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ArcherJohnny

Stupid Newb Question about setting drag

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I'm using a spinning reel.  The kind with the drag wheel on the top of the bail.  My question is, how loose should I have this thing set to?  I mostly catch .5-1.5 lb largemouth, but today I caught a 5 lb (guessing it was that heavy...it was 20 inches long) striper and I was able to get it in by working the rod up and down, but I was pretty nervous it was going to break my line off.  Thanks in advance!

Johnny

ps: once I get ten posts up, I'll post up the pic of the striper and y'all can tell me how much it looks like it weighs.

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i would say set the drag loose enough to where it is semi hard to medium hard to pull line out by hand, but not any where near imposible to pull the line.  basicaly if a 2 lb bass took it then he could pull some line out but not to much.

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i would say set the drag loose enough to where it is semi hard to medium hard to pull line out by hand, but not any where near imposible to pull the line. basicaly if a 2 lb bass took it then he could pull some line out but not to much.

While that is less than scientific advice, its pretty much correct. Generally a good rule of thumb is to set the drag at about 20-25% of the breaking strength of the line you are using.

So, as mentioned in the previous bit of advice, if you are using ten pound line, anywhere between 2 lbs. and almost 2.5 lbs. is a good place to start. If you are you using 15, that means 3 to 3.75 lbs. is ideal. This is kind of hard to test, and meaningless to get exactly right, so just make sure you can pull line pretty easy.

The problem with setting drag too tight is that the line can break. You have to remember it is not only based on the weight of the fish. The line can dig into the spool and make it jerky and prone to breaking. Also, if the fish runs into cover, the looser drag will reduce abrasion problems from the line scraping tree trunks, branches, etc.

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This is what I like about this forum.  You guys are super helpful! 

Pics posted of the striper in the outing forum if anyone is interested!

Johnny

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You can test your drag setting by attaching a scale to the end of the line and pulling out line while reading the scale. After a while you'll just know where you want it just by pulling a little out. And that should be done before every outing because you never know what can happen.

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Remember that line friction through guides on a flexed rod adds considerably to the pounds needed to pull line off the reel.

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While that is less than scientific advice, its pretty much correct. Generally a good rule of thumb is to set the drag at about 20-25% of the breaking strength of the line you are using.

So, as mentioned in the previous bit of advice, if you are using ten pound line, anywhere between 2 lbs. and almost 2.5 lbs. is a good place to start. If you are you using 15, that means 3 to 3.75 lbs. is ideal. This is kind of hard to test, and meaningless to get exactly right, so just make sure you can pull line pretty easy.

The problem with setting drag too tight is that the line can break. You have to remember it is not only based on the weight of the fish. The line can dig into the spool and make it jerky and prone to breaking. Also, if the fish runs into cover, the looser drag will reduce abrasion problems from the line scraping tree trunks, branches, etc.

Put 2 1/2 or 3 lbs of weight in a plastic grocery

bag and tie your line to the handles. GENTLY

raise your rod tip and adjust the drag to where

it just begins to slip as the bag is lifted off the

ground.

With your hand, pull some line off the reel several

times to get a "feel" for where you have the drag

set. On future outings you can set the drag without

actually using the weight.

8-)

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Generally a good rule of thumb is to set the drag at about 20-25% of the breaking strength of the line you are using.

How do you know if it's at 20% or 75%?

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Generally a good rule of thumb is to set the drag at about 20-25% of the breaking strength of the line you are using.

How do you know if it's at 20% or 75%?

you mean 20 or 25%?

looking at RW's example above. thats pulling 25-30% of 10lb line.

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25%-30% as long as that's within the parameters

of the rod. I suspect that once you actually measure

the drag, you won't put more than three, or at most,

four pounds on any rig.

8-)

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i actually meant 75% because i don't know where and how to begin measuring.  I didn't refresh the page, so i didn't get rw's post.  sounds reasonable and i'll give it a shot!  thx

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While that is less than scientific advice, its pretty much correct. Generally a good rule of thumb is to set the drag at about 20-25% of the breaking strength of the line you are using.

So, as mentioned in the previous bit of advice, if you are using ten pound line, anywhere between 2 lbs. and almost 2.5 lbs. is a good place to start. If you are you using 15, that means 3 to 3.75 lbs. is ideal. This is kind of hard to test, and meaningless to get exactly right, so just make sure you can pull line pretty easy.

The problem with setting drag too tight is that the line can break. You have to remember it is not only based on the weight of the fish. The line can dig into the spool and make it jerky and prone to breaking. Also, if the fish runs into cover, the looser drag will reduce abrasion problems from the line scraping tree trunks, branches, etc.

Put 2 1/2 or 3 lbs of weight in a plastic grocery

bag and tie your line to the handles. GENTLY

raise your rod tip and adjust the drag to where

it just begins to slip as the bag is lifted off the

ground.

With your hand, pull some line off the reel several

times to get a "feel" for where you have the drag

set. On future outings you can set the drag without

actually using the weight.

8-)

x2.  I have been doing this little trick as RW described for several years now.  Learned it from these forums and my drag has worked flawlessly.  Landed some decent size pike and a small musky on my bass rods.  Even fought a 7-10 lb carp for a while until the bugger decided to make one more dash for the docks and wrap my line around a pole (my only snap off in the past 4 years since setting my drag properly).    It's simple and easy to do.  My kids laugh when they see me "fishing for groceries."

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