to allow it to spin freely within the lip of the spool.
Reassembly is now underway. New bearings and everything cleaned, polished and greased...
And here's the finished product...
The two screws holding the Daiwa badge sheered off, so I drilled and retapped.
I need to find better screws (ie with smaller heads), but these will do the trick for now.
I'll also get the handle rechromed (or simply replace it with one of Alan's Kolekar units)
I've done quite a bit of drag testing on it and it pulls 35+lbs (15kg) with ease (though it'll no doubt handle a bit more).
I lost about 1mm from the width of the overall drag mechanism through these changes and this meant that pre-setting the drag to higher settings moved the spool away from the clicker plate just enough to make the clicker too quiet.
As a result, I had to add another drag washer on top of the first.
However, it feels like the top washer is lifting fractionaly as the drag is backed off, so I haven't yet been able to determine where max drag/loss of freespool occurs.
I've avoided gluing the two together as I'm concerned about glue leaching through the CF.
I may add a large spring/circlip to hold the CF washers in the spool.
This'll necessitate a lip being ground into the edge of the spool cavity, so I'll get to that in due course.
At a 30-35lb strike setting, the drag is like silk and quite literally better than new.
The tolerances and alloy quality are also top-notch, so I reckon it's definitely worth the effort.
It's a bit battered, but it's nearly as old as me so it's bound to have a few war wounds by now...
Hope it was of some interest.
All the best, Justin