How do you set the drag on a star drag reel?

How do you set the drag on a star drag reel?

Star drag reels are a great choice if you’re casting for smaller species. Almost all multiplier reels have a drag or clutch and it will usually be either star or lever drag reel.

The star drag is most commonly used as it is easier to produce. If you’ve been fishing for a while, you know how frustrating it can be to lose a big fish to a broken line. This usually happens when the drag is not set properly.

How do you set the drag on a star drag reel

Star Drag setup tutorial

Once you are aware of the mechanics of your reel, there are two ways in which you can adjust the tension using the star-shaped knob or through the power handle located on the reel’s front side.

  • Adjusting the power handle- If you are using a power handle or star drag knob, then you need to turn it counter-clockwise for adjusting the tension. Make sure the adjustment is slight. Turning it too much might cause your reel to start jerking spastically.  
  • Consider the line size– The larger the line size, the more money you will have to spend on the reel. You need to then consider the backing and also check if you will require a separate aluminum spool for the backing

If you get the basics right, you can fish all day without having to worry about the reel breaking. Also, you will not have to worry about the line getting tangled while fishing.

Star Drag setup tutorial

What’s better star drag or lever drag?

While comparing lever drag vs star drag reels, it could be easier to conclude that lever drags are much better. This is because they are easier to adjust in a moment and you can also easily alter pre-set drag levels. With a single flip of the thumb, you can engage the reel and adjust the drag which is not the case with the star drag.

Although the lever drag may seem superior, it does have some downsides. Firstly, they are more expensive in comparison to star drags. Secondly, while it is possible to hit the lever and open or close the drag with a lever in lever drag, it is nearly impossible to move a star drag out of the proper position by mistake. The lever drag requires attention while a star drag is more of a set-it-and-forget-it drag.

Only an experienced angler would prefer a lever drag. This is because you need to be able to shift easily the weight by applying just the right pressure within seconds to have a better chance of catching a hot tuna. Both lever and star drag is effective. However, lever drags are the first choice of experienced anglers. However, beginners need to first practice with a star drag. Their features ensure that the newbies won’t make any mistakes that lower your success rate.  

Although both star and lever drag appear similar to the untrained eye, there are plenty of differences between them.  

What’s better star drag or lever drag


The major difference between the gear styles is that the lever drags are based on a scale whereas the star drag consists of friction discs and ball bearings. This allows the line to flow freely through the reel which is essential if you intend to cover more water. This is why professionals go for star drags at times if they want to boost their chances of catching giant bass.  

Impact Force

A lever drag is capable of absorbing impact force when the catch hits the lure. Although this is a great feature, it can result in a lot of pressure on the reel. This implies that the reel has to be more robust in terms of construction. The major problem with this kind of reel is that you will not have plenty of drag settings and you may also face issues in keeping the line in control.

Fish-Holding Power

The major difference between star drag and lever drag reels is the fish-holding power. A lever drag reel can hold a lot of weight. Hence, anglers use it for spinning baits or lures that have intense movements such as crankbaits or jigs. This is why it is best to use them on light and slow baits that sit on the bottom.
Star drags tend to create an imbalance with the fish. If the fishing line is tight and you are fighting the line, both reels will impact the line. With lever drag, you can pull out easily and avoid tearing up your leader.


Both lever and star drag reels are safe to use. however, you need to be aware of the right way to reel in and reel outline. The star drag is safe as it holds a lot more gear capacity and can hold more weight. However, you need to be careful of the star drag while reeling in the fish. Though the lever drag is easier to use, it can cause issues on your trip.

Gear Capacity and Weight

The star drag is capable of holding more gear. However, the lever drag is very safe to use. you just need to be careful while handling lever drag because of fish accidents associated with its use when you are not careful.

Gear Capacity and Weight

Gear Capacity

The lever drag has just one thing on its side and that involves adjusting the line. However, the star drag comes with some other features such as washers that prevent the gears from overloading.

How does star drag work?

If you are an angler, you will come across several kinds of reels. Each of these reels comes with its kind of drag system and functionality. Conventional reels consist of two kinds of drag systems. The star drag system is the most commonly used reel. It is one of the easiest reels to set and the best thing is it doesn’t require any complex adjustments. A lever drag on the other hand requires you to make continuous adjustments and fine-tune throughout the day.

The star drag reel is made of several materials of which carbon is the most common. The higher-end reels feature aluminum material. It is easy to use. as you turn the star forward, you compress the drag washer thereby increasing the drag pressure and making it harder to pull out the line. As you rotate the star backward, it becomes easier to pull off the line. You can make these adjustments depending on the pound test line you are using and what your techniques might be for the day.

Gomexus star drag

If you are looking for the best star drag to choose from, you can go for the Gomexus star drag.  The Gomexus star drag for Shimano and Daiwa is made of aero aluminum that allows your fingers to adjust more quickly and easily. Featuring a hexagonal design, it not just makes the reel beautiful but also cuts down the weight rendering your reel special and unique.  

Gomexus star drag


Star drag reels are easy to manage and are ideal for beginners with no experience in handling any fishing equipment. It makes it much easier for them to catch a game in comparison to lever drag reels. There are plenty of options available when it comes to purchasing fishing rods and accessories. make sure to understand the features of each to learn which one would be the best for your needs.