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hendrix190

Max Drag On Reels

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i just bought a new ambassadeur 6600 bcx that i was gonna use for swimbait fishing, i was playin around with it and testing how strong the drag is by holdin my thumb on the spool , turning the handled and tryin to hold the spool from turning, and it seemed very strong, so i was curious and looked up the max drag on the reel which is 12.5 pounds. Seemed low to me because i remembered seeing my quantum kinetic max drag was 18 pounds. I orginally thought max drag was : example (if the max drag is stated to be 12.5 pounds then with the drag set as tight as possible it would take 12.5 pounds to make the reel let out line) now im thinking that im wrong about that cuz it seems hard to believe that a small low profile reel like a quantum kinetic would have a stronger drag system then a ambassadeur 6600. Can someone plz correct me or explain to me what (max drag) means.

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Your right on the basic definition of max drag. The BCX is on the lower end of ABU round reels which may explain some of why the drag isn't the most powerful. Drag power is determined by a combination of design features including area, drag washer material, number of washers in the stack and pressure applied. A big saltwater reel would typically need a heavier drag but a low pro fresh water reel can be designed to have pretty substantial drag power. 8-10 lbs of drag is more than adequate for bass fishing so either way you're covered.

ps: The drag is meant to protect the line and reel from damage. I do not recommend forcing the crank to test the drag or else you may do damage to gears etc.

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alright thanx for the explaination!

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IMO the drag should be set based on the line, because one reel may have a stronger max drag than another doesn't mean it has a better drag.

I have an Avet MXJ b/c max drag of 19, I can stop a good sized fish in it's tracks providing the line is strong enough not to break. Using my Penn conquer max drag of 32 or my Soron 60 max drag of 30 which are spinning reels, couldn't come close to stopping the same fish. This not a theory......, it has happened very often.

I believe in knowing how to use your drag properly is a much better recipe in landing fish than have a reel with a strong max drag.

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My drag is generally set at 2-3lbs, but never more than 4 lbs.

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My drag is generally set at 2-3lbs, but never more than 4 lbs.

x2

I crank it tight when flipping/pitching on my baitcast reel

I will change my drag depending on the line I'm using mainly (ie light drag breaking on a hookset I will soften the drag)

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I set my drags by feel, fairly light, I do tighten it up just a bit when fishing weedless and have to drive the hook a little harder, I only fish spinning. I use braid but the drag is set more to mono specs, I just know where I want it.

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"They" say set your drag to 1/4-1/3 the stated break strength of your line, so if you're bass fishing with 20 lb line, you'd never need more than 7 lbs of drag. Of course, stated break strength of line is always lower than the tested break strength and very few guys use a tension scale to set the drags on their reels. You can tighten down the drag on a reel until it is locked and absolutely will not move, so I think the advertised drag strength is a pretty iffy spec to start with. Bottom line, I wouldn't worry about relative advertised drag ratings - the only thing that counts is whether you think the drag on that particular reel is strong enough and smooth enough to handle the line/rod/lure combo that you're gonna be throwing.

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you also need to consider that as your line goes through the guides the amount of pressure required to slip is increased. same goes for how much line is on the spool. a full spool will let line off easier that a half full spool. this is not as noticible on smaller freshwater reels.

drag material also has alot to do with it. some reels may put out a ton of drag but how much of it is smooth/usable? I will take a reel with 12lbs of silky smooth drag over a reel with 20lbs of herky jerky drag. I have lost many fish due to poor drags that would not start up smooth. carbontex is my favorite material(especially when coated with cals drag grease) and seems to last the longest.

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I used to be obsessed w/ drag pressure ratings and refused to buy Daiwa because of it. That was untill I broke down and bought a cabelas prodigy (basically a daiwa tierra or advantage, depending on who you ask). Then I picked up a zillion. The rated 8.8lbs of drag pressure proved to be plenty and Daiwa has one of the smoothest drags around.

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Max drag is HIGHLY overrated. I recommend 1/3 of line break strength or rod rating, whichever is lower. I do my initial testing using a spring scale attached to a fixed object, both for actual resistance and break away feel. After that, I go by feel.

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