Star Drag Vs. Lever Drag Reel : Which One is Better

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Star drag reels and lever drag reels differ in their functionality, construction, and performance. Determining the better reel of the two can be challenging since anglers have different preferences. However, understanding the features and working of these reels will help you pick the reel that works best for you.

If you are stuck between a star drag and drag reel, you can quickly check which of the two is better based on your price range and experience. The article below will help you determine the better choice between star drag and lever drag.

Star Drag Reels

Star drag reels are an excellent choice for anglers casting for smaller species. The star drag is a star-shaped drag adjustment wheel used to tighten and loosen the drag system. These reels are common due to their affordability.

Key Features of Star Drag Reel

  • This reel turns with a thumb since it uses an adjustment dial.
  • Star drags operate from a full-on to a full-off by applying pressure to the drag washers. It maintains one setting throughout the fight.
  • Star drag reels are easy to use, and they work perfectly for most casting applications.
  • The star drag reels stand out also because of their low prices.
  • The star drag reel works better for beginners and hobbyists
Learn More : What are the best Star Drag Reels in the Market?

Lever Drag Reels

Lever drag reels for experienced anglers looking to cast for larger fish species. These reels allow fish to pull line from the reel while under pressure. This helps get rid of extreme pressure on the line, the rod, and the angler.

Lever drag reels use a sliding lever mounting found at the top of the reel, and it helps make adjustments.

Key Features of a Lever Drag Reel

  • The Lever Drag reel has a strike setting. The strike setting is where you want your drag adjusted, so you have enough drag to set the hook properly while giving the fish enough drag to avoid breaking the line.
  • The lever drag allows you to set the reel to the proper strike setting quickly.
  • The lever drag is perfect for anglers going after large fish species like groupers and billfish.
  • The lever drag has one fiber washer that is at the end of the spool
You may Also Like : What Are the Best Lever Drag Reels in the Market? 

Star Drag vs. Lever Drag: Key Differences

Getting the difference between a star drag reel and a lever drag reel will help you make a reasonable decision in purchasing a reel. Rating from the advantages of the two, it is easy to pick a lever drag. However, the truth is, the two reels function differently, and every angler will experience their functionalities differently.

  • The star drag reel is less expensive and affordable since it is cheaper to produce. The Lever drag reel, however, is costly since the quality is also top-notch.
  • The washer in the lever drag reel is big, but it’s only one fiber washer. On the other hand, the washer is smaller and may have as many washers as possible.
  • The Star drag washer is located inside the main gear, while the lever drag reel’s washer is at the end of the spool.
  • The star drag reel is mainly designed for small fish species with less fighting power. In contrast, the lever drag reel is built for big game fish.
  • The lever drag allows you to change and set the drag to a known pressure and change settings. However, the star drag makes it impossible to change and go back to the initial setting while the fish is still fighting.
  • The lever drag requires a lot of attention when fishing, while with the star drag reel, you can forget about it after its set.
  • The star drag reel is perfect for hobbyists or beginners, while the lever drag works better with experienced anglers.

Star Drag vs. Lever Drag: A side-by-side comparison table.

This side-by-side table will give you clear differences between the two reels and help you make a decision

Star Drag Reel
Daiwa Seagate Star Drag Reel
Lever Drag Reel
Penn Fathom Lever Drag
Daiwa Seagate Star Drag Reel
Penn Fathom Lever Drag
The star drag is less expensive due to the low cost of production.
Lever drag reels are costly.
Star drag reels vary in quality from high quality to substandard reels.
Lever drag reels are robust and of high quality.
The Star drag reel is located inside the main gear.
This reel is located at the end of the spool.
Ideal for
Ideal for
Star drag is suitable for beginners and hobbyists
The lever drag reel is ideal for experienced anglers.
Designed for
Designed for
This reel is designed for smaller fish species with less fighting power.
Lever drag can handle fighting fish so it’s suitable for heavier fish species.
Ease of use
Ease of use
Star drag is easier to use
The Drag lever is a little challenging at first.
The star drag makes it impossible to change the drag and go back to the initial setting.
The lever drag allows you to change and set the drag to a known pressure.

Final Impression: Which one is better?

Getting the right information will help you make a better decision on the best reel. However, most people believe the lever drag is better, judging from the advantages it depicts. Let’s look critically at the two reels. The Lever drag has preset drag levels that can be adjusted, and a single flip of the thumb engages the reel and adjusts the drag. Additionally, this reel works better in big game fishing and is perfect for experienced anglers. However, it is relatively expensive, making it unaffordable for many anglers.

On the other hand, the star drag reel is inexpensive and works perfectly for beginners. Despite adjusting one lever and adjusting separately, this reel is less expensive and suitable for beginners. The bottom line? Lever drag is better and functions better, especially if you are more experienced. You will enjoy better castability and a fatigue-free fishing experience.

Final Verdict

Any angler looks for a high-performing reel. Star drags and lever drag reels are excellent reels for your fishing escapades. These reels have enough power to withstand fighting fish and ensure that you enjoy your time in the water. Which is better? This is a popular question among anglers, and while the answers may vary depending on your experience, technique, and affordability. Most anglers opt for the lever drag due to its superior performance.


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