For years I used certain reels over others due to their performance in certain areas. There really didn’t seem to be any rhyme or reason to which one it would be. Some had several ball bearings and others just a few. Some had fast retrieves yet others where slower. Some were expensive yet others were very economical versions. You see, the reels I tended to use more were those that had a dependable smooth drag. Nothing is more frustrating that using a reel with an erratic, sticky drag and loosing a fish of a life time. If the drag is too loose or breaks and lets loose on the hook set you will not get the hooks driven home. Crank the drag up tight enough to get the hooks driven home and when a fish makes a run at the boat it’s “game over” and you lost a big fish and maybe your favorite lure. Many may blame the broken line on the line itself or the knot going bad. Many times it’s just a low quality drag on an otherwise well performing reel.
With more and more fisherman are using super braid lines, lead core or wire the drag becomes even more important. Drags need to be set lighter and release smoothly and at a constant tension to deal with the lack of line stretch. Again the slip, grab. slip, grab will result in hooks pulling out and lost fish.
Several years ago I began switch out my factory drags with high performance carbon fiber drags. The difference was so noticeable that there was no looking back and most of my reels that I use have been switched over to these high performance drags. These drags are smooth as butter at low to high levels of drag. Once you make the conversion the reels feels like you paid a lot of money for it even if you didn’t.
I’ve been using the DragMaster Tournament Series Carbon fiber drags for two years now and find them to be excellent quality and they are available at a very economical price. The support at Tunasreeltrouble is second to none and they will take the time to make sure you get the right parts for you reel and answer installation questions as well.
The drag installation is pretty straight forward and usually after you’ve done a few it goes pretty quick. I find that it’s a great off season activity and usually get through a reel in 10-15 minutes unless I run into problems like a dropped screw or misplaced spring. Also check out the Tunasreeltroubles web site for schematics and additional reel parts if you require them at www.tunasreeltroubles.com.