How to set my drag

Discussion in 'Fishing Line Review' started by lj catman, May 3, 2007.

  1. lj catman

    lj catman Member

    la junta,colorado
    i have powerpro 50# line and used 20# mono leaders for catfishing i know you put it on a scale and the 20# line will be the breaking point but what should it read on the scale any help will do . it's on a spinning reel

    p. s. should it read 12# OR WHAT OF PULL
  2. kyjake

    kyjake New Member

    7 or 8 lb. with the 20 lb. leader would be better.

  3. AwShucks

    AwShucks New Member

    Guthrie, Oklaho
    Alfred, the B.O.C. Library (located at the top of every page in the yellow bar, second row, left side) has hundreds of "how-to" information from our brothers. I'll supply you with a link to the library, instead of the specific topic you asked for so you can browse it looking for your subject.

    Enjoy this reading and learning experience.
  4. peewee williams

    peewee williams New Member

    The most important of all to consider is your Reel line rating.Many a good reel is destroyed by setting the drag too tight with a heavy rated line on the reel.Also,I would check the actual breaking strength of the mono.I have name brand mono rated for 20 lbs. that breaks at 12 lbs.on my scale and yes I checked the scale for accuracy.I always liked my max drag setting at 1/4 of what my reel or line was rated (which ever was lowest) with a full spool of line.By the time you ever happen to get to the last of your line coming off your spool,the ratio has changed dramatically.Your drag can now be over the limit of your line or reel on many rigs,even using the 1/4 ratio.It is all in the design of the spool and reel.Say your reel and mono are truly 20 lb.1/4 is 5 lbs.Carefully wrap a 5 lb.bag of anything where it won;t burst and tye it on your rig.Tighten your drag until your rig will hold it.Now reel it to the tip.Hold it over something soft so as not to burst your bag.Quickly engage and disengage your reel to see how your rig will react to this.It is best done from a hight if possible.You will be surprised at the force exerted on your rig upon engagement at 5 lbs.This is what a fish will do to your rig when you engage and set the hook,if it is large enough.The closer to you the worse as you have less line stretch distance to cushion it with mono and have little to none with braid.Please start with less with light to medium rigs.This and High sticking common at landing a fish is what I believe destroys rigs and loses fish the most.I love you Brothers and Sisters.peewee
  5. JAinSC

    JAinSC Active Member

    South Carolina
    The general guideline is to set the drag for 1/4 of the lightest link. In your case, I guess that would be the leader, so set the drag for 5 pounds. The important thing is to pull the line against a bent rod, not just straight off the reel.

    Anyway, that's what the big shots say. I'm still just pulling by hand and setting so it feels good!
  6. wolfman

    wolfman Well-Known Member

    Triadelphia, WV
    Walter Flack
    The scale should read between 25 and 33 percent of the unknotted line strength when the drag starts to slip. 30-lb test line should have a strike drag setting of between 7.5 and 10 pounds.

    If you set the drag on a light-tackle outfit (12-pound test on a spinning reel) with the rod tip pointed at the scale, the reading should be about 15 percent of the unknotted line strength (1.8 lb on the scale). When the rod is in the fighting position (upward at 45 degree angle) friction will increase the drag,(scale will read about 2.2 lb).
  7. Crucial

    Crucial New Member

    Virginia Beach VA
    No one has mentioned the rod so far??
    .. the action of the rod is a crucial (pardon the pun) factor in how the trinity work as a whole. The rod is an "extension" of your line essentially, that's why they flex.. not just so you can cast... remember the old cane poles? The pole was your "drag" and a piece of string was your line... and of course no reel.. many a large fish was cought this way, including 100#plus tuna.

    The honest, best, most practical way to set your drag is to leave the scale to weighing your trophy's and tie up your leader material on your main line.. just like you were going fishing.. now tie a hook, swivel, loop what ever, on the end of your leader material (your going to attach the end of the line to something stationary).

    Now, with the rig in place, the reel ON the rod, and the line threaded through the eyelets, again just like your going fishing, fix the end of your material on something that won't move. The trailer hitch on the truck is great....

    Next lift up on your rod, as if you had a fish on.. keep lifting until your rod tip bends 90degrees to the butt section. Not more than 90, a little less than 90 is ok if you want to "play" with your fish a little more.

    Now once the tip has reached that 90 degree mark.. your reel/drag should start to give line.

    There... your drag is set properly to the line, "reel?" and ROD... you'll never have to worrie about knot strenght guess work because your knots are already factored in, you never have to worrie about that 80# dyneema breaking your rod if you catch Moby Dick, you never have to worrie about any leader material you're not sure of (like it's been suggested, some lines do break far below their test strength) you can even borrow a piece of leader material in an emergency from someone on the bank/boat tie it up and test/set the drag right then and there and never worrie about weather or not your settings will work.

    No scale's needed.. in fact I've never once in my whole life used a scale to test drag or even line strength.. it just isn't necessary.

    Ok.. that's a lie.. when using wire and 100# plus lines for offshore angling I have.. Different worlds all together.
  8. crazy

    crazy New Member

    Kansas CIty, MO
    You can throw out numbers all day long. It comes down to one thing. What do you want it set at. Some people like a heavy drag other's a lighter drag. Fishing is not an exact science, find something that works for you and do it that way.
  9. on_the_fly

    on_the_fly New Member

    ya know I have been fishin for a many of years now and never ever thought about a equasion for my reel drag ratio. and what I've read here about different wieghts and things is all in dry weight, my 8 year old son cant pick me up but in a swimming pool he can move my 260 lbs around farly easy. what ever happend to tugging at the line till it just feels right. I like to keep my drag at about strong enough to get a hook set, I can always tighten it more with fish on if needed it's alot easer than trying to loosen with fish on. I've cought a many of big fish and rarely brake my line at my aperanty caveman tactack.:tounge_out:<---- Caption CAVE MAN!!!! LOL
  10. Crucial

    Crucial New Member

    Virginia Beach VA
    As a general rule, it's always better to have to lessen your drag with a fish on than to have to tighten. Of course the spirit of the moment and the fish on the other end will dictate that :big_smile: But it's better to have it on the stiff end of your "expected" fish size but well with in the limits of the gear your using.

    The reason being; when you get a big fish on, the rod is flexing, maybe your footing is slipping, the reel is screaming... your heart is racing and your judgment is exaggerated... you reach for the drag and give it a significant adjustment thinking your gear is well with in what ever random setting you just quickly moved up to and... Snap! Your drag was just a little too tight for the weakest knot in your rig..

    If you use the process above you can set your drag a little heavy ( the rod tip at 90 degrees is just where the drag should start to slip and give a little line.. not necessarily let the spool rotate fully) and if you feel that trophy fish pushing your line and rod to it's limits you can then back off a little and if it's a little too much... you haven't lost the fish yet... but it wakes you up a little and you can slowly make corrections as needed with the thumb, or drag as needed...

    That's just the way I was taught, and it has worked flawless for me ever since.
  11. s_man

    s_man New Member

    south east ohio
    I tried to do the whole "set your drag by a poundage thing" back when I started out cause thats what the big game ocean fishermen did. Well when freshwater catfishing I will loosen and tighten the drag on my reel almost every time I hook a larger fish. So that makes it kinda hard out on the river to get the scale on it and back to the 1/4 spot. I do use bait casting reels instead of spinning reels but its basically the same. Just keep it tight enough to set the hook, then tighten or loosen to play the fish in. You can leave it light and use your thumb on the spool if you need a couple seconds of "tighter drag". In my opinion its better to let the fish take some line rather than crank the drag down and risk him pulling the hook thru the softer parts of his mouth. Just use the pressure you need to control the fish and no more. You'll catch more larger fish in the long run.
  12. ozzy

    ozzy New Member

    Lost Wages
    Well Im 42 and been fishing since about 4-5 years old. I just learned the hard way. OOPS my line snapped, don't do that again.Just like anything in life practice makes perfect, although I have yet to meet the perfect fisherman, although a few I met thought they were. :tounge_out:

    LEROYDOZOIS New Member


    thats how i do it