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Pro Tips: Breaking down fully sealed drag systems


Fly fishing reels have advanced lightyears in the last decade, and drag systems have been at the forefront of that innovation. Perhaps no advancement in recent memory has proved more influential than the fully sealed drag system. But what does a "sealed drag" actually mean for you - the angler? In this Pro Tips segment, we break down the advantages of sealed drag systems and explain how they can help you land more fish for years to come.
New fly reels like Cheeky Fishing's Limitless, Boost and Tyro Series, employ a drag system that acts much like the brakes on your car. They use stacked discs, which when engaged, apply pressure to the spool to slow it down. As you can imagine, these discs are incredibly important to the functionality and longevity of the fly reel. If debris like sand get into the discs, or if one of the discs were to corrode from saltwater, the drag could significantly lose its power, smoothness and low startup inertia - all key pieces for landing fish. 
A fully sealed drag, like the Gasket Drag System found in Cheeky's Limitless Series, means that all drag components (discs, bearings, etc.) are housed within a sealed compartment of the reel rather than exposed to the elements like other fly reels. On a truly sealed drag, you will not be able to see bearings or drag discs when you remove the spool.  One of the main benefits of this design is that even after years of continued use, the Cheeky GDS drag system will function like new. A fully sealed drag system like Cheeky's also means that the reel is maintenance-free. Since all the components are safely sealed away, anglers don't have to worry about washing or lubricating the discs to keep it running smoothly.
Fully sealed drag systems like Cheeky's Gasket Drag System, protect it from outside elements.

Who should use a fully sealed drag?

Sealed drags first rose to prominence among saltwater anglers, and for good reason. As discussed, salt and sand can quickly hinder a reel's performance. For anglers fishing from the beach, wade fishing, or submerging their reel in the saltwater, a fully sealed drag is an absolute must. However, sealed drags are more than just saltwater reels. For steelhead anglers, fishing in frigid temperatures is part of the fun. Yet as soon as water gets inside an unsealed drag, it can freeze - causing the entire reel to seize up and ruin a day of fishing. Even freshwater anglers who aren't wading in 30 degree water can greatly benefit from the protection and peace of mind a fully sealed drag can bring. Fully sealed drags like the Cheeky Limitless Series are the perfect reel for any angler looking to get the most out of their equipment, with minimal maintenance. 

To learn more about Cheeky's impenetrable Gasket Drag System, click here.