Drag Specs

JHJ32883

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May 4, 2008
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Jay
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Hello,

I was wondering if someone could enlighten me on manufacturer's drag specs. I've heard that some reel companies inject a lot more "marketing" into their stated specs (overstated line capacity, overstated drag, etc.) than actual measurements.

I was wondering if those specs are just total BS, or if they were achieved in "Perfect laboratory conditions" or what that's all about. Also, is there a source that tracks/measures objective and non-biased specs?

Lastly, a company that appears to have very modest specs (at least as far as drag is concerned) is Accurate. I don't own any of them, but by reputation they are supposed to be works of art/engineering wonders, best that (a ton of) money can buy, etc. Just wondering why their drag specs seem to lag behind other companies. For example, the 600 size Dauntless reels only state drag of 32 pounds. Considering the rise in very budget-friendly, tiny reels putting out absurd amounts of drag (e.g. Penn Fathom lever drag series [25NLD2 @ 33 pounds), just wondering why there seems to be the gap. Is accurate only posting drag at "Strike"? Are they not buying into the "drag pressure races"? Most importantly, why does everyone appear to not bat an eye at fishing (relatively low) drag pressure of the Accurates, but is a huge deal/consideration when discussing every other reel?

Thanks
 

hucklongfin

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Jul 3, 2003
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MarkT
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32# of drag on a 600 size reel is more than you'd need except under some exceptional situation. I really doubt my 25nld2 would get 30# of drag... with a full spool. Drag increases as spool diameter decreases. That has to be taken into account too... how full a spool are they using to measure?
 

DennisV

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Jan 4, 2017
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Just a NuCanoe Frontier now.
I find listed drag specs are very exaggerated. But actual drags are sufficient for the line class the reel will be used with.
 

Pitchinwedge

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Aug 7, 2016
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I don't have any Accurate reels, so I can't say how "accurate" their published specs are. :D

However, I suspect their specs would be akin to other reel manufacturers in that some of their products meet/exceed and some fall short of the advertised drag figures.

IMO, if there's any gap... it the lack of an industry measurement standard for fishing equipment in general.
 
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PL_Fisherman

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May 8, 2020
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Different reel companies measure their reels “max drag” at different areas. I think penn does theirs a 3/8th of an inch from the top of the spool, and I mean a spool packed to the brim. Shimano does theirs roughly 1/3rd of the way into the spool, Diawa seems to put theirs out around half spool (according to the Lexa at least). Something to take note of, You should always test your drag at strike with a full spool, then 1/4, half, and a a 3/4 empty spool. In the case of the VISX 12, I set it at 20lb of of drag at full (with plenty more drag to give at that), then 3/4 I got 27lbs of drag, at half I got 33lbs of drag, and at 3/4 filled I got 40lbs of drag. That reel still had 20lbs of usable drag at full, and I’ve gotten 40lbs at full with pretty much zero loss to the freespool. Pretty remarkable for a reel I’d say. As for accurate and Avet I have no idea through the entire line, I’ve only gotten my hands on a SJX. I’m certain that Avet tests their drags at pretty much full... at least on the SXJ, where it put out the same number as advertised for me.
 

Pitchinwedge

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Different reel companies measure their reels “max drag” at different areas. I think penn does theirs a 3/8th of an inch from the top of the spool, and I mean a spool packed to the brim. Shimano does theirs roughly 1/3rd of the way into the spool, Diawa seems to put theirs out around half spool (according to the Lexa at least).
Not sure this is true... your source?

I recall both Penn and Shimano saying their specs are based on a full spool. Penn through rod guides, and Shimano straight pull.

 

PL_Fisherman

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Not sure this is true... your source?

I recall both Penn and Shimano saying their specs are based on a full spool. Penn through rod guides, and Shimano straight pull.

I think @tunanorth mentioned it a while back on a Penn thread, I’ve been trying to find it now that I’ve said it. The Gen 1 Fathoms are rated for 25lbs... never got 25lbs out of mine until I used a small pipe to tighten down the drag further. At full it was rated 21lbs for me with the drag buttoned down.

Also you should check out the rest of the thread and see what people were getting for their drags on the toriums... opens your eyes a bit there when a few people are all reporting 12lbs. On my TranX 500... which has the main gear and drag stack... only gets about 15max at full, not that the reel should ever really be used for more then that. At that point I start whipping out a 30LD2 and a 40NLD2. Far better reels for fishing drags of that rating and higher.

edit: we’ll time for me to eat shit on this one, I continued to check out the thread and saw the videos. I guess at what point, and or how did they push the drags further? I’ll do the same test on my TranX.
 
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Amadeus

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Mar 17, 2011
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A 2/3-of-factory-max-drag rating is a reasonable rule-of-thumb to apply for actual, fishable, max "fighting" drag. 16.67 lbs of a 25 lb factory max drag translates to a 50 lb setup. Would one even want to fish said reel at that level?

A hammered-down 21 lbs of max drag from top-of-spool means a 60 lb setup...is there enough line on a Gen 1 25N to fish as a 60 lb setup for the chosen application? Will 400 yd of 65 lb braid with a short 60 lb top shot be enough for fly-lining for 80-100lb BFT (with potentially a few bigger ones mixed in)? Or is it for barn door halibut at 500-600'?

Suppose one chooses 33 lbs (>2/3 rule) on a 40 lb max drag rated FTH40NLD2. Would it then be desirable as a 100 lb setup or should a heavier framed VISX be chosen for that application?
 
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FishRock

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Mar 27, 2013
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From my experience it is kind of a crap shoot. The Okuma Makaria SEAs I have all get the listed drag with no issues but my Komodo bait casters have to be locked down with pliers to get there.

With my Avets, my SX Raptor gets full drag but my LX Raptor does not quite get there.

The one Penn Fathom I have seems to get there with ease.

I think most heavy frame reels at least get close to their ratings.

If I were a reel manufacturer I would publish conservative numbers. Keep expectations low and performance high.

If you want a much better answer to of all this contact Alan Tani. He has worked on all of these reels and can tell you which ones are capable of the listed drags and which ones are just numbers on paper.
 

Pitchinwedge

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For a variety of reasons, some folks fish their setups at greater than 25-30% of the minimum line rating. While it's not always about big BFT, spool size relative to drag ability can be a deal breaker.

I think the point the OP was trying to make has to do with the reliability of mfg drag ratings. It's frustrating when trying to make buying decisions with shoddy information.
 

swami 805

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It's like mileage numbers on a car, usually some level of bullshit.
 
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