How do you set your drag?

Discussion in 'Fishing Reel Review' started by shadguts, Jun 30, 2008.

  1. shadguts

    shadguts New Member

    Messages:
    564
    State:
    Tennessee
    Just curious as to how you all set the drag on your reels.
     
  2. BailBonds

    BailBonds New Member

    Messages:
    282
    State:
    Indiana
    Right or wrong I always set drag with a scale at about 25-35% of line strength. I'm curious what everyone else does too.
     

  3. Shenandoah

    Shenandoah New Member

    Messages:
    72
    State:
    Virginia
    I set it tight enough to handle my hook set then adjust it based on the size of the fish. I get to enjoy the fight more this way.
     
  4. wneubauer

    wneubauer New Member

    Messages:
    342
    State:
    McKinney, TX
    If I'm using the Penns with the clicker, I set fairly light but with a bit of resistance, to where it is difficult to pull line off by hand. I can always tighten it down if necessary...
     
  5. crazy

    crazy New Member

    Messages:
    2,090
    State:
    Kansas CIty, MO
    I turn the little star washer behind the reel handle. :cool2: Well I set it so it's hard to pull out by hand but a big fish can still pull it out. Then I'm constantly adjusting the drag while fighting a fish. If a fish wants to go I'm going to let him go.
     
  6. whisker maniac

    whisker maniac New Member

    Messages:
    2,712
    State:
    arkansas
    I set mine according to line strength and stretch. If I'm using a line that has much stretch to it I will set my drag lighter and have fun with the fish. If I'm using something with no stretch like a braid I'm gonna set it tight. Also it depends on cover. If there is a lot of cover for the fish to tangle me up in I will set it tighter to try and make sure the fish doesn't strip off enough line to tangle me up and break off.
     
  7. stumpjumper

    stumpjumper New Member

    Messages:
    1,492
    State:
    Dallas, GA
    I guess it depends on a bunch of different things. Whether it's Flatheads in snag infested waters or Blues in open, deep water. Sometimes you can't let a Flathead bulldog you into a snag, so you'll need a tighter drag and even higher pound test line. On the TN river I have the drag tight enough for my circle hook to penetrate, but loose enough for the fish to pull drag. On other bodies of water I might have already been run into a brushpile, game over. So I think there are many variables to consider
     
  8. AwShucks

    AwShucks New Member

    Messages:
    4,532
    State:
    Guthrie, Oklaho
    I believe there is a couple of articles in the B.O.C. library about setting drag. It is basically the same on a baitcaster and a spinning reel. Here is a link to the table of contents page. Look at all the neat stuff there is there....

    http://www.catfish1.com/forums/showthread.php?t=38576
     
  9. kscathunter

    kscathunter New Member

    Messages:
    2,367
    State:
    Louisburg,
    Im another one that sets it were its hard to pull out by hand but not too hard.
     
  10. HOPPY4

    HOPPY4 New Member

    Messages:
    382
    State:
    Waldorf MD
    I have done this without thinking for many years and putting it on paper is something that I did not consider until now. I do not use scales or speciality measuring equipment to set the drag. I too use the set it to the point that line will come off of the rod and reel when the tip is under stress. This may be different for each rod and the line will also be under different amounts of pressure accordingly. During the fight, I may adjust the amout of drag pressure if needed. When using a spinning reel, this is sometimes accomplished by cupping the spool. With a bait caster, the star or lever is engaged or the thumb can slow the fish. Braided line has not changed the way that I set up my initial drag. Braid is stronger and this is true, but having the rodtip provide me with the indication, prevents nominal breaking when fiighting fish. Hook pulls are also kept to a minimum using this method. If this is right or wrong, I do not know! Yet, it is what works for me in all types of fishing. JMHO!!!!!!!!!!!

    HOPPY4
     
  11. massa_blake

    massa_blake New Member

    Messages:
    78
    State:
    Texas
    I set it to where I can barely pull it out by hand so that it wont dig into its self if I get snagged or get into a big fish.
     
  12. catfishbills

    catfishbills New Member

    Messages:
    630
    State:
    Tennessee
    I usually set mine by hand and feel. Where its snug, but pulls out. I did a little experement the other day. I put a 10# weight on my line and went to pick it up.............It takes a stout combo to pick up 10lbs!!!!!!Set your drag where the weight is off the ground the drag "slips" just slightly. This is a good set-up for anchor fishing and circle hooks. For my lighter stuff I used a 5# weight....abu 6500's are cranked down PRETTY tight on 5# drag!! The Shamano Tekota's are CRANKED pretty tight at 10#! People dont realize how much drag this is! :eek:oooh:Just my thoughts on this! Oh Yea, If you have Abu's with felt washer drag system, always loosen your drag when the reels arent in use! This will prevent "grooving" the washers!:wink:
     
  13. bnewsom71

    bnewsom71 New Member

    Messages:
    537
    State:
    Mathervill
    Great question! I am with Kevin on this one - depends on line type and weight and also where you are fishing. Get a good hookset and stay out of the knarly stuff!
     
  14. jtrew

    jtrew New Member

    Messages:
    4,404
    State:
    Little Rock, AR
    Good points above about various factors affecting when, where, and how you set your drag. But if you decide to set your drag before you start fishing and leave it alone, here's the method I prefer:
    Attach your line to an immovable object (or scale), back off at least 20'-30', and pull. The lighter test line you use, the more important it is to use a scale. I use pretty heavy line, so I seldom have to worry about a broken line. I pull with the rod in fighting position, say at about a 45 degree angle and adjust the drag so that the drag slips at about the maximum pressure I want to put on the rod. Incidentally, if you do have a scale, it's interesting to take readings with your rod at different positions. The lowest reading will be with the rod pointed straight at the scale, and will increase as you lift the rod tip. That's why, if possible, you want to keep your rod tip fairly low when landing a fish; less chance of breaking the line, because the drag from the rod is reduced.
     
  15. TexDan

    TexDan New Member

    Messages:
    41
    State:
    Texas
    Ya know, I cut my teeth on the old knuckle buster casting reels. They didn't have drags except an educated thumb. (My old surf reel had a leather flap so ya didn't peal the hide off your thumb on a long run.) I set my casting reels sort of on the loose side and drop the thumb if I need more stopping power. I also am a big believer in pumping a rod and not depending on the reel to just wench the fish in so a loose drag doesn't hurt there either. If a fish makes a sudden last minute run right at the boat you will be glad for the loose setting. You lose so many fish to pull out at that last minute if you keep a tight drag.
     
  16. Cuz

    Cuz New Member

    Messages:
    7,241
    State:
    DeSoto, MO

    Great post James. That about sums it up. You have to do what works for the situation at hand as you described. Bottom line, if you not busting your line or pulling hooks you are doing it correctly.
     
  17. LEROYDOZOIS

    LEROYDOZOIS New Member

    Messages:
    1,542
    State:
    Arizona
    :cool2: THATS THE ONLY WAY :cool2:
     
  18. JAinSC

    JAinSC Active Member

    Messages:
    1,514
    State:
    South Carolina
    According to all of the "pros" I'm doing it the wrong way - real scientifical like! I give it a tug until it feels right, and then during a fight with a fish if it feels too loose I tighten it up a bit. You exactly what the "experts" say I shouldn't do, but it works for me.
     
  19. waynesburgjay

    waynesburgjay New Member

    Messages:
    1,960
    State:
    Pennsylvan
    I like to start off with the drag a bout as heavy as I think I can get away with, then as the fish gets closer to shore I back it of a little so I don't worry about a hook pullin out.
     
  20. shadguts

    shadguts New Member

    Messages:
    564
    State:
    Tennessee
    Thanks, some good imformation here.