Re: Drag style, material and rating factors?
3, 4, and 5 - I use click drag reels. These reels are generally lighter to their disk drag counterparts. Also it is hard to beat the tippet protection of the click drag system. Plus the sound of outgoing drag sounds awesome.
6 through 12 - I use draw bar cork drags. Tippet protection is not one of my worries since my tippets are generally heavier. As long as the system is maintained properly, a disk drag reel will start up smoothly and have plenty of adjustment range. Also, they do not fail.
I draw the line between a click and a disk drag at the five and six weight. Both of these are trout rigs for me. I use my five weight when I feel that tippet protection is necessary. I rarely go below 4x tippet on that rig. When I feel like trying to hook up Homie, the six weight comes out. The flies are generally larger. Same thing goes with the tippet. I'm more worried about using a strong braking system with the butt end of my rod to subdue Homie quickly.
I also have a couple of Waterworks/Lamson reels. They utilize a cone and bearing drag system. I use them on a six weight rig. I like the light weight of these reels. The drag system is very smooth although it does not have the high end braking power of my Abels. On a six weight, the Waterworks/Lamson reels have enough braking power that I need just in case Homie decides to play.