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Lipped M

Adjust while fishing?

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Hi Folks,hope I'm in the right section for this,didn't want to muck up Catts' post.

Roadwarrior brings up a technique of setting the drag before you catch the fish.I know about the setting of drag according to pound test,a 1/3 of rated test?But I actually use the fishes strength to determine where my drag is set at,usually one click plus or minus,sometimes more...depends?This has saved my butt more times than not.I will try his technique but was curious as to what works best for some of you others.

Looked in the articles and couldn't find anything.Please post if theres something there and accept apoligies.

Thanks

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Hi Folks,hope I'm in the right section for this,didn't want to muck up Catts' post.

Roadwarrior brings up a technique of setting the drag before you catch the fish.I know about the setting of drag according to pound test,a 1/3 of rated test?But I actually use the fishes strength to determine where my drag is set at,usually one click plus or minus,sometimes more...depends?This has saved my butt more times than not.I will try his technique but was curious as to what works best for some of you others.

Looked in the articles and couldn't find anything.Please post if theres something there and accept apoligies.

Thanks

I never reset the drag while I 'm fighting a fish no matter how strong it 's pulling cuz then it would be defeating the purpose of the drag which is to slip and protect the line and/or the rod from breaking. How it works my way ? in the 35 years I 've fished:

1.- I 've never had a line breakeage while fishting a fish

2.- I 've never broken a rod while fighting a fish

3.- Very seldomly I don 't land the fish.

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But I actually use the fishes strength to determine where my drag is set at,usually one click plus or minus,sometimes more...depends?This has saved my butt more times than not.
Huh?  How has it saved your butt?  A fishes "strength' is variable, and can't be predicted.  Your line, rod and reel's limits are fixed, with the line usually being the weakest point.  Set your drag appropriately, and rely on it.

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I always set my drag by the book, and leave it there.

Falcon

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My drag never changes.  Set it where I feel comfortable and fish it.  If it takes line out so what I makes the fight better.  If it isn't pulling drag I just reel it in.  I usually keep it set to where it takes a 3-4lb fish to get drag off.  Any smaller than that and I'm not worried about my 14lb line snapping.  And if its bigger it'll pull line off and I'm still not worried.  

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only time i adjust during a fight is either A) too lose a drag or :) too tight a drag (big fish with hard tugs)... i keep mine at a happy medium.  

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Agree with all the posts. Set drag prior to making a cast.

I don't understand what the poll is looking for. Drag on or Drag off?

If your drag is off you won't have the ability to hook a fish without it slipping.

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Adjust while fishing?

Yes.  If my Jockeys ride up.

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Dont know about bass but I think sharks can exert around double their body weight max. Im only applying that to bass since theyre both predators. In theory 8lb line should hold a four lber in perfect conditions, no abrasion or heavy cover. If youre using 14lb test, its going to take a strong 7+ pound fish to break your line. I just apply that knowledge. Now if your drag malfunctions, thats another story.

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No, set your drag & be done with it. Learned this the hard way. If the fish takes line, so be it, you have a reel, you fight 'em back. You DON'T adjust in the middle of the battle.

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wow, I'm actually in the minority here I guess, I will adjust my drag during a fish if I see the need, for instance,  I usually keep my drag pretty tight (I don't actually test it with a scale, just a simple hand test) but, if I hook up on a bigger fish 5lbs+ I will loosen the drag to allow that fish to take more line freely, I'd rather fight the fish for 10 minutes than have the hook pull out because I was forcing him in. this being said, I use 30lb braid, so the line breaking is not an issue, I just don't want to sort of hollow out a hole in the fishes mouth by forcing on it,tearing the mouth open. I also don't crank the drag so loose I can't still have control over the fish, I jsut like to loosen it a bit so I know if the fish wants to turn its shoulders and fight, it can take a bit of line.

oh, and thats the exact method I used on the 11lber in my avatar, as well as plenty of 5,6,7, and a few 8 and 9's too. I can only recall losing 1 big fish (over 8 atleast) and that was on a topwater where he threw the lure.

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Ran Charter Boats & private yachts for over 20 years and 99.873% of the broken lines were due to some one tampering with a preset drag. Set it and use your thumb or finger if you feel the need for more drag.

Nuf Said.

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The only time I change my drag is after I take my reel apart to clean it which is 2 to 3 times a year.    :)

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I set the drag in conjunction with the spool speed on a baitcaster when "balancing" the bait with my setup.

Don't change it until I change baits and have to "rebalance" the setup.

I set the drag on spinning reels and don't touch it.

Only lost one fish.  A beautiful lady when I forgot to reset the drag and it was way too tight.

Live and learn.  :)

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I'm in the minority, too.  I'll adjust as a I see fit while I have a fish on.  Occassionally I get the drag set just where I want it.  But more often than not I fin tune it while the fish is on.  I see nothing wrong with this whatsoever.  

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I'm in the minority, too. I'll adjust as a I see fit while I have a fish on. Occassionally I get the drag set just where I want it. But more often than not I fin tune it while the fish is on. I see nothing wrong with this whatsoever.

When you have a really BIG fish on, you don't need any

distractions. The fish of a lifetime doesn't come along everyday.

That's what I prepare for, seriously.

With a perfectly set drag you will also get maximum performance

from your equipment. You can put all the "heat" you want on a fish

without any concern about breaking your line or rod. Several

seasoned members have stated on this thread that they have

NEVER been broken off. It's only happened once to me and it

broke my heart, but that had nothing to do with my drag.

http://www.bassresource.com/bass_fishing_forums/YaBB.pl?num=1226342926/0

8-)

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1.- I 've never had a line breakeage while fishting a fish

Probably if you're catching "little fish" 15# and under but where I mostly fish you have to adjust the drag.  I can just as easily catch a 2# blue runner or 60# tarpon, you just never know and it does happen more than you may think.  With tarpon or a large snook they will snap your line in an eye blink so you have to back the drag down, then you run the risk have being spooled.  Live bait fisherman may use a heavier line like 30# but most casters are using 10-15 or 20 braid.  I'm constantly adjusting, do I lose any, you bet I do that's part of the game, but I'm releasing them anyway so makes no difference.

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On baitcasting reels I rarely touch the drag. Exception might be if I'm deep cranking using light line. If I'm fighting a big fish on light line I may back the drag off a bit during the fight but even that has changed since I went to a glass crankin rod.

With spinning gear the drag is set and usually stays there also. 3 of my spinning reels are Shimano rear drag models with the fighting drag. Again, using really light line on big fish, 6lb test on Lake Erie for example, I will bump the fighting drag to loose up a little when the fish is coming in (if it's a biggun).

Other than those times, drag is set and stays put.

May I add......back reeling......I've seen several people do this when fighting a large fish. I used to, till it cost me a couple lost fish. Once I hooked a fish and felt or saw it was big I would hit the anti-reverse lever and back reel. More than once that cost me a fish. In the heat of the fight I would hurry to hit the lever, do it haphazardly, and causing a sudden back spin in my reel. This throws slack down the line, pop goes the hook. It actually cost me a tournament win once......never again.

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I'm in the minority, too. I'll adjust as a I see fit while I have a fish on. Occassionally I get the drag set just where I want it. But more often than not I fin tune it while the fish is on. I see nothing wrong with this whatsoever.

When you have a really BIG fish on, you don't need any

distractions. The fish of a lifetime doesn't come along everyday.

That's what I prepare for, seriously.

With a perfectly set drag you will also get maximum performance

from your equipment. You can put all the "heat" you want on a fish

without any concern about breaking your line or rod. Several

seasoned members have stated on this thread that they have

NEVER been broken off. It's only happened once to me and it

broke my heart, but that had nothing to do with my drag.

http://www.bassresource.com/bass_fishing_forums/YaBB.pl?num=1226342926/0

8-)

I follow the same line of thought. I set my drag correctly and that's where it stays.

Never is a very strong word. In the beginning of our fishing experiences none of us tied perfect knots or played fish perfectly. I would think all of us have broken off at one time or another, especially early in our fishing lives. Could it be these seasoned veterans are suffering from memory loss? :)

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I find it hard to believe anyone that says they have never been broken off. Never broken off due to drag is another story. I've had plenty fish wrap me around dock posts, get stuck in stumps or bury in weeds and break off but again, this is not the fault of the drag, just an ornery fish.

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I will also adjust the drag during a fight if I have to. If I hook a big fish in an area relatively free from heavy cover, letting it run if need be helps prevent them from coming unhooked, let alone line breakages. I generally don't have to do this with bass under 3 pounds though, with the possible exception of a 2 pound smallie in fast current.

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I find it hard to believe anyone that says they have never been broken off. Never broken off due to drag is another story. I've had plenty fish wrap me around dock posts, get stuck in stumps or bury in weeds and break off but again, this is not the fault of the drag, just an ornery fish.

Exactly :)

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Never touch the drag during a fight. I've learned the hard way, messing with the drag takes your focus off the fish which is the last thing you want to do during a fight. Set it and forget it.

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It seems to me that there is no one perfect drag setting because of so many variables involved. Drag setting is not solely dependant on line test, but also size of fish, species of fish, distance from boat, cover, and other variables. An example would be throwing a large musky bait with 6/0 trebles on 100lb braid. I want absolutely no slip or give on the hook set whatsoever because driving 6/0 hooks through a musky's jaw at a distance needs all the power available and a locked down drag.

Once I see how it's hooked I don't want to horse that same fish in with a locked down drag, because a green musky thrashing with 6/0 trebles in the net or boat is pretty dangerous. I loosen the drag as this same fish nears the boat and let them make a few runs alongside the boat. Northern Pike are also notorious for not fighting super hard until they see the boat and make a suicide run as they get close. Quite different than a carp which dig towards bottom in a tug of war with predictable runs... unlike a musky or pike. Take that same musky hitting that same lure at a much closer distance to the boat during a figure eight and what I need is free spool mode on the reel and no drag except my thumb on the spool. You do not want a locked down drag when a 30lb musky hits your lure with 2ft of line out from the rod tip. You will break the rod. So you now use your thumb as the drag in free spool mode to set the hook, then allowing the fish to run once hooked by reducing thumb pressure.

Take that same lure and same rod and same line with the same musky while trolling... you no longer need the locked down drag on the hook set because the speed and momentum of the boat become an important factor in the hook set. Often going 5-7mph, the boat speed is setting the hook for you and you can afford to have a bit of slip of drag, since you could never set the hook on your own as powerfully as a 2000lb boat going 5-7 mph can. All examples of how the right amount of drag pressure is dependant on many other factors than only line test.

Just my opinion but the appropriate amount of drag is highly variable. A long rod made of fiberglass will give more than a short graphite rod with broomstick action. Likely would require different drag setting even when using same line test. I see more guys lose fish due to not recognizing when they need more drag or less drag given a set of circumstances that constantly vary.

Use a lighter than optimal drag on a musky in 95 degree heat of summer... you may land the fish... but you may also kill the fish due to exhausting it by fighting it far too long. That's an example of the right drag setting being influenced by excessive water temps.

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