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Testing My Drag And Other Garble


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Hi All,

I'm just hunting for a bit of info. After talking to a few mates and discussing drag and the power of different fish I have a few questions. At the end of last year I brought my self a Stella 8000 which Shimano rates it at 44 lbs of drag... roughly and a rapala braid concept rod 20 kilo. I caught a shark at Nelson bay a five foot plus hammerhead and the thing nearly spooled me on 50 lb braid and 80 lb leader but with the boat giving chase I got him to the boat (released).

This posed a couple of questions as my drag was screaming and slowly tightening it i wasn't confident with how much pressure to put on him and what to put on the reel as it was my first big fish. So I have been discussing with my mates to minimise being busted off... Firstly half the problem was to get used to how much a measured ten kilos plus of pressure on my rod and reel felt like to give me a bit more confidence to put on the brakes when needed. So funnily enough a ten kilo water bottle was tied to my leader. Me on a elevated platform and getting it off the ground was a bit of fun untill the leader (frayed a bit) snapped and I did a superman backwards. The neighbours are still laughing... I was surprised how heavy ten kilos felt at the end of the rod. Also how tight the drag was done up to get it off the ground and if the stella holds around twenty kilos of pressure there felt about one more turn in it.

Next a question, if anyone has any insight into it. A fish species (lets say kingies) my mate got an 85cm model the other day that ran him around for a while but say it weighed and I'm probably wrong 3-4 kilos. Now unlike above water, fish are alot lighter so has anyone heard of or researched how much pressure or weight a fish can pull compared to their body weight. Without bringing into efect them snapping you off on reefs etc.\

I know it's an essay and is so broad but any info on fishs power to weight ratio I will sound alot more informed at the pub. Also any suggestions on futher testing my reel might save a broken back and might convince my wife that catching a water drum is not the only thing I can catch.



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A kingfish of 85cm say approx 4kg can pull anywhere from 1 to 12 kg of drag pressure, many people think if a fish is 4 kg it can only pull 4 kg of pressure which is obviously incorrect. There isnt a set rule as to how much more a fish can pull above its weight, so many factors come into play, With kings there general health effects them, if they are well fed they will have more fight, If the water temp is cold it will make them more lethargic and much easier to fight, I pulled in a 90cm fish during winter that didnt pull any drag at all and the drag was set to 4kg, then i can catch a 60cm rat in summer that pulls out 7kg of drag......

Now with the water bottle test its not accurate as its a dead weight and a quality fish like a king is not a dead weight, They jerk left and right, They pull and stop...then pull again and when testing your tackle you wanna mimmick the fish as best possible, The best way to test it is to get a quality set of scales, Like the blue Shimano ones and tie a snap swivel onto the end of your line, Then lock your reel up as tight as can be and then put the scales onto the end of the line and get a mate to pull the line out using the scales, Also get him to pull in jerks so you canm test your line, Trace and knots strength.....this way you will get an exact reading of what the stella is capable off.

But before you do that i recommend you dont do it with the Braid composite rod....You said you have a 20kg braid composite rod....

The Rapala rods come in 2 of the larger sizes....a 15-24kg and a 10-20Kg........the 15-24kg is more of a 15kg jig stick and in my opinion may break if 20kg + was applied, The 10-20kg stick is more of a 10kg jigstick so once again in my opinion it will break under heavy pressure.

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Netic good info there mate,

Yes My rod is the 15 to 20 Kilo and the rod was pretty loaded under the weight. I tell you what that ten kilo bottle gave me a good fight though :1prop: it nearly put me on my arse!

When you test your reel do you have the scales pulling directly from the reel with no rod intervention as the rod would act as a shock absorber or is better to have the rod straight to get a better more accurate outcome. By the way will definitely not test a full 20kilo on my rod I'll take your advice. It seemed pretty loaded at 10 kilo's still had some more left in it but not too much.

I'll try with the scales and get one of the boys to imitate a fish..Their used to imitating a goose so it shouldn't be hard for them.

Thanks for the info.


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Thats some great info Netic.

Some rods say on them the maximum amount of drag they are capable on handling, an 85cm king should usually weigh 6-8kg, my mates got one that weighed 9.5kg at 85cm. As netic said, the conditions and health generally effect the fight. E.g i caught a 30 pound GT that fought better than a near 40 pound GT, this was because the 40lber took the 25cm popper right into his mouth, (was released+swam away). Most fish that grow to considerable sizes and are good fighters are easily capable of pulling more drag than their weight. Eg. I got a 9kg GT pulling 10kg of drag without too much trouble.

You can't just rely on how much drag you apply to catch you fish, angling the fish is crucial, but knowing how much drag your applying is also an important factor. I caught a whaler shark just over 5 foot that didnt take very much drag on 50 pound mono, but the extra stretch would've made a difference.

It just takes time to get used to how much drag you're applying, once you've done it for ages it'll become 2nd nature and you'll know what to do!



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