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Setting The Drag With Scales The Proper Way


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hi guys,

i thought it would be a good topic to start..not sure if its been brought up this way before but prob good refresher if it has...

now the question is what ways and methods do you use to set your drag pressure to get the optimum out of your gear....

for eg: putting rod in holder and loading rod up adjusting drag till right measure is taken....

or not loading rod and letting reel take all the pressure to leave rod out of the equation..

also good if you can add the ways you test breaking strain for knot integrity etc....

anyway looking foreward to the answers that come as ive heard conflicting ways from different fishoes over time....


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When I was gamefishing we always did it with pull scales through the rod & on a similar curve to what the rod would be when loaded. Always in the rod holder. We would set the drags around a 3rd of the lines rated breaking strain.

I've never tested the breaking strain of my knots. :biggrin2:

I know Netic has done a heap of tests with different braids & knots in the past so I hope he replies to this!



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on light/spin rods i hold onto the rod with weight on the ground and lift it through the rod. this gives a feel of how much strain can be taken and increase until things either break or are about to. this can be done with a water bottle or similar, water being 1 keg per litre.

on trolling gear(lever drags) i do it through scales with someone walking away as the speed of the line coming off the reel changes the strain on the line.

as a rule if braid feels like it is about to cut into your hand, its about right.

the other day i was testing out my bream out fit and could lift 1 kilo with 3 pound braid and 6pound fc leader,however the smallest scrape at this pressure would snap it and the 2-4kg rod was just about maxed out.

when you get a snag, try and break it through the rod to get a feel for things. unless you are over rating your line for abrasion purposes just short of this is how hard you should be fishing your gear.

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All great advice, but the speed you pull the line down or pull away with the rod can cause variables, pull to slow and you get a low reading, pull too fast and it will give a higher reading, generally walking pace is the right speed. Better shown in real life than in theory.

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