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I've got a bantam mag plus 250 that has the direct drive switch that I dug out of dads closet about 2 months ago. After using it a couple times, I noticed the drag was pretty rough so I had those replaced. Now that I've got it back, the reel is smooth for about 2-3 casts then it progressively gets "stickier". After about 10 casts a 2/5 oz spoon takes 20 seconds to fall to the ground from 3 feet up in free spool mode. Does anyone have any suggestions as to what could be the culprit? Could the weather cause the grease and oil to freeze up? I've used a diawa tierra in freezing temps and not had any problems with it seizing on me. When the drag was replaced, everything was lubed and greased. I've opened it up once today and thought I had it fixed but went out and made a couple casts and now its back to freezing up.
 

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I also have one of those reels, maybe two. great reels for steelhead The drags are a bit weak for salmon. You need to tear it apart and clean it. Where did you send it to get the drag fixed. I get my parts from Ollie Damon's in portland. If you have never serviced a reel before you may want to have someone do it for you. I put out a white sheet on the table take my time. Shimano has a schematic on the web to show you how it goes. You can also take digital pictures along the way. Nice way to look back on things. I use rubbing alcohol to clean everything and light oil to lube. Do not use to much oil or you may regret it.
 
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