who's using the lever drag reels?

Discussion in 'Fishing Reel Review' started by Steve Douglas, Nov 25, 2009.

  1. Steve Douglas

    Steve Douglas Well-Known Member Supporting Member

    Messages:
    1,899
    State:
    Kentucky
    i may be behind the times a bit! but ive just recently discovered the lever drag reels! i have used one before about a year ago, but it wasnt what i was used to and didnt care much for it! but im starting to like the idea of them now, after doing some research on the net and talkin to a few guys! anybody use them now? whats your opinion on them?
     
  2. Catfish_Commando

    Catfish_Commando TF Staff Member

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    7,005
    State:
    Georgia
    I been thinking about getting one but have heard mixed reviews?
     

  3. crclhuk1

    crclhuk1 Member

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    291
    State:
    Central, SC
    I have two Abu 7000 lever drag big game reels. I absolutely love them, you can put a mile of line on them and having that drag control at the push up or down of a button is great. All other reels are also abu's but they are the 6500 and 6600 series. Gotta love 'em.:smile2:
     
  4. GaryF

    GaryF New Member

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    3,649
    State:
    O.P., KS
    I was looking at one of the Abu 7000i Syncro's awhile back (thanks Shelbygt1979). It's an interesting twist on the lever drag in that it's automatic... Crank the reel forward and it cranks the drag down to it's tightest preset level. Crank backwards a quarter turn and the drag drops back to the loosest preset. It sounds clunky, but it was really slick how it worked.
     
  5. dinger66

    dinger66 New Member

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    899
    State:
    north alabama
    abu levers arent made any more :sad2: but i like them and you can find some still
     
  6. ste6168

    ste6168 New Member

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    622
    State:
    Pittsburgh, PA
    I have used them in the past for pin rigging off piers, and would'nt use anything else. I have always used a Shimano TLD25 on a fighting stick (my buddies combo that I would borrow when I went to the beach). Now that I am living much closer to the beach, a TLD25 is in order for an addition to my arsenal.

    edit- as to my thoughts on them. I think they are OVERKILL for catfish, of any size. IMO you don't need to, or should not be, switching the drag around alot when fishing for catfish. For catfish, it should be set and not changed. When fishing for a tarpon or kings (or any species that's going to make loooonnnnggggg, very fast runs (couple hundred yards in 30sec)), you need to have the ability to allow them to run and slowly tighten down on the drag, as they begin to tire, to turn them back around (what's the old saying, "A fish swims with its tail, but where the head goes, that tail must follow"). Like I said, not necessary for catfish. Star drags serve the purpose wonderfully there.
     
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2009
  7. plainsman

    plainsman New Member Supporting Member

    Messages:
    7,187
    State:
    minnesota
    I have been using Avet lever drag reels. I like the ability to know how much drag is on by looking at the lever. With the star drag I am never sure how far its been turned. I back my drag off every time I am done with the reel. I've been told lever drag reels are harder to cast, but I think it depends on reel quality.
     
  8. Rcaarizona

    Rcaarizona New Member

    Messages:
    1,183
    State:
    AZ
    I am lucky, my Uncle owns a Tuna Fleet out of Oceanside CA, and gets all the Accurate reels he wants for free. I have four of them right now he gave me, best reel in the world for everything. The lever drag is flatout awesome, it is much easier to adjust drag poundage with an adjustment knob on the side of the reel. Cake to use! You can even use it to stop bigger baits from setting off your bait clicker when you free spool, which on these reels, are very audible. So Instead of free spool, set the drag really light, click on bait clicker, then when the fish hits, lift up lever, and you have many pounds of drag to jack hammer the set. Now these reels run 450-600. The Avets are sweet as well, also a Tuna reel, and to me the Abu's are OK, but I have been spoiled by the best reel manufactored!
     
  9. jdstraka

    jdstraka Well-Known Member Supporting Member

    Messages:
    4,720
    State:
    Council Bluffs, Iowa
    Name:
    John
    Good post.I have a fue lever drag reels,ABUs 7000 and Avets.I Love mine as I fish fast water in the Missouri river and like Rob mentioned in his post you can put your reel in free spool and set the clicker and hold your bait in place till you get a strike and a run then slam the lever drag forward and set the hook,Works Super in current and below Dams with the gates open and running water, plus I love the fact that I can hold my bait in the place I put it.J.D.
     
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2009
  10. USCA-RECLAIMED-ACCOUNT

    USCA-RECLAIMED-ACCOUNT New Member

    Messages:
    3,020
    Accurates for free!:cool2:.Your blessed brother,I,d kill for one.:smile2::crazy:.
     
  11. plainsman

    plainsman New Member Supporting Member

    Messages:
    7,187
    State:
    minnesota
    Ya, what he said, I got Avet cause I couldn't afford Accurate. Did some fishing out of Oceanside last fall. Accurate is a good reel too, and they make pretty good rods too.
     
  12. Rcaarizona

    Rcaarizona New Member

    Messages:
    1,183
    State:
    AZ
    I fish mainly with the Boss 270s 870s and have 1 665.
     
  13. Southerncats

    Southerncats New Member

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    146
    State:
    Alabama
    Steve......Once you go Lever you'll never go back.....I've been using the Abu's and Shimano's for four years or so, and that's all I have now is LD reels.....I have 2 6600's that I drift with, and all my anchor rods are 7000's and charter specials....I'm gonna try out the Synchro drag's next.....but I can't see myself getting away from lever drags ever.
     
  14. Guthooked

    Guthooked New Member

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    344
    State:
    Ga
    I have an Avet SX magic cast (magged) and I love it. It casts just as far as my Penn 525 mag. Well worth the money.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2009
  15. USCA-RECLAIMED-ACCOUNT

    USCA-RECLAIMED-ACCOUNT New Member

    Messages:
    3,020
    Okay,I,m getting jealous now!:roll_eyes:
     
  16. Slatebar

    Slatebar New Member

    Messages:
    992
    State:
    ohio
    I bet that lever system would be a god send to us old dudes with arthritis in our hands. I would love to try a 6500 lever drag, but have never seen one.
     
  17. bobbybobber

    bobbybobber New Member

    Messages:
    471
    State:
    wv
    i got an okuma solterra 15 l,it alot big for catfish but we use it with big whole shad with the lever set on the first notch so it has a light drag (5 or 6lb) then when the fish takes it we just push the lever all the way front 15lb drag more then enough for 40lb test line.
     
  18. kyelkhunter3006

    kyelkhunter3006 New Member

    Messages:
    1,192
    State:
    Ky
    There are many advantages to the lever drag reels.

    1. Know EXACTLY how much drag you're running at a certain time
    2. Able to preset max drag so that you never pass the breaking point
    3. Controlled tension for free spooling in varying current
    4. Back off the drag at the end of the day without losing settings
    5. Adjust drag as needed during the fight
    6. Larger drag surface than star drags, so it's smoother/less prone to fail
    7. Overall higher quality (have you ever seen a CHEAP one?)


    Diadvantages:

    1. No spool tension like on star drag reels. Freespool is VERY free.
    2. Very few with any kind of cast control, magnetic or centrifugal.

    In other words, you have to TRAIN yourself how to actually CAST the reel and manage it without any mechanical help.

    This is where the term "train your thumb" really applies.

    For me, the advantages far outweigh the disadvantages. I've got a pretty "good" thumb too. My next reels are going to be the Shimano Charter Special 100 series reels. I'm going to run braid, so I won't need a huge reel for good capacity. I've used the old Abu Big Game lever drag reels, and a couple of Shimano TLD's in saltwater. I didn't care for the ABU's all that well, but they performed well enough.