Shimano Spinning Reel Max Drag Spec

Discussion in 'Tackle and Rigging' started by pametfisher, May 17, 2009.

  1. pametfisher

    pametfisher Senior Member

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    I've got three Shimano spinning reels that I tested for max drag. My method was simple: turn the drag cap until it bottoms, no tighter, pull with a scale.

    Specs:
    Shimano Stradic 5000 FA 25 lbs. Max
    Shimano Stella 20000 FA 58 lbs. Max

    Measured at full spool:
    Stradic: 13 lbs.
    Stella #1: 26 lbs.
    Stella #2: 29 lbs

    Since the numbers are much lower than the spec, I took into account the reduction in diameter of the spool and calculated what the drag would be at the bottomo of the spool.

    Calculated Bottom of Spool Drag:
    Stradic: 24.5 lbs.
    Stella #1: 73.5 lbs.
    Stella #2: 81.5 lbs.

    These results say that Shimano's spinning reel drag specs are closer to the empty spool calculation than a full spool measurement.

    Assuming that the bottom of spool drag is equal to the spec, you can make a calculation of what the maximum starting drag implied by Shimano's spec should be. If you buy the reel, this is what you can count on even though you might be able to coax 20% or so more from them. (I guess if I overtightened the 20Ks I could get to about 30 lbs. at full spool.)

    Maximum Starting Drag:
    Stradic 5000 FA: 13 lbs.
    Stella 20000 FA: 21 lbs. (The SW spec is 55 lbs. which would translate to 20 lbs.)

    As a side note, the force of the bail at max drag is below:

    Bail arm force at Drag spec:
    Stradic 5000 FA: 35 lbs.
    Stella 20000 FA: 82 lbs.
     
  2. BretABaker

    BretABaker Guest

    great post pametfisher! :)

    ive noticed how hard it get to screw the caps down more once you get into mid-20s of drag. never thought to test it though. thanks for doing that

    interesting though, since on conventional reels like the trinidad and accurate boss reels, i have gotten their spec drag (actually a little higher) with the spool full.
     

  3. pametfisher

    pametfisher Senior Member

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    great post pametfisher! :)

    ive noticed how hard it get to screw the caps down more once you get into mid-20s of drag. never thought to test it though. thanks for doing that

    interesting though, since on conventional reels like the trinidad and accurate boss reels, i have gotten their spec drag (actually a little higher) with the spool full.

    That's interesting, that's what I thought I seen in the conventionals from other posts. It made me go test a couple of Penn 950s. One is at 17 lbs. full, the other at a measly 13. I'm going to see if there's grease on the 13.

    If you go to full drag spec on the conventionals, do you also get Free spool?
     
  4. BretABaker

    BretABaker Guest

    ill check......but i dont remember it necessarily.
     
  5. d-a

    d-a Senior Member

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    If you go to full drag spec on the conventionals, do you also get Free spool?

    Depends on the conventional. Some like the Trinidads and saltiga's will but thats there nature whereas some lever drags will loose free spool when you get to the upper ends of the drag range.

    d-a
     
  6. YMMV

    YMMV Senior Member

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    Just curious, how are you measuring the drag? Are you doing it by just pulling line directly off the reel? I have always thought (which is also the way I set my drag) and been told to have the reel on the rod, run the lines through the guide, and then pull on it to set the drag.
     
  7. Jrzrider83

    Jrzrider83 Senior Member

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    pametfisher-

    what do you mean when you say "the force of the bail" ?

    is that the force required to close the bail at max drag of the force that max drag exerts on the bail?
     
  8. ksong

    ksong SPONSOR

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    MY Jigging Master PE4 get more than 25 lbs drag with full line and has excellent free spool even with 25 lbs drag. I never heard max drag is measured at the bottom of spool. If your measurement is correct, it is Shimano's gross misrepresentation. I hope you measure the max drag of Saltiga or Twinspin.
     
  9. d-a

    d-a Senior Member

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    206
    MY Jigging Master PE4 get more than 25 lbs drag with full line and has excellent free spool even with 25 lbs drag. I never heard max drag is measured at the bottom of spool. If your measurement is correct, it is Shimano's gross misrepresentation. I hope you measure the max drag of Saltiga or Twinspin.

    Kil

    I have gotten 30lbs of drag out of my stella's (8000 thru 20000's)with a full spool. Never tried higher.

    d-a
     
  10. ksong

    ksong SPONSOR

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    Kil

    I have gotten 30lbs of drag out of my stella's (8000 thru 20000's)with a full spool. Never tried higher.

    d-a
    That is true. No need to go over 30 lbs drag for any fish with a spinning reel.
     
  11. John_Madison CT

    John_Madison CT Senior Member

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    Another intersting thread by Pametfisher. Good work.

    I sent my Shimano Tiagra 16 back to Shimano to get it to perform as they advertised. I couldn't get close to the #'s the put in their brochure. I'll let you guys know if they can correct it.
     
  12. pametfisher

    pametfisher Senior Member

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    There are a lot of good comments and questions. Let me start by saying that I don't mean to be contentious or be critical of Shimano in any way, including how they spec their products. In fact, I believe the Stella 20K drag is better in design that many conventionals of the same class. What I really like about it is the good thermal conduction of the bottom drag washers. Also because so much of the spool is exposed, I can cool it with ice if I get (un)lucky enough to hook a large fish.

    As background, the Stradic is about a year old and the drag is in great shape after landing dozens of good sized bass and blues, I have not modified it in any way but did inspect its condition. The Stellas are fresh out of the box, appear to be correctly assembled (I've looked 'em over pretty good) and I'm not trying to make any point, just get a handle on what they can really do.

    So step one was to tighten the drag cap down until its internal spring was fully compressed, then back it off a sixteenth (or less) of a turn. Once the spring is compressed if you go further you're putting a large, inappropriate load on the threads. That's why they have those big springs in there, so you don't overload the threads on the shaft.

    As the risk of sounding brash, there is no way this reel will produce 58 lbs. of drag with a full spool. In spite of that, it is a tremendously good product.


    Just curious, how are you measuring the drag? Are you doing it by just pulling line directly off the reel? I have always thought (which is also the way I set my drag) and been told to have the reel on the rod, run the lines through the guide, and then pull on it to set the drag.

    When you set your drag for fishing, you should pull on the line through the rod. But for this exercise, I pulled on the reels. It wouldn't have changed the data significantly and the spec is on the reel.

    pametfisher-

    what do you mean when you say "the force of the bail" ?

    is that the force required to close the bail at max drag of the force that max drag exerts on the bail?

    I meant to say the force on the bail arm. Since the configuration of a spinning reel is a tensioned line passing over the bail arm roller at 90 degrees, the force on the bail arm is about 1.4 time the level of drag being put out. I mention that because it is a large load, and I believe a limiting factor that a Conventional reel doesn't have to cope with.

    MY Jigging Master PE4 get more than 25 lbs drag with full line and has excellent free spool even with 25 lbs drag. I never heard max drag is measured at the bottom of spool. If your measurement is correct, it is Shimano's gross misrepresentation. I hope you measure the max drag of Saltiga or Twinspin.

    As surprising as these numbers from the 3 reels (plus my two Penns) are, I believe they are fully correct. I don't know anyone nearby me who has the other reels you mentioned.

    If the Stellas were able to put out 58 lbs. at full spool and a fish took 100 yards of line, the drag would have risen to about 75 lbs. and the force on the bail arm would be about 105 lbs. That seems awfully high for that reel.

    Kil

    I have gotten 30lbs of drag out of my stella's (8000 thru 20000's)with a full spool. Never tried higher.

    d-a

    I accept that you have but think that is probably the top for a fully screwed down reel that has been broken in and whose drag washer might be a little flatter than New-In-Box. I did get 29 lbs. on one of mine. That said, I don't see how one would get 58 lbs. That's almost twice as high.

    That is true. No need to go over 30 lbs drag for any fish with a spinning reel.

    And this is the point. If you set 25 lbs. initial drag on this reel and the fish goes on a 200 yard run, the drag gets to almost 40 lbs. That is all that most any of us can handle on a spinning reel setup. And more than enough to stop the fish that you go after with this type of reel.

    To me, as I said earlier, what really impresses me on this reel, is the overall quality of the "braking system", its heat dissipation capability, and I would add, the bearings in the spool. This is a great reel.