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How Does Fishing Reel Drag Work?

It would not be exaggerating to call the fishing reel most crucial in a fishing toolkit. Even if you don’t own a wader, tackle box, or any other fishing tools, only a fishing reel with a hook can get the job done.

While a fishing reel is used to throw the line into the water and bait the fishes, it is the fishing reel drag that will ultimately allow you to catch fish.

However, it takes a really complicated mechanism and design, for a fishing reel drag to work. If you are pondering how exactly does it work, dive right in and find out!

How does fishing reel drag work? 

The drag is basically the friction plates in a reel that lets you control the amount of line you let out while catching a fish. If the pulling force of the fish is strong enough, due to friction the reel goes back and the line comes out. Then, you can catch a fish without breaking the line.

How does a fishing reel clutch work?

When it comes to being a pro at fishing, understanding how your fishing gear works is a must. To get a better understanding of how to use a fishing reel, you have to delve deeper and understand the device from the root.

Drag/clutch is an important factor of a fishing reel. It is mainly a pair of friction plates integrated inside of a fishing reel. 

If a fish bites into the bait and pulls the line hard, the reel rotates back and prevents the line from breaking. 

It creates enough friction or pressure so the spool keeps on spinning without sticking. Tuning your tackle in drag is also a crucial step for hassle-free fishing.

The more you will press the brakes the fast it will bring the fish to you. The more drag/clutch your reel has, the easier it will be for you to catch the fish. 

The first thing that you should do when you go fishing is setting the drag on your reel. Now let’s delve deeper and find out how to set drags on different types of fishing reels.

How to set the drag on a fishing reel?

As mentioned earlier, the structure of a fishing reel wildly varies. Given the fact that it comes in different shapes and sizes, below is the list of how to set the drag on different fishing reels.

How to set drag on a spinning reel? 

There’s just something versatile about spinning reels that makes it angler-favorite. If you go fishing anywhere and everywhere, a spinning reel is all you need. Now, let’s find out how to set the drag on a spinning reel. 

  • Step 1: Before setting the drag on your spinning reel, at first pull the line above the reel using your hand and tighten it using the drag adjustment button. 
  • Step 2: Now it’s time to judge the force. If you are not quite sure how much pressure it can create, hold the rod at 45 degrees and hook its weight. 
  • Step 3: Keep it loose if you don’t want to break it off while fighting a fish.

And voila! This is how it’s done. 

How to set drag on a conventional reel? 

Let’s move on to know- how to set the drag on a conventional reel. 

  • Step 1: Adjust your drag to at least thirty percent of the line-breaking strength and pull the reel back to the spool. 
  • Step 2: Put the drag on your reel and tighten it up. 
  • Step 3: Grab any measurement scale and put it on the end of the snap swivel. Now, pull and see how much drag reading you are getting. 

And, that’s all you have to do to set the drag on a conventional reel. 

How to set drag on a bait caster reel?

Here’s how to set the drag on a bait caster reel: 

  • Step 1: Adjust the drag of your reel by the start wheel that lies underneath your bait caster reel. 
  • Step 2: Use a digital scale to measure the amount of total drag slippage. Make sure it has at least twenty-five percent of breaking strength. 
  • Step 3: Keep on adjusting your drag mechanism until it slips the same weight as the reel line. 

Yes, it is that easy to set the drag on a bait caster reel. 

How to set drag on a fly reel? 

Now, let’s find out how to set the drag on a fly reel. 

  • Step 1: At first, string up your fishing rod. 
  • Step 2: Hook a fish scale to its welded loop and make someone pull the line for you. 
  • Step 3: While holding the rod and reel at the same time make drag adjustments. 

That being said, follow the steps above if you can’t figure out how to set the drag on your fly reel the next time!

What is the purpose of drag on a fishing reel? 

The drag acts like a safety mechanism on a fishing reel. It will allow you to turn the spool against the force that pulls the line from its reel.

When a fish bites into the hook and pulls it down, it’s the force created by drag that brings the line with the fish stuck on it. 

The tighter you will set the drag force; it will make the process easier. But the key to taking your line off easily without snapping is to set the drag to its perfect weight. 

Simply put, if you want to make the most out of your fishing day, you have to set the drag with the right amount of adjustment on your reel beforehand.

How much drag is enough?

Setting the drag can be quite tricky at times. There’s no standard measurement about How much is enough. 

It also differs from the setting to the type of fishing. However, the majority of the professional angler keep it between 25-30 pounds. 

If You are talking about sail fishing, then 6 pounds is more than enough at strike. Adding to that, 12 pounds is the maximum you can go for. But for bottom fishing, 12 pounds is enough and you can go up to maximum of 20 pounds. 

Experts also suggest that if you are going for a 20-pound braid, then 52 to 64 pounds of drag is ideal. 

If the drag is not enough, you will have a hard time pulling the line out of the water; but if the drag is way higher than it should be, there’s a big chance you will end up snapping out the line. So, keeping it subtle is the key. 

You do not have to go overboard with the drag force. Otherwise, you might break the reel and need to pay a high price for the new one. 

Why is the drag on my reel not working? 

If the drag on your reel is not working anymore, it’s more likely to be one of the reasons mentioned below: 

Problem with the braid:

If your drag is not clacking on the reel, then have a look at your braid. When the braid is free-spinning, the drag won’t grip into it if you have a big fish on. To know, if it’s your braid causing the mishap, tighten your drag and check if it clacks. 

Broken shaft:

The shaft of a reel is what helps to move the drag. If the shaft itself is broken, it’s pretty obvious that the drag won’t work. So, have a look at it too if it’s not the braid that’s causing the problem. 

Broken drag:

If it’s not for any of the reasons mentioned above, then it might be because the drag is broken. 

There’s a spring inside the drag that makes a popping noise every time you turn it. If you cannot hear any sound while clacking the drag, fix it right away! 

If your drag is still not working, it’s simply because your reel has worn out and it’s time to get a new one!  

Now that you are done reading this, we hope you will be able to use your fishing drag better than you ever did!

If you are passionate about fishing, then you must know about the tools that you can use to do it. Fishing reels are one of those tools that are significant in any fishing work. 

And when you will know how the mechanism of a fishing reel drag works, you will save yourself from a lot of hassles. And this review will help you in that path. 

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