By Mark Sampson
Understanding how to set and use the drag on one’s reel is one of the most important aspects of saltwater fishing. The drag on a reel does two things: It applies pressure to a fish and it keeps the line from breaking by allowing it to slip before snapping. It’s all very simple, but as any charter captain or fishing guide will tell you, the improper use of drags is rampant among novice and sometimes even experienced anglers.
In most cases, drags should be set and then left alone, which puts the burden on the fishermen to decide ahead of time how much pressure they want to put on the jaw of the fish, the hook, the leader, the swivels and every knot before the line slips. It’s not all about the breaking strength of the line, because if there’s a failure in any of those other factors, the fish can be lost just as easily as if the line itself parts.
For instance, putting too much pressure on a soft-mouthed fish like a seatrout is going to end up in lost fish. However, putting too little pressure on a fish like a tuna that needs to be slowed down and controlled quickly can drag out a fight too long and enhance the chances of the fish being lost due to sharks, a worn-out angler or the line getting fouled in someone else’s anchor or fishing line. Click Link Below For Full Story!