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Drag pressure

Old 09-07-2016, 02:51 PM
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Default Drag pressure

I have been offshore fishing for several years now. I still consider myself pretty green. I've landed some big fish but lost a lot. This year I lost several big fish to what I attribute to be inconsistent drag pressure. I fish talica 25 reels with straight butt shimano terez rods. Wound with braid and 100y of top mono. My question is what drag do you set your reels at on strike and/or like to troll ballyhoo with. And once the bite happens what do you pump your drag up to once you are locked into the fish. I know it's not that simple but just looking for a blueprint to go by so I can be more consistent from bite to gaff. Thanks guys.
Old 09-07-2016, 03:08 PM
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This could readily surpass a G2 vs 4 stroke thread.

For trolling.....in a nut shell you need enough drag pressure to stick the hook in 'em but not so much as to tear it out.

Given we have freespool, strike and full settings with some "in between" available on our lever drags I find myself having 15# at the strike setting for 99% of my applications. For trolling I pull the lever back to where I am 6-7# or so and shove it up to the strike position when I get a good hookup and the fish is taking line. Works for me but someone else may have had terrible luck with this. Will state that trolling for me means mahi, kingfish and tuna/hooters on the good days, I am absolutely not a bill chaser.

Someone should be along shortly with much better ideas than mine, and then another someone talking about horsing fish with 35# of drag.
Old 09-07-2016, 03:10 PM
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HTJ, I set mine at 8 and do the same as you....works well
Old 09-07-2016, 03:16 PM
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Personally I like 14#-15# of drag at strike. And that's all around. Rarely do I ever go past strike If anything I back off. I like having marks at 6-8# 10-12# depends on what you like for example. I like my first mark to be at 6# then at 10# and then at strike 15# but that's just me.
A person with good stand up technique can whip a fish to the boat very quickly with 15# of drag especially with a good driver on the wheel. Stand up form is key to any big fish, also I find having a harpoon rigged and ready to go will help land those big 100+ pound yellowfin. You seem to always have that fish of a life time inside of harpoon range but just out side of gaff. This year a good friend of mine lost a real nice yellow (100+) which would've been his biggest fish to date had we have a harpoon set up, the fish came up twice just a little to far for the gaff ended up pulling hook 45 minutes into the fight and that was a heart breaker.
Long story short we did everything right and we still lost that fish unfortunately it happens,

So being properly prepared plays a big factor into landing those giants. Drag set up is a major key, but like I stated before I rarely ever go past strike or 15# of drag.
Old 09-07-2016, 03:17 PM
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Oh and as far as trolling, I go as light as I can without line being taken out. most of the time if your pulling divers you will have to leave it at strike.
Old 09-07-2016, 03:42 PM
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I've learned no 2 captains set their drags the same way. For us all of my reels are rigged with 80lb braid and topshots so my strike is set at 23-24lbs on all of my outfits. When my crew gets on the boat I go ahead and explain the process I personally like to use. When trolling we use a little more drag that it takes to easily pull the line off the reel if using j hooks or lures. That way the hook has a pretty good hold by the time someone picks the reel up. We barely bump the drag up to slow the fish down if needed and continue to do so if we can't slow the fish down. If it starts to get low on line we go to strike but only if needed.

If we are fishing a tournament and fishing circle hooks use as little drag as possible and generally put it in free spool to let the fish eat before smoothly engaging drag.

Is it perfect? No but so far this year it has worked well as long as everyone on the boat is on the same page about the drag.
Old 09-07-2016, 04:15 PM
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I set mine pretty much like HTJ does as well.
Old 09-07-2016, 04:19 PM
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what kind of fish and who is on the rod makes a diffrence
Old 09-07-2016, 04:52 PM
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Awesome. Thanks gentlemen.
Old 09-07-2016, 05:08 PM
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When trolling ballyhoo, I outfit them on Penn 8500 Live Liner spinning reels. The dual drag set up is ideal for this application. Use the rear drag when pulling baits (6# or 7# drag) and when you get a strike, crank the handle and you will engage the main drag and set the hook (max drag is 35 lb). I have found this combo much easier for folks with less experience. We typically keep the boat a trolling speed once we have the fish on and have begun clearing lines. I have also used the method below for our lever drag reels, which require more technique and finesse when fighting larger fish. The angler and capt must work together to get the fish along side the boat, then it's up the guy gaffing the fish. That's usually when things get a little "testy" on the boat. Hope this helps.
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Old 09-08-2016, 06:28 AM
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You are supposed to set 25-30% of the line weight to drag. So 20lb would be 25% of 80lb of course. Honestly we don't usually set ours above 18lb. And here is why or a test you can perform. The drag goes up exponentially as line goes out. Let's say you are fishing in 300ft of water and hook into something. You no longer have 18lbs of drag because as the line spools out your drag pressure increases. This is why people loose a lot of fish. The fish is running or spooling them and they don't back off the drag. This is why we fish with lever drag reels because we can control this and know where our max pressure is.

We rarely loose fish. If we do something cut the line, not a fault of the tackle or line or knot.

It is early. No coffee. Excuse typos. But hope that helps.
Old 09-08-2016, 06:53 AM
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18#'s at strike.
Old 09-08-2016, 07:42 AM
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keith hit it on the head.

Lighter drag setting at full spool because when you get deep into the spool and a fish has you stretched out the drag isn't 18# anymore it's more like +28#.
Old 09-08-2016, 08:01 AM
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Originally Posted by Tainui View Post
keith hit it on the head.

Lighter drag setting at full spool because when you get deep into the spool and a fish has you stretched out the drag isn't 18# anymore it's more like +28#.
Thanks.

Here is a video that shows how to set it and I think if I remember correctly he does a test to show how much the drag goes up when the line goes out. Several years old, still good info.

Old 09-08-2016, 08:18 AM
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Originally Posted by Southernhunter View Post
Oh and as far as trolling, I go as light as I can without line being taken out. most of the time if your pulling divers you will have to leave it at strike.
Or use rubber bands to hold lures in clips. Divers swim really well if you use flat line release clips.
Old 09-08-2016, 08:32 AM
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Originally Posted by Southernhunter View Post
Personally I like 14#-15# of drag at strike. And that's all around. Rarely do I ever go past strike If anything I back off. I like having marks at 6-8# 10-12# depends on what you like for example. I like my first mark to be at 6# then at 10# and then at strike 15# but that's just me.
A person with good stand up technique can whip a fish to the boat very quickly with 15# of drag especially with a good driver on the wheel. Stand up form is key to any big fish, also I find having a harpoon rigged and ready to go will help land those big 100+ pound yellowfin. You seem to always have that fish of a life time inside of harpoon range but just out side of gaff. This year a good friend of mine lost a real nice yellow (100+) which would've been his biggest fish to date had we have a harpoon set up, the fish came up twice just a little to far for the gaff ended up pulling hook 45 minutes into the fight and that was a heart breaker.
Long story short we did everything right and we still lost that fish unfortunately it happens,

So being properly prepared plays a big factor into landing those giants. Drag set up is a major key, but like I stated before I rarely ever go past strike or 15# of drag.
We lost a 150+ this summer the exact same way. We had just landed a 105lb fish and this fish looked like it could eat the 100 pounder. We had it to the boat twice and even up on top but never close enough to stick with a gaff. I am really interested in a harpoon before my next Venice trip.

But back to the question at hand, I like my drag set 18lbs at strike. While troling I set the drag by feel. I'm guessing it's around 6-7 lbs. It pulls off the spool easily but with enough resistance to set the hook. If that make sense......;?

I have fished with people that like their drag set really light while trolling but I don't think that gives you the instantaneous hook set that you get with more drag. There's too much chance for the fish to get off before you push the drag up.
Old 09-08-2016, 08:52 AM
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Agreed
Old 09-08-2016, 09:18 AM
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Originally Posted by bluewaterseeker View Post
We lost a 150+ this summer the exact same way. We had just landed a 105lb fish and this fish looked like it could eat the 100 pounder. We had it to the boat twice and even up on top but never close enough to stick with a gaff. I am really interested in a harpoon before my next Venice trip.

But back to the question at hand, I like my drag set 18lbs at strike. While troling I set the drag by feel. I'm guessing it's around 6-7 lbs. It pulls off the spool easily but with enough resistance to set the hook. If that make sense......;?

I have fished with people that like their drag set really light while trolling but I don't think that gives you the instantaneous hook set that you get with more drag. There's too much chance for the fish to get off before you push the drag up.
Tough luck on the fish seems to always happen that way!

I think for wahoo and fish with boney mouths the more drag the better and really get that hook set into the bone of the fish, wahoo always seem to be able to shake the hook. I like to see a higher drag 12# or so when pulling wahoo baits.

As far as J hooks on islanders next to a rip I usually set it to where it doesn't pull line when the bait is in the spread, thats more of a feel thing. You got to remember in addition to the drag on your reels your boat is in gear while trolling so even when lighter drag is being used your boat is still helping with the hook set, No fish ever hits a bait coming right at the boat with out ever turning or attempting to turn its head away from where the bait is going. Its a natural reaction for them to attack a bait and swim off so when that happens your drag and boat are pulling the opposite way helping get a better hook set.
Old 09-09-2016, 08:38 AM
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For trolling I use the minimum pressure that still holds the bait in place. This works for me because 90% of trolling is for wahoo and the speed of the troll and the type of bait pulled means that number is pretty high... when they get hooked, I back off on it.
Old 09-09-2016, 06:56 PM
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On my 80's I run 16-18#'s and never touch it unless the wind on is 2 wraps on the reel.

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