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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
One of the many remaining mysteries to me is how to adjust your drag settings. My approach has always been as unscientific as yanking the line a bit and adjust the drag so it probably won't break if a bigger fish comes along and the spool doesn't fall in the water. In the case that I get a stonker that feels like he's going to break me off I loosen it a bit during play.

Surely there's more to it than that?
 

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The standard game fishing approach was 1/3 of your breaking strain checked with scales after heating up the drag. Heavy structure fishing using relatively light line i go 1/2 drag. The other thing to remember is that if you have a full spool of line and set your drag at 3kg, by the time your spool is over 1/2 full your drag has doubled. This is before you take the added drag of the length of line moving through the water into account. This is what lead to the popularity of lever drags, you could back your drag off when you had a lot of line in the water and increase back to strike drag when the amount of line out was less.
 

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Except for a few circumstances, it is generally accepted that you should set the drag to about 1/3 of the breaking strain of the line.
You can use drag scales to measure the drag force. This is done with game fishing reels as it is critical to have the drag set correctly,
for estuary, I just guess at what 1/3 of the breaking strain would be.

The times you would want the drag much higher would be jigging for kings/dogtooth or where you are fishing coral reefs and can't afford to give any line.
 
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Jeffen is right but you also need to warm the drag up by pulling the line out for about a minute or maybe 20 times
 

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It becomes harder as the drag system heats up and expands.

Nick's (important) point is that you want the drag set correctly when a large fish runs, so as the drag heats up, the drag will not increase past the desired setting.
 

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Are you having problems using your un-scientific method? I'm pretty sure it's that same method many of us un-scientific types use.....it helps when you never catch fish big enough to test your drag out, just ask me.
 

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its the society we live in... there will always be someone to tell us how we SHOULD be doing things and while there may be a correct method our own individuality should also allow us the option of finding a way that works and suits how we fish. I acknowledge that 1/3 breaking strain is the text book setting and I used to make sure that my drag was "right" but the more I fished and the more familiar I got with the reels the more I used the incorrect method - and to be honest I haven't seen any great variation in the results...

cheers

John
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Ok, sounds complicated. Think I'll stick with the unscientific method for my estuary fishing.

My first question reading the responses is how the fudge would you measure one third of the drag anyway?
 

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Scales.
Have also seen people using a bucket and adding a known amount of water. 1 litre = 1 kilo.
Personally, I just guesstimate. Have had line cut off on teeth or reef, but never broken using this "method".

Alternatively,

If you are using a small (1000 - 2004) reel, your max drag is likely 2kg.
If it has 6lb (rated) braid on it, it probably breaks at around 6kg.
Whack on a 12lb leader and screw that drag right up.
Bob's your uncle. :lol:
 
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