Suitable Lever Drag Reels for 1 & 2 kg Mono

Started by Vance Fulton, May 07, 2022, 03:12:26 AM

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Quote from: boon on June 01, 2022, 02:24:54 AM
Quote from: JasonGotaProblem on June 01, 2022, 12:18:45 AMOk this is gonna be either my best or dumbest idea of the week, so bear with me.

Take a star drag reel, play with drag disks, bellvilles and etc until your intended max and min drag are within about a 90° star turn of each other (definitely doable) and then mark the one of the spokes of the star closest to you and you can  accurately predict and control drag by where that marked spoke is across that 90° of turn.

An earlier version of the idea involved cutting off all but one spoke of a star, but you get the same result with less destruction by just marking one.

I know what you're getting at, but I suspect by the time you did all this you may as well have just custom-ground yourself a lever drag cam.

Assuming that casting distance is not an issue.
I was also thinking that there might be a problem getting a reliable lever drag at a very low setting. If the drag required is below the minimum clamping force required to bypass the freespool spring and hold the spool firmly to the drag plate, the drag might not be consistent.    But I pulled out a little old Avet SX, and was able to get a nice smooth drag under a kilo at strike (greased carbon fiber). Shaking or tilting the reel did not affect drag.  The ramp from strike to full was pretty gigantic, so the cam ramp angle for a super low drag range might be a bit hard to get right when grinding.

The problem with grinding down a cam is that you can't go backward, so if you go too far, it is time to buy a new cam.

An interesting experiment.

Agree that it can get a bit fussy  with the bellevilles to line up the star legs to a drag setting. I wouldn't go this far, just a make a couple index marks on the star wheel. Motor memory will kick in pretty fast, and you won't even be looking to change settings. As long as you can go from the  near zero  to absolute max desired drag in 360 degrees or less, you should only have to go through this once. A very aggressive drag ramp up should result in a very similar behavior to a well behaving lever/cam.
Not related to the problem at hand, but come to think of it, with the new high test/low diameter braids, it would make sense for new star drag reels to have a more aggressive drag ramp up, and detentes or clickers of some kind in the star so you could set the the drag for freespool to first strike,  one to three clicks more for run once engaged, and then a few more clicks for full. The new fancy star drags are pretty much just the same old designs with pretty machined frames and sideplates. They really missed some opportunities to make reels better suited for fishing braid.



Dave, interesting thoughts about options for modern star drags. I'd buy it. I'm now wondering if I could retrofit something to do that on an existing reel...

I realize I didn't explain my idea Very well, I'm glad you guys kinda figured out where I was going.
Any machine is a smoke machine if you use it wrong enough.


Thinkin... oh-oh. If you marked the star point, then another reference point on the reel or the handle for your desired drag level, wouldn't it change once you service the drag stack?
Fishing tackle is an art form and all fish caught on the right tackle are"Gfish"!


Quote from: Gfish on June 01, 2022, 07:30:20 PMThinkin... oh-oh. If you marked the star point, then another reference point on the reel or the handle for your desired drag level, wouldn't it change once you service the drag stack?

Yeah, maybe, but that amounts to reapplying some nail polish and scribing a fresh scratch. It should usually be the same, or plenty close if all the parts are put back the same.  Setting once and scribing after a service is still less work than getting out a drag scale every single time you turn the adjustment knob on a lever drag. Just scribe a scratch on the star directly under the handle arm edge.  The star turns with the arm, so a reference point on the sideplate doesn't work so well...

And this is only if you want to get super exact about it (which is a waste of time IMHO).  I also used to just wrap a small band of electrician's tape around the star leg that was closest to the handle arm edge at the setting I wanted, and just make a mental note of the offset.  But that was back when I could set my keys down and not forget where I put them within five minutes  :)