Craig, if you trace the outline of your fingers on the side of your new Martin, I could perform that mod in a matter of minutes. I wouldn't charge you anything. The like button is down on the lower right.
Yeah, no I like my reel the way it is, unless I find the magic pool of Browns not smaller than 15" and I really start needing some drag I think I'll be o.k.
I bought the Wind River for $20 on sale for my 3 weight and love it. For fifty you can get the Prestige Premire, a lamson clone. I generally fish Batten Kill discs, but figured I'd go cheap on a couple of bass and bluegill rods. Great advise given, but a drag is a wonderful thing as long as it starts smooth and protects your tippet in the initial run. All three reels I've mentioned will do that and none will break the bank. That said I have an exposed spool on an 11 wt Medalist and it works, but spit on your palm and keep your thumb away from the handle when you get a barracuda. Or so I've heard.
Over the years, there's been a lot of fish caught on the fly without the "advantage" of the use of a disk drag.
Personally, I fished 18 years in the salt with a Medalist and only got my first disk drag reel sometime in the mid '90's.
I never felt under-gunned. Fly fishing is all about the challenge after all.
Lee Wulff caught the first fly rod marlin on a cheap glass rod and a Farlow Python reel. No brake or drag, just a clicker and a finger to press the line to the cork.
Using a click/pawl reel to it's full potential is not all that hard to do and you'll catch on REAL QUICK when the time comes.
I'll keep asking my newbie questions in hopes of avoiding the bad habits.
Remember what I told you about pulling the line by hand and the loose loops lying about. Many people have gotten into that habit and then one day, when they least expected it, whammo! The fish that they never thought would take a fly, 'takes their fly'. But, oh no! There's a whole bunch of loose fly line floating around them and................ Just Say'en
I appreciate that, I'm guessing most of you are spoiled by rivers and streams that allow casting that would produce piles of stripped line, if I get 10-15 feet of line past the tip, I consider that a long cast.
I don't want to cross post, but I put a picture of one of the streams I fish in the "beautiful places" sticky, a 9ft rod will almost touch the bank on the other side.
Its why I now prefer a nail knot or Albright to a commercial loop on line to backing connections.
I snip off all the factory loops - both ends. I had one on either a Rio or a SA 10 wt line just split open on me a few years ago after not that many fish caught on it, and saw an employee at the local fly shop whip finishing loops on all their new Sharkskin lines after cutting off the factory ones. So they must have had some bad feedback on them as well.
Regardless of the connection, I think it prudent to keep the rod tip low as the line to backing connection goes whipping through the guides.