Setting your drag

Discussion in 'Fishing Reel Review' started by goingfishin, Jan 8, 2008.

  1. goingfishin

    goingfishin New Member

    Messages:
    503
    State:
    Topeka, Ka
    When setting your drag you set it based on the strenght of your line, correct? If so how do you set your drag?:eek:oooh:
     
  2. JimmyJonny

    JimmyJonny Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    4,059
    State:
    sc
    On light line I used my fish scales just short of the line test its listed for. For the cats I use #50 so I just set it by hand, if it breaks its more likely to be from abrasion.

    -Jim-
     

  3. tofish

    tofish New Member

    Messages:
    3,923
    State:
    arizona
    i set mine for 2/3 of what it's breaking point is. either using a scale, or known weights. example would be if it's 20lb line, would set where drag starts at about 17lbs. then i tell my son if he touches my drag, he'd best fear for a broke finger or two. :wink:
    gary
     
  4. GaryF

    GaryF New Member

    Messages:
    3,649
    State:
    O.P., KS
    I’d go for 1/3 the line strength, but never exceed 10-12lbs. For reference, reels like the Abu 7000 and similar sized Penn’s have 17-24lbs of drag when locked down with a full spool of line. Keep in mind that line comes off of a full reel easier than an almost empty one because of the difference in mechanical advantage. A 12lb setting on a full reel could turn into a 16lb when your line is cast out a long ways, so you may want to go with a lower setting to compensate.

    I mostly set my drag by feel, but I also play around with a scale from time to time just to get an idea where I’m at, and I figure I average about 8-10lbs drag. Sometimes I’ll go lighter if I’m not confident in my rod holders, but I’ll use my thumb on the spool to help with the hookset, or give it a 2nd hookset after I’ve tightened the drag a little.

    The downside of going to tight on the drag, besides the risk of the line breaking, is that the hook will pull out of the fish if it didn’t set into a solid part of the mouth. The risk of too lose of a drag is that you won’t get a good hookset. I’ve lost and seen fish lost both ways, but I think a lot more have been lost to too tight of a drag.
     
  5. tncatfishing

    tncatfishing New Member

    Messages:
    916
    State:
    clk. tn
    Never used a scale, just go by size of line. 50LB braid set it where I can barely pull any line off, lighter line set to where I can pull line off easier. Always has worked for me.
     
  6. Mr.T

    Mr.T Active Member

    Messages:
    2,554
    State:
    MO
    Looser is better.

    I've never lost a fish because my drag was too loose. But I'll bet there are plenty of folks who've lost one because it was too tight.

    My reels are set so that a fish around 10 lbs or so will peel line. If a big one hits, it's easy to thumb the spool and/or tighten the drag a little bit as needed.

    I see no need for scientific measurements, using scales to set the tension or anything like that. Just give the line a tug - if you can pull it with a little bit of effort, it's plenty tight. If you have to pull pretty hard, it's way too tight.
     
  7. JimmyJonny

    JimmyJonny Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    4,059
    State:
    sc
  8. kscathunter

    kscathunter New Member

    Messages:
    2,367
    State:
    Louisburg,
    well like gary said most reels have around 25# max drag and i use 40# test line so im not too conserned about getting my drag too tight. what sometimes conserns me is my rod holder pulling out of the soft river bank. so when thats a consern ill cast out put my rod in the holder grab the line at the end of the rod and pull it down like a fish would and set the drag so the rod loads up good enough to set the hook but slips before the holder pulls out of the mud.
     
  9. billfish76

    billfish76 Active Member

    Messages:
    1,133
    State:
    Rock Hill, SC
    Ive done alot of big game tournament fishing, and we set the drag with a scale before every tournament. I use about 25% of the lines strength for my drag. So 30# gets about 8# of drag, 50# gets about 12# of drag. I to believe that you can looes more fish due to tightening the drag to much to start. You can always tighten it during the fight if needed. Im new to catfishing but have caught many fish way over the hundred# mark using 30# line and 8#s of drag and never moved the lever, just thumbed the spool for that little extra.
     
  10. kscathunter

    kscathunter New Member

    Messages:
    2,367
    State:
    Louisburg,
    da%# take me fishing please! :adore:
     
  11. catfishscotty

    catfishscotty Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    4,388
    State:
    mo
    too tight is a killer most big fish will make a good first run i mean peel drag no matter what if its too tight you are doomed !!!!! something will give line or pull the hook out. its so easy to panick on a big fish and put too much pressure on them. that being said keeping flatheads out of structure and trees can be allmost impossible without trying to stop them i hate that feeling of wondering whats my best option but thats what i love about big fish so many things can happen. i caught my biggest flathead 80 lbs on 20 lb test line but the spot i was fishing had no structure and was only around 6 to 9 foot deep i had to be very patient with that fish made a long first run and at one point even went towards my anchore rope against the current i was like o crap!!!!!!!! but thankfully he turned and didnt get into the rope i new i could not horse him it was so hard not to he really stayed down. he took line many times around 5 to 8 im guesing if my drag had been too tight i would never had landed him in the boat bymyself in the dark.
     
  12. rspd507

    rspd507 New Member

    Messages:
    729
    State:
    Rising Sun,IN
    I will usually have my drag a little looser when im tight lining and tighter when I have my clickers on. I use 50 pound mono and not that concerned about it, but would rather not take the chance of losing a biggan. rspd507
     
  13. BKS72

    BKS72 New Member

    Messages:
    3,361
    State:
    East of KC
    I set mine loose (guessing, but probably around 5#). I like the loose drag and my clickers set, so I set the drag tight enough that current or a stick won't pull drag but a fish can. As the majority have said, I can always tighten it up or thumb the spool if I can't get the fish stopped.
     
  14. kyjake

    kyjake New Member

    Messages:
    714
    State:
    kentucky
    I set my drag at about 1/3 the weight of the line.It is also important to slip the drag by pulling off some line at the start of any fishing trip.A drag that sets in the same place for a long time will get rough and try to lock up in spots which could cause line to break.
    Jake
     
  15. peewee williams

    peewee williams New Member

    Messages:
    3,111
    State:
    Pembroke,Georgia
    From the 50's until 3 years ago reel manufactures and their representatives have told me that most reels are designed for the "maximum" drag with a full spool to be 2/3 of what the reels stated maximum line rating is.This should be set with the rod bent up to a 45 degree angle.This goes for rods too,and the drag setting for the rig should be set for which ever has the least line rating.Now this is just the max,not minimum.Now this is for conventional reels and drags.

    I have seen the biggest reels that Penn made at the time spooled with 130 lb.line and the drag set at 26 lbs.This was done by trained professionals for use by trained professionals.

    Put any one finger through the bend of a hook with 13-14 lbs.tied to it and lift it off of the floor.14 lbs.is over the max.recommended for 20 lb.line.

    I love you Brothers and Sisters.peewee