We present experimental and theoretical results addressing the Reynolds number (Re) dependence of drag reduction by sufficiently large concentrations of rodlike polymers in turbulent wall-bounded flows. It is shown that when Re is small the drag is enhanced. On the other hand, when Re increases, the drag is reduced and eventually, the maximal drag reduction asymptote is attained. The theory is shown to be in agreement with experiments, explaining the universal and rationalizing some of the the nonuniversal aspects of drag reduction by rodlike polymers.

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