Spring-and-Pawl vs Disc-DragWhen fishing for a large fish, you do not only need a heavy fly line, but you also need a powerful drag system.  This system dictates how you can easily reel in a heavy catch, as well as how difficult it would be for the fish to wiggle off the line. Thus, the stronger the drag system is, the harder for the huge fish to get away from the reel.

Anglers can choose between a spring-and-pawl and a disc-drag type when choosing a drag system. Each system has pros and cons, but both of them are ideal for most applications.


Many anglers use the traditional spring-and-pawl-drag fly reels in most of their fishing activities, especially when they use light tippets. Fishing gear provider Shop.OutsmartingFish.com explains that the tippet is a material attached to the end of the line to lengthen it. Spring-and-pawl fly reels pull in smoothly without altering the amount of tension in the fly line and the attached tippet. This type of drag system has the ability to protect the tippet from breaking, resulting in a successful catch. The only drawback from using spring-and-pawl reels is that they cannot handle very huge fishes, such as a steelhead, large bass, and salmon.


Most of the new reels have the disc-drag system. It has an innovative design similar to the function of a brake in a car. Disc-drag reels exert a smooth yet solid pressure onto the fly line without breaking it. The anglers can also control the application of tension to the fly line by adjusting a pad inside the reel. This type of drag system is ideal for catching huge trout, steelhead, large bass, and salmon. But disc-drag reels are not ideal when the angler wants to use a tippet.

Both of these systems work well and are suitable for catching normal-sized fishes. If you want to catch a large fish, however, you’d be better off using a fly reel with disc-drag system.  And if you’re fond of using tippets, the traditional spring-and-pawl reel is perfect.

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