Having the drag system correctly set up on your spinning reel is vitally important when it comes to fighting that big fish of a lifetime! If the drag is too tight the line can break or the hook can be ripped out of the fish’s mouth; having the drag too loose may cause the hook to come free. One mistake that a lot of anglers make when fighting a fish is they start to adjust the drag during the fight. Adjusting the reel’s drag while a fish is on could lead to incorrect line tension and the fish may come free.
The drag system on a fishing reel is designed to apply the amount of resistance to a fish while hooked. Every reel’s fishing drag is measured in pounds. Obviously the tighter the drag is set the more resistance is applied to the fish and to the line tension. The goal in setting your drag system is to play the fish to the point that it tires and can be landed safety. At the same time that drag helps the fishing line from breaking from too much line tension.
An easy way to accurately adjust your reel’s drag system is by using a small scale and apply the simple rule of 20-25% of the line weight for when your reel’s drag should kick in. This will help your rod and reel system to be best maximized while fighting that big fish.
Here is how it works:
The breaking strength of the fishing line is the pound test that is clearly marked on each line spool. Take the line test and divide it by 4 to determine what pound of tension that your drag should be set at. (10lbs Test divided by 4= 2.5lbs)
Place your rod at a 45 degree angle and tie the scale at the end of it.
Pull down on the scale making the rod bend, take the reading on the scale the moment your drag starts to slip. Continue to repeat this process and adjust the tension knob on the reel until your scale reads 20-25% of the line test. So in this example once the drag starts to slip and the scale reads 2.5lbs the drag is correctly set.
Once you get a hang of setting your reel’s drag systems you will come a custom to knowing what the correct drag tension feels like. Once you have learnt this you will be able to adjust the drag without using a scale. I highly recommend always setting up your drag system prior to heading out on the water. This saves you time and you will have confidence that your rod and reel system will work perfectly when you hook onto the big one!
Here is a short video explaining this simple method on how to set the drag system correctly.
Tight lines & please take a youth fishin!