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What is the necessary amount of drag you should have for froggin'? I've seen some guys use reels with 11-12lbs. and I've seen some guys use reels with 15 - 20lbs. of drag. It stands to reason if you latch on to a big girl around 6 or 7lbs. and you're dragging almost that amount of slop/pads etc. with her that you'd want a higher amount of drag on your reel. What's your take?

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The max drag of reels around 11-13 lbs is plenty. It's all you need. 

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The smoothness of a reels drag is more important than how many pounds max drag it has, in my opinion. I think all of my Shimano reels max out at 11 lbs and I've never had an issue with them. They're also extremely smooth.

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Drags job is to protect the line, rod and reel from shock and overload. The level of drag to accomplish the task depends on the characteristics of the components. Also, 7# fish does not apply 7# of drag pressure as an example. Point is, don’t over think this. Any quality reel with a quality drag will get the job done. What reel models fit that definition are open to interpretation. 

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I've got my drag locked down in most situations I fish. I think it's important to evaluate your style of fishing and gear towards it. 

I personally fish 90% at night, I throw bigger baits, I fish in some serious thick ****. All of my rods have 40lb+ braid, I'm always using stout hooks and nothing lighter than a MH rod. To me, drag isn't a factor when purchasing a reel. I don't need it if I'm gonna be horsing bass out of sloppy messes every night. I also thumb my spool so the drag doesn't peel out on hooksets. It was relatively hard to train myself to thumb it hard when I go for a set, but muscle memory takes over. 

 

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20 hours ago, Delaware Valley Tackle said:

Drags job is to protect the line, rod and reel from shock and overload. The level of drag to accomplish the task depends on the characteristics of the components. Also, 7# fish does not apply 7# of drag pressure as an example. Point is, don’t over think this. Any quality reel with a quality drag will get the job done. What reel models fit that definition are open to interpretation. 

If you measure your drag vs. the pressure you put on the rod, 3-4 lbs is max.

 

:fishing-026:

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17 minutes ago, roadwarrior said:

If you measure your drag vs. the pressure you put on the rod, 3-4 lbs is max.

 

:fishing-026:

Agreed! 

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45 minutes ago, roadwarrior said:

If you measure your drag vs. the pressure you put on the rod, 3-4 lbs is max.

 

:fishing-026:

 

27 minutes ago, Stephen B said:

Agreed! 

Agreed.

 

5-6lbs is the max you’d ever possibly need. The only time I ever lost a nice fish was when I tried the drag on lockdown. Never again.

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I set my drag regularly with a quality spring scale.  It doesn't take long.  A good rule of thumb is take your line weight or highest line weight rating of your rod which ever is lower and divide that by 4.  Like @roadwarrior said,  it's almost always around 3-4 lbs unless you're using very light spinning tackle or braid on an extra heavy rod.  Your drag is an important tool that you should take advantage of.

 

I used to just lock down my drag and it was never a problem until I had the smallmouth of a lifetime break 15 lb test.  That was in the 90s and I've been minding my drag carefully ever since.

 

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