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I have a question about setting the drag properly. I have read that the drag should be set to 1/4 to 1/3rd the strength of the line. How do you judge that? (I get that I would use a certain weight) but my question is do you add the rod tip in the equation? Or take the rod tip out of the equation by pulling straight?

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I use a straight pull.

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I just pull straight off the reel and go by feel.

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Another way to set the drag without using a scale is cast out with a crank bait & try a strong hook set. Set your drag on the loose side & keep tightening until the drag does not slip on the hook set. That will put in the zone. 

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I tie my line to a tree, and pull back LIGHTLY, like a 'reel set' deal. I want my drag to slip when the rod is fully loaded, because at that point, something's gotta give (hooks rip out, line snap, rod break, ECT.)

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I pretty much just lock the drag down, except on crankbaits they just get a good pull straight off the reel. the rods I use for cranks have a lot of give in them ( glass ) so drag typically is not an issue for me with bass, however with pike and muskie the drag definitely helps...

 

Mitch

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Another way to set the drag without using a scale is cast out with a crank bait & try a strong hook set. Set your drag on the loose side & keep tightening until the drag does not slip on the hook set. That will put in the zone. 

Probably the easiest and most effective way to do it.

Never using a scale to set my drag I don't really know what 1/4 or 1/3 is, I just know I have my drag where I want it.

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I have always kept my drag locked for good hook-sets and loosen on the fly if I need to.

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Don't seem to understand a locked down drag, off the top of my head for 2 reasons.  Big or small I want to play a fish, not drag it in, once the drag is set for a bass it doesn't need to be adjusted.  Secondly it's always possible to get a strike from a much larger fish than your intended target.  A locked down drag with 6# line and 40# fish hitting, your chances of the line or knot holding are greatly reduced.

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Don't seem to understand a locked down drag, off the top of my head for 2 reasons.  Big or small I want to play a fish, not drag it in, once the drag is set for a bass it doesn't need to be adjusted.  Secondly it's always possible to get a strike from a much larger fish than your intended target.  A locked down drag with 6# line and 40# fish hitting, your chances of the line or knot holding are greatly reduced.

Locked down drag does not mean they horse a fish in. You can play a reasonable sized fish using just your rod and mainly I don't hook a fish and reel him straight in.  I don't want my drag to slip on a hookset (I also don't use anything less than 8lb so I would likely pre-set on 6lb). If I feel a bigger fish on the end I loosen the drag to the required tension. In the last two years have not broke off a single fish due to not having my drag set in time. It may seem foreign for those who don't do it but I can adjust my drag in a fraction of a second and have had a lifetime of practice. I mainly fish lake erie and catch 6lb to 18lb drum frequently or 5lb to 15lb catfish on 8lb and 12lb line with out issue (caught a 35lb catfish on 10lb wiith locked drag on the hookset).

 

I kind of rambled so to summarize: I keep it locked for hooksets, then loosen based on feel of the fish so I certainly do use drag frequently for fighting a fish but don't loosen until after it's hooked.

 

I actually think those who don't adjust on the fly are at a disadvantage even if they pre-set. For example: The amount of drag (say I pre set) I need to get a big fish out of cover and to play a fish very close to the boat are different even though it is the same cast. I might need higher drag to get the fish out of cover but lower when it is close to the boat and takes a dive. If you don't adjust the drag when it gets close you could have a break off or it pulls so hard it unhooks.

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Hmm...

 

I set my drag "correctly" and would NEVER consider making an adjustment while fighting a fish.

 

 

 

:fishing-026:

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I just pull straight off the reel and go by feel.

This. 

 

I set it where I don't have to use a lot of effort.  Just able to pull with any strain.

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Many different factors involved when deciding on setting the drag. First off, I do as the reel mfg recommends, which is loosen the drag when the reel is not in use, then set it each time you go fishing. Personally I use #40 braided, 5/0 hook, Palomar knot, 7' MH rod, and 7:1 bait caster. I fish shiners up under floating mats and I always lock down my drag. I have to do a hard hook set to rip the hook out of the shiner and into the bass. Then I need to horse that big girl out of the slop and into clear water. The only play my catch gets is from the rod.

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I use a digital scale and tie the line to it, have the wife hold it while I set the drag to about 1/4 of breaking strength.

 

I had a case last year where I was using 6lb test Yo-Zuri Hybrid....I set it to 2lbs (I know, 1/3lb). I hooked into a 4lber and man was it a fight. For a minute there it felt like River Monsters, the fish peeling line of the reel. 

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