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SammyLee

Drag, how to set correctly

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I'm thinking that there must be some scientific method of seting the drag on a reel/rod combo.  So far, I just pull on the line near the reel and tighten until it "feels" right.  Somehow that seems too simple and too error prone.

What do y'all do?

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I will catch a small bass and adjust it with the fish on the line. That way I know what my drag does when I'm hooked up to a small one. I also have Power Pro Braided so I set my drag lower than normal to compensate for the lack of stretch in the line. I am so used to really rippin it when I set the hook from mono and I cant shake that habit so with the braided, I leave my drag a bit lower so when I give it a good lip rip, I dont destroy the fish's face.

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Do a search, there is a correct way using a scale.

I just go by feel

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The most common mistake, and tendency is to set the drag too tightly.

Unless you are fishing in heavy slop, and must keep a fish from getting into the rocks or brush, it's better to err on the side of too loose.

Too tight and you risk breaking your rod, especially with heavy line.  You also risk ripping the hook out if it's hooked in tender tissue.

I suppose you could get technical, as was previously stated, and set the drag to slip at a certain percent of the line test, using a scale.

But, unless you are meticulous about checking your line for nicks and frays, or changing your line on a regular basis, it will likely break at much less than its rated strength.

Years ago, I fished with two and four pound test mono, and caught a 7 lb, 14 oz, largemouth, and smallies over five pounds in open water, without obstructions.

Not smart, because it allowed the fish to fight to the point of total exhaustion, from which they might not recover.

I fished salt water with 15 pound test mono on my spinning reel, and did not change it for a couple of years.  The UV rays weakened it to where it actually tested less than six pounds breaking strength, and yet, I managed to land stripers over thirty pounds, because I fished with a loose drag.

I've also lost some nice fish because I got nervous and tightened the drag in an effort to stop them.

There is no, "one size fits all", when it comes to setting the drag.

When I have a "heavy" fish on the line, if the drag does not slip, I loosen it a bit.  That, has never "cost" me a nice fish.

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I would guess that I tend to fish with a 'lighter' drag than most. With a baitcaster I tend to thumb the spool for added drag. On the rare occasion that I hook into a hog, well I adjust the drag on the fly... that spool can get really really hot under you thumb!!

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[movedhere] General Bass Fishing Forum [move by] five.bass.limit.

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I have read to test drag just by feel pull from the end of your rod. Since that is your rod is also part of the equation. Pull against your rod when doing so.

TWO CENTS

Rand

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The old school way of setting drags is to mount the reel on a rod, string the guides, and tie a loop.

Have a second person hold a quality scale... :)

Hook the loop to the scale and lift the rod to a 45° fighting angle. Have the person holding the scale shout out the weight. Re-adjust the reels drags and lift again until you reach approx. 1/3rd the lines breaking strength..

Just my .02¢

Good Luck & Tight Lines All!!  

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I usually set the drag on my spinning reels by using a bag of groceries set at 1/3-1/4 the weight of the line.  I got that tip from someone on this forum and my drags have performed awesome now.    So, for 8 lb test, I will get 2 16oz cans of soup and put them in a plastic bag.  I'll rig up a hook on a rod and reel.  Attach a hook to the plastic bag and lift it with the rod.   If you can lift it, and no line comes out, the drag is too tight.  I lift until a little line starts coming out.

I have been doing this for a couple of years now and had no issues.  Recently, I caught a nice 7 1/2 lb steelhead on a spinning reel I used for bass fishing.  The drag worked awesome.  Steelhead are notorious for long runs and my drag performed flawlessly.

My one question though, I am just getting into baitcasting.  If you have 50+ lb braid on a baitcaster, how do you set your drag then?  I was just thinking about that today as I ordered my new Curado.

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I tend to run a little tight on braid, if im running a 40lb braid(10lb dia) i'll run around 8lb drag. With my saltwater stuff, i'll go about 1/3 to 1/2 depending again on where i am in the water column. On the bottom ill run a tad more drag than I will in the middle of the column.

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I'm thinking that there must be some scientific method of seting the drag on a reel/rod combo. So far, I just pull on the line near the reel and tighten until it "feels" right. Somehow that seems too simple and too error prone.

What do y'all do?

Step 1. Get a pair of channel locks

Step 2. Tighten that drag finger tight at first

Step 3. Use channel locks to "seal the deal"  8-)

-T9 (Apparently one of only 2 or 3 people on this site who don't use drags)

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Step 1. Get a pair of channel locks

Step 2. Tighten that drag finger tight at first

Step 3. Use channel locks to "seal the deal"  8-)

-T9 (Apparently one of only 2 or 3 people on this site who don't use drags)

That is some of the worst information I have seen posted in awhile..

There are no direct drive reels, the drags are there for a reason and anyone that would follow that info would deserve to have the one-way bearing in their reels fail big time while fighting a PB, and they do..

"Never Crank The Drags Down With A Wrench" I have seen first hand what can happen...

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That is some of the worst information I have seen posted in awhile..

There are no direct drive reels, the drags are there for a reason and anyone that would follow that info would deserve to have the one-way bearing in their reels fail big time while fighting a PB, and they do..

"Never Crank The Drags Down With A Wrench" I have seen first hand what can happen...

That's why I used the little smiling emoticon at the end of that line (for sarcastic value).  :-?

That said, I've always cranked my drags down by hand to the point of not slipping under most all fishing conditions, even since back before they put one-way bearings in reels, and have never had one fail me yet since they have added them. Much like TMike, I'm a thumb-barrer or back-reeler depending upon specific outfit in question, which is apparently a rare breed these days. Drags just enter a series of variables that I don't want added into my fishing equation.

-T9

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Drags just enter a series of variables that I don't want added into my fishing equation.

What are those? simplicity, safety and the assurance that you won't break the rod or line? ;D

You could still thumbar or backreel with the drag set... and you would also have the back up insurance if you mess up. In time, you'll either lose fish, break line or break a rod in a brainless moment with a big fish. (not to mention you'll be taking much better care of our reel by not using channel locks to set it up)

Be sure to post that you lock out the drag if you ever list your reels for sale here... because many of us will stay away from that! (and your resale value will be cut in half)

To each, his own...

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Revo STX + 50lb-65lb braid = Tighten that sucker down as much as you can. BUT do not use anything other than your hand.

Just be sure to back the drag off after each time you fish. Don't leave it tightened down.

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Revo STX + 50lb-65lb braid = Tighten that sucker down as much as you can. BUT do not use anything other than your hand.

Just be sure to back the drag off after each time you fish. Don't leave it tightened down.

;D Thanks Brokeju. And flechero, I'm not worried about resale value of my reels as I've been fishing the same Team Daiwa's for about 15 years now. I have added 2 or 3 Shimanos to the mix in that period also. I completely tear apart, clean, lube and repair (if needed) every reel every season, and that practice has served me well.

And we've discussed the merits or lack there of of drags and their purpose on this site before, so I won't rehash the old arguments. Most people's minds won't change because of a new discussion. Like you said,  to each, his own. I've never broken a line or a rod that I could attribute to my drag, so if it ain't broke, I ain't fixin' it.

-T9

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To each his own, lots of guys use light line and enjoy fighting the fish and taking their time. The entire discussion about that not being good for the fish is a topic on it's own, but that's not how I like to fish anyway.

I fish 50-65lb Braid with 15-30lb CXX leader , I don't care for allowing a fish to take out any drag.

I back my drag off after each fishing outing, and have had no problems with any of my STXs or Daiwas.

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T9,

Ok, to each his/her own.....

The thread question asked was "Drag, how to set correctly"..

What you replied with, is not what any service tech worth his salt going to agree with and is not correct ...

You do what you like.......

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IMO.......

i love the fight....so set it light.....just enough to set the hook....

if a dink rips drag you've got a problem....

when the 5lb'er can make a run, you've got it just right :)

lots will disagree, i know.....

but i love to have fun, and fun to me is hearing my drag go ZZZZZZIIIIIIIIIINNNNNNNNNNNGGGGGGGGGGGG!!!!!!!!!

(thats also one of the reasons i cant stand a BC, i love the drag sound on a spinner!!!!!)

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