Had one almost striped on bob hall pier back in 02, probably giant greater hammer. I was using a 35lb jack for bait. 18/0 hooks straightened out. Wish I still had the reel and rod, but those 16/0 bring good money from collectors. reels nowadays have much better drags.[/quote]
For sure, BUT the old senators can really handle beach conditions, especially in blowing sand and if getting dunked. Unlike the more modern reels with closer tolerances. And its got more than enough drag for me and although "older" I'm a stout 5'9" with a pretty good back.
My fave is a 12/0 for day in day out but I also use the 14/0 for the big sharks in FL.
Wouldn't closer tolerances help keep that stuff out of the reel?
Those old senators have ok drags but they aren't in the same league as the new reels. Fished with both and senator can't hold a candle against a high end penn, avet, or any other high end reel. One of my old managers had a huge senator that had a handle like a come along. He wanted to hook salmon sharks with it. Pretty sure it was a 16/0. The handle was a crank, not a normal handle