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Properly Setting Drag on a Spinning Reel?

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BoatFever
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3/2/08 11:08 AM CST
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

[This post was last edited on 3/2/08 at 11:10 AM]
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denesox
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3/9/08 7:56 PM CST
here's another tidbit....front drags are always of a higher quality....very few quality spinning reels have a rear drag system.....

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

-BF

fuzzyfishin
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3/8/08 12:44 PM CST
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.

Preacherman
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3/7/08 2:12 PM CST
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.

lvtofish
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3/3/08 8:44 AM CST
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.

Twister
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3/3/08 8:24 AM CST
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.

BigMusky12
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3/3/08 7:45 AM CST
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.

fishs
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3/3/08 7:36 AM CST
Back reel. Works everytime.

denesox
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3/2/08 8:26 PM CST
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....

[This post was last edited on 3/2/08 at 8:29 PM]
smallmouths r awesome
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3/2/08 6:06 PM CST
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.

madbricky
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3/2/08 4:37 PM CST
Just a forthought, before I even put that reel on a rod I test the reel by setting the drag to the weight of the reel and standing on a short ladder let it glide down to a couch pillow looking for smooth descent and no jerking of the drag.

Two types of line to consider with two styles of rods. Heavy mono and heavier rods like trolling gear get 3/4 line rating and Braided and fast action lighter rods get 1/3 rating. I mostly use the latter type of combo with shock leaders for Pike and Bass.

Braided lines and hard lines require a much lower drag setting along with a faster tip to keep from getting fish lips on the strike or hard hitting fish. Thats my experience and the Power Pro line insert warning. I also use bait runner reels from DAM to let the fish take line, crank the rod down to the water level and sweep up slowly for a hook set, this is also need for Circle and Octopus hooks. There is no stretch on that line so the rod and reel must do all the work to absorb shock and control the fish. Lots of guys just yank the lure or bait right out of the fishes mouth and never realize it. Good Salmon and Trout line for hard mouth fish.

With my heavier rods and large reels its Berkley MAXX and I give the fish a solid hook set or once again with circle hooks and Octopus hooks give the line a solid but slower sweep from the reeled up slack to an 11 o'clock position.

Like the other guys all said do not reel on fish, I pump the rod to bring the fish in or let them run at the 11 position and lower the rod to gain line pulling the fish back to me wit the drag slipping as it needs to, Browns are good at running at you so sometimes its a battle to reel the line like crazy to keep them tight. Final tip that puts the max pressure on the line is the same as flyfishing and centerpin reels....... use that index finger to feather the spool and increase drag cautiously. Fooling around with the drag during a fight is recipe for break offs. That has been my experience from a light line fisherman. Wink

Twister
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3/2/08 3:45 PM CST
I have shimano reels and they always seem to tighten up over night so I always reset the drags every morning.

I would rather have the drag too loose than too tight.

You have to be a pretty experienced fisher person to either free spool or mess with the drag while you are fighting a fish. I set the drag at the beginning of the day and leave it unless I am definitely set too heavy or too light.

weinis
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3/2/08 3:38 PM CST
Set the drag to 1/3 of you lb test.if you got 10lb test then you should be a little over 3lbs pull for the drag to go.

1234567890
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3/2/08 3:04 PM CST
I've also lost a monster fish one time due to my drag being too tight. I really like to play with the drag while I'm fighting a fish. If I'm feeling like the line is a little strained on a big fish I will loosen it up midfight, and if he's only fighting half heartedly or he's getting too close to a snag, I'll tighten it up again to make up some ground. Sometimes catching big pike or catfish on 8lb test I loosen it and tighten it 5 or 6 times in the course of the fight. You gotta be flexible.

cds
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3/2/08 2:18 PM CST
Loomis's comment about not reeling while the fish is taking out drag reminds me of an episode from Bob Masicomer's (sp?) show "Simply Fishing". He was reeling like mad while the drag was screaming - all the while saying:"He's gonna break me off,he's gonna break me off"

Sure enough. The line got twisted - and weakened - enough and the line broke.

Displaying Posts 1 through 15 of 18
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