there's a few complaining about the extra width of the fathom II, some complain about the CS mag knob position. I bought the CS and regular dial version, both the same except for the spool and knob. I'm liking the mag but not the casting distance thus far. My 525's cast further but they are customized to do it. When I get to tweaking the fathom II I expect better casting. Jury is still out on it. From the complaints and money saved the dial version seems more sensible. Just my opinion and experience thus far.
Just curious which version do you folks that fish these reels use? I've noticed there is lever drag, star drag, and the casting special. I'm just a little confused as to which is best for the surf.
I haven't casted thew new Fathom 2, but I do use a Gen 1 Fathom 12 on a regular basis. The Gen 1 Fathoms did not have a mag break, they used a centrifugal braking system. You cannot make on the fly adjustments with that system, but with 2 brakes engaged it is a very easy real to cast.
You should only consider star drags for surf casting.