best light reel drag I know is still the old Mitchell 308. Somehow those two washers, one large fiber and one larger spring, provide a wide range of adjustability and smooth drag at all settings.. caught 25lb catfish, 20lb carp, and a couple leervis
in the salt on this reel, all of those went over 100yds fast..
The DAM Quick 110 uses a similar system, large washers but not many of them, to provide excellent drag.
Orvis 50A is frankly mediocre, relying on a coil spring which seems to get old and permanently compressed quite easily, a drag retention push-fit circlip which is impossible to remove, and a couple of small washers. The 150S has a much better system with more and larger washers but still has that silly spring at the bottom. I found a newish spare spool for mine, with a fresh spring it's pretty good.
Shakespeare 2052 drag is well overbuilt for a light reel, think it would stand up to lots of big fish. Impressive.
Weirdest drag system I know is the JW Young Ambidex. What it should look like, courtesy of the kind folks at traditionalfisherman.com,
What mine looked like,
The fiber washer at the bottom was missing, also the spring/split washer. All the split washers I could find were 0.065". A washer for a 1/4" bolt should work, but couldn't find a thinner split washer.
Tried a couple of curved washers from McMaster, sort of work but still not much adjustability.
Lots of fiber washers lying around the workbench so that was easy. On the bench this works better than expected, still need to tie it to a big carp and see how it holds up.
One nice feature is once assembled the entire drag system is inside the retaining nut, stays clean and out of the way.
In the heavier reels the new stuff really is much much better.. sealed or semi-sealed, drag washers above and below the spool, carbon fiber washers etc. But that's not necessary for the kind of fish I get to deal with..