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Just curious what everyone's standard practice is in setting or checking your drag.

  • Only after I break a fish off, or think there might be a problem

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • If I hook a fish that I think might break my line

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Once, at the beginning of the day

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • At the beginning of the day and periodically through the day

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Only if I'm fishing someplace that I know holds a lot of big fish

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Any time I pick up a different rod during the day

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Drag, what's that?

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • What? Me worry?

    Votes: 0 0.0%

  • Total voters
    0
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Discussion Starter #1
After reading yet another tale of the big one that broke off, I'm just wondering how often everybody checks the drag on their reels. With the decent drags available nowadays on even moderately priced reels, I don't understand why so many people report break-offs, unless they just don't take the time to set the drag properly, or don't know how to do it. The other possibility is improper adjustments being made while fighting a fish.

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My oldest boy (2 1/2 years old) discovered the wonderful clicking noise made by tightetning/loosening drags this summer. Needless to say every one of my reels needs adjusted every time it is picked up.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
FishLip said:
My oldest boy (2 1/2 years old) discovered the wonderful clicking noise made by tightetning/loosening drags this summer. Needless to say every one of my reels needs adjusted every time it is picked up.

:D That's funny!
 

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Depends on the conditions. I've used 6 lb test the past few months, so I find myslef adjusting it a lot based on how big the fish feels on the line. I don't mind a 10 minute fight. ;D ;D
 

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When I am chasing big fish I check it often. I prefer to have my drag set loose and then crank it up as needed as opposed to having to adjust it after a fish kicks my arse.
 

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FLYFISHGEEK said:
When I am chasing big fish I check it often. I prefer to have my drag set loose and then crank it up as needed as opposed to having to adjust it after a fish kicks my arse.
X2
 

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Everytime I switch rods I check the drag. Generally I will double check it a few times in a couple hours. I generally fish with light tackle, 4lbs or less, so I have it set light to begin with.
 

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one thing that I would suggest all anglers do, at least once, is to set drag with a scale.

I feel this is instructive, and many would be surprised to find that they set their drags at well over the half-way point of their lines failure point, something that is not advisable, to say the least!

it requires a helper to do this, but here is how it is done: with the line threaded through the guides as normal, tie the line to the hook on the scale. have a helper be the "fish" and walk backwards, very slowly, as the rod loads up like a fish is on. it is important to make sure you don't measure tension with a straight line pull, as this gives a low reading when you actually load the rod. anyway, start with the drag very loose, and slowly tighten it till the scale reads a value one third the failure point of the line. (for example, 12lb. test = 4lb. drag, etc.) do this rather close to the helper, because most lines have a fair amount of stretch, and the further away the helper gets, the more "off" the value will become.

many times when I have done this with people, they have freaked out at how "loose" their drag is, but that only indicates they have been fishing with a line that was moments away from breaking every time they "hung a good 'un"

one more thing, it would not hurt to establish the actual break point of the line, as these days most line is very conservatively rated, and will test well over the stated pound test. do this by breaking a yard of line on the scale ten times, and average the values. :eek:

yeah, this sounds like a hassle, but I think it is worth it to understand your gear very well. besides, you can't be fishing ALL the time, what else do you want to do, organize your sock drawer? ;)

cheers!
 

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swimbait said:
one thing that I would suggest all anglers do, at least once, is to set drag with a scale.

I feel this is instructive, and many would be surprised to find that they set their drags at well over the half-way point of their lines failure point, something that is not advisable, to say the least!

it requires a helper to do this, but here is how it is done: with the line threaded through the guides as normal, tie the line to the hook on the scale. have a helper be the "fish" and walk backwards, very slowly, as the rod loads up like a fish is on. it is important to make sure you don't measure tension with a straight line pull, as this gives a low reading when you actually load the rod. anyway, start with the drag very loose, and slowly tighten it till the scale reads a value one third the failure point of the line. (for example, 12lb. test = 4lb. drag, etc.) do this rather close to the helper, because most lines have a fair amount of stretch, and the further away the helper gets, the more "off" the value will become.

many times when I have done this with people, they have freaked out at how "loose" their drag is, but that only indicates they have been fishing with a line that was moments away from breaking every time they "hung a good 'un"

one more thing, it would not hurt to establish the actual break point of the line, as these days most line is very conservatively rated, and will test well over the stated pound test. do this by breaking a yard of line on the scale ten times, and average the values. :eek:

yeah, this sounds like a hassle, but I think it is worth it to understand your gear very well. besides, you can't be fishing ALL the time, what else do you want to do, organize your sock drawer? ;)

cheers!
that's the same as it is in the video link I posted above.
 

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swimbait said:
one thing that I would suggest all anglers do, at least once, is to set drag with a scale.

I feel this is instructive, and many would be surprised to find that they set their drags at well over the half-way point of their lines failure point, something that is not advisable, to say the least!

it requires a helper to do this, but here is how it is done: with the line threaded through the guides as normal, tie the line to the hook on the scale. have a helper be the "fish" and walk backwards, very slowly, as the rod loads up like a fish is on. it is important to make sure you don't measure tension with a straight line pull, as this gives a low reading when you actually load the rod. anyway, start with the drag very loose, and slowly tighten it till the scale reads a value one third the failure point of the line. (for example, 12lb. test = 4lb. drag, etc.) do this rather close to the helper, because most lines have a fair amount of stretch, and the further away the helper gets, the more "off" the value will become.

many times when I have done this with people, they have freaked out at how "loose" their drag is, but that only indicates they have been fishing with a line that was moments away from breaking every time they "hung a good 'un"

one more thing, it would not hurt to establish the actual break point of the line, as these days most line is very conservatively rated, and will test well over the stated pound test. do this by breaking a yard of line on the scale ten times, and average the values. :eek:

yeah, this sounds like a hassle, but I think it is worth it to understand your gear very well. besides, you can't be fishing ALL the time, what else do you want to do, organize your sock drawer? ;)

cheers!
WOW That is a lot of work with 10-14 rods in the boat :D
I will pass but to each their own.
I check mine in the am normally when I switch combos. Sometimes I will miss one but I don't back my drags off until I will miss a weekend or two fishing. I also check mine when I bring in my gear to change lures before a trip. I do the pull on the line in front of the reel trick. ;D
Seems like I have no trouble landing big fish. :D
 

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I will adjust my drag during the fight and check before hand. I'm a guy who adjusts it often during a fight to help prevent fish from breaking off or tearing free of the hooks.
 

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depends on what type of fishing you are doing and type of line you are using, for jigging deep water I like to keep a tight drag for the hookset then lighten up, you need to be careful in shallow water I have broken off fish doing that (not enough line stretch). For trolling with downriggers or most general fishing I would just set it once and leave it but out of habit seem to check mine fairly often.
 

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Check it all the time by just pulling line off the reel. Never tried a scale just rely on feel while stripping line. I find it strange hearing about breaks offs with the quality of line we have today also. One thing i do alot during the day is check the line about three feet above what ever is tied on for abrasions etc.
 

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There is nothing worse than a hook up, pull up and strip line. On a spinner I'm definitely negligent, on a bait caster more on it as I hate bird's nests. I check my drag alot.
 

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redleader said:
depends on what type of fishing you are doing and type of line you are using for jigging deep water I like to keep a tight drag for the hookset then lighten up, you need to be careful in shallow water I have broken off fish doing that (not enough line stretch). For trolling with downriggers or most general fishing I would just set it once and leave it but out of habit seem to check mine fairly often.
is that how you do your drag for ice fishing lakers? tight then lighten? do you ever set your drag where you like it and use your free hand to hold spool as you set the hook?...thanks hooker
 

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hooker said:
redleader said:
depends on what type of fishing you are doing and type of line you are using for jigging deep water I like to keep a tight drag for the hookset then lighten up, you need to be careful in shallow water I have broken off fish doing that (not enough line stretch). For trolling with downriggers or most general fishing I would just set it once and leave it but out of habit seem to check mine fairly often.
is that how you do your drag for ice fishing lakers? tight then lighten? do you ever set your drag where you like it and use your free hand to hold spool as you set the hook?...thanks hooker
I'm with Hooker, set the drag at fighting strength, then use your thumb on the spool to set the hook, that way you don't have to guess where you need to set the fighting drag.
 

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I'm OCD when it comes to my drag setting. Over the years I've learned that there are two things I'm in control of when fishing - Knots and Drag. Here is a good one for you trollers - South end of Chatty last fall at night, my buddy drops back 100 feet with the line counter and closes the bail. We usually check the drag after we put the rod in the holder. This time however, before he even got it in the holder, WHAMO - he gets lit up hard for a second and the line breaks... The procedure has now been changed to - check drag, let out desired amount of line, place in rod holder, check drag again!
 
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