Notices

Help with setting lever drag

Old 06-29-2018, 03:56 PM
  #1  
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jul 2015
Location: SW FL
Posts: 501
Likes: 0
Received 87 Likes on 38 Posts
Default Help with setting lever drag

I canít find an answer to a very basic question on setting lever drags. I just got a Penn Squall 16 lever drag 2-speed reel which gives max drag of 20 lbs at STRIKE and 26 lbs at FULL position. It also has four numbered markings before the lever reaches STRIKE.

Letís say Iím bottom fishing with 60 lb line and generally only need 10 lbs of drag to fight a fish and not tear a hole in its mouth, but I want my full 26 lbs in reserve just in case a goliath eats my catch on the way up. The advice I see tells me to set STRIKE position to 10 lbs. But what I discovered is that FULL position is only about 30% more drag than STRIKE, not the reelís full drag capacity. So you are potentially handicapped by setting STRIKE at your generally desired drag.

In another scenario, letís say Iím trolling and generally want 5 lbs of drag. If I set STRIKE to 5 lbs, but then hook a huge mat of weeds, I may not be able to pull them in even at FULL drag.

So it seems that if you want your reelís full drag available, you must turn the adjustment knob to its tightest position, and instead of using STRIKE as a reference, use one of the four markings prior to reaching STRIKE. Iím fine with that, but itís different from all the advice in videos and posts. Am I missing something, and if not, did everyone else know about this but never mention it?
Old 06-29-2018, 05:07 PM
  #2  
Senior MemberCaptains Club Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: North Falmouth, MA
Posts: 1,194
Received 70 Likes on 49 Posts
Default

Originally Posted by dove72 View Post
I canít find an answer to a very basic question on setting lever drags. I just got a Penn Squall 16 lever drag 2-speed reel which gives max drag of 20 lbs at STRIKE and 26 lbs at FULL position. It also has four numbered markings before the lever reaches STRIKE.

Letís say Iím bottom fishing with 60 lb line and generally only need 10 lbs of drag to fight a fish and not tear a hole in its mouth, but I want my full 26 lbs in reserve just in case a goliath eats my catch on the way up. The advice I see tells me to set STRIKE position to 10 lbs. But what I discovered is that FULL position is only about 30% more drag than STRIKE, not the reelís full drag capacity. So you are potentially handicapped by setting STRIKE at your generally desired drag.

In another scenario, letís say Iím trolling and generally want 5 lbs of drag. If I set STRIKE to 5 lbs, but then hook a huge mat of weeds, I may not be able to pull them in even at FULL drag.

So it seems that if you want your reelís full drag available, you must turn the adjustment knob to its tightest position, and instead of using STRIKE as a reference, use one of the four markings prior to reaching STRIKE. Iím fine with that, but itís different from all the advice in videos and posts. Am I missing something, and if not, did everyone else know about this but never mention it?
Don't turn the adjustment knob unless the lever drag is unengaged, i.e. In free spool

Set strike at about one third your line strength, say 20 pounds. This will give you around around 26 at full, and significantly higher if there is line out.

Don't think of "strike" as to where you have to set. On my 50's I typically run 17 at strike, 23-24 at full and will troll at 6-12 depending on lure drag, speed and target. The numbers on reel will give you some guidance - test drag at each with a scale, but I actually prefer to use tape on each reel and mark it with a sharpie to correspond to drag setting.

Likes:
Old 06-29-2018, 07:15 PM
  #3  
Admirals Club Admiral's Club Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Location: Lewes, DE
Posts: 11,013
Received 3,001 Likes on 1,602 Posts
Default

Work backwards if you want your full, and you have measured stops. Set your strike at 20. Then measure 1-4 to figure out closest to 10 and use that. Just because it is labeled the stike position, doesn't mean you have to use it as such.
Likes:
Old 06-30-2018, 04:12 AM
  #4  
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jul 2015
Location: SW FL
Posts: 501
Likes: 0
Received 87 Likes on 38 Posts
Default

Thanks guys, that makes perfect sense and confirms my conclusion too. The only thing that still puzzles me is why the standard advice, even in some manufacturer's videos, is to set STRIKE to be your usual drag setting. Why would anyone buy a lever drag reel capable of maybe 30 lbs of drag and turn it into one that can only reach maybe 8 lbs, assuming you set STRIKE to 5 lbs. I get the feeling that most people don't understand this.
Likes:
Old 06-30-2018, 04:34 AM
  #5  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Englewood, Fl
Posts: 301
Likes: 0
Received 40 Likes on 25 Posts
Default

Originally Posted by dove72 View Post
Thanks guys, that makes perfect sense and confirms my conclusion too. The only thing that still puzzles me is why the standard advice, even in some manufacturer's videos, is to set STRIKE to be your usual drag setting. Why would anyone buy a lever drag reel capable of maybe 30 lbs of drag and turn it into one that can only reach maybe 8 lbs, assuming you set STRIKE to 5 lbs. I get the feeling that most people don't understand this.
You hit the nail on the head. For bottom fishing set to be about 12-15 off the reel and full near impossible to loose line off the rod tip. If that makes sense. While fishing bottom, I drift mostly. I leave the reel in free spool and let line out as need to stay just off bottom. When a fish takes throw to strike and slow reel till tight. If loosing line go to full if still loosing line clamp down on the line at the for grip and raise the rod drop and wind. I've caught a few fish over legal min size this way (kidding).

Regarding on the troll too many variables to comment.

Last edited by natecert; 06-30-2018 at 05:00 AM.
Old 06-30-2018, 09:04 AM
  #6  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2014
Location: Hanahan, SC
Posts: 8,429
Received 1,581 Likes on 1,005 Posts
Default

Originally Posted by dove72 View Post
Thanks guys, that makes perfect sense and confirms my conclusion too. The only thing that still puzzles me is why the standard advice, even in some manufacturer's videos, is to set STRIKE to be your usual drag setting. Why would anyone buy a lever drag reel capable of maybe 30 lbs of drag and turn it into one that can only reach maybe 8 lbs, assuming you set STRIKE to 5 lbs. I get the feeling that most people don't understand this.
Lever drags are, typically, used for trolling. That's what you do when trolling. Strike is, generally, the max drag you'd want to use while fighting a fish.
Old 07-01-2018, 05:29 PM
  #7  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 6,244
Received 1,427 Likes on 885 Posts
Default

As above when trolling. One thing we do when trying to use different drag settings is to put a piece of tape at the mark where we want to set the lever if it isn't at the normal 'strike' stop. Makes it easier to quickly get the drag in the right place if you need to shift it up and down during the fight.
Old 07-01-2018, 05:45 PM
  #8  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2017
Location: Floriduh !
Posts: 480
Received 400 Likes on 227 Posts
Default

In your scenario I would just set the drag for maximum range and adjust the drag by feel. Every fisherman should be able to do that. Then you can push forward for more drag.

I use 130# braid when trolling so drag numbers at strike are not really a concern for me.
I just adjust the drag now so it feels right by pull before it hits strike. Then I know I can push past it for more if needed.


My personal experience is that lever drags are great when using mono as your mainline and you want repeatable and consistent drag rates so as to minimize over doing the drag and having the line break at strike. I am not sure I understand the benefit of using a lever drag reel vs a star drag for bottom fishing and jigging. I can understand the increased drag rates of lever drags.



Old 07-01-2018, 06:24 PM
  #9  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 6,244
Received 1,427 Likes on 885 Posts
Default

Originally Posted by netjob View Post
In your scenario I would just set the drag for maximum range and adjust the drag by feel. Every fisherman should be able to do that. Then you can push forward for more drag.

I use 130# braid when trolling so drag numbers at strike are not really a concern for me.
I just adjust the drag now so it feels right by pull before it hits strike. Then I know I can push past it for more if needed.


My personal experience is that lever drags are great when using mono as your mainline and you want repeatable and consistent drag rates so as to minimize over doing the drag and having the line break at strike. I am not sure I understand the benefit of using a lever drag reel vs a star drag for bottom fishing and jigging. I can understand the increased drag rates of lever drags.


With lighter lines my experience has been that people adjusting drags by feel mostly end up with more drag than they are planning. Doing that in the middle of fighting a good fish will probably mean a bust off for some people. Takes only a couple of minutes to set the drags properly and put a bit of tape or maybe 2 in different colours on the reel. Then when you want to get the angler to adjust the drag you just say "go to the green mark" or "go to the red mark" or "go to strike" or "go to sunset". That's what we have learned to do in a charter situation, but I think it would also make life easier for less experienced anglers. This is an advantage over a star drag where you can't so easily mark the drag settings. I like to use lever drags for deep dropping for the same reason. Can preset a number of drag positions so that you always know exactly where you are at.
Likes:
Old 07-02-2018, 04:00 PM
  #10  
Senior MemberCaptains Club Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Jersey Shore
Posts: 4,411
Received 546 Likes on 291 Posts
Default

Set it light and then use your thumb to add more.....
Likes:
Old 07-24-2018, 05:51 PM
  #11  
Admirals Club Admiral's Club Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: Stapleton, AL
Posts: 3,277
Received 1,308 Likes on 702 Posts
Default

Originally Posted by offshorebri View Post
Set it light and then use your thumb to add more.....



Thumbing the spool completely defeats the purpose of using a lever drag IMO. You use a lever drag so you know EXACTLY how much drag your reel is putting out.


When bottom fishing you want to set your drag for the size leader you are using. This will ensure you can apply the maximum amount stopping power should you need to.

I have Avet raptors that are rated for 40lbs of drag at strike and 50 at full. Obviously I will never fish these reels with that much drag. When bottom fishing I set my drag at the house before the trip with a scale based on the size leader I'm using. If I'm fishing 40lb flouro I set my reel for around 25-28lbs at FULL. (I break-test my flouro leader using palomar knots to see where it actually fails at). Once it's set at full I back off to strike and see what's at (usually 18lbs).

Then when I'm fishing if I do not need 18lbs to keep fish out of the wreck sometimes I will fish my reel below the strike position. If you are hooking fish on a circle hook then losing them and reeling up an intact leader, you are most likely ripping lips. You need to use larger hooks that grab more meat. If you are only hooking snapper in the thin flesh between the lips and the mouth you will rip their lips when using a lot of drag. You want to use the thinnest hook possible that will not straighten under high drag. I fish 9/0 trokar hooks for snapper and I typically fish with 25-30lbs of drag at full (50lb flouro) and don't have too many problems with ripping lips. I had a lot of problems with 5/0 hooks. Mustad demon 3x hooks are very strong but they are very thick and I find it a little more difficult to get a good hook set, especially on smaller fish. Also if the fish are finicky you will get less bites on a very thick hook. Always a compromise....

My kingfish reels put out about 20lbs of drag at full but I fish them at 3lbs at strike and 6lbs at full. Now if a big goliath came and hit one of these reels I wouldn't be able to stop him. That's just the nature of the beast.....

Last edited by mdees88; 07-24-2018 at 06:32 PM.
Old 07-24-2018, 06:07 PM
  #12  
Admirals Club Admiral's Club Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: Stapleton, AL
Posts: 3,277
Received 1,308 Likes on 702 Posts
Default

Originally Posted by netjob View Post
My personal experience is that lever drags are great when using mono as your mainline and you want repeatable and consistent drag rates so as to minimize over doing the drag and having the line break at strike. I am not sure I understand the benefit of using a lever drag reel vs a star drag for bottom fishing and jigging. I can understand the increased drag rates of lever drags.
I bottom fish around some pretty gnarly structure offshore. A lot of times I'm hooking fish within 15ft of that structure. If the fish gets to the structure he's gone. Also some of these fish are very line shy. When fishing for grey snapper I like to use 30lb flouro. I tested my flouro with palomar knots and it typically breaks between 24-27lbs. So I set my lever drag reel around 21lbs at full. This equates to 13lbs at strike. When I drop on the structure I put my reel at full drag in low gear. As soon is I get bit I reel as fast as possible and I know I am putting the maximum amount of force possible on the fish. Once I get him up off the wreck I pull back to strike and let him pull some drag.

I do the same for red snapper but I use 40-60lb flouro with 25-35lbs of drag at full. This is how a lever drag benefits me offshore. I can't tell you how many times a big fish has been pulling drag and someone keeps tightening the star drag until they break off. With a lever drag you will not break off fish due to operator error... as long as the drag was set properly with a scale.

Last edited by mdees88; 07-24-2018 at 08:08 PM.
Likes:
Old 07-24-2018, 07:21 PM
  #13  
Admirals Club Admiral's Club Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: Stapleton, AL
Posts: 3,277
Received 1,308 Likes on 702 Posts
Default

Originally Posted by dove72 View Post
The only thing that still puzzles me is why the standard advice, even in some manufacturer's videos, is to set STRIKE to be your usual drag setting. Why would anyone buy a lever drag reel capable of maybe 30 lbs of drag and turn it into one that can only reach maybe 8 lbs, assuming you set STRIKE to 5 lbs. I get the feeling that most people don't understand this.
I have done exactly this and for several reasons.

First off, you don't want to buy a reel rated for 30lbs of max drag and then fish it at 30lbs. This is like buying a truck rated to tow 10,000lbs a leaving a 10,000lb trailer hooked to it for the life of a truck. You're asking for trouble.

Different fish require different drags. I bought two Avet JX 6.0 MC's for kingfishing. (I performed the blue marlin drag update to smooth out the horrible drag curve). It's rated for 20lbs at full 15 at strike. I fish it at 3lbs at strike and 6lbs at full. These reels are perfect for kings and have performed flawlessly. I would lose almost all my kings if I applied 17lbs of drag to them, the hooks would pull. That is why I have the reels set so light. So 95% of the time I'm fishing my reel at 30% of its rated max drag. In my eyes this should prolong the life of the bearings.

Now if I need two extra reels for bottom fishing I simply put it in a rod holder, hook my Boga to the line at set the drag to 15lbs at full. Now I have two more light bottom fishing reels. Buying a lever drag with a smooth drag curve and a high max drag allows you to have an extremely versatile reel that you can catch many different species of fish with. If I bought a king reel that maxed out at 6lbs of drag I couldn't bottom fish with it.

Last edited by mdees88; 07-25-2018 at 02:11 PM.
Likes:
Old 07-25-2018, 07:15 AM
  #14  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Massachusetts
Posts: 3,488
Likes: 0
Received 1,621 Likes on 818 Posts
Default

There are plenty of times using my lever drags where I am fighting a fish at just past the Bait setting. Then there are some times I have to go to Strike to get the fish in. I really like the times I have to go to Full to land 'em. The beauty of LD's.
Old 07-25-2018, 07:25 AM
  #15  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Posts: 10,367
Received 1,707 Likes on 921 Posts
Default

The benefit of lever drags is always knowing exactly how much drag you have coming off the reel.

You can set them up however you like.
Old 07-25-2018, 01:36 PM
  #16  
Senior MemberCaptains Club MemberPLEDGER
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: saratoga, california
Posts: 2,092
Likes: 0
Received 96 Likes on 34 Posts
Default

i know nothing about your fishery, but i do know reels and how to set them up. get a scale and measure the drag pressures at various positions. it's tedious, but well worth the effort. this will take you the better part of an afternoon, so set enough time aside. you already know the range that you need. i am not familiar with this exact reel, but i have a general idea. i am hoping that you are loaded with at least 100 pound braid, giving you a choice of 60 or 80 pound topshots. with a 60 pound topshot, check to make sure you can still get freespool when you have the preset knob cranked down all the way to 30 pounds at full. yes, full, not strike. then ease the lever back and mark the position of the lever at 35, 30, 25, 20, 15 and 10.

now go fish and see how this works out. if it turns out that you actually need a little more drag, then dial it up a little and redo the numbers. if you need alot more, then you goofed and bought the wrong reel. if it turns out that you need a little less, then dial it back and redo the numbers. if it turns out that you need alot less drag, then you goofed again and bought the wrong reel. however this works out, you will have the numbers you need to make an informed decision about the worth of your purchase. you won't be guessing anymore. and that's what you want to do, right. you want to stop making guesses and actually start making informed decisions.

well, to make informed decisions, you start by purchasing a good quality scale.

Name:  1_25_07_18_12_17_55_249002207.jpeg
Views: 864
Size:  26.7 KB
Old 02-06-2019, 08:00 AM
  #17  
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2016
Location: nc
Posts: 46
Received 7 Likes on 6 Posts
Default

I have been trying to figure this out as well, I primarily fish for king Mackerel and mahi with tld 25's and a few Penn squall 16vs 2 speeds with 30lb mono. I've had my
drags set to loose for both I feel, after they are hooked they keep running and without putting the lever to full to stop seems strange to me and that doesn't stop them sometimes.

Last night I took a 10lb dumbbell weight and hooked it to the line and set strike when it couldn't lift the weight and than backed off a little from there. I figure i'll
troll with the lever back from strike and adjust forward if needed from there, that way if I am using a planer it will also hold it in place.

I'll do something similar for my 30and 50 wides for when I get the opportunity to troll for bigger fish, Wahoo, tuna etc...
Old 02-06-2019, 11:33 AM
  #18  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Posts: 10,367
Received 1,707 Likes on 921 Posts
Default

You need to follow Alan's process.

But it sounds like you king mackerel fish a bit different than most of us in NC.
Old 02-06-2019, 12:50 PM
  #19  
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2016
Location: nc
Posts: 46
Received 7 Likes on 6 Posts
Default

Originally Posted by N2theblue View Post
You need to follow Alan's process.

But it sounds like you king mackerel fish a bit different than most of us in NC.

Yes the whole king mackerel fishing is new to me, I primarily fished up north for tuna, mahi, marlin etc...
still learning king fishing(started 2 years ago), lot's of people live bait troll here. I've had good luck with pirate plugs and planers with bigger drone spoons.
Once I get over some bait I will catch some for slow trolling. A scale sounds like it is the best way, I was figuring I should be around 7 lbs
at strike so I had a 10 lb dumbbell laying around and used it than backed it down to get near the 7 lbs, guessing only at this point.

What should I be shooting for at the strike position?
Thanks
Old 02-06-2019, 02:46 PM
  #20  
Admirals Club Admiral's Club Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Location: Lewes, DE
Posts: 11,013
Received 3,001 Likes on 1,602 Posts
Default

Originally Posted by jay2000 View Post
I have been trying to figure this out as well, I primarily fish for king Mackerel and mahi with tld 25's and a few Penn squall 16vs 2 speeds with 30lb mono. I've had my
drags set to loose for both I feel, after they are hooked they keep running and without putting the lever to full to stop seems strange to me and that doesn't stop them sometimes.

Last night I took a 10lb dumbbell weight and hooked it to the line and set strike when it couldn't lift the weight and than backed off a little from there. I figure i'll
troll with the lever back from strike and adjust forward if needed from there, that way if I am using a planer it will also hold it in place.

I'll do something similar for my 30and 50 wides for when I get the opportunity to troll for bigger fish, Wahoo, tuna etc...
Trying to lift a rod straight up is a good way of snapping it. You are forcing the load to the area where it isn't meant to be. Essentially high sticking. To set drag, walk a bit back so the angles pulling on a drag scale are at the angles similar to fighting fish on the water. Few fights are straight up and down.

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information -

Copyright © 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.