Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
guitarkid

setting the drag

Recommended Posts

Well how do you guys do it? I have heard and seen a whole bunch of different ways, and just wanted to know the proper way.

                -gk

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hold the end of your line/lure/bait before you cast.  Reel in.  Feel the drag slipping, feel how much pressure it takes to engage the drag, look at your rod tip.  If the drags slips alot then it is probably set to low.  If the pressure is so great that your rod bends down  and the drag doesn't slip then it's probably too high.  A good way to tell is to tie your line to a known poundage weight (like a small hand weight) and get a feel as to what weight your drag slips compared to what size fish you expect to catch, although sometimes you will hook something you were not expecting.  Generally you can just get a feel for it by pulling the line and testing the drag before you start fishing.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Attach a scale to a fixed object, I use a bench vise, and tie your line to the hook on the scale. Set your drag somewhat loose, and take a measurement pull. You want to have it set somewhere between 1/4 and 1/3 the line rating or rod rating, whichever is lower. 3-4 lbs. of resistance is pretty much standard on most casting rigs, and 2-2.5 on spinning.  After a while you do get a feel for it, but it never hurts to bench test once in a while.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've yet to see anyone use a scale to set the drag, everyone I know just does it by feel, it isn't rocket science.  I'm also one these guys that adjusts the drag while the fish is on, that's part of the fun of playing a fish.  If I have little 2 or 3 # fish on, I have no qualms in easing up on the drag and let it run a bit, that's why I'm there.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I've yet to see anyone use a scale to set the drag, everyone I know just does it by feel, it isn't rocket science. I'm also one these guys that adjusts the drag while the fish is on, that's part of the fun of playing a fish. If I have little 2 or 3 # fish on, I have no qualms in easing up on the drag and let it run a bit, that's why I'm there.

x2...your catching bass not like your going out to haul in sharks or marlins,no need to get super technical and waste your time dialing it in like that.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Preparation for a tournament is part of what I enjoy about bass fishing.  I'm a technical person, and I like to know that my drags are set to specific resistance.  I set them, and forget them.  It gives me confidence to know that they are set correctly to my specs.  The only job I have to do when i hook a fish is bring it in - no messing with drags, worrying about knots, etc.

None of this means I catch more fish, but it works for me.  The OP wanted to know, and I told him.  If you don't go through that routine, I have no problem with it.  As i said, after a while, it becomes intuitive, and you can go by feel.  But how do you know they are set properly if you don't have this experience?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Well how do you guys do it? I have heard and seen a whole bunch of different ways, and just wanted to know the proper way.

                -gk

Personal opinions aside.

This old school stuff and should be followed....

There is a right way to set your drags.... ;)

Mount the reel to the rod, thread the line as usual. loop the tag end. Have a buddy hold a spring or digital scale and place the loop over the hook for the scale. Preset the reels drags to a light slipping setting.

Now lift the rod tip and take a reading when the drag starts to slip.

Next add a little drag to the system and lift again and take the reading when the line starts to slip. Repeat until you hit about 1/3 the line test break rating...

Doesn't matter if you use light drags or not, getting into the habit of pre setting the drags on your reels is just another way of properly using and maintaining your gear......

Just my .02¢

Tight Lines!!!!!  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Mount the reel to the rod
Whoops!  Missed that critical step  ;)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Attach a scale to a fixed object, I use a bench vise, and tie your line to the hook on the scale. Set your drag somewhat loose, and take a measurement pull. You want to have it set somewhere between 1/4 and 1/3 the line rating or rod rating, whichever is lower. 3-4 lbs. of resistance is pretty much standard on most casting rigs, and 2-2.5 on spinning. After a while you do get a feel for it, but it never hurts to bench test once in a while.

Same advice, just another way:

An example using 12 lb line: put a 3 lb free weight in a plastic

grocery bag and tie it on to your line. Gently lift the bag

off the ground an set your drag so it begins to release at that

point. After measuring your drag weight, you will get a feel

for where it needs to be set. Still, it's fun to do and I always

like an exact setting when I get new gear.

If you measure your drag setting properly as J Francho,

Reel Mechanic and I have suggested, you will never adjust

your setting during the fight.

8-)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Preparation for a tournament is part of what I enjoy about bass fishing. I'm a technical person, and I like to know that my drags are set to specific resistance. I set them, and forget them. It gives me confidence to know that they are set correctly to my specs. The only job I have to do when i hook a fish is bring it in - no messing with drags, worrying about knots, etc.

2X I like technical people confidence in your gear means a lot!!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I just want to add a few things about setting drag, and the various methods....

I generally start with a straight pull. Technically, it makes no difference whether the reel is mounted or not, or whether the rod is loaded - 3 lbs. of resistance is 3 lbs. of resistance. If you don't believe me, try it out.

The reason I don't like to recommend the "bag of weights" method is that you can break a rod very easily. With reels with advertised max drags in the 20 lb. range, it would be easy for a newb to get a little overzealous.

The main reason to mount the reel on a rod is to match the drag performance with the rod itself and to test the smoothness of the system, both while paying out line, and at the point where it transitions to slippage.  it may turn out that the reel manages 4.5 lbs. of drag, but performs better at 4.25 lbs.  yes, this is subjective, and I'm splitting hairs here.

You don't want to set your drag, and simply pull on the rod to see if it slips. You want to start very low. You'd be surprised just how much pressure and stress just 3 lbs. of resistance actually places on the rod.

My big problem with the bag of weight method is that it always stresses the rod, and many will set it to actually hold that weight in the air. If you have 3 lbs. in that bag, and your reel and rod is holding it without slipping, your reel is set higher than 3 lbs. You want it to be just slipping when attempting to lift the weight.

Anyway, sorry to get so technical, but I felt that I left some useful and cautionary info out of my posts.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If your using braid just cast out & try a hook set. If the drag slips just a little your fine. Very simple and it does work. For mono you shouldn't have any slip on a hookset. Its not rocket science unless you want it to be.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

JF good points all.

I don't lift a fish out of the water with the rod.

When i'm setting drags, it is a fighting drag setup at a 45° rod angle.

Don't like the idea of any angler lifting fish out of the water with rods..

It may be cool to watch the pro's flip small 1# bass into the boat like they were yellow fin tuna, but it can waste a rod in a heart beat. Also they don't buy their equipment, they are working for money against time, and could really care less as to what they teach the younger novice anglers in the world watching..

If your using braid just cast out & try a hook set. If the drag slips just a little your fine. Very simple and it does work. For mono you shouldn't have any slip on a hookset. Its not rocket science unless you want it to be.
If your using braid you definitely need to go softer on drag setting and rod tips to accommodate the lack of stretch in the line. For mono you should still set to a fighting drag as stated above, if you need no slippage from hook sets try laying your thumb on the top layer of line and that will give you an almost direct drive hook set. It works also I have used it for 20+ years of baitcasting

Tight Lines!!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Excellent topic - glad it's been brought up again. I have spinning reels with Yozuri Hybrid 6lb on them. According to RW, his research says the 6lb test has an actual breaking strength of 11.8lb. So, where do I set my drag?

:-?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What is the rods max rating?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Although the math suggests 3-4 lbs, I suspect you will end up

at 2-2 1/2 lbs. The rod for my main smallmouth rig is a PR844S

which can handle a lot of weight, but 3 lbs is too much for me!

8-)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have Revos so i just lock mine down, LOL!

The scale technique is what i have used in the past as well.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Attach a scale to a fixed object, I use a bench vise, and tie your line to the hook on the scale. Set your drag somewhat loose, and take a measurement pull. You want to have it set somewhere between 1/4 and 1/3 the line rating or rod rating, whichever is lower. 3-4 lbs. of resistance is pretty much standard on most casting rigs, and 2-2.5 on spinning. After a while you do get a feel for it, but it never hurts to bench test once in a while.

Same advice, just another way:

An example using 12 lb line: put a 3 lb free weight in a plastic

grocery bag and tie it on to your line. Gently lift the bag

off the ground an set your drag so it begins to release at that

point. After measuring your drag weight, you will get a feel

for where it needs to be set. Still, it's fun to do and I always

like an exact setting when I get new gear.

If you measure your drag setting properly as J Francho,

Reel Mechanic and I have suggested, you will never adjust

your setting during the fight.

8-)

x2 on the grocery bag trick.

I learned this method here on the forums about 3 years ago after losing a good size fish on a lousy day of fishing.  Since then, I have never had a line snap due to a good fish fight.  

Everytime I fish with someone who has a line snap, they complain about their line being garbage.  I ask about their drag and they tell me they set it "by feel."  I then recommend the garbage bag trick but, most of the time, it falls on deaf ears.  It always amazes me when people ignore their drag and let it go even after losing a big fish.

As for the Yo-Zuri 6 lb line, I have set it at 2 lb (1/3 of 6 lbs) and 4 lbs (1/3 of 12 lbs - the line strength).  I also set it at 3 lb (split the difference).  I shy to the 2-3 lb side based on nothing more than personal preference.  Hope that helps.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
JFrancho- What is the rods max rating?

JF, what is a rod's max rating? Max rating of what? :-?

Line rating on the rod.  Use the breaking strength of the line, oir the rating of rod, whichever is lower, for your drag calculations.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

After you guys set your drag, do you leave it? Or do you loosen it after every outing. Does loosing the drag help to maintain the reel?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
After you guys set your drag, do you leave it? Or do you loosen it after every outing. Does loosing the drag help to maintain the reel?

Yes, a loose drag is best when not fishing.  Leaving the drag tight maintains compression on the drag washers.  When they are loose they stay like this () when tight they compress like this ||.  Leving them tight reduces the strength over time.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've heard both sides of the story, some "experts" say loosen others say it makes no difference.  I loosen mine out of habit because I don't care to take a chance and it requires no effort.

Re setting the drag for the next outing takes almost as less time as it did to loosen it, doing it by feel I know exactly where I want it.

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
Sign in to follow this  

  • 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
    fishing gear

    Truck Caps

    fishing reels
    fishing reels

    fishing

    bass fish

    fish for bass
    fish

×