My question regards drags and upgrading them. I am sure you know about WAHOONBOX's planer rod system and how much drag it takes to hold that planer. I recently purchased a old penn international 80. Just a straight 80. I am having a problem holding a #24 planer in rough seas. Is there anything I can do to increase the drag on this reel. I have read your article titled "Fishing Reel Drag Systems". I am really scared to start tampering with the components of the reel (at least with myself doing the tampering). I have that reel about 4/5 full of 100lb to about 100 yards of 200lb power pro then to my bridle. What can I do to upgrade this reel for increase drag. I heard that decreasing the line on my reel will increase the drag on the reel but I don't understand how that could increase the drag. Any help you can provide would be greatly appreciated.
there are three different things to look at.
first is the smoothness of the drag washer. to get the maximum smoothness, you need carbon fiber and teflon grease. as long as you have a carbon fiber drag washer, you're fine. just grease it.
the second is freespool. to get the maximum freespool times, you clean out the bearings and install a bearing sleeve. for a planer board reel, freespool is not an issue. you can pull the bearings, pack them with grease and never have to worry about them again.
third is the drag "range," which address your question. the belleville spring washers determine the drag range. a softer configuration of "()()" gives you a lower range and a smooth progression as you push the lever forward. the stiffer belleville configuration of "(())" gives you a higher drag range but a very abrupt jump in drag pressure when you lean on the lever. a reel such as yours might have a max drag at strike of 25 pounds before losing freespool when the bellevilles are in the "()()" configuration. the max drag at strike might jump to 40 pounds when the bellevilles are in the "()()" position. give it a try and let me know. alan