A little while ago I was surfing through some of my favorite websites and came across Harro talking, or was it howling about a windy full moon phase.Harro I chirped in with 2 Bobs worth and asked a question about grease/oil for cork drags in fly reels. That is when Jack Erskines name was mentioned. Now Jack is an Aussie fishing legend and tackle guru. Many a person has asked me here in the states if I know him. Now when I say many it is a broad spectrum of folks some are legends themselves such as Lefty Kreh , Billy Pate , Lee Baker etc but I have also had others such as the taxidermist who walked into my booth at a Safari Show in Vegas and asked me about Mr Erskine. He claimed Jack had once sold him some Opals and laughed damn hard as he called him a "real character". So when Jack answered the post I stood up and took notice. Under his instruction and with his good will for getting me hooked up with the right gear for the job I now have some smoooth drags!!!! Read on if you want the links and information to service your cork drags.

CarbonTex Drag System

Jack has worked and befriended many people in the tackle industry including the likes of the Bass Pro mogul Johnny Morris so when Jack says this is what you do, you do it. Having used many a reel that had been jazzed up by Jack when I was gamefishing (there was a little Penn Internationl20 that I had a reel love affair with, still do) I knew about Cal's Reel Service and had talked to these guys before however this was Jack's email!

"Hi Randall, Give Eric Sheets at Cal's 2 Speed a call on 626.357.4441 in Ca. Give him your mailing address & tell him that I asked you to contact him he will send you a tube of the Cal's Drag Grease which is the Best in the Business with Out Fail!!! with My Compliments

Give the Drag Washers a good quick clean , with White Spirit , Dry Cleaning Fluid Colemans Gas etc, No Acetone . Thinners etc.!!! (do not Soak for extended period) a light scrub with an old Nylon Tooth Brush Allow to Dry Properly and your ready .

Cal's Grease on the Carbontex


Rub a light coat of the Cal' Drag Grease into the Friction Washer with your fingers & wipe off any Excess with Paper towel & Presto the Goods.!!!!

Layout the Pieces

Let me know how it goes. I'm sure you'll be impressed with this Great Product for Fly Reel Cork Drag Systems.

Best Regards. Jack

How did it go? Bloody Ripper is all I can say, not only did the simplicity of the instructions make it very clear but Eric Sheets was a complete gentleman and I had the grease in a couple of days. The stuff has given the drags on my Islander Reels a new lease of life and the same can be said about some Carbontex Drags that Jack organized for my little Calcutta 250 from Dawn Geider at SmooothDrags.com She was also a gem and just as Jack had wrote in the below post all went as smooth as my new greased up drags are!!!!

"Hi Randall , Get a hold of Dawn Geider at Smooooth Drag & give her your details & she will send you a set of the Great New Generation 'Carbontex" Carbon Fibre Drag Washers for your Shimano's


Give them a Light Coat of the Cal's Drag Grease the same as the Fly Reel & drop in.& away you Go.!!!

Islander Cork Drag

You can phone Dawn on 760.949.0271 I will let her know to expect your call.
Best Regards, Jack. "

Lay Out

The whole process did not take long as I have tinkered a little with tackle but there are a few tips for those not so familiar with taking reels apart. One of the first things I would recommend is having the schematic diagram for the reel. This is important if you happen to knock, drop or lose any of the parts that you should carefully lay out in the order sequence as you take any reel apart. Lay down some absorbent towels across a sturdy table for this job and this will also help make the clean up a bit easier. Try also to remember which way springs and pawls are when in working position i.e. right or left hand retrieve pawl.

Completed Job

Have all you tools close by and make sure you the correct sized one for the screws and nuts. Camp Fuel, white gas and other fluids are likely to fling around as you use the tooth brush to clean up the reel drag and other parts. Use a glass jar to do this cleaning job in as you can hold the part inside and still see as you scrub. Be careful with the compressed cork do not rub it to vigorously.
One thing I found with a couple of Tibor Reels was that Ted uses some heavier grease that I would guess it has graphite component in the drag.

Light Smear

I removed that and used a thicker smear of Cal's Grease on the same areas but still only lightly smear the cork. It feels good and I am sure that this will be fine but the next bluewater speedster will be the test.

Smooth as a Babies Bottom

If your in Australia you can get all the above gear to service your reels via
JackErskine.com and of course those in the USA via the links posted above. Thanks again Jack, Eric and Dawn.

NOTE You may also find some good information here @ Dan Blantons Tackle Page