Properly Setting Drag on a Spinning Reel?
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.
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.
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.
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.
Sure enough. The line got twisted - and weakened - enough and the line broke.