drag settings

Discussion in 'Reels' started by thenewkid, Jul 12, 2007.

  1. thenewkid

    thenewkid Senior Member

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    as i have never owned a 2 speed real i no knothing about the gears or lever drag if someone could tell me how to set the drag and such it would be extrememly apreciated and needed thanks

    Tony
     
  2. SkeeterRonnie

    SkeeterRonnie Senior Member

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    move lever to free spool, and turn the spool tension knob behind the handle(on the sideplate)... a little at a time. move lever back up to strike- and pull on drag scale. Now if you have a reel that will put out more drag than the rod can handle- i set mine at full position to a couple pounds under what the rod can handle. I only put the reel in full if the fish is near the boat and ready to gaff- then yank the drag below strike position(slightly above freespool) in case the fish jumps off the gaff and makes a run....
     

  3. fishordie

    fishordie Senior Member

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    Hi Tony,

    Actually, setting the drag is a direct function of the line strength you are using. Hopefully, the line test is matched to your reel and rod.

    The Strike setting of your reel, which has a partial stop for ease of locating the spot without looking down, is only a reference for many of us. I prefer to set my drag, when the lever is at strike, at around 28-30% of the noted line test. For example 80 pound test line would have a drag setting at strike, using a pull gauge with a stop indicator like Shimano makes, of 24#'s of drag (30% of 80) or 40# at 12 pounds of drag. This allows me to set the hook with the drag lever short of the strike position, around 2/3 of the distance to strike, and as the pull of the fish becomes more even I can work the drag lever towards that strike setting or beyond if I feel it is necessary. The initial run and take of the fish should be done with less drag than the middle and end of the fight. Some might disagree by stating that maximum drag from start to finish is the best way to bring a big fish in quickly but that assumes the fisherman can consistently create perfect knots, connections and or crimps. This is rarely the case for most fishermen thus the need to ease into the initial run which generally creates the most pressure on your connections.

    Many of the lines today actually break well above their noted strengths. Until you become familiar with the line you are using the 30% of rated strength will be an excellent and easy to remember setting. Very important is to get a good pull gauge, around $30.00 US.

    Practice at home setting the drag lever while setting a hook, or in most cases just reeling down on the fish to get the hook to set, so that you can repeat the motion ending up just short of the strike setting as the hook bites into the fish. I always say it is better to err on the side of slightly less drag pressure when setting the hook than erring on the side of more pressure so by not going all the way to strike at the set you can accomplish this. I do not doubt you will be hearing the sound of line pings (snapped line) from other fishermen who set their hooks with too high a drag setting.

    Best of luck

    Jamie
     
  4. reelwinder1

    reelwinder1 Junior member

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    I'd agree with fishordie for most of his expaination ... at least for trolling .. You didn't tell us what line you are using or what you are fishing for or if you were trolling or bait fishing .... you may want to take into account how well you tie knots, if you are bait fishing or trolling ....targeted fish ....( if you would be kingfishing you would only want 4 -7 lbs of drag .. pretty much across the board) .. or if you are bottom fishing with bigger baits for grouper ... lock it down ...also has a lot to do with the type line you are going to use .... remember braided line has almost no give .. mono will streach up to 25 % .. so if you are using braid .. go with a little less drag ... you will not pull the hooks as often ... if your rod has a fast or more forgiving tip you can use a little more drag .. if you are fishing with a 2X4 you would lighten it up a bit ...the only thing to do for sure, is to check your drag every time you put a bait in the water .. you will have a good idea if you have it too tight or not in a very short time ..... "C. Aleshire" <[email protected]>
     
  5. ksong

    ksong SPONSOR

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    I liket to set the drag at 25 percent of line test at stike knowing that drag inceases substantially as line goes out. Many people don't realize how much drag increases when the line is half of the spool.
    If the drag is 18 lbs when line is full in case of 6/0 reel, the drag increases to 27 lbs when line is half full and to 54 lbs when line is at the bottom of the spool. :eek:
    When tuna makes circle under the boat, it is time to push lever to the full to shorten the fight, but I don't recommend to touch the drag lever at all passed the strike positon for novice fishermen.
     
  6. Tonto

    Tonto Guest

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    I'd agree with ksong on this. I prefer 25% of line-strength, just to offset the increase in drag pressure when my line is few hundred feet out. With a lever drag, there's typically a "full strike" position, so if you need to bump up the drag pressure, that should be easy enough to do.
     
  7. Tonto

    Tonto Guest

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    Yeah, I'd agree with ksong on this. I prefer 25% of line-strength (down to 20%, depending on the species), just to offset the increase in drag pressure when my line is few hundred feet out. With a lever drag, there's typically a "full strike" position, so if you need to bump up the drag pressure, that should be easy enough to do.
     
  8. Tonto

    Tonto Guest

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    Yeah, I'd agree with ksong on this. I prefer 25% of line-strength (down to 20%, depending on the species), just to offset the increase in drag pressure when my line is few hundred feet out. With a lever drag, there's typically a "full strike" position, so if you need to bump up the drag pressure, that should be easy enough to do.
     
  9. fishordie

    fishordie Senior Member

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    Yo Kilsong,

    The reason I no longer follow the 25% rule is two fold. First, almost all of the lines out today are thicker in diameter for their given line ratings. This means they actually break at numbers much higher than their noted rating strength. In 40# for example, my Momoi breaks at closer to 50 pounds than it does to 40#'s. 80# lines are breaking at well over 90. Except for the true rated lines, which are few in number and can be distinguished by their thinner diameters, this thicker diameter will apply to most brands.

    The second and most important reason is I find too many folks being on their fish way way too long. This comes from a variety of reasons that include too light of gear, their bodies maybe not being in the best fishing shape, unable to put a ton of pressure on a fish, Gear not in proper condition and finally fishing too light a drag.

    If a fisherman's gear is kept in tip top shape, that is things such as no nicks in guides or line, proper connections and drags that are silky smooth, there is no reason to be on a fish as long as the overwhelming majority of folks are on them. The ability to know all the above is correct enables this fisherman to put maximum pressure on a fish and therefore bring that same fish in at a fraction of the time of most folks. This is a lesson more folks should learn as it will enable them to catch more fish in the same amount of time. This also improves the odds of getting the bigger fish. There is also an argument that fish on for less time are better eating as they are less stressed and it is also known these same fish have a better chance of living if they are released.

    I defy anyone to break 80# test line while on a smooth dragged reel at 24#'s of drag (30%) or 40# at 12 #'s of drag, with proper connections. Not going to happen. The same applies at most any line test until you get to the real light stuff. Again, knowing you have smooth drags and proper connections and gear will be the insurance factor.

    On most of these sites we have discussed connections, spectra, reels, hooks and other assorted gear. Very rarely do we discuss what to do once we are hooked up. There are some folks who can discuss bringing in a cow sized tuna in under 15 minutes but it seems no body discusses how this is possible. Again, I refer to my above statements as to why it can be done without relying on luck.

    For those looking to improve their performance on the boat, try pulling harder with shorter strokes, at the right time, and learn how to keep a fishes nose pointed at the boat for the maximum time possible. Rail rodders especially know what can be done with this new found leverage. With the advent of smaller two speed reels look how to use that new found power of the lower gear. This will not be done with lighter drag settings.

    If the fisherman has not learned proper connections or their gear is not in the best of conditions then by all means go with lighter drag settings. The reason these boards are here is to improve those fishermen who desire to take the time to improve. Once all the above is in place then pulling hard on the fish, with the right drag settings is the next way to improve that performance.

    One other thing to note, depending on the cam in the lever type reels, if the strike is set too low, especially on the higher rated lines, the fisherman is not getting enough at full. This may not apply to the latest gear but most of the older gear that have not been after market tuned and hot rodded folks are using, this will apply to.

    The last point is with these new wonderful reels we are having to work the drag lever less and less or not at all.
    This is again an advantage as the second or two spent adjusting the drag lever is all a fish needs to turn its head again lengthening the time of the fight. Most of us know the longer the fight the more chance of something wrong happening.

    JMHO.

    Jamie
     
  10. ksong

    ksong SPONSOR

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    Hi Jamie,
    I always respect your opinions as they are practical and come from actual longptime fishing experiences, not from the desk.
    I use braided lines exclusively for jigging and it is still pretty heavy drag even for 25 percent of line lbs as I use heavy braided lines (80 lbs for tuna).
    I lost two tuna as 80 lbs braided lines got broken off while fighting tuna a few days ago even I used only 21 -22 lbs drag. :eek: I replaced the braided lines with new ones though they were pretty new. I found braided line get damaged easily unlike mono lines.
     
  11. MrBill

    MrBill Senior Member

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    I've been a heavy drag man my whole life. I lose most of my fish because of hooks pulled. I try to use circle hooks if possible. Circles are a must for bottom species and tuna. To me, the most important phase of my fishing is proper hook setting. When using circle hooks, I always let the fish run for about two seconds while I thumb the reel. I take about three seconds when moving the lever from free spool to strike. Slow and easy until it hits strike. Then its all about me and the fish.

    My main goal is to shorten his initial run. I don't like a lot of line out in the water. The faster you stop his first run, the faster you can turn his head and pump him back. Two speed reels are a must for larger fish. Low gear with short strokes will keep his head toward the boat. Never give up. There is always a point in the fight when its just cranking in low gear. Then there is another short run. I also cannot stress using new line, and well maintained gear. I never want to have the tackle loose a fish. If I loose a fish, it's because the hook pulled or I slacked off.

    No matter what I am fishing for, I always get the fish to the boat very fast. To me, that is one of the big problems. My fish are green every time. I hate bad gaffing. I like to have my fish stuck in the head the first shot. I also like that to happen very fast. Gaffs will hit the line sometimes and with a lot of tension, the fish will be set free. But, a experienced gaff man is very important. No hesitation. Just stick him and stick him hard and on the first try.

    When fishing with big 12/0 J style hooks on marlin lures, it is very important to get a good hook set. Sometimes its almost impossible as the marlin has locked down on the head of the lure. Most people think the hook pulled after a twenty second fight. That's usually not the case. The marlin always takes the lure head first. Sometimes when he feels the resistance he won't let go of the lure head for three minutes. Trolling with big lures is a whole different subject and I would need a lot of time to type about the subject.
     
  12. fishordie

    fishordie Senior Member

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    HI Kilsong,

    Thank you for the nice words. You are so right about the Spectra. Many of us have now had ours on our reels for several years. Rubbing against the boat, frayed strands, nicks, etc. are sometimes tough to detect. However, like any other part of the gear, a big tuna will find the weakest link and cause it to break.

    Spectra is very expensive but in the overall scheme of things, for those of us like you and I, these are the tools we use on a regular basis. You have to have the right tool for the application and it has to be maintained. Good for you replacing suspect Spectra. I would do the exact same thing. I happen to keep thousands of yards of different gauge Spectra with me at home and on the boat. If I have any suspicion at all I remove the worn or suspect section and re splice in new. Gawwwd I love hollow Spectra. Even my hollow splice loops are redone for every trip right on the boat. Yes, I am anal about such things but it also allows others to see what I am doing.

    One thing to note is I have re changed out all my solid this year as I am back to throwing 100 Yd mono top shots for my jigs. I could just never make the solid thing work for me and believe me I tried everything I could.
    I am using loop to loop for ease of change out which I usually do a couple of times a day. I even change out my mono if I happen to backlash the spool..... Yes it happens to the best and worst of us. My premade windons go on and off quickly and of course I always have more than enough backup rigs to use until I can re put on the new line.

    Kilsong, You and I put a ton of time into our fishing and what it gives us in return is something hard for non fishermen to understand. But it improves the quality of our lives. Each and every fish is just as grand an event as the first one. Losing a fish due to bad gear or line is just not acceptable. Losing a fish because it just bested us on that effort, though not fun, just makes getting the next one even better in the same conditions.

    As Always, I look forward to sharing the rail with you someday.

    Jamie
     
  13. fishordie

    fishordie Senior Member

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    Hi Bill,

    Well said. Proper hook set is worth gold. Easing into it and then using maximum pressure is what works for me. Point the rod at the fish, go to 2/3 strike, wind down and I even take a few steps back to help set the hook after I have wound down. This stepback both helps in setting the hook and turning the head of the fish towards the boat. I am now seeing a few more folks using this method both on J hooks and circles. Again, with smooth drags, there are more options for the fisherman.

    Jamie
     
  14. bunile

    bunile Senior Member

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    yes gaff 'em in the head....HARD !!!!I like to hear the whack and see the blood and then the frantic nerves when the tails slap against the deck at 6 beats per second. "WHACK" WHACK" oooh yeahhhh!!!!
     
  15. STx Fisherman

    STx Fisherman Senior Member

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    I agree with Mr. Bill....but....not everyone is built to handle a heavy drag. If you are a stout person.... with pretty good strength, Mr. Bill's method is excellent....I love to horse those fish to the boat as soon as I can. If you're not a strong person, you may not want a strong drag...you might want to lighten up and fight your fish in. The stronger the drag that you can handle....the better...in my opinion.
     
  16. thenewkid

    thenewkid Senior Member

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    well thanks guys this has been helpful and stx i am built "stout":D :D
    6'3" 350lbs and im fairly strong :D so i think i can handle some drag you know lol and smooth drag is key it really does make all the difference