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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I fish from the bank a lot mainly for Channel cats because that’s what stocked and available in SoCal. I use a Carolina rig I throw it out and then put it in a rod holder and keep the line tight. My buddy and I got in to a debate this weekend because he had his drag super loose and I had mine just tight enough that I could move it with my hand. So it got me thinking I’m not really sure what the correct drag setting is. It’s my understanding that if the drag is to loose you won’t get hookups but to tight and they will just snap it. Thansk
 

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I'd say about a 3rd to half of what your mainline's breaking strength. Although a reel with either a clicker or baitfeeder on takes away the guess work 😂
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I'd say about a 3rd to half of what your mainline's breaking strength. Although a reel with either a clicker or baitfeeder on takes away the guess work 😂
I have a clicker on all my reels. So what is the objective to set it tight enough that I hear the clicker?
 

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I after casting and taking up slack...I just put my reel in freespool and turn on the clicker...once it starts talking I engage the reel and try to dot the fish's eyes.

My drag typically stays at about 10lbs or so unless I'm hooked into something the requires me to adjust on the fly.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I after casting and taking up slack...I just put my reel in freespool and turn on the clicker...once it starts talking I engage the reel and try to dot the fish's eyes.

My drag typically stays at about 10lbs or so unless I'm hooked into something the requires me to adjust on the fly.
so on a star drag like I have (piscifun chaos and catfishpro cts 600). Once I cast I turn the drags all the way down until I hear the clicker? Wouldn’t that crest a lack of tension and affect the hook set especially on a circle hook?
 

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Push the freespool button or thumbs then turn on the clicker
 

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It's what you push to cast
 

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The drag is a function of line protection not bite detection. Generally you set the drag at about a third of the lines breaking strength. The drag then becomes the "weak link", by slipping, rather than the line itself, by breaking. This allows the fish some leeway to run and wear itself out against drag pressure. When it tires you can regain line. This pressure is also variable by means other than the drag itself. Raising the rod adds tension from the rod flex and friction through the eyes. Lowering the rod lessens tension to just the drag setting. There's some skill in relying on drag to fight a fish, mainly in play when fishing light lines or light tackle for strong fish or in heavy current.
For most general fishing the gear is usually selected in rod strength and line weight that drag rarely comes into play to the degree it does with lighter equipment.
 

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Another thing, drag washers can and will take a "set" if left under tension for long periods. It's best to back off the drag at the end of each trip and reset at the start of each new trip.

I used to do a good bit of ultralight 2lb test fishing and have pulled in some pretty good sized fish including cats over ten pounds.
 

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If you want the fish to take out line on the bite under more tension than a bait clicker can give you need one of the baitfeeder type spinning reels that have two drags. One main drag and a drag while in "free spool".
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
If you want the fish to take out line on the bite under more tension than a bait clicker can give you need one of the baitfeeder type spinning reels that have two drags. One main drag and a drag while in "free spool".
do you have any examples of reels with this feature? I have seen spinners with it but not baitcasters.
 

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do you have any examples of reels with this feature? I have seen spinners with it but not baitcasters.


 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·


mare there any baitcasters with this feature? Not a spinner fan
 

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I don't use the baitfeeder option on my casting reels unless I am bankfishing and don't have my rods locked down. I use circle hooks almost all of the time, so I want the fish to hook itself. I set my drag fairly tight for the line that I am using. Not an issue for the most part as I am running 30 lb mainline and I think most of reels max drag is between 15-20lb. I don't quite have it maxed out.

The drag and the clicker are 2 different features and it doesn't matter what the drag is set at for the bait clicker to work. I seldom ever change my drag other than I test it usually when I first start fishing because like mentioned above it can be stuck.
 

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mare there any baitcasters with this feature? Not a spinner fan
Your Piscifun Chaos has this feature. Set the star drag based upon the line that you are using. You then don't need to do anything with it. After casting out on the left side of the reel (assumes right handed reel), there is a little slide switch. Pushing it forward and then depress the free spool button. If you pull out on the line you should hear the clicker and there is some slight resistance. If the slide switch on the side is back towards you then you won't hear the clicker when pulling out line and the spool is just free with the free spool button pushed in. When a fish takes it then simply start reeling and it will engage the reel and then you can set the hook or fight the fish. I usually turn the clicker off once I start to reel as the clicker is annoying when fighting the fish.

If your rods are locked down solid in a rod holder, I see no reason to use the bait clicker though. Only time I do on the boat is if the boat is getting pushed around alot by the wind.
 

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Unless the current is too strong...I fish clickers on, mainly because I don't have to worry about taking my eyes off the rods 😂
 

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With the advent of circle hooks the clicker feature has become less needed.

Some fish, including cats, can detect the weight of the line and resistance as they pock up the bait and move away. The answer to this was to put the reel into free spool and let the fish run with it to allow them opportunity to take the bait fully into their mouth before setting the hook. The clicker feature is nothing more than a noise maker to alert you that a fish is moving with the bait. Most reels have no tension adjustment on the clicker.

Circle hooks require tension in order to turn and set so they are rarely fished with the reel in free spool.
 
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