drag power

Discussion in 'Tackle Talk' started by Bass_turd, Mar 6, 2008.

  1. Bass_turd

    Bass_turd Crankin' or workin'

    just wondering what everyone opinion is on this subject. never really paid much attention to this as far as a buying point for a reel but noticed that the new nitro from BPS is boasting a 16.5lb drag power. after some looking i notice a few of the brownings with that rating (same company makes both reels) then i noticed abu revos have a 24lb drag power. if this a big thing for anyone or is playing the fish on the right line more important
  2. For most freshwater applications, I feel drag power is not critical. Since your drag should be set to max 1/3 breaking strength of your line. So if you are fishing heavy cover w/ 20 lb line, your drag shouldn't be set for over 7 lbs of pressure. Thats a huge amount of drag. It takes a heck of a rod and effort to be able to lift a 7 lb weight. Situations that may call for this sort of drag typically entaill heavy cover and big fish. Even then, 5 lbs of actual drag should be more than enough. The only exception I see to this rule is in heavy tackle use in saltwater to be able to stop the runs of big fish from spooling you. Just my .02.

  3. In bass fishing it's really not much of an issue. The only place this may come into play is if your flipping into extremely heavy cover with very heavy line (ie 65+ braid). If your gonna run a drag setting of 20 lbs...you'd better make sure your using a rod that can handle it!!

    As biodude mentioned...saltwater fish pull hard, really freakin hard. Fish like tarpon, bonefish, king mackeral, wahoo, and marlin tend to make very long runs. A typical 20 lb trolling outfit is gonna be set around 5 lbs of drag. If you happen to hook into a big wahoo, he might run 500-600 yards of line off before you can clear the rest of the trolling spread and back down on the fish. You don't want to apply too much pressure as to pull the hook, so you need a ton of line capacity to make up for it.
    Even when fishing 130lb tackle for 800-1000 lb class blue marlin you would only be applying 30-50 lbs of drag. Even in a fighting chair, much more drag than that would be potentially dangerous to the angler.
  4. neocats1

    neocats1 Team Catastrophe

    Bio, 7# of drag pressure is not much if you are targeting big flathead catfish. My Okuma's have a factory rating of 99#. A bit of overkill, but I have ran 100# test power pro before. Why use A line that heavy on a reel that never had the drag pressure to put the line to the test.
  5. I have locked my drag down with pliers before when fishing the jungles of the Scioto River for big flatheads. I was using 80lb braid with an Abu baitcaster. I have had flatheads move me 5-6' toward the water with the drag tightened down like that. For most freshwater applications, you don't need anywhere close to that. With these flatheads, we were fishing right next to and sometimes inside snags. You couldnt afford for a fish to get 10' on ya or you were done.

  6. Most big game saltwater reels used in fighting chairs never produce close to 50 lbs of drag pressure in use. Those are coupled with roller guides on rods that make a catfish rod look like a 2 wt flyrod. Here's a test for you. Put on some new, 30 lb test braid on your catfish rod, tie it to a tree, crank your reel drag down to the max, and lean back until something gives. Everyone... what do you think is going to happen?
  7. If your lucky the reel will feed out drag before your rod snaps in half...lol. Remember folks...big fish are fought with rods, not with reels.

    The Avet T-RX 2-speed 50w reels have the highest documented drag setting of anything that I've seen. These reels are absolutely top of the line and run about $1000 a peice. Once again though...If you're trying to hold back an 800# blue marlin with 100 pounds of drag, I hope you can hold your breath for a long, long time.
  8. With regards to freshwater...one other point.

    Theoretically speaking a reel with a max drag setting of 20# set to 8#'s of drag should be smoother and more efficient than a reel with a max drag setting of 10#'s set to 8#'s. Make sense?
  9. Bass_turd

    Bass_turd Crankin' or workin'

    thanks all, i was thinking along those lines but wanted some reinforcement.
  10. neocats1

    neocats1 Team Catastrophe

    The line would snap of course. What do you think would happen?
  11. Unless your fishing for cats with marlin tackle, the likelihood that your reel is actually producing 30lb+ of drag tension is not good...regardless of what the manufacturer is telling you. Most 30lb braid has an actual breaking strength of around 60#'s. With that being said...in all probability the reel would either release drag or the gears would strip out before the line broke.

    If you honestly believe differently I say we all get together at a park, bring our heaviest gear, some 100# test, a 200 lb pull scale and case of Miller Lite and have a science project.

    Who's in??
  12. neocats1

    neocats1 Team Catastrophe

    I'm game. I just spooled new 65# Power Pro on my Okuma Avenger ABF-65. Went out and tied it to a tree, pulled back and BAM, the line broke. It was a fair test, no cheating. That was using the rod too. Pulling straight the line would have broke easier.
  13. neocats1

    neocats1 Team Catastrophe

    Why is it not good to produce 30+ pounds of drag pressure?
  14. I'm not undermining your test at all...however, I'd definitely like to put a scale on it and see how much drag some of my reels will produce. Also...one point that hasn't been discussed...a heavy drag doesn't necessarily mean it's a smooth drag. In some reels it takes ALOT more tension to get the spool moving but once that initial turn is made the tension required to keep it going is much less. This can cause alot of break-offs when a big fish has a sudden surge of power and begins a run. The difference between the two will always be less pronounced on a reel with a high quality, smooth drag system.

    That would also be pretty easy to measure with a scale.
  15. As you may have guessed the bulk of my heavy tackle experience has not been with yanking big catfish from log-jams but rather in playing out several hundred pound billfish in the open ocean. Two very different games that call for two very different tools.

    For this reason...i would never dream of tightening down a drag to it's fullest...weather it was 50 lbs or 100lbs or whatever. In my game that would certainly result in a tackle failure, a side-plate hot enough to fry an egg or a man-overboard.
  16. Totally agree w/ you Dkilla. When chasing big ocean predators, a lock down drag would send you to a watery grave. Watch the guys on tv that shark fish and have too tight a drag. When the shark comes next to the boat they almost get pulled over. No flathead has close to the power and speed of a marlin, shark etc. Thats why you can get away with max drag, but like I said its rare occasions and I have been almost pulled in when I was on the bank. 99% of the time I fish,I have a light drag set and tighten it accordingly. Especially since I have gone to super braid for lure fishing. Don't really feel like a snapped rod or seeing eyes poppin off my rod.:D

  17. neocats1

    neocats1 Team Catastrophe

    I would never run a fully tightened drag even if the reel could handle it. Like was said, broken rods and eyelets are no fun. But if I feel the need to put the full strength of the line to work, at least I know my reels are capable of that much pressure.
  18. Here is how I look at the drag issue:
    1. The way you achieve the higher lb drag rating is with increased drag washer surface area. This increase in surface area also means the drag will be able to dissapate heat faster. This means the drag is less likley to fade at any setting.
    2. Especially if I am using a jig in deep water. I crank the drag way down. On the hookset, drag power means hook penetration power. More hooked fish = less missed fished. Once I am sure I have a good hookset, I back the drag off way more than 1/3 the line capacity. That way the fish cannot rip the hook out once i have gotten a good hook set. That is why there is a star drag on most reels, to make it easy to adjust the drag when fighting the fish.
    3. I would much rather have way more drag power than I need rather than almost as much drag power as I need. I will stick with my Ambassaduers.

    I approve this message!
  19. neo, you are getting 99lbs of drag out of a spinning reel?

  20. neocats1

    neocats1 Team Catastrophe

    I never tested it, just going on what the company stated. I do know I can tightened down and break off 65# Power Pro without the drag slipping.