Correct way to set drag ?

Discussion in 'Fishing Reel Review' started by kyron4, May 16, 2006.

  1. kyron4

    kyron4 New Member

    Messages:
    185
    State:
    Indiana
    Hard to believe I've been fishing for over 20 years and I'm still not 100% sure on how to set the drag on a fishing reel. :crazy: I read it should be set at 1/3 the line strength. So with 20 lbs. test do I tie a 7 lbs. weight on the line, lift it off the ground, and loosen drag until it starts to slip ? I use mainly closed face spincact (Zebco 33, 733) but also use some spinning reels. Is it the same process for both ? Thanks , and try not to laugh to hard :embarassed:
     
  2. IL Hunter

    IL Hunter New Member

    Messages:
    1,574
    State:
    Normal, IL
    The best way to set it exactly is to use a weight tied to it.
     

  3. TxRiverman

    TxRiverman New Member

    Messages:
    324
    State:
    Lockhart Tx
    I use the 1/3 of the line weight formula also, I set mine using a fish scale.Just attach your line to the hook on the scale and pull on the scale. Make the adjustments to your drag as needed. Using the 1/3 of the line weight formula works with mono,but not the braided lines.Because braided is alot stronger than mono for its size(example;65lb Power Pro has a 0.016 Dia. and your typical 20lb mono has a 0.018 - 0.020 Dia), you need to be careful when setting your drag. Most reels on the market dont have enough drag to use the 1/3 formula for braid,as you can harm your drag washers if you set it to high. I have 2 Shimano Calcutta 250's that I use for catfishing,and i think everybody will agree that Calcutta's are pretty decent reels, and they only have 11-12lbs of drag at max. So if your using braid of a high test poundage,set your drag like you would using mono of a compareable line Dia. Hope this helps.
     
  4. LarryW

    LarryW New Member

    Messages:
    523
    State:
    Abbeville Louisiana
    There is a good artical in the library on setting the drag that I think is better. I do not know how to bring it up on here or I would.
     
  5. s_man

    s_man New Member

    Messages:
    3,012
    State:
    south east ohio
    Unless you want to tie on a weight or pull on a scale before you go fishing each time I wouldn't bother trying to set the drag on a 33. They have a tendency to stick tight when left in the same position for several days/weeks. The drag will become tighter due to inaction than the day you set it. Instead just loosen it up after your first cast, pull out a foot or so of line to make sure its unstuck then tighten down till you get good resistance. You can always tighten it down little by little if you're losing line to a fish. What I always did was trap the line aginst the front cap with my finger and periodically let him take some line.
     
  6. kscathunter

    kscathunter New Member

    Messages:
    2,367
    State:
    Louisburg,
    :lol: :lol: :lol: I dont believe in exactly setting the drag by the lb theirs a good chance your gonna mess with the drag while fighting a fish. who is gonna wanna mess with breaking out the scale every time :roll_eyes: Id rather be reeling in fish. just grab the line at the end of the rod get a good bend in the rod lossen-tighten till you get the action you like and ajust as you fight your next fish.
     
  7. Netmanjack

    Netmanjack New Member

    Messages:
    3,734
    State:
    Ohio
  8. kyron4

    kyron4 New Member

    Messages:
    185
    State:
    Indiana
    Do the "newer" 33's have the same problem , or just the older style ones ? -Thanks
     
  9. explayer

    explayer New Member

    Messages:
    372
    State:
    Tucson AZ
    I have always just pulled on the line until it gives about half tension
     
  10. vlparrish

    vlparrish New Member

    Messages:
    1,276
    State:
    Bedford, Kentucky
    I tend to set my drag lighter over heavier, because it's easy to tighten it up some while fighting a fish. It is hard to loosen it when a big fish has already snapped your line. The only time I set my drag where it is on the heavy side is if I'm fishing heavy structure, like log jams. I don't actually measure my drag with anything, but rather go by feel. Remember, your rod will also put drag and friction on your line when fighting a fish. That means if you set the drag so that it is hard to slip while pulling it straight out of the reel, the line will likely break when pulled out of the end of the rod. SMan had very good advice. Rather than tighten the drag tighter while playing a fish, you can put your finger on the line where it comes out of the hole on the cap and apply a little resistance as needed. This method will also work by thumbing the spool on a baitcaster. Vern
     
  11. peewee williams

    peewee williams New Member

    Messages:
    3,111
    State:
    Pembroke,Georgia
    Every factory reel representative that I have ever talked to,recommended backing the tension OFF of ALL of your reels drag when being stored.Brand or type of drag makes no difference.peewee-williams.
     
  12. kyron4

    kyron4 New Member

    Messages:
    185
    State:
    Indiana
    I have also read and heard that the drag should be loosened all the way to avoid a set.This is why new reels have the drag loosened all the way.

    After I set mine useing weights at 1/3 the line strength, I marked the drag dial with a black line in the middle. Then backed it off all the way. The black line came around two times, so before I go fishing I just turn the dial until the black line has made three turns. Does this make sense and or work ? -Thanks
     
  13. peewee williams

    peewee williams New Member

    Messages:
    3,111
    State:
    Pembroke,Georgia
    I have done this for years with star & wheel drag control.Worked for me.Settings will gradually change with time and wear.I wish every reel had lever drag.peewee-williams
     
  14. philg427

    philg427 New Member

    Messages:
    40
    State:
    Poolesville, Maryland
    When fishing for catfish I close the bail and put the clicker on and set the drag loose enough so the current/tide or drift will not effect the bait sitting on the bottom. When the reel starts rolling off line froma fish I adjust the tenson just enough when he shakes his head or makes a hard pull some drag releases. This technique helps set the hook on the round or octopus hooks and does a great job setting the hook very few missses.
     
  15. rcneman

    rcneman New Member

    Messages:
    482
    State:
    TN
    i usually set my drag by hand, no matter what style of reel.

    i put whatever my object of attraction is..at the business end of the rig, then set my reel by hand. I prefer to have a "loose" drag and then tighten it up dependin what i have at the business end. It has been my experience that one can always tighten up the drag if it's too loose and the fish is takin too much line..vs having the drag too tight and havin the line/knot break off.

    I must clarify that i am not a "big fish" seeker that some of those are that post here...i just like to fish!

    cyas
    rc
     
  16. bluesbrother

    bluesbrother New Member

    Messages:
    429
    State:
    texas
    i usee mainly ambassader reels so after fishing i loosen the drag so to reset it i dont get to technical i just guess at it bye hand method i guess good luck i like it a little loose but not to loose can alway tighten it a little durring the battle
     
  17. FishMan

    FishMan New Member

    Messages:
    2,293
    State:
    Tennessee
    I never tighten my drag until I have a fish on and then don't use much. I keep my drag set at the least level I can and still have my pole bend to wear the fish out. I don't believe line catches most fish the power waisted by a fish to bend your pole is the factor that makes a big fish come to your boat or shore.
     
  18. nitro

    nitro New Member

    Messages:
    94
    State:
    Dover, TN
    Don't try that finger on the line thing with braid.:eek:oooh: Saw a guy lose part of a finger that way. OUCH
     
  19. gcarlin

    gcarlin New Member

    Messages:
    1,353
    State:
    Richmond ,Indiana
    I always open my drags when fishing for cats or carp, and then I set the drag to the point that I can control the fish but at the same time if the fish chooses to run again ,it can run without snapping my line. Hope this helps.
     
  20. Mr. Rooster

    Mr. Rooster New Member

    Messages:
    38
    State:
    Hurst, Texas
    When my reels are not in use, the drags are completely loosened. I read a long time ago that this helps preserve the drag washers. I just tighten them by feel once I have my lines in the water. This has never failed me yet.

    Eric