Star Drag VS Lever Drag

One of the most important components of the reel is the drag. it provides you with the flexibility to control the line’s quantity coming off the reel and speed.

There was essentially one kind of drags on the market in the early years. As time passed, intelligent minds discovered the addition of the anti-Reverse Bearing, which is seen in most saltwater reels.

In the following lines, we will talk about the most functional and famous drag systems.

But first, let me first help you understand the meaning of a drag system.

Catching the fish by your line with the hooked bait is so much fun. Returning to the deck is also fun, especially if the experience involved a big game fighting an aggressive bigger fish.

Here is when the drag system factor of the spinning reel comes into function. How many times did you face the situation when a fish runs off with the bait or the breakage of a line?

You understand that you must set all your reel from scratch while someone else is enjoying all the fun.

We all may assume many factors that can cause the line’s breakage; however, nothing makes sense. Here comes the purpose of the drag system.

What is the Purpose of the Drag System on a Spinning Reel?

It is an exceptional component of most spinning reels for anyone who is still stepping into the sport to get used to comfortably as soon as possible.

It can help you catch a fish while saving you many times from an excess amount of line. The drag system’s main purpose is to limit the tension on the line, the spool, and the reel before catching a fish.

The other purpose is to adjust the power required to retrieve the catch from the water every time with your line.

As you are used to the adjustment on your reel, you will notice that the fish’s fights get shorter and shorter.

It is fair to judge that the drag system on your fishing gear is the most important factor as you get to know it better and use it more frequently.

What is the Rule of the Drag System?

The drag system is primarily composed of an adjustable grip responsible for the loosening and tightening of the line roll when required the most.

Most of the basic systems found on spinning reels employ a set of fabric and metal rings referred to as “drag washer” that includes a hole in the middle.

Those washers are placed on each other, varying between metal and fabric in the line spool center. They are altered by loosening or tightening the tension of those rings.

What are the Structure and Specifications of Drag Systems?

The function of the drag on any spinning reel model operates on the rule of permitting the fish to retrieve the line off the reel when the line turns too tough to support the strength and the weight of the fish.

Imagine what will happen to your reel when your hook is caught in a big fish, and the spinning rod is bending with the line capacity is tighten to the edge, then something must give in either the line breakage or the rod snapping.

This is when the drag system comes into action. It permits the fish to pull the line from the spool under drag pressure, increasing the line, rod, and angler’s intense tensions.

The second function is that it permits you to tire the fish out. By exhausting its power each time, they pull the line, Making you notice that each time the fish tries to run away with the bait becomes shorter until you have worn it off completely to pull it out of the water successfully.

The drag system is constructed into the spinning reel’s line roll, and it includes a set of fabric and metal rings referred to as washers that include a whole in the center.

These washers are placed on each other alternating between fabric and metal materials inside the spool.

To guarantee the smoothness and securing of the system in most spinning reels, they are mostly slightly lubricated to ease the sliding against each other.

They are secured in place by a holding ring that is then attached with an adjustment knob. This knob permits the angler to preset the tension by directly loosening or tightening the adjustment knob.

They could be readjusted again during fighting an aggressive fish if you decided that it is too loose or tight to pull back the fish hooked.

The Method of Adjusting a Drag System

The technique of the spinning reel technology is quite straightforward. As the narrow spool or any kind of spool is placed directly above the primary shaft and then it glides straight through the line capacity ring.

Then the adjusting knob is screwed right to the end of the primary shaft, maintaining all parts secured in the right place.

As the adjusting knob is tightened, you apply extra pressure to the drag system with the washers and the spool beneath it.

When the fish starts to pull the line hard enough, the pre-lubricated rings glide against one another, permitting the line to slide off the roll smoothly.

You must put few factors in mind when adjusting your system properly. The strength of both the line you select and the aiming fish you plan to catch.

It is recommended to set your system on medium tight when trying to catch big fish since they will probably take a fight to pull them out of the water.

In contrast, smaller fish around under two pounds while not require that much fighting, which allows you to loosen the adjustment enough to get enough strength to pull them out.

You can carry out the system setting ahead of time before hooking your fish through two techniques.

More experienced fishers typically carry the first technique in open water tournaments. This includes employing a spring scale to pull the line back against it until it reaches the breaking strength power, approximately 1/3 on the scale.

That enables an efficient hook adjusting and prevents the catch from running from the lure, and makes the line break.

The second technique is utilized by most frequent fishers, by setting the drag by their bare hands.

They start by slight tightening by the adjustment knob and pull the line by hand from the roll. What you need to reach is to leave some pressure on the line.

but not too much leaving space for the fish to fight back without the breakage of the line.

The final factor to consider for adjusting your drag properly is the type of line you select. As typically, the monofilament line is the commonly utilized kind nowadays.

However, many anglers tend to employ the braided line, which significantly differs from the monoline that should be hugely considered when adjusting the system.

This should provide you with the ultimate understanding of the importance of the drag system and the way they operate.

Now, let us move to another subject which is the basic kinds of drag systems. They are known as the star drag system and a lever drag system. So, let us get into more details.

Star Drag System Vs. Lever Drag System

Star Drag System

A Conventional reel and baitcasting reel are typically employed with what is referred to as “star drag”. They are called stars as they use star-shaped adjustment washers to tighten or loosen the system.

These star rings are placed beneath the reel’s handle for a convenient and straightforward altering when fighting with an aggressive fish.

These washers operate by rotating to the right side to tighten and the opposite left side for loosening.

The star drag system is held inside the housing of the reel. It requires disassembling the handle and the side plates to have access if any maintenance for the washers is required.

Star Drag Reels

When fishing from the rocks or sands, it is recommended to use the star reels model for better performance.

As it allows more accuracy and control over the system. This is the one primary reason behind the preference of most fishers for using these reels.

Most drag reels permit the gear rings’ disconnection when adjusted on the free spool, thus permitting them to make a cast for further distances or hook dropping faster.

Star reels showcase a slight edge on casting capabilities. They include a disc detached from the line roll and do not directly rotate while casting for limiting the rotational casting magnitude for more efficiency.

The top factor when setting your strike when using a star drag, and you change that setting. It becomes hard to return to the one previous setting for the next strike if you need to.

because there are no recording points for the previous setting records on the star system.

Moreover, with no reference recording of the drag system’s setting and you applied extra pressure during an aggressive fight with your catch,

you will not be able to conclude the total pressure you utilized with your reel at the end of your fishing experience.

Advantages of a Star Drag Reels
  • They have a more reasonable price than other reels on the market.
  • They provide a steady position when utilized, making it impossible to move by any chance of mistakes.
  • They are very simple and straightforward to use to the degree that you can just cast the hook and leave it and forget about it.
  • They are versatile so that they can be used by experienced and beginner anglers.
Disadvantages of a Star Drag Reel
  • They do not offer the comfort of shifting from a 5-pound pressure setting to 50 pounds without facing some issues.
  • They cant be shifted to a free spool setting during an aggressive strike, slowly and straightforward.
star drag reel

Lever Drags System

Many conventional reels nowadays shifted from using a star drags system to lever drag. The lever drag system includes a sliding pedal built on the top part of the reel to make the adjustments more convenient.

That difference is the convenience of the easy accessibility placement of the adjusting knob makes it more appealing for anglers over the star drags systems.

Also, it is more preferred by experienced anglers due to the design as it does not create much heat, which offers the system longevity.

The lever drags system operates internally by placing an electroplate against the line roll side directly. The electroplate is coated with one large fabric ring shielding all the surfaces.

Both the plate and the washers showcase the same size of the line spool side, which distributes the pressure on a larger surface.

When fighting an aggressive fish, trying to retrieve it hard enough out of the water. The pressure against the line results in the friction that operates the drag to the spool.

by pushing the lever forward, and the electroplate is switched, moving up against the spool side.

As more pressure is deployed on the spool with the drag, the further the lever moves forward. By pushing the lever, back the tension from the pressure is released.

And here comes the top feature of the lever drags system is that when you push the lever back, the reel is automatically switched to complete free spool.

The lever drags systems offer the experienced anglers the privilege of properly handling any fish species by adjusting the wheel by selecting a wide range of pressure that the lever drag can work within.

This permits the angler to set the lever ahead of time in a range from entirely locked to a full free spool without any pulling of many lines.

Lever Drag Reels

All sorts of fishing reels models include a drag system. Consider it like a seizing clutch or line barking system.

The main concept behind employing a drag system is to swing your fishing line in a controlled technique from the reel during an aggressive fight with large species of fish, and they retrieve so hard to the point of risking your line breakage.

A lever drag reel offers extra accuracy alteration while fighting a large catch. The lore surface is noticed in the sturdiness, longevity, and smoothness that the lever drag reel offers.

Advantages of a Lever Drag Reel
  • Lever provides higher control over the settings. That difference is why all top-rated fishing reels switched from star drags system to lever ones.
  • The lever drag reel has an advantageous feature as its casting settings can be a full drag setting. This permits using the variations for the drag.
  • Selects the adjustment you wish for in that instance and returns to the previous settings to conclude how much you used.
Disadvantages of a Lever Drag Reel
  • Although the lever reels system releases the drag’s pressure, the gear chain turns on the rod.
  • The lever drag reels also turn the roll along with the disc, which increases the spool’s load and limits the efficiency of casting, which means that the lever pedal needs to switch forward.
Disadvantages of the lever drag reels

Factors to Consider When Getting a Reel


  • To know how smooth the reel will operate during your fishing experience, for the most reel for prolonged use.
  • You need to consider the number of bearings included inside your fishing reel since they limit the reel components’ wearing or breakage.

Line lay

  • Always make sure that you place the line lay flat on the roll since it will permit better performance for further and effortless casting with more accuracy and precision.
  • Placing the line employing this technique will ensure pulling the line off the roll in a less resistant and consistent manner, limiting the line twisting.

Gears ratio

  • To understand the reel’s speed by retrieving the line, you must know the gear ratio. Most of the fixed fishing rolls include a gears ratio of 5.2:1. That means that for every turn of the handle, the roll rotates 5.2 times.
  • However, this the average gear ratio for most standard fishing reels that ranges between 4.8:1 and 5.4:1. The lowest gear ratio is about 4:1, which offers more cranking power, which permits the angler to have good control over large and powerful fish with ease.
  • Besides that, most experienced anglers prefer a good power for the gear ratio, resulting in more power for the line retrieval.

Reel handles

  • Selecting the handle for the reel depends on your personal preference, the fishing reels available nowadays on the market showcase a wide variety of lengths and shape handles.
  • Few top-rated fishing reels include double handles, allowing the angler to have a more efficient balance over the reel, particularly while retrieving the line.

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