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Old 06-18-2013, 12:02 PM
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Default Re: Drag style, material and rating factors?

I have a number of different designs in my aresnal.

I use Abel cork draw bar drags on my 3-8(my largest) weight reels. Why, because I like them. It's rare that I need a true drag on my trout reels, but it's nice to fish with them and it's there when called upon. That said, I have other reels that I use, some more often than not.

Galvan Standard is used for me in the trout range. Nice smooth drag reel and currently an option for me in a 4 wt. set up, only because that's the only spool that I have filled right now. I also use a Loop Opti Creek that is a sealed drag on a 3 and 4 weight set up. Not necessary the majority of the time, but a fine reel to fish.

Click/Spring and Pawl reels. My first two fly reels were of this type, an old Cortland made in England and a cheap Sage clicker that came with a St. Croix imperial combo I purchased a decade ago. This year, I decided to go back to click and pawl reels and went crazy buying the Sage 500 series of reels made by Hardy U.K. These are lovely easily maintained reels and more than effective for my trout fishing in the Midwest. When I fish larger western rivers, I will give one a try, but I can assure you I will have an Abel in my pocket in case I don't like what I'm feeling. The thing about these Sage reels is that they do have a palming rim, which give me some control when I get a fish that's really running - I like that.

And about that palming rim, I purchased a Sage 508 and Sage 509 that I plan on using on some larger lake run Steelhead this fall. I see the Sage 508 for use on low and clear conditions fishing Lake Erie on a 10' 7 weight rod. I typically fish a draw bar Super 7 but when I'm down to 5x, which is required sometimes, I have it tuned so light that I may as well be using a click and pawl because any pressure that I've applied on the Abel in those situations, I'm doing by palming anyway. The 509 is for use on an 8 weight for Steelhead in Wisconsin. It's got quite a bit of "drag" and the rivers are big enough that I can let the fish run quite a bit. I want to try out how that works for me before I even think of fishing for Kings with it. I fear for my knuckles on a King with an 8 wt and palming a Chinnock is really not something I'm man enough to do I will have my trusty Abel Big Game 3N in the pack just in case my 509 doesn't work out. But I really want to hear that thing scream - it's significantly more robust in the gears and the pawls than that 508.

I have a Lamson Velocity that I take with me in my pack in really cold weather because I've heard of Draw Bar Cork Drag mechanisms being prone to failure. I've not experienced it, but I do pack it just in case.

In short, I like them all. Click/Pawl & Draw Bar for their simplicity and effectiveness. I can break them all down in a minute and put them back together if necessary. The Galvan, Loop and Lamson are different animals, I don't break them down and wouldn't know what to do with them if I did. But they're fine reels that have a place in the quiver for various reasons.

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