Close this search box.

Lever Drag vs Star Drag: Which One To Choose?

Lever vs Star Drag

Reel drags are one of the most significant parts of a fishing rod. If you wish to have a successful fishing journey, having the right reel drag is important. Lever reel drag and star reel drag are two known efficient reel drags.

Now you obviously can not own both of them. You must pick one. Therefore, we’ll help you figure out which drag to get.

Which one to pick, lever drag vs star drag?

A lever drag comes with a single flip preset drag level setting. Lever reels are best to catch big fish in fishing games. If you’re an experienced angler, you’ll find it easy to handle. A star drag reel, on the other hand, is built to catch small fish. Once you’ve adjusted the reel, it doesn’t require readjusting.

But this brief preview of the drag reels doesn’t give away much information. You need to know more to make your choice.

Let’s not waste any time and jump into the next segment!

Lever Drag vs Star Drag: Major Differences

Major Differences between Lever and Star Drag

Sometimes, it gets hard to get the grip of the hooked fish. You can use Simrad or Lowrance fish-finder to locate fish and get a better grip. But you still need a good reel with adjustable drag to prevent the fishing line from breaking.

Both lever drag and star drag can be used to do this job perfectly. In this part, we’ll focus on the aspects which set these two drags apart.

Aspects Lever drag Star Drag
Emplacement Located outside the gear Located inside the gear
Structure High-quality and robust Substandard quality
Difficulty Level Difficult for the beginners Easy to use
Capacity Can hold up to 30 lbs and over Can hold up to 30 lbs and under
Adjustment Drag is adjustable to a known pressure setting Can go back to the initial setting anytime
Performance Ideal for catching big fish Good for catching small fish
Maintenance Hard Easy
Price Expensive Reasonable

The chart is good for getting an initial idea of the drag reels. But to make a confident selection, you need to know a bit more.

An elaborated comparison will clarify what your preferences are. Their specifications are very different. So you need to know the details before you jump to a conclusion.

In this segment, we’ll compare the important factors in detail. The head-to-head comparison will give you more insight into the drags.

Drag Settings

Drag Settings

Lever drag systems come with a ‘strike setting’. It gives you the liberty to adjust your drag where you want to. So, it gives the fish plenty of lines which lowers the chances of line breakage.

On the other hand, it’s difficult to adjust a star drag because of its positioning. A star drag is situated at the tail of the spool. When the fish catches the line, it gets hard to adjust the drag. As the reel of star drag gets stuck sometimes. Lube the reel to avoid this situation, just like lubing the cable for steering your boat smoothly.

Winner: If you learn how to adjust a lever drag, you’ll get the best fishing experience. Lever drag is the winner of this section.

The Capacity of Carrying Load

Lever drag is suitable to carry the load of big fish. It can carry more than 40-50 lbs of weight at a time. But you have to constantly change the adjustment of the reel while pulling a big fish out. If you’re not an expert angler, you won’t be able to catch fish using a lever drag.

The star drag, on the other hand, is easy to adjust. It can take up to 30 lbs of weight. Once the fish is hooked, there’s no need to adjust the drag.

Winner: If you’re an expert at fishing, go for lever drag. But if you only want to catch small fish easily, choose star drag.

Price and Maintenance

A good lever drag can cost you around $200-$240. Also, it needs high maintenance. The reel gets damaged very often and needs replacement. It’s hard to remove the reels. At least it’s way easier than removing the steering wheel of your boat.

Star drags on the other hand are very reasonable. You have to spend around $150-$170 for a good star drag reel. You don’t need to spend extra money after its maintenance.

Winner: In terms of price and maintenance, star drag beats the lever drag.

Which Drag Reel Is Suitable for You?

Tune-Up Tuesday _ Star Drag Reels

If you are new to fishing, you should definitely go for star drag. It is reasonable, and easy to maintain. The drag doesn’t have any advanced-level settings. Anyone can handle the star drag easily.

But, If you’re an expert angler, we’ll suggest you go for the lever drag. Lever drag gives you plenty of options to control the fishing line. You’ll be able to catch big fish easily with these.

Lastly, both of these drugs will last long and give a great performance. Only if you keep the spinning reel clean.

We’ve tried to provide every single detail to clear your queries. Now it’s solely up to you to choose a drag wisely.


Drag Reel

What can we use to lubricate a reel drag?

Use regular grease to lubricate your fishing reeling reel drag. You can also use a special fishing reel oil to lubricate.

Which drag has more castability?

Star drags cast longer distances than lever drags. It covers a vast area so you can easily catch small fish around your boat.

Does a lever drag have washers?

Lever drags come with a single-functioning fiber washer. But, a Star drag requires multiple washers.

Is it better to have a tight or loose drag?

There is no definitive answer when it comes to drag. Some people prefer a tight drag to achieve a neater shave, while others find that a looser drag provides more comfort and allows for a more aggressive shave. Ultimately, what works best for each individual is up to personal preference.

Star Drag OR Lever Drag difference


Hopefully, the choice between lever drag vs star drag is clear for you. Remember, fishing mostly depends on your angling skill and techniques. So, make your choice considering your skills.

Until next time, take care of yourself!

Related Articles