Setting that drag

Discussion in 'All Catfishing' started by EricM, Jan 17, 2007.

  1. EricM

    EricM Active Member

    Messages:
    362
    State:
    Harrison TN
    Name:
    Eric Maurer
    I have seen a number of posts describing fish that have broken off without obvious cause. Presetting the drag will eliminate a lot of those break-offs because many of us sometimes set the drag too tight by guessing. The drag needs to be set so that the setting of the hook, the surge of the fish, and the friction of the line through the guides of a heavily curved rod will still not break the line. Remember, after your mono has soaked for a while it will lose as much as 10% of it's strength!
    Try this: using a scale on the end of the line, load the rod with a good bend and slowly walk away. When the drag starts to slip, the scale should read 25 to 30% of the line's capacity. This is an excellent starting point and then you can adjust during the fight to suit your style and the type of water you are fishing. Good luck and big fish!
     
  2. catfishing is fun

    catfishing is fun New Member

    Messages:
    545
    State:
    Missouri/Michigan
    what dose that part about 25-30 percent of the line strenth mean, what would that be for 20lb line
     

  3. EricM

    EricM Active Member

    Messages:
    362
    State:
    Harrison TN
    Name:
    Eric Maurer
    For your 20 lb line, that would be 5 to 6 lbs. It doesn't sound like much, but try picking up a 6 lb weight with your rod and you'll get the idea!
     
  4. catfishing is fun

    catfishing is fun New Member

    Messages:
    545
    State:
    Missouri/Michigan
  5. Pylodictis Olivaris

    Pylodictis Olivaris New Member

    Messages:
    257
    State:
    Iowa
    I usually set mine to the lighter side....enough to get a good hook set but not enough to where I am going to break off in case I hook into a decent fish that decides to run like heck as soon as I hook into him. This way I can always tighten up a little bit on the drag while I am fighting him if I need to. It is a lot easier and less stressful to tighten your drag during a battle rather than trying to loosen up the drag.
     
  6. FishBrew

    FishBrew New Member

    Messages:
    329
    State:
    North Texas
    drag - IMO is the single most over looked item when purchasing, using a new reel. From how well it works, how easy it is to adjust, and the fact that more big fish are lost because it is not set properly.
     
  7. EricM

    EricM Active Member

    Messages:
    362
    State:
    Harrison TN
    Name:
    Eric Maurer
    By using the scale setting method, I have recently landed a 37 lb. blue cat on 4 lb. mono (in open water). Took about an hour, and what a blast! I admit, the reel is kind of high dollar and has a really terrific smoooooth drag, but the preset was comfortable and worked well. I do this on all of my lines and have had very good results.
     
  8. neocats

    neocats New Member

    Messages:
    2,130
    State:
    Steubenvil
    I tend to set my drag on the loose side and tighten as needed unless I'm fishing heavier cover. Then I use my heavy gear and heavy line 50-80 # and turn the fish. Of course the drag is not set comletely tight. If I was ever to hook into a 50+ ponder, the drag would give. I have at times fished my spinning reels with the drag set loose enough for a fish to take the line without the pole moving, but my new Avenger with the baitfeeder is great. It works like a bait feeder on a casting reel, dual drag systems.
     
  9. dogcat

    dogcat New Member

    Messages:
    259
    State:
    Dayton Area Ohio
    Great info as usual here in this thread and I tend to go very light on the drag, approx 50% of "stated" line strength on my spinning reels. I have lost only a couple due to poor hookset or cover and can honestly say have never lost one to line breakage by the fish. Works for me and the scale idea is a great one for pre setting. While fighting a larger catfish I will adjust it frequently as it struggles for the freedom it ultimately earns since I am catch and release 99% of the time.
     
  10. CJ21

    CJ21 New Member

    Messages:
    4,303
    State:
    Montgomery, Alabama
    I like to have my drag, set loose I like to let my fish run a little.
     
  11. photocat

    photocat New Member

    Messages:
    803
    State:
    HOCO, Maryland
    Usually i set my drag (when i load my reels) at around where i feel the rod is bent to a good level... Depending on the rod and depending on the line determines it... during the fighting of the fish if i feel the fish is pulling off line to easily and its not just because the fish is large, then i'll tighten the drag to the point i feel comfortable w/... If no drag's going out but i'm feeling alot of strain in the rod and the line i'll loosen up the drag... Idk its harder to explain on paper then it is to actually show you in person... Its all about feeling out the fish and the rod...
     
  12. Ahquabi_Master

    Ahquabi_Master New Member

    Messages:
    999
    State:
    WDM Iowa
    Disregarding my personal drag preference, thanks for the idea of using the scale. That will come in handy for me pretty soon. Thanks.
     
  13. special liberty

    special liberty New Member

    Messages:
    295
    State:
    Maryland
    Be sure to store your reels with the drag backed all the way off - prevents the drag washers from warping and sticking.
     
  14. georgiamike

    georgiamike New Member

    Messages:
    65
    State:
    Texas
    I just hope someday I catch a big enough fish to even worry about drag
     
  15. Mickey

    Mickey New Member Supporting Member

    Messages:
    14,592
    State:
    Illinois
    Tawn you out drew me. :tounge_out: This is a very important point.I back mine off after each trip and reset on the next trip. Thanks:big_smile: