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Ok, so I have read many an article about drag and setting the hook.  Ever since I started with baitcasters more than 20 years ago I have always set my drag much weaker than I need.  When I set the hook my left thumb is always firmly locked on the spool to make sure it's tight as needed.  In fact I use my thumb as a makeshift drag on the reels the whole time so I can add or reduce drag as needed.  This is something I have always done and it really started when muskie fishing so I could control them more on the strikes right next to the boat when running a figure 8 so they didn't break my rod.  

 

This is one reason why I dislike spinning reels and try to throw everything on a casting reel - even Ned rigs I chuck out on baitcasters.  I never feel confident the drag will hold and worry about it slipping even though I have good reels.  

 

Am I alone here because I never see it mentioned?

 

 

 

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And then there are channel locks, thumb bars and anti-reverse switches for some of us :yes: :lol:

 

Whatever works  for you. I actually vary between baits and setups as to which way I go on my settings...but I've never used my thumb to lock down on a hookset.

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15 minutes ago, JediAmoeba said:

Ok, so I have read many an article about drag and setting the hook.  Ever since I started with baitcasters more than 20 years ago I have always set my drag much weaker than I need.  When I set the hook my left thumb is always firmly locked on the spool to make sure it's tight as needed.  In fact I use my thumb as a makeshift drag on the reels the whole time so I can add or reduce drag as needed.  This is something I have always done and it really started when muskie fishing so I could control them more on the strikes right next to the boat when running a figure 8 so they didn't break my rod.  

 

This is one reason why I dislike spinning reels and try to throw everything on a casting reel - even Ned rigs I chuck out on baitcasters.  I never feel confident the drag will hold and worry about it slipping even though I have good reels.  

 

Am I alone here because I never see it mentioned?

Well, my rule of thumb is to have a little zing (spinning) when I 

set the hook, not so loose that the hook doesn't penetrate, but

not so tight that the line could break (been there done that).

 

As for your casting/spinning thing, thumb for casting, palm for

spinning. No issue creating more drag on spinning that way, FWIW.

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The experienced thumb can compensate for the drag on a full or almost empty spool. I agree ful;ly with thumbs.

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For Bass fishing, I never understood not just trusting the drag. Set it and forget it. I hate back reeling too but know a couple guys that do it still.

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I agree with you and I do much the same, but only with some treble hook lures that I run on non-braid.  The heavy hooksets get some properly adjusted drag from the reel.  Clearly you are successful at what you are doing but I wouldn't personally go to such extremes as to never use spinning gear.  I love fishing with both casting and spinning.  It's much more pleasant for me to fish Ned rigs with light line on spinning gear.  What I'm saying is...I've seen people tie mattresses to the roof of their Honda Accord...so I know they don't NEED a truck...

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1 hour ago, JediAmoeba said:

Ok, so I have read many an article about drag and setting the hook.  Ever since I started with baitcasters more than 20 years ago I have always set my drag much weaker than I need.  When I set the hook my left thumb is always firmly locked on the spool to make sure it's tight as needed.  In fact I use my thumb as a makeshift drag on the reels the whole time so I can add or reduce drag as needed.  This is something I have always done and it really started when muskie fishing so I could control them more on the strikes right next to the boat when running a figure 8 so they didn't break my rod.  

 

This is one reason why I dislike spinning reels and try to throw everything on a casting reel - even Ned rigs I chuck out on baitcasters.  I never feel confident the drag will hold and worry about it slipping even though I have good reels.  

 

Am I alone here because I never see it mentioned?

 

 

 

If you are worried about drag on the spinning reel, click it over to backreel and fight the fish that way. When smallmouth finesse fishing I set the hook and hold what I’ve got to determine the size of the fish. If it feels big I click over to backreel because those deep water smallmouth will dive down hard every time it’s easier to handle them with the reel. I had never heard of backreeling until 5-6 years ago and the first time I tried it, it felt completely normal. Not really something I had to get used to except for: don’t let go of the reel handle at any moment, especially when boat flipping . 

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3 minutes ago, TnRiver46 said:

If you are worried about drag on the spinning reel, click it over to backreel and fight the fish that way. When smallmouth finesse fishing I set the hook and hold what I’ve got to determine the size of the fish. If it feels big I click over to backreel because those deep water smallmouth will dive down hard every time it’s easier to handle them with the reel. I had never heard of backreeling until 5-6 years ago and the first time I tried it, it felt completely normal. Not really something I had to get used to except for: don’t let go of the reel handle at any moment, especially when boat flipping . 

This X10. I never back reeled til I started tight-lining for winter TN smallmouth on 4-6lb line. I usually use my pinky & ring finger on my rod hand to assist. 

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I'm a back-reeler. Always have been. Never used drag on a spinning reel. Lock it down, and forget it even exists.

 

I go pretty tight with casting gear, with bass. There's the hook-set, then pulling them out of trouble. Can always back off if needed.

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The most technology advances in both casting and spinning reels the last decade isn't light weight materials or anti backlash breaks it's drags. Today's reels have smooth reliable drags, you set them and trust them. 

Most bass anglers don't set thier drags because bass are not fast long running fish and anglers can get away with buttoning down the drag far to tight. When you finesse bass fish with line test that equals or is less then the weight of the bass you catch the drag becomes essential. Spinning reels are the most common finesse bass fishing reel and setting the drag force to equal 1/3rd the line strength is a good practice. Like the casting reel you can add more drag pressure using your index finger on the side of the spool in lieu of the thumb.

I set all my reel drags at 1/3rd the line strength from spinning to off shore big game reels for Marlin and tuna. 

My first casting reels didn't have anti reverse the spool was always engaged to the handle so your thumb was the drag. I still use my thumb on the spool fresh water bass fishing, you could burn it on off shore reels, that way level drags were invented.

Tom 

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1 hour ago, TnRiver46 said:

If you are worried about drag on the spinning reel, click it over to backreel and fight the fish that way. When smallmouth finesse fishing I set the hook and hold what I’ve got to determine the size of the fish. If it feels big I click over to backreel because those deep water smallmouth will dive down hard every time it’s easier to handle them with the reel. I had never heard of backreeling until 5-6 years ago and the first time I tried it, it felt completely normal. Not really something I had to get used to except for: don’t let go of the reel handle at any moment, especially when boat flipping . 

Wow.  I have never even thought about that.  This could be amazing...

2 hours ago, Todd2 said:

For Bass fishing, I never understood not just trusting the drag. Set it and forget it. I hate back reeling too but know a couple guys that do it still.

It's also having control over the fish and what's going on.  

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2 hours ago, TnRiver46 said:

... don’t let go of the reel handle at any moment. 

I let go often. I just keep fingers on the rotor. How else could one lip a fish?

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I’m just like you set drag pretty loose (about 2-3lbs drag depend on line type) on casting reel and use my thumb when needed. It is kind of automatic when set hook my thumb lock spool. 

Nowadays I fish a lot of Lite line so I have to adapt, no more set hook just a quick jerk and rely on the drag to control fish.

With spinning I used to use my left to lock spool when set hook and to hold spool to control the run. I still do that sometime when fish for catfish. 

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Trust a drag all you want, but when the line gets compromised during the fight by abrasions, it's likely no longer set properly for the break strain of the line. There's no way to know for sure the right amount of pressure to a line suffering from abrasions, but I backreel and use the thumb bar on my baitcasters to control fish. Conversely, if a big fish is making a dive for cover, I can instantly increase pressure to attempt to stop them. True the line may break, but if they get to a piece of cover it's almost guaranteed the line is going to be broken.

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6 hours ago, Paul Roberts said:

I let go often. I just keep fingers on the rotor. How else could one lip a fish?

I have a picture of a finger on the rotor with a lipped fish somewhere........

 

found it! 

FE443633-01-F0-49-D3-8846-2-D0-C4067-F71

i always feel like I’m flipping the camera off but it works 

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13 hours ago, JediAmoeba said:

Ok, so I have read many an article about drag and setting the hook.  Ever since I started with baitcasters more than 20 years ago I have always set my drag much weaker than I need.  When I set the hook my left thumb is always firmly locked on the spool to make sure it's tight as needed.  In fact I use my thumb as a makeshift drag on the reels the whole time so I can add or reduce drag as needed.  This is something I have always done and it really started when muskie fishing so I could control them more on the strikes right next to the boat when running a figure 8 so they didn't break my rod.  

 

This is one reason why I dislike spinning reels and try to throw everything on a casting reel - even Ned rigs I chuck out on baitcasters.  I never feel confident the drag will hold and worry about it slipping even though I have good reels.  

 

Am I alone here because I never see it mentioned?

 

 

 

You had me until your mistrust of spinning reels, lol. And I’m like you in using my thumb.  With that said, I will not hesitate to increase the drag tighten the drag a smidgeon if the lighter drag setting will prolong the fight and I know I’m going to release it.  Any decent spinning reel from the nasci class and up should be more than adequate for you to trust it will do the job without concern. Spinning reels generally have more drag than a comparable bc reel (say a 200 sized bc reel to a 2500 sized spinning reel) so you might as well take advantage of it. 

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3 hours ago, TnRiver46 said:

I have a picture of a finger on the rotor with a lipped fish somewhere........

 

found it! 

FE443633-01-F0-49-D3-8846-2-D0-C4067-F71

i always feel like I’m flipping the camera off but it works 

Exactly. I figured you must do it too. Becomes second nature. And I hear you on losing the handle when under load. It's rare but I've had it happen. It's not like a casting reel though, easy enough to re-catch the handle before anything too crazy happens.

 

Nice pic btw. You have a buddy who can compose a photo! 👍

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I've managed a few plus sized fish every now & then on both spinning & casting gear.

Unless I'm fishing the slop - the most pressure I ever put on a fish is on the hookset.

After that I let the drag do it's job.

Works for me.

:smiley:

A-Jay

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I use Shimano Ci4+ spinning reels and they have a strong, smooth and reliable drag system. I use drag most of the time, often adjust it a bit during a catch, and I used spinning gear as intended (fight the fish with the rod, not the reel).

 

I want the drag to tire the fish on each successive run, then reel down once I attain a high rod tip taking up line. Rinse and repeat.

 

Never tried a really overly loose drag on a casting reel, then manage it with a thumb, but that seems like a good option for all except presentations where you know you need to lock it down.

 

Brad

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1 hour ago, Paul Roberts said:

Exactly. I figured you must do it too. Becomes second nature. And I hear you on losing the handle when under load. It's rare but I've had it happen. It's not like a casting reel though, easy enough to re-catch the handle before anything too crazy happens.

 

Nice pic btw. You have a buddy who can compose a photo! 👍

Thanks! I'll tell him you said that as we are going fishing this evening and tomorrow morning . That pic was from January 2016 on Cherokee lake. 

1 hour ago, A-Jay said:

I've managed a few plus sized fish every now & then on both spinning & casting gear.

Unless I'm fishing the slop - the most pressure I ever put on a fish is on the hookset.

After that I let the drag do it's job.

Works for me.

:smiley:

A-Jay

I'm guessing the spinning reels you are throwing are north of $25 tho... Haha. The cardinal in the photo I acquired for free.99. I found it under my buddy's passenger seat on the way to the river and he says "huh....that's been under there for years... You want it?" It still works well, got a 42"+ gar with it Sunday 

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I use all casting reels. I lock down the drag and if I'm fighting a fish on treble hooks I relax it as they get closer to the boat so they don't pull hooks. Today's reels with carbon drags are amazing.

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For 15 years I used fairly heavy tackle and just locked the drag down.  In those 15 years , I only lost one fish because of it.   It was the smallmouth of a lifetime and 25 years later I still have trouble sleeping when I think about that fish.  Now I set my drag regularly with a scale.  I usually set it between 1/4 and 1/3 of the break point.  The break point is the weight rating of the line or rod,  whichever is lower.   The problem I have with thumbing is accuracy.  Are you confident you can keep your “thumb drive” between 4 and five pounds when fighting the fish of a lifetime?  I set my drag precisely to keep something from breaking and let it do it’s job.  

 

As others have mentioned,  sometimes you have a bad knot or line abrasion that lowers your line capacity.  I’ve lost countless fish due to this.  That’s not a problem with my drag setting. That’s me being too lazy to retie.

 

 

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