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Tip #48 #48 Set The Drag For more Fish In The Cooler

By Capt. Jim Hirt Every year I try to improve my number of fish in the cooler. This article is a continuation of last issue with some of the most important ways to improve the number of fish on to those in the cooler. As I stated in the last article quality hooks are the most important with correctly set reel drags as close second. I always hear stories of the big one that got away. The line breaks, a snap opens or some other failure of the terminal tackle. Please allow me to explain how to correctly set and maintain your drag on your reels. The correct amount of drag is measured in pounds. You find the correct number by dividing the test weight of your line by four or 25% of the line breaking value. All line sold will have the line weight marked on the package. An example would be 20-pound test divided by four would have a drag setting of 5 pounds. To get this setting run the line through all the rod eyes as you normally would and connect the line to a spring scale. The other end of the scale should be connected to a fixed object. Pull on the line with the rod bent over and adjust the reel drag to allow it to slip as a 5-pound measurement is obtained on the scale. Where this may feel a little light to some anglers it will allow the fish to be played without pulling the hook out of the fish. The rod should play the fish and not the reel. On bigger fish pump the rod in a gentle motion and reel in the line on the down stroke. The purpose of the reel is to store the line. Do not crank up the drag to pull the fish in with the reel. This will only lead to lost fish and disappointment. Have fun!! Let's go fishing!! Jim charters out of Milwaukee, WI. with Blue Max Charters. He can be reached at 414-828-1094 or visit his web site at Copyright© 2006, James J. Hirt, All Rights Reserved