Properly Setting Drag on a Spinning Reel?

3/2/08 @ 11:09 AM
ORIGINAL POST
BoatFever
BoatFever
USER since 10/7/07
In the past, I did not have any method for setting the drag. I'd pretty much just set it to "whatever" and if line got pulled out too easily I'd tighten it some. When I hooked an unexpected whopper last fall, my line snapped. At the time, I blamed the Vanish fluorocarbon line. This year, I want to set my drag PROPERLY. Can anyone offer some guidance on setting it? I've got a 7' medium action rod with a Quantum spinning reel and 10lb P-Line flouroclear, and another 6' medium action with a Abu Garcia spinning reel and 6lb Trilene mono. Thanks, - BF
Edited on 3/2/08 11:10 AM
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Displaying 1 to 10 of 18 Posts
3/9/08 @ 7:57 PM
denesox
denesox
USER since 2/1/06
here's another tidbit....front drags are always of a higher quality....very few quality spinning reels have a rear drag system.....

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3/8/08 @ 9:09 PM
BoatFever
BoatFever
USER since 10/7/07
What is "back reeling"? Yes, I'm a relative novice and am not afraid to look stupid asking questions. Smile

-BF

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3/8/08 @ 12:45 PM
fuzzyfishin
fuzzyfishin
USER since 3/26/07
I like to use reer-drag reels. I normaly will backreel most fish. I also use very light line for most fishing adventures so the reer-drag does get used. I do like the shimano fighting drag system works well. Front drags you will get fingers caught in the procces of bringing a large fish in. Never heard about the 1/3 method. Have to say my drags are set accordingly to the line being mono or braid. Then to the rod itself as to weight and length. Always better to error on the side of lighter dragset. If that biggn is on better chance of seeing it. Not just a brack off.

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3/7/08 @ 2:13 PM
Preacherman
Preacherman
USER since 2/10/02
My own practice is...I ever, ever tighten the drag while I am fighting a fish. From what I have observed, the tendency of most fisherman is to overtighten the drag in the excitement of the battle. If a fish is running and you want to slow or try to turn it, simply thumbing your reel spool. You create the same type of response as tightening your drag...and the advantage is, your response to diminishing the increased drag is to simply pull back your finger.

One of the things most fisherman forget is that the line is only as strong as it's weakest point. Any nick or twist in the line can reduce the strength of the line by 50-75%. To tighten your line while fighting a fish is asking for the line to break, especially if you are fishing heavy cover or rocks.

Set your drag at the beginning of every trip and leave it alone. If you need more pressure, apply it manually with your fingers. Using this method, my buddies and I have brought 40+ pound sturgeon to the side of the boat on the WI River, using ultralights and 4 pound test line.

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3/3/08 @ 8:45 AM
lvtofish
lvtofish
USER since 2/2/05
I find the best way is to hook your jig/lure up to the trailer before you launch....practice a hook set on the trailer. you should be able to set the hook with out breaking your line.

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3/3/08 @ 8:25 AM
Twister
Twister
MEMBER since 6/15/01
Thanks for the tip about releasing the drag. I am over 65 years old and probably have more hours fishing than most of you guys ever dream about, yet I still learned something new today.

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3/3/08 @ 7:47 AM
BigMusky12
BigMusky12
USER since 12/22/04
if you are going to use light line and have drag set loose....having sharp hooks is a MUST to ensure proper hooksets. If you are using mono set it tighter then with braid...mono has more stretch so you need it tighter for better hooksets.

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3/3/08 @ 7:37 AM
fishs
fishs
MEMBER since 2/17/04
Back reel. Works everytime.

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3/2/08 @ 8:27 PM
denesox
denesox
USER since 2/1/06
twister....ALWAYS...EVERY TIME.....BACK OFF THE DRAG SYSTEM WHEN NOT IN USE!!!!!! And do this with ALL reels of ALL types....keeping drags tightened up (when not in use, obviously) is abuse of your reel....its SOOOOOO easy to simply back off, yet few do it....drag systems (with the exception of a small few) are supported by a series of washers...keep them smashed together and they will eventually want to stay that way....result, a lumpy or sticky drag (that needs to be worked on)....then you have no choice but to backreel....

Edited on 3/2/08 8:29 PM
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3/2/08 @ 6:08 PM
smallmouths r awesome
smallmouths r awesome
USER since 3/14/03
If you go to Anglers page next to forums ,then angling videos, there is a 60 second video explaining how to set your drag. Basically all you need to do is tie a loop in your line then attach it to a spring scale. You want the drag to "engage" at 1/3 the test strength of the line. Ex. With 10# line you want to pull on the spring scale and have the drag engage around 3, 3 1/3 #s. Check out the video and you will see.

On a side note, I have always heard that you should store your reels for long periods of time with the drags loose. I have followed this and have not had any issues with drag failure.

My father in law keeps his drag set really tight for good hook sets and back reels. He is a professional guide and catches over 1000 eyes a year in open water so he has had lots of experience. I want to try this method this year.

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