is a system that creates tension on the line when a fish tries to flee after an angler sets the hook. This regulates the speed that the fishing line will be stripped off the fly fishing reel by the sport fish.
The larger the fish you are trying to catch, the better reel drag system will be necessary to keep control and land your fish. Most small trout or pan fish can be landed without a drag system. Anglers can hold the line or apply pressure on the fly fishing reel to create enough drag for these small fish.
Two popular types of fly fishing reel drags are the Spring and Pawl Fly Reel and the Disc Drag Fly Fishing Reel systems. To make your decision simple, use a spring and pawl fly fishing reel for fishing for small trout or small pan fish. You should seriously consider using a good quality disc drag reel for larger fish like rainbow trout or salmon.
The spring and pawl fly fishing reel system are used when fishing with light tippets. This controls the line as it leaves the reel at a pretty smooth rate with a steady tension. This works well for small fish, but not so good for large trout, salmon or bass. A light tippet used with this fly fishing reel will break under the heavier load and sudden tension a bigger fish can exert on your equipment.
The disc drag Fly Fishing Reel system will be more efficient when fly fishing for larger game as it actually applies tension like your car brakes. The fly fishing reel has an adjustment to set the amount of drag required by the angler. The drag reel can be set to light or heavy drag making it more useful when fishing for the heavyweights. Your goal is to set the drag just enough to tire the fish before it strips all the line from your fly fishing reel, but not so much tension that can cause the leader to break.
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