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Drag setting

1378 Views 5 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  fishinswing
Having cleaned my TLD15 on the weekend after the drenching it received, I thought I'd get a bit scientific about resetting the drag. Working on the principle of setting the strike drag at 1/3 of line weight (rod and reel permitting), I pondered how best to do it, and some of my other reels while I was at it.

Now I have reels with 4, 6, 10 and 20lb line (why do we still use imperial measures for these? guess its uncle sam). This works out approximately to .6, .9, 1.5 and 3kg drag.

It occurred to me that by putting weights in a cloth bag and attaching the handles to a hook on the end of the line, I could easily set the drag without requiring any help. This worked well, except I had a little difficulty finding the right weights. My 1.5kg anchor was perfect, but what about the rest. Turns out to be simple. Just use a plastic bottle and add water - 1l water weighs 1kg (ok at 4 deg Celsius for the pedants out there) so it is just a matter of filling the bottle with eg 600ml water for .6kg and putting it in the bag. A 1.5l bottle filled combined with the anchor for 3kg weight.

Turns out to have been a worthwhile exercise as I had the drag on the TLD15 set way too heavy. Will also be using this to check my 4lb outfit regularly as it is so easy to overtighten the drag and I've lost some decent fish and expensive lures as a result.
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Dan A said:
I read in a recent fishing mag they say to set the drag with a set of scales, ties the line onto the scale and pull, but pull directly out through the guides, ie(the way you would break a snag off) as the pressure should be directly off the reel.

When in the water you add a kilo or 2 for water pressure so 3 kilo of 9 kilo line would actually be about 5kilo of drag pressure in the water.

So if setting to high you can see how the line would break.

I've read that the setting should be with the rod loaded, as done by lifting the weights as above. On the other hand, this topic crops up from time to time so I'm not sure of the definitive answer.

However, I can say from my physics/maths past that being able to lift a weight means that the tension in the line is that weight, so that is the tension, less any friction from the guides, that is being placed straight on the reel. I think this means that the two ways are the same.

The 1/3 rule allows for the many factors that will put additional strain on the line or reduce the strength of the line. You identified water drag, there is of course knot strength and defects in the line and friction from the guides.
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