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Post 02 Oct 2010, 11:06 • #1 
Emeritus
Joined: 07/05/05
Posts: 1155
Location: US-OH

Hopefully this will help budding Medalist fans to better understand their reels. Sorry for the picture quality, I took these "hand held" under my desk lamp as I was servicing one of my 1494 1/2 DA reels. I'm a Pflueger lover and use the 1492 and 1492 1/2 for 3 and 4wt double taper lines respectively, 1494 for 5wt WF or DT, 1494 1/2 for 6, 1495 for 7, 1495 1/2 for 8 and 1498 for 9/10 as a working collection. In the pictures below I'm actually changing my 1494 1/2 from LHW back to RHW. With the stock drag ratchet plates I prefer my 6 and under reels RHW because I believe the reel is a bit smoother that way. Installing a One Pfoot drag plate changes everything - that plate makes the reel quite smooth in LHW.

Below you see pics of 2 reels, one set for LHW and one for RHW.

Below is RHW, the way the reel will likely come to you if you buy one that hasn't been serviced. Note the 4 pockets - these make the 4 clicks on retrieve and play an important part in the unidirectional drag system.

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Below you'll see the plate for a reel set up LHW. Note the 8 pockets. Normally these would make for the 8 outgoing clicks, but with the plate installed like this you'll have 4 outgoing clicks because the 4 pockets will be facing downward (see the pic above) and 8 clicks on retrieve. The problem with the 4X8 stock plate when it's installed in LHW mode is that the reel can "rock" 1/4 turn before the drag engages rather than 1/8 turn in RHW. When fishing for large, powerful fish like carp with a light 4lb tippet this may cause a shock on the first run that can break the tippet if you're not careful. If you want a classic Medalist set up in LHW for larger species, I can't recommend the One Pfoot plate more hightly. The One Pfloot plate provides 8 detents on each side using a harder, better machined plate. I use the One Pfoot plate in my 1495 1/2 and 1498 reels exclusively and I keep those set up for LHW. I have all my reels for lines 6 and under set up RHW, except where a reel comes from the factory LHW. Call it personal preference ...

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You'll see two small screws on the metal disc (drag plate bearing) holding in the drag (ratchet) plate. These are removed when changing wind direction. I find it helpfull to fully dissassemble the reel frame. This level of service should be done once a season for heavily fished reels or every other season for those you fish 10 or 20 times on more casual outings. The reels I have have survived and still work perfectly, in some cases thirty years after I've purchased them. Below is a shot of LHW and RHW together. LHW set-up on left, RHW set-up on right.

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Once you remove the drag bearing and ratchet plate you'll uncover the drag pawl and spring. This pawl is a "hat" fitting over a spring and it sits in a cup. Note the dimple on the outside of the reel in the picture below. This is the drag pawl cup. Of the Medalist reels I have that have failed, it's typically because they've been dropped on rocks and bent. Dropping a Medalist is about the only way to destroy one ... This cup is delicate enough that a rock hitting it just right can render the drag frozen (I lost my very first Medalist DA, purchased for me by my grandpa, to this damage - I still have the reel but it can no longer be fished) If you are purchasing a reel, look at this dimple. If it's dented or deformed, don't buy the reel.

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Here is the drag pin removed. Note that it has a chisel finish. The top of the chisel faces into the ratchet plate cup, the angled end following the ramps on the 4 or 8 detent sides of the plate. When removing the drag plate, be careful this pin doesn't come out causing you to drop the spring. One Pfoot sells springs and if you're doing an overhaul and installing the One Pfoot drag plate then I sugget ordering the spring at the same time since you'll have it out anyway.

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Below you'll see the top of the stock reversible DA model drag plate and the bottom. Note the ramps. The ramps and straight cuts are the simple mechanism by which the drag is unidirectional. You'll rarely encounter a bad drag plate unless grit, sand or detritus has worked its way in and/or the reel is very heavily used. On very early Medalists the (non-reversible) ratchet plates are 2 x 8 (or 2/4 - I'm working from memory on that one). I have an old 1495 1/2 from the first generation of these reels that I'll do an overhaul on this winter. I'll photograph that overhaul when I get around to it, too.

Top with RHW

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Bottom (when RHW, top when LHW). Note the ramps - they are a bit steeper. This difference in number of detents and the angle of the ramps, creates the difference in "feel" on LWH and RHW. The One Pfoot plates use this topology on both sides of the plate - 8 detents.

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The drag-plate bearing holds the drag plate in place and provides a bearing surface around which the drag plate rotates. You see the outter edge has a "top hat" configuration (this part is shown bottom-up - the part on the cloth is the part where the screws are countersunk)

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Put a thin film of reel grease around the lip of "top hat" of the drag bearing to lubricate the surface between the ratchet and the retainer. I like to use Garcia silicone reel greese, but there are many alternatives. I've been using the Garcia since the early 1970's without issue. Use a drop of reel oil in the cup where the drag pawl sits. You don't want grease there, it may prevent the pawl from moving freely. Put the pawl and spring into the cup. Align the raised tip perpendicular to the detents and with the higher side facing the blunt cut in the drag (ratchet) plate. The slope of the drag pawl matches with the slope of the drag plate detents.

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Put a little grease on the drag plate where it will contact the drag pawl. This makes the reel click quite smooth and buttery, but remember if the reel is exposed to lot's of silt that silt can contaminate the grease requiring more frequent cleaning. This reel is tough, it's unlikely it will be damaged from being submerged in even the most off-color water. Try to keep any grease from the edge of the drag plate - it won't hurt anything but a bit of grease between the drag plate and drag bar may cause uneven performance as the drag is played. You can clean up any leakage with a pipe cleaner.

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Here I have the plate installed for RHW. I would put a thin bead of reel grease on top of the plate, careful not to put too much or allow it to run to the edge of the plate. Also a drop of grease on the top of the spindle where it conacts the retaining clip in the spool cap and a light drop of oil on the shaft completes the service.

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Add a drop of oil to the threads of the drag screw (just below the drag bar and out of sight in the image above, see the very first image in this series for a better view) and add a drop of oil to the retrieve pawl pin and spring on the spool (picture below). I like to use a can of compressed air to blow out this pin/spring before adding fresh oil. I've never tried removing this pin/spring, and suggest you don't either unless its broken.

Image

Hopefully this series of pictures will help you understand what's happening in your DA series Medalist and make changing from RHW to LHW or servicing the reel a bit easier.

The next series of photos, showing the spool cap and retaining mechanism, will be posted shortly. The next series will also show how to wieght a spool to match reel balance to a rod.

Tight lines.



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Post 02 Oct 2010, 11:48 • #2 
Glass Fanatic
Joined: 12/03/07
Posts: 1143
Location: Shenandoah Valley of Virginia
Joe, Thanks so much for the great photos and tutorial. Great help for keeping them singing! Jay


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Post 02 Oct 2010, 12:08 • #3 
Glass Fanatic
Joined: 07/05/10
Posts: 5068
Location: Mid Hudson Valley of New York
very nice work Cornmuse. I have three 1494s -- an Akron O., USA, and an AK. I have fished the AK primarily for about 20 years and it has never let me down. All mine are set up for LHW using the factory-provided ratchet plates.


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Post 02 Oct 2010, 12:15 • #4 
Emeritus
Joined: 06/08/07
Posts: 2512
Location: Superior, Colorado
I hope no one minds that I stuck this on top. Valuable information since we get so many questions about Medalists. Thanks Joe!


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Post 02 Oct 2010, 13:01 • #5 
Glass Fanatic
Joined: 09/05/07
Posts: 2110
Location: Shenandoah Valley, Virginia
Great tutorial. Thanks for putting that together, Joe. Just curious, are the drag pins nylon on the DA vintage Medalist?


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Post 02 Oct 2010, 13:08 • #6 
Emeritus
Joined: 07/05/05
Posts: 1155
Location: US-OH
All the pawls are metal. The lighting may make the drag pawl in the picture look like some kind of plastic, but that's an effect of the light reflecting off the metal.


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Post 19 Dec 2010, 08:21 • #7 
Guide
Joined: 12/08/10
Posts: 193
Location: Warehouse H
Great write up


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Post 10 Jan 2011, 05:28 • #8 
Emeritus
Joined: 07/05/05
Posts: 1155
Location: US-OH
I just published a two-part article on Fly Fish Ohio.

[url=http://www.flyfishohio.com/Anglers_Guide_to_Pflueger_Medalist.htm]Part one - 1930 to 1959
[/url]
Part two - 1959 to present


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Post 09 Feb 2011, 12:23 • #9 
Global Moderator
Joined: 04/20/07
Posts: 7745
Location: US-ME
Image


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Post 09 Feb 2011, 12:50 • #10 
Sport
Joined: 04/09/06
Posts: 94
No offense intended towards anyone; however, I feel the above post was not necessary as to this thread.
Cornmuse's tutorial should stand on its on, in my opinion.

Perhaps a new post would be more appropriate?

Hope I haven't ruffled any feathers?

Just my thoughts on this subject.


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Post 09 Feb 2011, 14:59 • #11 
Global Moderator
Joined: 04/20/07
Posts: 7745
Location: US-ME
The moderator is welcome to delete it or move it to reel papers. It darn well isn't worth another post. People ask about this all the time, although it is quite simple and explained umpteen places on the board, including many times before Cornmuse covered it. It is easy to do, but everyone wants to ask about it, and everyone wants to explain it, which Pflueger itself did perfectly well in the papers provided with the reels of the time period, which is what is shown. There is no mystery about it, nor any proprietary specialty. The point that is often missed--Cornmuse covered it and so did Pflueger--is the orientation of the bevel on the frame mounted plunger. People do everything else but that, or follow fourth-hand instructions that forget to mention that, and then they wonder why the drag plate gets chewed up and the reel doesn't click right. I have seen it explained umpteen ways, and I know people still miss this point in doing it. As covered in #3 in the Pflueger papers, that's about as clear as it gets.

The Pflueger website explains the process also, although, last I looked, slightly differently, since the frame-mounted plunger is now slightly different, and so is the plate.

I just happened to run across this photo while looking for another one. Since Cornmuse did a thorough and accurate job and someone then pinned it to the menu, I thought that was great, discouraging the tendency of going around the block to get next door. Go to the horse's mouth and you'll have a lot fewer encounters with the other end. So any way, I just put it up as a complement/compliment to the post. I'm not selling anything. In fact, I have multiple copies of the exploded parts diagram--the standard illustration style to support technical instructions, and very handy along with photos like Cornmuse provided--but I guess I don't need to send them out to somebody who asks next or take a photo for somebody who can't get the idea from Cornmuse photos.


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Post 18 Jul 2011, 19:01 • #12 
Sport
Joined: 07/16/11
Posts: 63
Location: BC, Canada
Great info, thanks Cornmuse and whrlpool ... working on getting all the Medalists ... had a 1494 for years.


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Post 09 Dec 2011, 20:24 • #13 
Sport
Joined: 04/03/07
Posts: 35
Location: US-NC Black Mountain
great info, i used it to switch several Medalists to LHW. thanks, richardm


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Post 31 Dec 2011, 11:35 • #14 
Glass Fanatic
Joined: 01/26/08
Posts: 1120
Location: US-CO
I still remember the first time I converted a Medalist. Took me half an hour to find the spring in the carpet under the kitchen table after it got away from me. Now I take them apart in a cardboard box. Great tutorial. I really like the tidbit of advise about the drag pawl cup/dimple. Great to know.

The Waco Kid


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Post 11 Jun 2012, 05:39 • #15 
Piscator
Joined: 08/10/05
Posts: 16310
Location: downtown Bulverde, Texas
Medalist line capacities:
http://onepfoot.com/backingcapacity.htm - [This link has broken since it was posted - Tom]


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Post 03 Jul 2012, 11:18 • #16 
Guide
Joined: 06/18/12
Posts: 144
Location: US-IN
Cornmuse- Thanks for the webinar. Just picked up a Japanse built Medalist that's set up RHW. Going to have to compare it to your photo's and find out if the "guts" are similar to the made in USA models.


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Post 18 Jul 2012, 08:54 • #17 
Master Guide
Joined: 06/27/06
Posts: 777
Location: SW Missouri Ozark Plateau
Many, many, years ago, I remember one writer who called the Pflueger Medalist reels the "Chevy pickup" of fly reels. After fishing them for the past 40+ years, I have to agree. They have lousy quality paint jobs, arn't as refined or finished like Hardys, but they will take abuse far and beyond what will permanently sideline a Hardy reel, and come back for more. I tend to treat all my fly tackle very carefully, so my Medalists are still looking good after decades of on and off use. I still love the looks, feel and sound of a fine Hardy reel, but if I'm traveling light and will take just one reel, it will often be a Medalist. Keep them clean and lubed, and they will last almost forever, just like a Chevy pickup. All of mine are the DA series, and I have 1492s, several 1494s, a 1494 1/2, and a 1495, but my workhorses are the 1494s. I'm just glad I bought several One Pfoot reel feet for them before those became impossible to find. The stamped out reel foot is the only real flaw I have found in the Medalist design. I also love a Pflueger 1834 and 1878 I have, but they are now discontinued. Pflueger has always been "Everyman's" fly reel, and the Medalists are the "good stuff".


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Post 20 Jul 2012, 11:45 • #18 
Sport
Joined: 08/29/11
Posts: 92
Location: Northeast Texas
I have been picking up Medalists for some time now, most off of e ... I tell myself I am getting them so I will have repair parts when I need them. I have yet to get one that needed repair parts! I guess I will still be looking for them, though. They always work.

Jim


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Post 01 Aug 2012, 09:46 • #19 
Sport
Joined: 06/23/12
Posts: 29
Location: US-OH
Has anyone seen the plastic or fiberglass drag plates wear out? I changed to the older metal, but have to admit never saw a problem with the newer plastic ones.


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Post 01 Aug 2012, 10:05 • #20 
Piscator
Joined: 08/10/05
Posts: 16310
Location: downtown Bulverde, Texas
I have not seen the fiber-filled plates wear out (not sure how long they've been out - maybe just on AKs?) but have definitely seen the older nylon ones wear out.


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Post 01 Aug 2012, 14:15 • #21 
Sport
Joined: 06/23/12
Posts: 29
Location: US-OH
I thought I might add a technique to swap out the drag knob assembly to the discussion of repair and servicing Pflueger Medalists. What I do is place a small screw driver under the retaining clip (see Photo) and give a modest twist, Just enough to free the shaft. Then just unscrew it and replace it
ONe has only to center the smooth part of the shaft under the clip, and place the screw driver over the clip and tap it into place with a hammer. I have never had one break in US made reels. Can't speak for off shore models.

Image

Image


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Post 28 Mar 2013, 11:03 • #22 
New Member
Joined: 03/28/13
Posts: 1
Location: US-NY
Just reading through this great info on servicing Medalists Reels. The spring loaded pawls on the DA series from the late 1970's, the earlier DA series had the indestructable metal pawl, and the AK series are made of plastic, natural colored nylon I believe. The ratchet bearings are made of some molded metal, maybe zinc in the same reels. The original ratchet bearings were made of bronze and had a close tolerance fit to the drag plate, the next bearings ( introduced late 1950's?) were made of brass and had a much looser fit, the last generation of these bearings were made of molded zinc? or pressed metal and had the same lousy fit as the brass. There is little doubt in my mind that the quality of these reels suffered greatly after the purchase by Shakespeare.


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Post 30 May 2013, 06:03 • #23 
Sport
Joined: 12/17/12
Posts: 27
Location: US-NH
Bill Franke showed me how he removed the drag screw assembly, a method that prevents scratching the inside surface of the back plate. Wrap a small piece of electrical tape around the curved section of a small mechanics pick, and using the point, gently pry up the clip. I have replaced a number of drag screws this way, and if one is working on a pristine reel, there is no evidence that the work has been done. Knowing Bill is one of the treasures of my life.

bill Franke


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Post 06 Sep 2013, 17:14 • #24 
New Member
Joined: 09/06/13
Posts: 2
Location: US-NJ
Hi Guys, Especially a shout out to Cornmuse ...

I have your nice article on Pflueger reels from Fish Ohio and you mentioned One Phoot several times here and there. I went to find them and I can't seem to locate them. I hope they are not gone because I would really like to get some upgraded LHW plated for my reels. Can you direct me, please? Or anyone else with info ...

Thanks,

Mark


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Post 06 Sep 2013, 20:33 • #25 
Sport
Joined: 08/07/08
Posts: 98
Location: America's Dairyland
Welcome to the forum, Mark. It's here:
onepfoot.com
Pete


Last edited by jgestar on 26 Jul 2014, 12:33, edited 2 times in total.
Fixed broken link - Tom


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