i'll disagree as well. having caught my fair share of 25-30 lb chinook salmon in my life, i can say that trying to land such of fish without a drag would be extremely difficult to say the least (enter-bloody knucks and busted fingers).
i'm interested in hearing what the salt water guys have to say about this
Eddy, I think you have been beaten up enough on your reel-use attitude. Let me offer you an alternative thought: Using a fine tunable, linear drag is a benifit to the FISH. It is my experience that, given an angler of experience and skill, he will bring a fish to hand (net or boat) X% more quickly using a drag than using his fingers alone. Therefore it is better for the released fishes' health as less lactic acid has built up in its blood stream to be landed more quickly even if only by a little bit.
Incidently, if you ever get to fish for false albacore or bonefish, bring a good reel with a stout, smooth drag; you dont want to "pinch the line" to slow these speedsters down.
My buddy Bob is an accomplished fly fisherman. He's fished the mid-western and westerm trout waters longer than I've been alive. About 10 years ago Bob went with me to the Kenai Peninsula for a bit of Sockeye madness.
Its not that the Sockeye is an elusive quarry for a fly fisherman, its simply that they are amazing table fare. That aside, if there is a harder fighting fish pound for pound, I've not found it.....and I've caught more than my share of species....big and small.
When we were gearing up for his first trip, I told him that he'd need a stout rod, and a reel with a very strong drag. He laughed at me, and very condescendingly held up his right hand and said, "This right hand here will control any fish that swims!" I learned many years before that you can't argue with Bob. No problem.
Bob took an ancient 10 foot fiberglass rod (not a problem), and on it was an equally ancient, beat-to-a-pulp reel. It had NO drag. I waited patiently for him to hook his first Red. I am ashamed to admit my absolute amusement at my buddies pain. When he set the hook, he immediately let out a bellowing "YEOW!" as the reel handle broke open the skin on his knuckles. He then grabbed the line as it peeled off the reel, which promptly cut his fingrs deeply as the line was pulled through them. I tried not to laugh, I didn't want to insult my friend.....but I think my falling to the ground howling may have hurt his feelings.
The next year he accompanied me again. This time he had a new rod with an Abel Super 8 attached to it.
I guess you could say i've triggered some response or maybe even some thought. Hopfully no anymosity. No intention of getting anyone fired up. It seems to prove a fact. Everyone has an opinion. On the BIG fish issue i must admit i've never done the Keys tarpon or bonefish. Having spent many yrs in Alaska up where Hardy is from i have a clue what big fish are. Silvers, many under my belt usually on a 6 wt. Kings, only on the Kenia in the Soldotna area. 1.25 mile of river and 45 minutes later. Hardy, i'm sure you've heard of the company called VECO. Worked a schedule that allowed me to frequent the Alaska waters for 13 yrs more than once ranging from Homer to Seward to the Arctic Ocean on more than one occasion for many yrs. Never once did i say i had never been bitten by the rotating handle of a screaming real. When spray leaves flyline while a fish departs to the right in a hurry, yep, i'd call that one BIG. A 31" Arctic Char aint no slouch in my book. May not be big but above average. I always enjoy watching other people fish...or at least try. You guys enjoy your rigs and fish em to the best of your ability but above all.......FISH.
While I respect your view-- I also don't find the condescending tone to be all that flattering of a color on you-- 'Save your money and learn how to work the rig you have'....
Doling out that kind of advice, I can only assume you have a wealth of great friends who make decisions contingent upon your evaluation. sheesh.
Mt. Olympus has spoken...we are all STUPID for having a reel with drag.
I put a 16" rainbow on the drag monday while nymphing from the top of a spillover. Why did I do something so STUPID like use a drag??? Because I was using the other hand to scramble down the edge of the bank so I could land the fish...
Your tone is incredibly condescending and is no way to talk to strangers and/or acquaintences. If you spoke to most of us face to face in this manner you'd probably get asked outside by more than a few of us.
---------- Post added at 10:07 PM ---------- Previous post was at 09:46 PM ----------
Originally Posted by rapid eddy
I guess you could say i've triggered some response or maybe even some thought. Hopfully no anymosity. No intention of getting anyone fired up. It seems to prove a fact. Everyone has an opinion. Eddy
Furthermore, I believe that you did have intentions of firing people up by clearly and unabashadly positioning your opinion as better than ours. I don't need or want your advice about what to buy and how to reel in a fish. I don't think we have the right "emoticon" for what you have done so I'll settle for this one...
Rapid Eddy, I don't have that much experience with big fish tearing out line, but I see the whole point as mute anyway. The original post makes clear that drag is essential to you, but you place a value on one form (by hand) and devalue the other (mechanical). I don't see a logic to the distinction. It's your choice, but it is based on a personal sense of aesthetics, not some higher truth. We all have them. Personally, I can't make up to strike indicators and I don't use them at all, but I hold no illusion that they are somehow a lesser way to fish. I just don't like them.
Hmmmmm let me see on one hand I have Rapid Eddy and on the other I have Andy Mills, Lefty Kreh, Lee Wulff, Stu Apte, etc etc---naw--no Hmmmmm to it! Sorry Eddy but reels involve a lot more than you make of it.
Line Storage ------check
---Drag design and Materials------check
---Start up intertia --check
---Method of Manufacture--check
---Reputation ----------- Abel--Tibor --Bauer (I'm partial to cork but soa re many of those guys I mentioned above for good reason)
By the way Eddy most of the pros agree that the hand feathering a spool isn't accurate enough, nor is it hardy (burn hands, banged knuckles,etc) enough for any kind of a fighting fish.
Gentlemen, to say i havent learned an issue from most of you would be an understatement. Some flyfishermen are a very sensitive bunch. Being a Mod over on a car site we find that opinions are welcome and treated as such. Over there one can offer his opinion without some feeling that they are demanding that others use or dont use a particular product. Far from it here. In no way have i stated that technology is bad. For my part i feel the top rear brakelite on new cars is something that is not needed. I'm sure there are those that will be offended by that statement. Same with the chrome that runs down the side of the body. Both of these are my opinion. Back in the day of Hiram Leonard i doubt that the drag system just wasn't something they came to rely on. The technology wasnt there, admit it, so they never landed a large fish? WRONG. The art form of flyfishing in its conception didn't have much technology in the reel section. Their best and bragged about were the tonkin cane rod so desired today by the purist and collectors and casting the distance was the treasured feat. As technology developed rods, reels became more of an added componet to the entire system. Some felt they needed the added features and some didn't. Some stayed with bamboo and others went with graphite. No slam on anyone on what they use. I'm a pretty thick skinned old boy and i aint goin away unless asked to by higher powers and guess what, i wont be callin anyone names. You can bet one thing. In the future i will probably express my opinion again and again. Now i didn't say i would expect everyone to agree with what i state and i just might not agree with your opinion, but you will always remain to me as a fellow flyfisherman. If that wads your groceries then p%@*&r may be the only remedy. Fire away.