Top Ten Questions about TwinDrag Reels
When were the first twin-drag reels made and who made them?
Surprisingly, since their invention in England in the early 1700’s and despite almost two centuries of advancements in so-called “multiplying” or revolving-spool fishing reels, the first known twin-drag system commercially designed to apply drag pressure to both sides of a turning reel spool wasn’t introduced until 1997. That’s when Accurate Fishing Products in Los Angeles, CA, began manufacturing its series of revolutionary Platinum TwinDrag™ gamefishing reels.
After speaking with such historical angling experts as Mike Farrior, historian and current president of the Tuna Club of Avalon, CA (founded in 1898 and the oldest big-game fishing organization in the world), no earlier manufacture of twin-drag reels could be determined. Also consulted were marine angling historian Ed Ries of San Diego, CA, author of “Tales of the Golden Years of California Ocean Fishing, 1900-1950,” and J.D. Dougherty, owner of J.D.’s Big-Game Tackle, angling-history buff and a friend of the family of famous angler/author Zane Grey. Ries and Dougherty, likewise, could not recall any twin-drag reels introduced prior to the Accurates. According to Farrior, whose collection of some 200 antique reels includes Klines, Gareys, Kovalovskis, Von Hofes, Steads, Coxes, Hardys and early Fin Nors, Hardy was the first, in 1926, to make a twin-speed reel and, in 1936, Fin Nor made a twin-handled reel, but no other manufacturer created a twin-drag reel prior to the recent introduction by Accurate Fishing Products.
What's the advantage to an angler using Accurate TwinDrag™ system?
The reel’s heat dissipation capacity is greatly increased. This rapid transfer and loss of heat allows the reel’s braking assembly to operate much more efficiently, exerting maximum pressure on a streaking fish, while maintaining an extraordinarily smooth and consistent drag load as line departs from the reel spool. A smoothly operating drag eliminates the “jerky” line release that can tear hooks out of fish and break lines, and this unrelenting drag pressure — always even and consistent — more quickly tires the fish. Drag smoothness is especially critical when fishing for large, powerful fish or when using smaller, lightweight fishing lines.
How are these advantages made possible?
Accurate’s TwinDrag™ system applies equal braking pressure to both sides of the reel spool — rather than to just one side as in other manufacturers’ reel designs — and the dual-drag effect creates a much more balanced load on the reel’s bearings and spool shaft. Also, because of the TwinDrag™ system’s unique design, only one-half the desired drag tension needs to be applied to each side of the spool.
Let’s say, for instance, you’re using 50-pound test line and want to set your reel drag at 16 pounds. To accomplish that, only 8 pounds of drag pressure needs to be applied to each side of the spool — and that translates into stronger, smoother functioning drags with double the heat dissipation. Heat is absolutely the worst enemy of drag materials, so minimizing heat buildup maximizes a reel’s ability to hold up against tough fish.
What are the basic components of an Accurate TwinDrag™ system?
A large drag washer and a large titanium pressure plate are positioned on each side of the reel spool. The titanium plates create pressure on the reel spool, and thus the heat, but since the greater mass of aluminum in the reel’s frame is a much better “heat sink” (heat collector and dissipater) than titanium, the titanium releases its heat to the aluminum. This dissipation process allows the aluminum to constantly draw the heat away from the titanium pressure plates.
Titanium is also used because it is very light, super strong and has superior heat dissipation qualities — plus a key advantage is that titanium does not break down and shed any particles of itself on to the drag washers. By not shedding, titanium keeps the drag washers free from foreign material and eliminates premature wear.
Both the drag washers and titanium friction washers are over-sized, by industry standards, to maximize the surface contact area on the reel spool’s sides. Drag and friction washer contact extends to within 1/8-inch of the outer edge of the spool, which greatly enhances drag smoothness and fish-stopping pressure.
Do you really need an Accurate TwinDrag™ reel to fish for smaller fish, too?
Accurate TwinDrag™ reels offer a distinct advantage, because their smooth operation under pressure guards against breakage when using lighter, less-forgiving lines. A bulldogging calico bass or sprinting dorado hooked on 12-pound test line can test the capability of a smooth-operating drag just as much as the blistering run of a blue marlin hooked on 80-pound test line.
The Accurate Boss E-Series TwinDrag™ reels, designed specifically for light-line angling, also use six ball bearings for silky-smooth castability and greater casting accuracy and distance — all very important factors when inshore fishing, especially around target structure.
Are Accurate TwinDrag™ reel more complicated to operate?
Not at all. You use a simple preset lever to accurately set the drag-pressure range on any Platinum TwinDrag™ reel model, and then use the drag lever itself to apply that pressure, as with any lever-drag reel. The preset lever uses a graduated, “letter” scale as a reference guide when setting the drag, and also has a lock to prevent accidental slippage of the setting. Selected settings are maintained to plus-or-minus one pound accuracy.
In place of a preset lever, the new series of Boss TwinDrag™ Light-Line reels have a preset knob to set drag-pressure range; as with the Platinum TwinDrag™ series, after you adjust the preset knob, you then simply apply tension to the reel spool through the drag lever.
Does an Accurate TwinDrag™ reel weigh more than its single-drag counterpart?
No. In fact, our Platinum TwinDrag™ reels weigh less. For example, a Penn International II 50SW reel weighs 68 ounces, while an Accurate ATD-50W weighs only 54 ounces, or almost a pound lighter, yet the ATD-50W has identical line capacity. And compared to a Penn International II 30SW, which weighs 63 ounces, our Platinum TwinDrag ATD-30 weighs just 48 ounces — again, almost a pound less. That kind of weight difference can help decrease angler fatigue when you’re fighting a large fish for an extended time — even more so when stand-up style fishing. Our reels are also designed with smaller frames, creating a lower center of gravity to virtually eliminate reel “tilt-over” on larger models when fast retrieving, while also making the reels more comfortable to cast, cradle and hold. The smaller size is made possible by a reduced-diameter spool arbor and a modified reel arbor shape, both of which do not affect frame strength.
If Accurate TwinDrag™ reels are superior, why don't more reelmakers offer them?
Often, design modifications don’t occur until an innovator brings competitive changes to the marketplace, forcing the marketplace to keep pace. It took years, for example, for reelmakers to modernize older, heavier steel-spooled reels — first with plastic, then with aluminum and graphite spools, and also to introduce reels with faster retrieve ratios and the speed and power of two-speed operation. (Note: all Accurate Platinum TwinDrag™ ATD Series reels are two-speed models.)
Since the TwinDrag™ system is currently a “Patent Pending” innovation, however, this revolutionary design concept may for many years be reserved as an exclusive on Accurate reels.
Do Accurate TwinDrag™ Reels cast in 'complete' freespool, no matter what drag range you select with the present lever adjustment?
Absolutely. Accurate TwinDrag™ Platinum reels cast in unhindered freespool at every drag setting, from as little as 5 pounds to more than 70 pounds (the latter considered total “lock-down”). This unrestricted freespool capability is accomplished by using no less than five Teflon impregnated ball bearings in the spool, and by optimum positioning of spool-associated springs. Accurate TwinDrag™ Boss E-Series reels perform similarly unhindered in freespool mode within a drag setting of less than 1-pound to “lock-down” at 35 pounds.
Are Accurate TwinDrag™ reels compatible with today's small-diameter, braided lines?
All Accurate reels — the offshore Platinum TwinDrag™ series, the smaller Boss TwinDrag™ reels, the Accurate TwinSpin reels, and the newest reels to the Accurate family, the Boss 2-Speed reels — are designed, machined and assembled with exceptionally close tolerances. All models are manufactured and inspected on CNC (Computer Numerical Control) machines which can hold tolerances of as little as .0005-inch for all reel parts. Close tolerances between the spool and sideplates are critical when using ultra-small diameter braided lines, such as Spectra or Soft Steel Ultra.
Also, since all Accurate reel spools are precision machined from aircraft-grade, type 6061-T6, solid-block aluminum, these spools easily withstand the tremendous compressive pressures placed upon spool arbors by today’s high-tech, no-stretch, micro-braid fishing lines.