MobyGrape

Using Maximum Drag Setting When Fishing

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I read an article where an angler used maximum drag setting all the time when bass fishing. Is this an unusual technique or common among some anglers?

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My reels' drags are too high for the lines I use on them, doesnt make sense to have it on max. You always want your drag to be below your line strength, otherwise you'l break it. if you want to fish locked down drag, just use heavier lines.

I adjust my drag according to what im fishing.

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If you use 65lb braid it does not matter.  Most people who fish like you are referring to punching and frogging where you have enough hook to jack them right out of cover and ski them back to the boat

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All my standard wire or heavier wire hooks I have my drag set pretty tight. Once the hookset is done I flick the wheel a few rounds back unless I'm on braid with a frog or something similar. Those heavy heavy cases its full drag like flipping/pitching. All my crankin rods using trebels not so much roughly 3/4 of the drag is on probably. I don't take it to a science, I just use what feels good to me based on the line I am using and how strong the drag is on a particular reel. 

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Well all my reels that have mono on them have 15 pound line and they have a max drag setting of 10pounds, I keep my drag set so I can pull some out but it would take a very big bass to strip drag.

 

Now my frog rod the reel on that rod is set to max drag

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I've got 50 lb braid on right now and I can set it on full and won't break my line. But I typically leave is backed off just a bit. If I do happen to hook into a big one and I'm not risking him running under some lay down I don't have a problem with him running a little bit of drag. Like really, who doesn't like to hear a hog rippin off some drag ;)

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When I use 50 to 65 pound braid and heavy wire hooks, I'm fishing heavy cover and want to maximize pressure on the fish to control its movement and maybe pull it through or over vegetation. A baitcaster's max drag setting is usually only 12 to 15 lbs anyway, so why not tighten all the way in that circumstance?

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I believe I read that same article a couple days ago. It didn't make sense to me either. I think I set mine too tight a lot of the times especially with treble hooks and light wire hooks but I don't see how you can have it always locked down. The guy in the article said that he preferred to press the thumb bar down and use his thumb as drag when a fished surged...claiming it was more reliable for him to do that than to rely on a mechanical drag that could fail/lock up.

 

I just shook my head because no matter who you are we all have reaction times and by the time you realize a double digit bass is surging, you react to it, and then manually press down the thumb bar...you've already bent out your hook because the drag was locked down. The whole article seemed highly illogical to me but the guy claimed it works great for him. More power to him, I won't be trying it, ever. 

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Welcome to the forums.  When you lock down your drag, it becomes a useless feature. It's purpose is twofold. First, to allow line to be fed out under pressure in order to fatigue the fish that's fighting at the end of the line.  Second, to eliminate or reduce the possibility of the line breaking under excessive pressure.  Even when using 65.lb braid for catching 4lb. fish, some drag slippage is necessary to prevent damage to your gear, especially the rod and to reduce the possibility of straightening out hooks and thereby loosing fish.

 

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I admit I do set my drag to the max mainly because I fish a lot of weeds. I need to be able to yank that bass out of the weeds or I'll lose them most of the time. Some of the first reels I got didn't have strong drags and I lost more fish because of it. 

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If you fish in heavy cover, you might need a heavy line and full drag, but open water I would set the drag according to line use. Bass normally doesn't run your line long enough to worry about drag setting. If I need more drag while fighting with fish I will use my thumb press on spool.

 

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I always have my drag initially set for a hookset. When I hook a decent fish, I will back it off quickly so that it doesn't pull the hook out or break the line if it makes a hard surge. I don't lose many fish.

 

 

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I understand the premise of the article but you have to be experienced to operate in that fashion (except for brute force flipping ) .

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I never tighten my drag 100%, usually around 75-80%. Once set I never move it again until I clean my reel.

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16 minutes ago, Catt said:

I never tighten my drag 100%, usually around 75-80%. Once set I never move it again until I clean my reel.

 

Try actually measuring your drag setting to see what 3 lbs really is:

Place a free weight or something that weighs 3 lbs in a plastic grocery bag.

Attach the bag to your line and GENTLY lift the bag with your rod, drag open.

Tighten the drag to where it does not release which would be 3 lbs. I think

you will be very surprised.

 

:tsk-tsk:

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2 minutes ago, roadwarrior said:

 

Try actually measuring your drag setting to see what 3 lbs really is:

Place a free weight or something that weighs 3 lbs in a plastic grocery bag.

Attach the bag to your line and GENTLY lift the bag with your rod, drag open.

Tighten the drag to where it does not release which would be 3 lbs. I think

you will be very surprised.

 

:tsk-tsk:

 

That's what I use to set drag but 6 lbs instead of 3, max for a Calcutta is 9.5 lbs. 

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If you are stripping line on hook set your drag is to low, keep increasing drag till you don't strip line on hook set, when you get it to that point leave it alone the drag is perfect.

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Set the drag to below the weakest point in your setup.  Otherwise, you risk breaking something - line, rod, or reel.  I have seldom needed bore than 6-8 lbs. of drag for bass fishing.

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These are some entertaining comments in light of our 'No switchable anti-reverse' discussion earlier in the week :rolleyes: Either use your drag or take channel locks to it - it doesn't matter. The latter isn't near as common or popular, but it still works fine in the right hands.

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I saw the article on Facebook, they did not like when I gave my opinion on how bad the article was. The drag is an key part of the reel, why would you not use it for a purpose they do well. A properly set drag will help you land a high percentage of hookups.

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Aside from pitching/punching to heavy cover where I'll run a pretty stiff drag, everything else is the exact opposite for me. I run my drag much looser than most and land a very high percentage of fish. It's all about finding a system that you're comfortable with and works for you. If locking down the drag works for Walker more power to him, he found something that works for him and he's sharing that system in hope it will help others that may have not even thought to try it. That doesn't make it a bad article, at all. 

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I don't tighten my drag as much as explained in the article, but like Catt stated earlier, I, too, usually keep all of my casting reels at about 80%.  For spinning reels, I am more deliberate in my use of drag.

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I keep mine 90% tight no matter what lb test line I use, if I catch a big I just loosen it a bit with my middle finger and I never get broke off...

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