Your friend is a fool. Take the 30wlrsa!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I'm not sure on your size, but the 30wlrsa can take 30 pounds of drag all day long. That's way more pressure than most anglers can handle. Tie 30 pounds of weight off the tip of that Crowder rod and slowly lift the weights off the ground. If the rod can handle that much weight, then imagine yourself fighting a fish with 30 lbs of drag for an hour. It's not as easy as it appears.
What I do with the 30 Series of Tiagras is I add a stainless steel eye hook to the aluminum rod clamp provided with the reel. Drill a hole in the clamp, tap, put a couple drops of locktite, and your in business. I add rings to all my reels because I like hooking the lure while running as low as possible.
Some guys put the lure hook on the lugs, but that puts reel and rod rash on your equipment. You can also get line abrasion from the guide with the line twisting when you use the reel lugs.
Here's a couple of pics. Two are of the 30wlrsa rod clamp with the SS eye-hook installed. The other is the rod clamp provided as standard equipment on the 50wlrsa. (It has the eye cast into the clamp)