Shimano Stella F1 Drag Clicker Slipping; Auto Tightening

Luke Maow Bear
edited March 2016 in Reels

While fishing at the Pasir Ris Pro Pond recently I was getting into all sorts for trouble while fishing; my drag was tightening itself leading to a lot of hooks being pulled. It was so frustrating.

There is actually a video of me fighting a GT and you can see me always messing with my drag. Good think the Jika Rig's hook was stronger than I thought leading to the GT being landed but that was only 2 of the fish I landed that day and lost about 5 other fish from the auto tightening bollocks.

So I removed the clicker or the drag tightening housing from the reel and initially thought it was the waterproofing rubber gasket that sits around the base of the clicker; it can be peeled away.

This exposes the C Clip which with a pair of tweezers can be removed easily.

Once the clicker is removed it exposes a spring and where the careful fun starts.

At the base of the clicker lies the problem-child, it's a washer that's so weak it almost feels like a drag washer and it's this very washer which is the problem child.

It basically sits there and offers no surprises as in it won't jump out and you to give you a surprise so Shimano Singapore won't take 3 months to send you a new one as you lose it under a cabinet that has a magical black hole. Yes Shimano Singapore, please help us get parts in faster if possible, pretty please with sugar on the top

The spring ends with a small bump, it's so flush to the metal it looks like it's almost one piece; unfortunately it is not.

I loaded the spring from the side and you can see it starts to open up.

Of course this is not going to happen when you are fishing, much as it sits perfectly flushed to the base of where it is sitting.

The problem happens when you wash your reel, if you tighten the drag so water does not go in (which is nonsense now that I have seen how it works), it will push hard against the washer in the clicker housing.

Can you see the "tears" in the spring at the top?

To fix it, sand it down with level 2000 sandpaper or as I call it "Tamiya Paper" with water or oil until your fingernails can't catch on to the washer any more.

Then you flip it to the other side and put a drop of Singer Oil or whatever oil you have, hell put olive oil or cooking oil if you want to. You want it as slippery as possible.

When I say flip it to the other side I mean use the side of the washer that is not damaged and face it towards the spring and don't ever lock your drag to wash your reel again, the washer will die, again as the spring damages it again.

When you put it all back, please be careful of my little friend over here.

That' tiny spring is all that stands between you and telling other pond anglers you have a fish on so they feel jealous.

Spring first and then nipple out. DID I SAY NIPPLE?!

Make sure the drag plate is flush into these 4 notches as it seems to be happy to not sit well when the oil is wiped off you lose the "stickiness"

All done.

Hope this helps,
  • sins666
    bro any way to assist with the pic? this is a very useful article
  • Luke Maow Bear
    Sorry bro, as in you need the pictures or you can't see the pictures?
  • sins666
    Opps sorry think its my chrome.. Pic loads fine now. Many thanks
  • extractor
    Really is more than meets the eye...

    Thanks for the interesting read.
  • Luke Maow Bear
    You are welcome @extractor here is the Facebook log I posted on the groups page.
    Not resolved yet. We are going to take a look at it, here is the whole thing.

    1/ My entire spooled turned WITH drag knob tightening the drag automatically.

    2/ The only related problem I could think of is I tighten my drag to wash the reel and left it.

    3/ I opened the drag knob and found a ripped up washer, so that to me eliminates "tighten to tight".

    4/ I sanded the washer tear(s) with hobby sandpaper till it was flat and flipped it over. Put a drop of oil and done.

    5/ Tested it and now it's slipping like crazy, too much oil? Over sanding?

    6/ Removed and wiped away all the oil and now it's just whack, sometimes auto tightens, has no drag.

    7/ Googling this issue has shown the F1's and some of the newer Stella's are suffering this in some parts of the world.

    8/ A representative from Shimano has approached me to kindly take a look at it. Which is fabulous. So I will go to TTC.

    Not sure what the issue is, but I think it's a combination of the washer being pinched, the drag spring over compressed (I take full blame for this), too much oil and drag washers not gripping.
  • extractor
    This puzzles me entirely... This doesnt make any sense. But this is definitely fun to analyse. keke...

    Let see if i know how to put it in words... not easy to express my thoughts in writing.

    1. Can you visually see that the clicker knob (TURN) by itself when fighting the fish that results in the drag tightening? Or did it just mysteriously tighten the drag itself without the Drag Knob turning?

    2. To my knowledge, that Spring nothing more than a dampening spring that allows very precise drag adjustments on most shimano reels.

    This kind of Shimano reels with that spring require you to turn many many times before you get full drag.

    Most Daiwa reels do not have this dampening spring, which is why you only need to turn 2 rounds nia den full drag liao.

    This spring sits inside the plastics part with the dots in a circle (6th Pic from the top) and that plastic part is KEYED with that square hole which is 100% stationary and align to the reel shaft.

    It does not turn. Since it doesnt turn, the spring doesnt turn either. If this spring do not turn, also not possible that the super thin washer will turn either.

    The top most drag plate (14th Pics from the top) is also keyed with the square hole and is 100% stationary and align to the reel shaft as well.

    Since this whole stack of parts doesnt turn while the spool is turning and is perfectly align to the shaft.

    I don't think its the spring or washer issue that causes your problems.

    3. Since all the parts inside the centre of the spool doesnt move when the spool is spinning. The only contact point i can think of is between inner spool lip and the rubber gasket attached to the clicker knob.

    Can u take remove the rubber gasket completely temporary and test if the problem still persist? I know some of these rubber expands over time in our climate.

    4. When u turn the clicker knob, it turns a NUT hidden at the top most of the clicker knob. Just like a nut and bolt, it tightens down and compress the drag stack.

    Could it be that this NUT has came loose / dislodge from the clicker knob and sum how mysteriously tighten the drag without the clicker knob moving???

    It could also do the opposite, turning the clicker knob does not turn the nut down the shaft, which means also no drag.

    5. Last thing i can possibly think of is something to do with the parts assembled on the shaft itself.

  • Luke Maow Bear
    1/ Yes I can see it turning.

    2/ Dampening spring was over. compressed because I over tighten the drag when washing. Lost its "spring".

    3/ It was not the rubber gasket, tested that.

    4/ The nut is ok

    5/ As I have never open this reel, it would take a human or something stupid for this to happen, we all blame the over tightening and leaving it there for 4 months is the best possible answer.
  • extractor
    Interesting... Google is best friend.... Haha!

    could this be the problem??? and answer???
  • extractor
    another interesting read on reels auto drag tightening issues by alan tani and some other forummers
  • Luke Maow Bear
    @extractor This is a good bunch of links, I read them all.

    I have since past all my Stellas to the professionals and Shimano to tell me what happen.

    They are good people there, I really under estimated their willingness to help out.
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