What a drag!

fatbillybob

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I'm trying to understand current drag systems on reels. I need a reel for my big stick 7wt 14ft sage 2 hander. This thing is heavy already and while casting is a breeze with the big stick I wonder if my arm is going to get just as tired as mt super ligth single handers.

I have not bought a reel since my line of classic Abel cork drag reels. I love those things they will stop a train. I have one Ross reel I got as a gift. I can't figure out hwat kind of drag it has but it works awesome and stips fish as good as the cork drag of the Abels. What are the drag systems of the day? I want something that will stop fish and work in salt too. I always wash my gear after fishing in salt anyways.

What is it and how good is:

Lamsons's Sealed Conical Drag System

Orvis uses stacked carbon and stainless steel disc washers ( they don't have a name for it)

Galvan uses "torque drag sytem" a thermoplastic and carbon fiber disc drag requires minimal lubrication and virtually no maintenance.

Abel has Abel SDS (Sealed Drag Salt) sounds cool but no details?

Ross uses fully sealed carbon fiber drag (not sure what my 20 year old Ross has. They didn't have much carbon fiber back then)

Are there really only a couple drag systems that everyone renames for their own marketing?
 

Ard

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Hi Billy or Bob,

I think that you'll find that with a 14 foot rod drags become less of a priority than proper lines but since you ask............. I have a couple Sage 2 hand rods and one is the 14' X rod in 8 weight. On that rod I have the Spectrum max in the 7/8 size. The reel is light and the pair are fishable on an all day basis and I'm 66. As I got older I slowly but steadily moved away from my heavy rigs from a decade ago that weighted over 2 pounds when you considered rod - reel and line all combined.

On that same rod I've also used a Hardy Taupo which is a simple spring & pawl reel and landed quite a few King salmon with that reel. You'll be free to zero in on whatever reel you like and want but I'd focus more on the weight of the reel rather on how powerful the drag is. Your 7 weight rod probably uses a line in the 475 grain range and if you can find a suitable reel in the 7.5 to 8 oz weight I think you're gonna be happy.

BTW, the Spectrum Max reels are sealed drags with a 4 pound pull straight off the reel. I actually measured that for a thread here last year........ The four pound pull combined with the 14 foot rod provides a lot of resistance to fish up to and including 35 pound salmon trying to run back to the salt water.
 

flytie09

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billybob..... there is a lot of marketing out there that confuses things. I agree.

There are several types of drags out in the market today. Some I’m not even going to touch on like the Bogdan style double brake reels or the Johnson Magnetic that used you know what.

There are simple check and pawl reels that in essence are a spring loaded triangular metal piece that rIdes against a steel cogged gear. These are tried and true and simple that have been around forever. These are my preferred drag type because of their simplicity and undeniable loud sound. But I’ve been told I’m a stubborn traditionalist.

Cork as you’re aware is simple as well and one of the most reliable and toughest drags out there. Friction (drag) is achieved with two flat surfaces (one being cork) that contact each other.

Then there are disc drag reels. These are basically utilize a multiple series of discs that stack together in a specific pattern and compressed together. These are plastic, carbon fiber and metal. Offered in sealed and unsealed bearing designs....meaning the bearings can't get wet. Which in some cases can be a misnomer and not 100% true. These are the most commonly offered reel design offered today. They are relatively maintenance free and provide a high amount of resistance.

Lamson utilizes a conical drag mechanism where a single male/female conical shaped pieces ride against each other. They are sealed like a few (not all) disc drag reels.

Most of the reels above achieve resistance to the c&p, pad, discs or cone by tightening a drag knob that compresses a leaf spring, spring washer or regular spring that increases the resistance to the described mechanism. That's about it. They're all relatively simple.

What reel should you get? Sealed, unsealed, disc, conical, cork, bench made, CNC, US vs China vs Korea vs Sweden, C&P, anodize type......it really doesn’t matter. All well known reel brands make quality products that will get the job done.

Modern manufacturers like Nautilus, Abel, Ross, Orvis, Hatch, Hardy, Einarson, Islander, Tibor, Danielson...... all make great reels. Cheeky, Taylor, 3Tand, Allen, et al are good as well..... but are less expensive.

Im not going to pick your reel for you. I’m also not as nutty about fly reel weight.....don’t obsess about how many ounces a reel is. For me heavy is good. I like a little meat on the bone. A reel for a 14' 7 WT rod should probably be in the 8-13 oz range depending on design and the materials used. You just want to make sure the rod isn't tip heavy and balances at the midpoint on the upper cork with whichever reel you choose.

We’re also not fishing for Mako sharks here.

I’ll end with this....... Just understand no one ever kicked themself for buying a Nautilus or Abel reel. Find a design you like, read some reviews, enter your cc # and go.
 
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fatbillybob

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Gents,

Thanks for your comments and taking the time. Good points made by both. Both comments very helpful.
 
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dynaflow

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If you are able to pretty much keep your reel out of the fresh water you'll have more brand choice,but if you fish the salt and look like getting the reel dunked regularly in that environment you have the following choices 1) get an Abel,Tibor or similar reel that you'll have to service to some extent or 2) pony up for genuine sealed drag reel like the Ross Evo R Salt or Lamson's Cobalt.
The Ross Evo LTX range offers good value in a lightweight sealed drag reel....e.g.The 4"plus diameter 7/8 is only 4.91 ounces.
 
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