Thoughts on Setting Spinning Reel Drag

Discussion in 'Tackle and Rigging' started by pametfisher, Jul 15, 2009.

  1. pametfisher

    pametfisher Senior Member

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    I responded to a question about setting spinning reel drag the other day with some observations.

    If I cast my Stella for the day and don't repack the line tightly, then try to set the drag the next time out, there can be an error of several pounds (measured 4-6 lbs.). The conditions for this to happen are: line run over the bail, through the guides, with the bail arm high relative to the spool, but with the line is coming off the lower part of the spool.

    What happens is the line digs in just a little resulting in a reading when you measure the drag that is artificially high. This leads to a lower actual drag when a fish hits (effect of the line digging in is now gone). So you think you have set 18 lbs. but actually the drag during the fight is 13 lbs. This is peculiar to spinning reels I think.

    Since I always have a loop in the end of my braid, I set my drag by pulling the line directly off the spool without going through the guides or around the bail arm. Holding all other things constant, I have measure the effect of bail and guide resistance with the rod bent 90 degrees. The effect is less than a pound. So if I set 18 lbs. directly at the spool, I measure 18-19 lbs. when I run the line through the guides and pull at an angle that bends the rod a full 90 degrees.

    So the bottom line is that it is more important to set the drag with the line coming off the spool cleanly, without digging in or being pulled at an angle across the spool across loosely packed line, than it is to run it over the bail and out through the guides.

    P.S. This lack of additional drag from pulling the rod to even a 90 degree bend makes a good case for pointing the rod more or less straight out when the fish is on the run, saving your energy for the end game.
     
  2. Bill Fisher

    Bill Fisher Senior Member

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    trail the line out behind the boat after every trip and pack it back on tight on the way in............ it'll be ready for the next trip

    pretty much a pre-requisite for all spinners IMO

    no digs, no loops, no slack
     

  3. pametfisher

    pametfisher Senior Member

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    trail the line out behind the boat after every trip and pack it back on tight on the way in............ it'll be ready for the next trip

    pretty much a pre-requisite for all spinners IMO

    no digs, no loops, no slack

    I think that is excellent advice. Maybe even repack during the trip. Tuna are great line repackers.
     
  4. margarita mojo

    margarita mojo Senior Member

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    I haven't ever had an issue with line getting loose on my spinners. I used to set my drags with a scale, but just feel it now. I went with capt Eddie down in Venice once, we pulled our scales out and he asked what we were doing and he said hand it here, couple pulls and he said you are set. Been working for me every since. You can get a feel fairly easy for what is right. I haven't used the scales since.

    Joe
     
  5. SkeeterRonnie

    SkeeterRonnie Senior Member

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    I usually end up jacking with my drag after I set it.. so now, i dont set it. Its off of feel. This is only with spinners though. I also check it when a fish and I are at a stalemate and no line is moving. I make sure its not too tight. I can always palm the reel if I want to put some heat on the fish... ;)
     
  6. SpecialK

    SpecialK Super Moderator

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    I would also add that when a fish makes a really long run and I started with 20# of drag on a spinning setup I will ussally back off a little so that he doesnt get too far into the spool and the bust off because the amount of drag went up...
    This has only happed a handfull of times though..
     
  7. pametfisher

    pametfisher Senior Member

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    I would also add that when a fish makes a really long run and I started with 20# of drag on a spinning setup I will ussally back off a little so that he doesnt get too far into the spool and the bust off because the amount of drag went up...
    This has only happed a handfull of times though..

    Drag increase into the spool is a very real issue. I design all my connections so that I have enough strength to get to 40# drag and still have a 50% margin. Hollow is good for that. My tackle knot in the mono is 65-70 lbs. All other connections are 80 to 100 lbs.

    I want the drag to increase to stop the fish. And I try to leave the fish fighting at a distance of 150 to 200 yards until it is tired by the higher drag.
     
  8. SpecialK

    SpecialK Super Moderator

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    I agree. I don't like the hollow core so I have been sticking with the Page Ranking connection. I havent had one fail yet, but if I got to 40# on a tuna sniper I might get catapulted off the boat....:eek:

    The most drag I want to use on that rod is 25#
    I have been doing exercise lifts of 30 lbs just to keep myself in shape wheni don't get much.
    Funny I get tons of cardiac exercise from work and wakeboarding but it doesn't help fishing very much...