Fishing can be a real DRAG!

Discussion in 'All Catfishing' started by WaltonsMountain, Jul 29, 2009.

  1. WaltonsMountain

    WaltonsMountain New Member

    Messages:
    233
    State:
    Nebraska
    Drag is a mechanical means of applying variable pressure to the turning spool in order to act as a friction brake against it. It can be as simple as a flat spring pressing against the edge of the spool, or as sophisticated as a complicated arrangement of leather and Teflon discs. Properly set drag allows larger and more powerful fish to be safely brought to boat and landed, as the drag will "slip" below the breaking point of the line, but in combination with the angle of the rod, it puts relentless pressure on the fish, quickly tiring it. As a rough general rule, drag is nominally set at about one-half of the line's breaking strength. It can be adjusted up or down as needed by the fisherman while playing a fish, though it takes practice to do this without adding too much drag which frequently results in a broken line and a lost fish. - Wiki
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    I've always been what you would call a "haul em in" kind of fisherman. Put heavy lb line on and just try and drag the fish in. Often thought of as a novice in terms of "sport", I never really utilized a drag system. Well, after reading over the forum for a month or so and seeing how beneficial and worthwhile a good drag system can be I had some questions about it.

    1) Right now I have a about 13lb drag on a 50lb braid w/ 30lb mono leader. I've heard conflicting reports that you should have your drag set at roughly 1/4th of your line strength, while the Wiki (and other sources) say 1/2. Is this just a matter of opinion and what do YOU use? Should I adjust?

    2) This is going to sound incredibly noobish but oh well. :embarassed:If my line starts to drag at its current setting (13lbs) does that mean the fish is ATLEAST 13 pounds or does this strictly apply to the amount of force which the fish is exerting? Can drag be a system to gauge what size fish you have on the line?

    Thanks in advance! Hopefully this thread can be beneficial to those who are new to the drag game as well! :cool2:
     
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2009
  2. USCA-RECLAIMED-ACCOUNT

    USCA-RECLAIMED-ACCOUNT New Member

    Messages:
    3,020
    Drag just measures how much pressure on the line,5 lb fish in enough current can pull 13lbs of drag out.Depends on the kind of fishing your doing too.If you,re trying to move fish away from snags quick,I keep my drag locked all the way down.Aint a matter of sport,if the cat gets to the snag every time,aint gonna be no fight,sporting or otherwise! Can,t set a drag too tight a lot of times,am I the only one who uses good old thumb pressure to put the amount of drag you want on them?:eek:oooh:.If you don,t have any obstacles for the fish to get hung up on,set the drag as light as you like.I don,t see what the sport is in wasting 10 minutes pulling in a 2 minute fish.IMO:wink:.
     

  3. Flamekeeper

    Flamekeeper New Member

    Messages:
    2,314
    State:
    Louisville, Ken
    I adjust mine with a with a hard pull from my hand...But thats just me, when a Big fish, 25+ takes off with it He has to pull pretty good to slip the drag,

    As for your fish pulling the 13lb drag,,He will be a bigger fish since the rod is loading and removing direct pressure from the fish.

    So if he pulls down on your rod he has to take the pressure from the rod and then your 13lb drag = bigger fish. I think I said that right.:roll_eyes:
     
  4. Salty1

    Salty1 New Member

    Messages:
    588
    State:
    Mt. Washington, Ky.
    Your drag does not determine the size of the fish. Current and the power of the fish also factor into the amount of pull that will be applied to your reel. Also in my opinion there are no "noobish" questions to be asked on this board. We are all here to help each other in any capacity that we can in my opinion. I also would personally adjust my drag to 1/4 of what my test rating on my leader was and let the fish tire itself if at all possible. Welcome to the board !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!:wink:
     
  5. jagdoctor1

    jagdoctor1 New Member

    Messages:
    708
    State:
    CA/AZ
    Your being a tad too over scientific about it. It's a feel thing most of the time. It depends on the rod and reel which is one thing that hasn't been mentioned yet. I have 2 very different rigs that have the same line and they have very different drag settings. Probably because one has more resistance in the line sliding over the eyes.. or maybe it's the angle from the eyes to the reel... not sure. Point is, experiment... fish.... and you'll get a feel for your equipment.

    If all else fails do this. Set it tight enough to let you set the hook well. Adjust it as needed during the fight after that. Make sure you err on the side of caution and go a little loose because a little tight can cost you a fish. I've had carp rip out line like mad... I knew I had my drag set right if they could do that... geuss what ... next run gave me a snap. Gotta live and learn.
     
  6. Flamekeeper

    Flamekeeper New Member

    Messages:
    2,314
    State:
    Louisville, Ken
    It depends on the rod and reel which is one thing that hasn't been mentioned yet.

    post #3,,It has to do with the flex ( action) in the rod.:wink:
     
  7. SGTREDNECK

    SGTREDNECK New Member

    Messages:
    1,522
    State:
    Tennessee
    The drag on your reel just means how much force the fish can put on your line. And if your line is 20 lbs that means 20 pounds of force can be put on it before it breaks under optimal circumstances.
     
  8. RPnKC

    RPnKC New Member

    Messages:
    399
    State:
    Kansas
    Drag at the strike is where many fish are lost, the other most common location is at the boat.
    Mine are set light, then adjusted down during the fight. I do not want to loose a big fish because the drag is wrenched down. This is what the big boys do: http://www.cals2speed.com/blue.html
    I have seen properly adjusted and hand tuned reels in action. Rod tip at 15 degrees, 5lb weight on line. He opened the drag til the weight began to fall, then tightened the drag til the weight stopped, then opened and the weight moved again......seemless movement....no chatter....the rod didn't bounce. This is ideal, and looked "fluid" if that makes any sense.
    That day, I started loosening my drag after every outing, because I was firmly instructed by a man much more experienced and educated in reel mechanics than I. If you're chasing 5lb. fish it doesn't matter.
     
  9. jmanion8

    jmanion8 New Member

    Messages:
    424
    State:
    Kansas
    Very interesting thread, thanks for asking that question, I'm enjoying and learning reading these responses!
     
  10. flathunter

    flathunter New Member

    Messages:
    5,723
    State:
    Ohio
    Like kenny, I adjust my drag with my hand, you get a feeling when it feels right.

    If not fishing heavy cover I lighten my drag after the fish is hooked.

    A big fish will pull line out, a little fish wont.

    It's not complicted.
     
  11. catfishfearme

    catfishfearme New Member

    Messages:
    717
    State:
    govecity,ohio
    what is that in the back ground of your avatar, dead cats hanging from the bottom of a bait shop sign:crazy:
     
  12. Iowa_Josh

    Iowa_Josh New Member

    Messages:
    1,463
    State:
    Central Iowa
    You can measure it right off of the reel and get one measurement. Or you can tie on and see what the resistance is with the friction of the guides. And you have to consider where you got your info. If you're fishin for tuna, you're going to do it different than when you're set up in front of a log jamb or IN a log jam.