Sg: No worries - I'm not wrangling steelhead and salmon on my 5-wt. I absolutely agree that a drag is largely unnecessary for most 5-wt quarry, but the 5+ pound rainbows from the Satsop Springs hatchery they plant in some of my local lakes are exceptional. The 5-wt. rod handles them quite well, but when they decide to run, they put a reel to the test (especially one made of plastic). I think it also has a lot to do with the fact that I use the outfit in question as mostly a trolling setup, so when the fish hits, it's already on the reel. If it's a big one, it's sometimes into the backing before you get the rod out of the holder. I probably shouldn't make lofty claims about fish "blowing up my drag." I haven't even looked at the drag to see what shape it's in. I just know that I can set it as tight as it will go and the line peels off pretty easily (it used to tighten up pretty good), and that tells me it's perhaps a bit "worn."