360 Tuna Fishers Forum banner
1 - 9 of 9 Posts

·
Senior Member
Joined
·
225 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Guys,

I have not fought tons of big fish. But I have had my share of fish in the 100 - 200 pound class and I disagree with the implied tenor of the "Max Drag" thread. That is a very interesting discussion as it relates to drag and heat. My objection is the need for 50 pounds of drag or the style of tuna fishing that requires you to stop a fish quickly. I didn't want thread drift, so I started this one...

I set my drags at about 20 - 25 pounds. Then when a fish hits, I want him to run as far and as fast as he can. My logic (and the logic of many commercial fishermen I talk to) is that a big fish is stronger than you. He will win a tug of war. But have him run a 250 yard sprint and like any warm blooded animal, his lactic acid build up will make him gassed. Only at that point do you apply heat to him and reel him in. It is simple physiology.

At very high drag settings more things break, over heat, or otherwise malfunction. Fish are more difficult to control boatside. If you pull on a 300 pound defensive lineman for 10 seconds you are less gassed than if you run a 200 yard sprint with no resistance. When fish are running, their mouths are closed (hydrodynamics). When their mouths are closed, they can not breath. I would rather fight a defensive lineman after he runs a few wind sprint than after he bench presses his maximum...

Last point, I can't fight a fish for very long at huge drag settings. I don't think many other people can stand up either (which is why there is so much rod swapping between people on these threads)

I do understand that my 20 -25 pound of drag quickly turns into 50 pounds as he runs. I also understand the need for huge drag when fighting fish like grouper that you need to keep out of the rocks. This is specifically as it relates to tuna.

65 pounds of drag is not sustainable on the gear we all use. It is not sustainable stand up fighting. It is actually counterproductive to landing the fish.

This is my opinion. I would like to hear yours....

Mike
 

·
Senior Member
Joined
·
2,924 Posts
Very cool of you to start a new thread Mike

I agree with you, Ive fought with stand up gear and jig and popping gear and your right most anglers cant take 40 pounds never mind 50+ pounds. Generally I have been setting my drags to about 18 pounds or just enough so when a tuna takes the jig/popper I can hit him hard but not pull hook through. Personally I let the fish run as far as he wants, then after he stops I will dial the drag up a bit and gain back more line. I will repeat the process as the fight continues until the fish is taken.

Ive become a huge fan of palming my spools instead of going crazy with my drag as many tuna are lost to pulled hooks

Only on one day did I fight differently and I regret it to this day. I was with Trav (jig4tuna) and I had a bluefin take 3/4 of my spool in about 20 seconds and I panicked and started dialing up the drag. Ive never had a fish take more than 200 yards at one clip nevermind 300+ so as the spool melted away I dialed up and my leader broke

But as a fighting rule I agree that you need to let them tire during runs
 

·
Senior Member
Joined
·
1,386 Posts
Glad you started a new thread. I guess you're referring to the thread that I started yesterday. My point is not that 30-50 lbs. of drag is necessary or even preferred. I fish 18 to 20lbs. initial drag and find that is a good number for the fish I'm targeting. However, it took a while to come to the realization that there are many reels with a so-called Max Drag of 30 to 45 lbs. that are really best suited to 10 to 15 lbs. initial drag. The Stella 20K is a great reel in the 18 to 22 lb. range. Everol which adds a chart to the reel (I don't own one), really makes it clear what their spec means. I don't know of any other reel that does.
 

·
Senior Member
Joined
·
225 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Glad you started a new thread. I guess you're referring to the thread that I started yesterday. My point is not that 30-50 lbs. of drag is necessary or even preferred. I fish 18 to 20lbs. initial drag and find that is a good number for the fish I'm targeting. However, it took a while to come to the realization that there are many reels with a so-called Max Drag of 30 to 45 lbs. that are really best suited to 10 to 15 lbs. initial drag. The Stella 20K is a great reel in the 18 to 22 lb. range. Everol which adds a chart to the reel (I don't own one), really makes it clear what their spec means. I don't know of any other reel that does.

Pamet,

Yes I was refering to your thread. You make excellent points as it relates to drag, heat and reel manufacters claims. From a "science" perspective, your post stands on it's own and is very valuable.

I was directing this thread towards real world applications of drag during tuna fights. I noticed your thread taking a direction towards, "stop the fish quick if you can." My style differs from this statement. I wanted to make that point without highjacking your excellent post.

Mike
 

·
Senior Member
Joined
·
2,924 Posts
On my day up in the Cape that I had 4 fish out of 5 hookups on popping gear First fish I fought hard with heavy drag. I realized quickly that I could not fight those fish with high drags and a long rod. So after the second fish I lowered my drag and fought most of those fish by palming my spool when needed. Oddly enough they all came in in about 20 minutes even in the deeper 400' water
 

·
Randy Bassinga
Joined
·
1,407 Posts
I guess the target species and the area fished is the final decider. In the locations where we target yellowtail kings, give it 10m of line and it will bury you. Thats when we crank to the max. The same goes for a few GT spots as well as when chasing many species of lutjanids like your snappers and cuberas or our jacks and red bass
 

·
Senior Member
Joined
·
969 Posts
I don't think there are many people on this earth that can handle 50lbs of drag using their arms at all. I'm played with high-drag setting on my large Penn Offshore reels. (70's etc)

50lbs+ is possible, but only with a full gimble/harness set up, like the Braid Power Play. In order to do this, I have to use my entire body by leaning back against the force. I weight 180lbs, so using part of this to counter the force on the rod isn't too hard on paper or mathematically, but it does take practice, balance and an enormous trust in your gear.

Lean forward too much and you will go into the drink with large fish attached to you. ( I still have nightmares of this after fighting such large pelagics)
 
G

·
I guess the target species and the area fished is the final decider. In the locations where we target yellowtail kings, give it 10m of line and it will bury you. Thats when we crank to the max. The same goes for a few GT spots as well as when chasing many species of lutjanids like your snappers and cuberas or our jacks and red bass


very good point. its like amberjack near rigs in the gulf. you give them line and you're done. even a 50lb amberjack can be a bear when you need to stop it dead in its tracks
 

·
Senior Member
Joined
·
3,483 Posts
Guys,

I have not fought tons of big fish. But I have had my share of fish in the 100 - 200 pound class and I disagree with the implied tenor of the "Max Drag" thread. That is a very interesting discussion as it relates to drag and heat. My objection is the need for 50 pounds of drag or the style of tuna fishing that requires you to stop a fish quickly. I didn't want thread drift, so I started this one...

I set my drags at about 20 - 25 pounds. Then when a fish hits, I want him to run as far and as fast as he can. My logic (and the logic of many commercial fishermen I talk to) is that a big fish is stronger than you. He will win a tug of war. But have him run a 250 yard sprint and like any warm blooded animal, his lactic acid build up will make him gassed. Only at that point do you apply heat to him and reel him in. It is simple physiology.

At very high drag settings more things break, over heat, or otherwise malfunction. Fish are more difficult to control boatside. If you pull on a 300 pound defensive lineman for 10 seconds you are less gassed than if you run a 200 yard sprint with no resistance. When fish are running, their mouths are closed (hydrodynamics). When their mouths are closed, they can not breath. I would rather fight a defensive lineman after he runs a few wind sprint than after he bench presses his maximum...

Last point, I can't fight a fish for very long at huge drag settings. I don't think many other people can stand up either (which is why there is so much rod swapping between people on these threads)

I do understand that my 20 -25 pound of drag quickly turns into 50 pounds as he runs. I also understand the need for huge drag when fighting fish like grouper that you need to keep out of the rocks. This is specifically as it relates to tuna.

65 pounds of drag is not sustainable on the gear we all use. It is not sustainable stand up fighting. It is actually counterproductive to landing the fish.

This is my opinion. I would like to hear yours....

Mike


I think the main point is as you stated "I do understand that my 20 -25 pound of drag quickly turns into 50 pounds as he runs" as a reel that is capable of those drag pressures increases the pressure on the fish as he runs and can stop him. As well, when the fish runs he is tiring himself out more than tiring the angler so it should be encouraged to do so, not stopped short where you cannot stand the pressure yourself. The idea is to have reels that can really increase the pressure as the fish empties the spool, instead of only providing that 25lbs max, not to fish 50lbs of drag at "strike" with a spinning reel unless you need to stop Cuberas or GTs right away.

The max drag settings at full spool should only be in the 20lb range for those fishes that take long runs then when the fish is close and straight under the boat (given the lever that is the rod) the pressure on the angler will be near 60lbs and is plenty of work as we all know. If you had it cranked down to 50lbs the fish could potentially generate near 150lbs of pressure (with say, an 8' rod) and break rod, reel, line or angler if he put his head down. This is why shorter rods are so comfortable. The drag/reel takes more of the load and the shorter lever eases the pain on the angler.

TL;DR set your initial drag at 20lbs so that the drag produces 50lbs at near empty spool to hopefully stop a big 'un. But 20lbs will be all you can handle when the fish is under the boat for any extended period of time.
 
1 - 9 of 9 Posts
Top