I've fished for (small) bones with a broken drag-less reel without any problem. My palm is my drag. But your point is a good one. I really wanted to say that once up in the high-quality range of both rod and reels, there is a greater personal preference determining which rod to pick than reel. All $300+ reels designed for saltwater will do the (simple, but important) job nicely, but the rod must match your casting stroke and "feel right".
Well, I might be a bit special, my motto has always been "you can never have too many 8 weights" and I got a closet full to prove it, yet I've never owned a reel that cost me more than $150 until last month