What Is Dual Force Drag?

Spinning reels are being reborn.  From delicate drop shot presentations for bass, to float fishing for river steelhead, to speed jigging powerful offshore species… the spinning reel is climbing to new heights of performance and popularity.

Easy to own and simple to operate, the single weakness in all spinning reel designs is the fact that the line must make a 90-degree transition coming off of the spool and going around the line roller before heading to the first rod guide. Where conventional reels efficiently pull straight from the spool, this 90-degree angle on a spinning reel  introduces a pressure point on line that’s capable of taking knots and weak spots past their breaking point if not backed by a super smooth drag system.

Exploded image of Trio spool and Dual Force Drag system

Components of Dual Force Drag include the traditional top drag stack as well as the oversized drag washer located beneath the spool.

Enter Dual Force Drag, with far-reaching benefits that turn spinning reels into precision big fish and light line performers. First the easy part:  Dual Force Drag is an Okuma drag system that utilizes the spacious underside of the spinning reel spool to provide a large secondary drag surface that operates in concert with the traditional top drag stack.  Moving into direct benefits, Dual Force Drag delivers better heat dissipation, greater longevity, even pressure on the reel spool and higher available drag ranges.

Heat, in any drag system, is the enemy.  Heat swells internal reel parts, and when it comes to drag systems, heat creates wildly fluctuating pressures and deteriorates components.  By dramatically increasing the surface area of the drag system, Dual Force Drag dissipates heats much better than a traditional top stack.  Lack of heat means start-up pressures remain smooth and even, as do pressures when big fast fish make smoking hot runs.

When under the pressure of running fish, Dual Force Drag offers greater balance.  If you’ve ever used the brakes on a car where one side is worn, the remaining side pulls very hard when braking pressure is applied.  Same on a reel.  As drag pressure ramps up, a traditional top stack brakes only from the top of the spool.  The internal components receive the wrath of the one-sided load and are forced to carry the strain.  With Dual Force Drag, top and bottom of the spool receive the load evenly, and like your car, brake with even pressure that protects the alignment of all the other components.

Wahoo taken on a Cedros spinning reel.

Wahoo are known as some of the fastest fish in the ocean. Cedros spinning reels proved the right choice for Into the Blue hosts Scott Walker and Steve Roger.

And here’s the kicker: since Dual Force Drag delivers a massive increase in surface area, maximum drag outputs increase big time too.  Our 40-size spinning reels with standard top stack drag systems will output 13-pounds of maximum drag pressure.  The same 40-size spinning reel with Dual Force Drag, including Trio, Cedros, VSystem and Coronado series, will output 20-pounds of drag… an increase of more than 50%.  Even if you do not currently push your drag system to its’ limit, there’s good reason to enjoy the increase.  Most importantly is wear.  By operating in the low to mid-range of the drag’s capacity, the washers will last longer, heat disappears as an issue and buttery-smooth is operational norm.  And in the age of braided lines, should you want to put that 40-size through its’ paces, by all means, buckle down and drop the hammer.

As mentioned, Dual Force Drag is a feature on Trio, Cedros, VSystem and Coronado series spinning reels.  It’s also a feature on Makaira and Cedros lever drag offshore reels, but that as they say, is another story!

In all cases, the best thing you can do to extend the life of all your spinning reel drag systems, regardless of type, is to back the pressure off them completely after each use.  Finish the day, back off the drag.  Make it a habit and all your drag systems will operate better over the long term.

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