By all accounts, the use of carbon fiber is one of the most important advancements in drag technology during the past decade.
When compressed, it doesn’t have the same memory found in previously used drag materials. That memory could cause a major issue if an angler failed to loosen a reel’s drag for storage.
Carbon fiber also allows for the application of wetdrag systems, which include greases and can reduce start-up inertia and heat buildup. “We use Cal’s grease on Okuma lever drags,” says John Bretza, Okuma director of product development, “because it has proved to help reduce heat buildup.”
Shimano rep Bryan Williams says that Shimano’s Dartanium II woven carbonfiber drag materials allow smaller reels to put out a lot more pressure than in the past. “Today I can hand a kid or a small woman a reel like a Trinidad 16, which anyone can handle, but it still puts out a lot of drag,” he says. “They fight the fish instead of fighting the gear.”