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Front Drag Or Rear Drag, What Do You Prefer?

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I prefer Rear Drag on my spinning reels, what about you?

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Front drag. I rarely have to adjust my drag while fighting a fish, and in some (many?) cases front drag reels have larger diameter drag washers.

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Front

Jeff

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Front.

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Front. I only adjust the drag for the lb line I'm using then never touch it. I also believe front drag is smoother.

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Interesting guys, I like my drag in the back because a can adjust it faster, maybe I should learn to adjust front drags faster.

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Or set it properly in the first place. No need to adjust it then.

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Right, the drag should be adjusted to the line weight/strength which won't change mid-fight. Also, rear drags are difficult to service.

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I use the force to check my drags, but occasionally hook them up to a scale to validate my feel. I like 1/4 to 1/3 line breaking strenth or rod rating, whichever is lower.

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Front drag and pretty normal for me to adjust it when I'm fighting certain fish. I know where I like it and I set it differently for different fish and different techniques.

After I got comfortable with a lever drag on a conventional reel, I don't think I would go back to a star drag, that drag hasn't been touched in 4 years.

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Front. The mechanical advantage of a front drag reel is that it's more accurate than a rear drag reel. I've seen a lot of results of rear drag reels varying in consistency throughout a period of pressure. Front drag reels pressure remains much more stable during the time period, not to mention, like DVT said, they're a pain to service.

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I like the rear drag location but I won't buy a reel that has the rear drag due in part to the extra bulk on the rear of the reel.

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My drag is on top of the spool, is that "front" drag?

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Well guys, I compared my Spriex Rear Drag to a Spirex Front Drag, the front drag IS better.. Easier to maintain and such.. I kinda like to fight the fish so the rear drag DOES make that easier, but if you set the front drag you don't need to play the drag.. So I'm gonna play around with front drags, and maybe I'll change my mind, I'm used to 80/90's shimanos with the RD, just gotta adjust.

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front drags are mechanically simpler and typically offer a more direct route to a larger drag stack. otherwise, in addition to the quick access to the drag lever, a rear-drag reel offers super fast and easy push-button spool swaps. still, front drags are my choice.

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a rear-drag reel offers super fast and easy push-button spool swaps

That is about the only advantage I can see with a rear drag. Abu used to make a spinning reel with what they called a "middle" drag. The stack was behind the spool, instead in front of it. The base of the spool was a dial that adjusted the resistance. The stack was huge, like 9 elements, and at least 2" in diameter. Greater surface area, easy to adjust, and still had push button spool swaps. These were Swedish built reels. I guess that's just too complex for China to make.

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Front Drag only. Have had 2 rear drag reels and will never buy one again. Lost quite a few fish due to the drag not being consistent in letting line come off spool.

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Front always, they just are much smoother, even though I adjust my drag during a fight with a big fish.

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Front. While I back reel instead of letting the drag slip before I converted to back reeling I saw no need to reset the drag during the battle with a fish.

This might be different with a huge saltwater fish but I have no experience with this.

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Since I also fish channel cats, big trout, and pike in addition to bass, a smooth drag is a neccessity. When catching 4 pound smallies in swift river current, you will appreciate a smooth drag.

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Front always, they just are much smoother, even though I adjust my drag during a fight with a big fish.

With a big fish, I'll actually dial the drag back a bit. Nothing worse than getting 99% of the job done, and the fish tries to take off on a short leash. Not so much a bass issue, but with northerns, steelhead, and salmon it is.

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All depends on the fish. Dialing down with a bigger fish like a 40# tarpon will get you spooled pretty quick. I may tighten my drag to about 15# but I'm always palming and releasing the spool to slow it and tire it out. I may add that rod position adds drag too, more at the 11:00 than at 9:00. An amberjacks on the other hand, even a small one like 30 or 40#, caught on one my offshore spinning reels which have 30# of drag may not stop that fish on full drag, we have to run them down with the boat. IMO it's easier to handle a bigger fish from boat than from shore, more open water, no pylons to deal with and the fish can always be chased down. The helmsman may be important than the fisherman.

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