As we all know, one of the fundamental aspects of this sport is that the fish we seek are capable of fighting for hours, repeatedly making long runs that can really heat up a drag. This can cause the settings to change, leading to insufficient pressure being put on a fish or, at worst, a broken line. Fortunately, Shimano’s Hydrothermal Drag System automatically compensates for any heat buildup, thereby maintaining the original drag setting. What’s more, the Tiagra’s pre-lubricated graphite drag washer is impervious to salt water and will always operate smoothly. The leverage created by an angler in a game chair or stand-up rod bucket and harness with a big fish on the end of the line creates an enormous amount of pressure. That’s why the Tiagra’s one-piece frame is machine-cut from aluminium tube to a thickness of seven millimetres. It’s also why Tiagra has A-RB bearings, heavy-duty stainless steel gears, and a two speed shifting mechanism where the pinion and drive gears are continuously meshed. Tiagras also feature a calibrated pre-set drag knob, which has detents that adjust in approximately half-pound increments. It is, however, only a reference guide to be used when setting the drag, and is no substitute for doing it through a loaded rod with a set of scales. At 89 decibels, the ratchet is also the loudest of any production reel. The Tiagra ‘A’ series feature heavy gold anodising, a drilled drag quadrant with a drag curve suited to Australian conditions, and a specially designed rubberised power handle. The heavier anodising makes them highly resistant to the ravages of salt water, while the click stop drag quadrant permits more precise drag adjustments. The counter-balanced handle falls easily to hand to make winding easier, and its rubberised ‘tackiness’ combats sweaty palms, which can be a problem during the course of a long fight or when fishing in tropical waters.