Re: Getting fish to the reel/drag
To get the fish on the reel I slap the spool to get it spinning. A free-wheeling spool on the retrieve is one of the major considerations I have when selecting a reel for larger fish.
Ross's are usually good at that though my early Ross R had the same amount of drag both out-going and in-coming! One of the learning curves a good reel maker must go through I reckon.
Even on smaller reels I look for a good spinning spool when taking up line. Sometimes, like on my favorite tailwater, you have to max the breaking strength of the leader and a good, smooth drag system has allowed me to land more of the bigger fish I've hooked than when I relied on the inconsistant squeezing the line on the grip.