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I have two black max reels and they both have the same problem. No matter how much I adjust the star wheel, one way or the other, I cannot pull any line out no matter how hard I try. It must be something simple and I must be an idiot because it is the same problem on both reels. I have another baitcaster that I can adjust the star wheel and change the drag just fine though. The tension and brake setting adjustments are fine. Any idea?

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Some reels have a small switch that functions as a toggle for drag "enabled" or drag "disabled".

Can you flick some of the little steel switches on your reels and see if that will enable the spool to move against the drag? (Rather than being "locked" against allowing line to spool out.)

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cant find any toggle switch, thanks for the reply though

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I have quite a few of those and have no problem at all . How long have they set up? Can you thumb the spool forward ?

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When I was offshore fishing I would dip the reel into the water to free up everything… lol when you fish every day reels take a beating

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cant even thumb the spool forward, it is weird because the reels work fine otherwise

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Originally Posted by volguy9595
I have two black max reels and they both have the same problem. No matter how much I adjust the star wheel, one way or the other, I cannot pull any line out no matter how hard I try. It must be something simple and I must be an idiot because it is the same problem on both reels. I have another baitcaster that I can adjust the star wheel and change the drag just fine though. The tension and brake setting adjustments are fine. Any idea?


You might need to take the side plate off and see if the drag washers are frozen together. I know you aren't fishing in salt water, but when I was fishing on the big pond, more experienced fishermen told me to back the drag off 99% of the way when I wasn't on the boat fishing. That did two things. 1) It prevented the drag washers from sticking together when stored for a while and 2) it prevented the drag washers from getting compression spots in them and if that happened, it made the drag jerky. Now we were using a much higher drag force than you are in fresh water, but just trying to figure out what is going on.

How long have you had them and have you done any maintenance to them if you've had them a while?


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3/4 to 1 1/4 ac pond LMB, SMB, PS, BG, RES, CC, YP, Bardello BG, (RBT & Blue Tilapia - seasonal).
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I have had them both for 5 years or so. Just noticed the problem with one last weekend but then noticed the other one on Friday and thought it was odd. They had both been sitting in my kayak since last October. I will take them apart and try to figure out what is going on although I'm not very mechanically inclined. I'm sure I can find a diagram or video online somewhere. Thanks for the reply.

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Soak them in a bucket of water then loosen drag and thumb drag forward with both thumbs.. or take them apart and free up the drag washers

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I have a bunch of them. And, have been using, cleaning, and repairing them for a long, long time. I had one that gave me enough problem that I finally tossed it.


It's not about the fish. It's about the pond. Take care of the pond and the fish will be fine. PB subscriber since before it was in color.

Without a sense of urgency, Nothing ever gets done.

Boy, if I say "sic em", you'd better look for something to bite. Sam Shelley Rancher and Farmer Muleshoe Texas 1892-1985 RIP
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I haven't used the black max reel but I use their 6500s and 7500s for catfishing the river, they are extremely tough and most of mine are still going strong after yrs of abuse, but have had to exchange drag washers on one or two over the yrs, I was also told, and do, back my drag off almost all the way when not in use. good luck!


All the really good ideas I've ever had came to me while I was milking a cow.
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You can ( I do) get a Rod and black max real a Wally World for $59 can’t beat them . Very smooth and dependable. The blue max is good also

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Alright! I was able to fix them without taking them apart. I hadn't been able to even thumb the spool forward but decided to try again today. I loosened the drag all the way and pushed forward on the spool with my thumb as hard as I could while pulling the line and it popped loose. From now on I'll store them with the drag set to "loose" I think that may have allowed it to bind up while they were in storage.

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Thought you might be able to thumb it loose, been there done that

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