How To Set Fishing Reel Drag

Are you truly enthusiastic about the art of angling?

Do you wish to master this skill real quick?

Then you have landed up at the right place, for this article will get you well acquainted with the basics of how to set the fishing reel drag.

If in spite of multiple efforts, you are still unable to get your hands on a great catch, then this is the best way to get your fishing technique fine-tuned to perfection!

It has been found that most fishers lose their lure just because the drag isn’t set the right way. But worry not, just keep on reading.

What is a fishing drag?

Inside the fishing reels, lies a pair of plates designed to cause maximum friction, known as drag. Now when a fish is caught, and it tries to pull back to overcome the friction, the drag acts like a guard to prevent the fishing line from breaking. If you put too much pressure on the drag, you would have to deal with a broken line and if too little, the fish will simply free itself.  Adjusting the drag while the fishing game is on is not recommended –because while your full attention is towards your drag, the fish will make its way into the underwater again! The drag may come in form of a screw lodged in the back of the reel for certain fishing reel models and as the main screw for holding the spool in other models.

What is meant by correct drag setting?

The drag should be adjusted as such when you tend to grasp a fish, the drag should slip smoothly and the line can be drawn away effectively from the reel just at the right moment so to avoid breaking.

If your fishing rod is bent at an angle of 90 degrees, the drag should be built so that it can be hauled from the reel by about maximum 80% to the breaking point of the line.


Know-how of reel and drag

Before getting into the explanatory method, you should know about the various types of reels and the drags accordingly.

  • Determine the kind of reel built into your fishing rod

It’s very important to differentiate among the 3 different reels to know where the drag is located.

Both spinning reel and spin-casting reels are open-faced, so there lays a certain area of confusion about distinguishing. If the fishing line is wrapped by a covering resembling a cone, consisting of a tiny hole from which the line penetrates its way through. If the description matches then you have a spin-casting reel.

Whereas for the spinning one, your line wouldn’t be covered by any wrap, rather it would be very much displayed and not hidden like the former one.

Now the 3rd type almost looks a fusion of the above two, consisting of the best of both. After casting the line, if the entire line spool turns then undoubtedly it is a baitcasting reel.

  • Learn about the location of the drag in your reel

Baitcasting- star-shaped drag located just beside the fishing reel. To tighten the bond, turn it clockwise and turn in the opposite direction to loosen it.

Spin-cast- looks and location wise it is similar to that of the bait-caster. The only difference is functionality. As you tend to manipulate the settings of the drag you would hear clicks to let you understand the adjustment level and the number of times it is being adjusted.

Spinning- this only is easy to distinguish because it has kind of a round shape and can be noticed in the line spool if you pay a little attention.


How to set the drag?

  • Get the fishing rod out of your backpack and look through each of the guides you can find to gain as much knowledge as you can. Because a little learning wouldn’t cause any harm.
  • Now is the time to actually set up the rod, along with threading the fishing lines. If you come across any loose ends of the fishing line, don’t need to worry about it. Just tying them on a pair of handheld scales would be good. This is done so to prevent the line from slipping over even under great stress.
  • This step requires a high level of accuracy, so call out your mate. Ask your friend to hold the rod at an angle of approximately 45 degrees; 2-5 degree less or more wouldn’t matter. The most important part of this step is keeping the scale vertical so that upon looking you can see the line and the hook residing at the utmost top end.
  • Now comes the real part of drag setting, which is pulling. Upon tugging, you may be stunned to find that other than bending down because of the burden, the line will remain mostly consistent. After waiting patiently for a few moments you would see that the drag is constantly slipping. And after this, divert your attention to the line and you may find that it has extended. Put out your scale and take the reading instantly.
  • After you have jotted down the accurate measurement, please check out the location of your drag. Now utilize the reading to adjust the drag to prevent it from slipping no beyond than 80 % of the fishing line.
  • Now that you are done. Here is a tip, which you may ignore it if you don’t find it useful. Set your drag a little bit looser than the actual breaking strain so that the naughty fishes don’t get away from its clutch by biting and breaking the line.


Few things to remember

When the line is pulled apart from the reel, winding it would give rise to tangles which can lead to ultimate wastage of your time.

Once you spot a fish nearby don’t forget to pull off the drag at its half-length.  Doing this ensures that you don’t miss the chance of catching your prey due to unwanted circumstances like broken rods and lines. It can assure you a considerable longevity of your fishing rods and wheels.

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