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Okay, I'm new to the world of bait cast reels. I definitely need a lot more practice but I think I've done some things right...most people said for a beginner to start with a nicer reel with better options/brakes until i get comfortable, check...got a Lew's Tournament Pro speed spool. Most people recommended that i start off spooling it with mono in case i have to cut out backlashes because it's cheap and i won't be wasting expensive line, check...got some of the Berkley Solutions casting line in #12 as it was the cheapest line in my local tackle shop. People suggested I start off with casting plugs, check...got some 1/2 oz. yellow plugs I've been using. Everyone said set both magnetic and centrifugal brakes all the way up until i get the hang of it and then slowly start bringing them down as I get better/more confident, check! Now comes the question of how/when to adjust the drag? My reel has the click star drag adjustment on it but I have no idea how to use it or when to use it. On a spinning reel it's easy, the drag adjustment knob is on the front and you basically pull the line out until it moves freely but still has a good amount of tension, turning the drag knob forward or backward a click or two as necessary until you get to that point, this is usually done before you start fishing with it and generally (depending on what size fish you're catching) is left alone after that...is it the same premise with a casting reels star drag system? I'm not confident enough to actually fish with my bait caster yet but practice makes perfect...or at least better...so hopefully I will soon!

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If I'm using the reel for bottom contact that requires setting the hook hard I have my drag locked down.  For single hook reaction baits like spinnerbaits and chatterbaits I have it locked down.  For treble hook baits, I loosen the drag a bit.  Some guys use scales to measure how much drag to use, but I just go by feel.  At the end of the day I always loosen the drag all the way.  

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For my spinning reel I can now set it by feel every time and I'm good to go, but with casting reels I'm still getting used to it.  I set them by feel as well, but sometimes when fighting a fish it's too loose and sometimes it's too tight so I'll adjust the drag as I'm fighting the fish.

On a side note, when setting the hook I always thumb the spool so the drag doesn't slip.  So if the drag is too loose I don't notice it until I'm fighting the fish.

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Yes, it's the same premise. 

 

Mike

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The rule of thumb is to set drag at 1/3 of #test (for braid #test diameter equivalent). Ex: 4# of drag on 12# line. You can check it with a spring scale but feel is fine. 

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If "locked down" means what it sounds like, like no line will be allowed off the reel by the drag, then how do you prevent line breakage?

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The drag on your casting reel works just like the one on your spinning reel and is even a little more convenient to adjust on the fly.

One comment on your choice of line:  I don't know if I'd necessarily use the least expensive mono available... it might not be the best handling line.  You can pick up a 1/4-pound spool of Berkley Big Game for less than ten bucks and it's a proven performer that many experienced bass caster prefer.  If you use it, you'll be assured that all your backlashes are operator-induced, not caused by cheap line with excessive memory or stiffness.  ;-)

Tight lines,

Bob

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On 6/17/2016 at 9:33 AM, Brett's_daddy said:

Okay, I'm new to the world of bait cast reels. I definitely need a lot more practice but I think I've done some things right...most people said for a beginner to start with a nicer reel with better options/brakes until i get comfortable, check...got a Lew's Tournament Pro speed spool. Most people recommended that i start off spooling it with mono in case i have to cut out backlashes because it's cheap and i won't be wasting expensive line, check...got some of the Berkley Solutions casting line in #12 as it was the cheapest line in my local tackle shop. People suggested I start off with casting plugs, check...got some 1/2 oz. yellow plugs I've been using. Everyone said set both magnetic and centrifugal brakes all the way up until i get the hang of it and then slowly start bringing them down as I get better/more confident, check! Now comes the question of how/when to adjust the drag? My reel has the click star drag adjustment on it but I have no idea how to use it or when to use it. On a spinning reel it's easy, the drag adjustment knob is on the front and you basically pull the line out until it moves freely but still has a good amount of tension, turning the drag knob forward or backward a click or two as necessary until you get to that point, this is usually done before you start fishing with it and generally (depending on what size fish you're catching) is left alone after that...is it the same premise with a casting reels star drag system? I'm not confident enough to actually fish with my bait caster yet but practice makes perfect...or at least better...so hopefully I will soon!

You adjust the b/c similar as you did with your spinning reels. I adjust mine by feel. 

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Just pull the line out by hand and adjust the drag till its at the point you're comfortable with. I've never ever fished with my drag locked down. Seems like a recipe for disaster. 

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DVT is correct; 1/3rd of the line strength.

12 lb mono /3 = 4lbs and very few anglers can judge 4 lbs of line drag, so set the drag using a scale or better put 4 pints of water (plastic drinking water bottles = 4 lbs) into a bag and lift the weight using your rod, line and adjust drag so it stops slipping. Now pull on the line to "feel" what 4 lbs drag tension is like. You will also see how 4 lbs of tension loads up your medium heavy rod to the max!

Tom

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2 hours ago, WRB said:

DVT is correct; 1/3rd of the line strength.

12 lb mono /3 = 4lbs and very few anglers can judge 4 lbs of line drag, so set the drag using a scale or better put 4 pints of water (plastic drinking water bottles = 4 lbs) into a bag and lift the weight using your rod, line and adjust drag so it stops slipping. Now pull on the line to "feel" what 4 lbs drag tension is like. You will also see how 4 lbs of tension loads up your medium heavy rod to the max!

Tom

This sets the stage for an interesting experiment a lot of us can easily do.  Hook your line to a stationary object, hold the rod at fighting angle and pull until your drag slips.  Take a guess at your drag setting in pounds.  Then hook your digital scale between your line and the stationary object and repeat to find out the actual drag setting.  How close was your guess?  Is your drag set higher or lower than what you guessed?  Is it set to a reasonable (1/3-1/2 line rating)?

Tight lines,

Bob

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