Jump to content

Recommended Posts

What should my drag be set to when bass fishing? 

As for now I have it on the tightest - because I’m not going to be reeling in 15 lbers........why would I need drag.....

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

To keep hooks from ripping out, To keep your line from breaking, to keep your rod from breaking, to help in tiring out and landing a hard fighting fish, to keep hooks from bending out, to prevent your line from digging in. Etc etc etc. I think common rule of thumb is to set it at 1/3 of the strength of the weakest link in your gear. For example, If your rod is rated from 6-12lb line, the middle ground would be 9lbs. And say you're fishing with 12lb line. And your reel has a max drag setting of 15lbs, you would want to set your drag to around 3lbs (which is surprising a lot) 1/3 of your rods max capacity, to help prevent any equipment failures or fish loss. 

  • Like 3
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Gotta agree. 99.9% of the time you can run your drag locked down without an issue but it doesnt take much. You can have a bass you're about to flip or about to lip (while you're rod tip is in the air trying to hold the bass close) turn and make a run. With your rod tip vertical like that it doesnt take much to snap that baby off. Even the best extra heavy frog rod still has a flexible tip that can snap off.

 

If I'm trying to fight a bass out of heavy cover and my drag is slipping I just use my thumb to feather it for a bit more control. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Many drags really aren't that powerful.  You can "mash" some of them down a lot and they will still give a little.  Having said that, it's generally not a good idea to rely on this "give" in a critical moment.  Having said THAT, I believe I've lost more fish by having the drag set too loose than too tight.  Personally, HOW I set my drag depends upon on how and where I'm fishing.  If I'm fishing soft plastics and especially where there is heavy cover, I'll set my drag tighter where I can REALLY drive the hook into the fish and lead/horse them away from potential snags.  If I'm crankbait fishing, I'll loosen it up a bit so the bait doesn't pull away from the fish or tear loose.  At times If a fish is taking more line than I want (because they are heading toward a potential snag, etc), I will place my thumb on the spool to provide more tension.  Conversely, I've sometimes fed line out manually if I feel a powerful run  that might over stress my line or leader (usually the latter).  Admittedly, in my neck of the woods there are few truly GIANT bass so that makes the decision process easier.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have what's probably a dumb question: Since most drags are not marked...how do you know how many pounds it is set at?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

With a scale. I hook my spring scale to a vice, tie on a hook, and pull.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Good stuff.

 

I'd only add that drag is a really big deal for spinning reels, more so for most all of its applications than casting reels. Not all, but most. 

 

With a spinning reel, the drag actually releases line, on purpose, letting the fish run and materially flex the rod. The fish will either pause or change directions but when the fish isn't "dragging" line out, you reel down on your rod to take up line, re-flex the rod to keep the fish pinned.

 

"Rinse and repeat" as they say . . . until the fish is tuckered out and along side the boat.

 

A lot of bass caught on casting reels never cause the drag to engage as they are often yanked back to the boat as fast as possible. The fish never has a chance to dig in and make runs. Most pros seem to operate under the theory, here, that the less time a fish remains in the water, the less time it has to become un-buttoned.

 

Brad

 

P.S. With most spinning reels, most anglers make drag adjustments on the fly . . . with a fish on line.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, J Francho said:

With a scale. I hook my spring scale to a vice, tie on a hook, and pull.

Thanks - makes sense...I didn't think of that because I can't recall the last time I even saw a scale much less had one on the boat.  I probably have one around somewhere...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Brad in Texas said:

 Most pros seem to operate under the theory, here, that the less time a fish remains in the water, the less time it has to become un-buttoned.

 

 

Although this statement is mostly correct, as recreational anglers our goals are, or should be different. I fish for two reasons, one of which is to have fun and to me the fun of catching is in the fight. I love a head shaking, jumping, pulling drag fight and if the fish gets off, it doesn't bother me as I've enjoyed the hunt and the fight.

The main purpose of a fresh water reel's drag is to protect your equipment from failing. It's secondary purpose is to tire the fish. Spinning, or casting, a properly set drag with accomplish both. If you're okay with an occasional lost fish, or equipment failure, keep your drag as tight or loose as you choose. As with most things in this sport, personal preference is the answer to the question.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Don't lock your drag down... one high stick with the wrong force and POW! Your rod could break. You should have your drag set lower than your line rating, but that's not 100% a perfect measurement. Pretty much, if I set the hook and the drag doesn't slip at least a little then I consider drag to be too high and bump it down a bit until it does. Proper drag can not only keep you from breaking the line and rod, but also prevent the fish from getting the leverage needed to pull itself loose. Better too low than too high imo. Plus the fight is so much better. With BC reels you can always use a thumb to apply more friction thus faking drag if needed. Sometimes it's better for the fish to get a little tired out before you get it in, other times now. The situation varies. Me, I don't fish tournaments so I enjoy the fight. I like giving the fish an equal footing so when I get it in I feel I earned it. It's about how you work the fish more than anything, but this is just my opinion.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

  • fishing

    bass fishing

    fishing forum

    fishing rods

    fishing rods

    fishing rods


    fishing rods

    fishing reels

    bass fish

    fishing poles

    Truck Caps

    fishing reels
    fishing reels

    fishing

    bass fish

    fish for bass
    fish

×