trolling and drag setting question

I have been told to just set the drag strong enough so that the line does not go out, ie very light drag setting and this way the boat will set the hook by the time I pick up the pole and then move the lever to strike where I have pre-set it to about one third the line strength. Does this sound right to the more experienced fishermen????

Replies

  • sk018sk018 Posts: 2,839 Captain
    I like it a little bit tighter to hook the fish. I dont know if that helps, I dont really know how to explain. IMO we have had some bfts and fins come off bc drag was too loose. Obviously dont want it too tight to break off.
  • JesseJamesJesseJames Posts: 2,408 Officer
    Varies depending on the targeted species. I always use a lighter drag when chasing Kings then when I'm fishing for Mahi, Sails or Wahoo. For all the sharp teeth Kings have a very soft mouth and if your using a stinger can get foul hooked in the face/body instead of the mouth.
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  • bmoodybmoody Posts: 940 Officer
    In broad strokes that will work, but I'd look at some other factors too. Do you fish straight from the tips, or use some kind of release (flatline/rigger clips, tag lines, rubber bands)? What is your target species?

    With a sharp hook it doesn't take a lot of pressure to drive the hook home in many species. I use roller troller clips in my outriggers, a Black's clip on my center rigger, and frequently use rubber bands to the cleat on my flatlines. In these cases I want the release to open before my drag starts slipping and I need the drag and release to hold the bait in position without slipping while trolling. I like the drag tight enough to open the release on the strike, giving the drop back, and then the drag drives the hook home. When I'm staight from the tip on a bait, then I run more as described, with minimal drag to hold the bait in place. When scattered weeds abound, I run less drag to help me know when I've picked up weed on a bait. When targeting wahoo I run more drag, as this is a fish I'm less interested in having turn before the drag sets the hook, and they have a tougher mouth in my opinion than dolphin and blackfin.

    Use a scale to set your drags with the line in fighting position -- you might be surprised how much drag 10-12 pounds is coming straight off a TLD.
  • Captain EasyCaptain Easy Posts: 148 Deckhand
    Alot of it depends on whether your fishing with lures or baits. With lures your usually just trying to hang the fish when he strikes, but with lures you'll want to go looser so you can drop back to the fish.
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  • Machine HeadMachine Head Posts: 2,634 Officer
    JesseJames wrote: »
    Varies depending on the targeted species. I always use a lighter drag when chasing Kings then when I'm fishing for Mahi, Sails or Wahoo. For all the sharp teeth Kings have a very soft mouth and if your using a stinger can get foul hooked in the face/body instead of the mouth.

    What he said, plus on big fish I watch when the fish gets close, and be ready to ease off drag if the fish isn't ready and wants to run again.
    Some fish will sound hard and pull hooks if the drag is to high.
    When he's done running I will put brake's back on and real him in.
    Got to work the drag depending on fish size.
    "There is nothing, absolutely nothing, half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats." - Kenneth Grahame
  • sk018sk018 Posts: 2,839 Captain
    This is a good point. basically done with a spinning reel by cupping the spool as well
  • Panhandler80Panhandler80 Posts: 7,869 Moderator
    Speed of your troll also matters a lot. Slow trolling (as in barely in gear, or in/out of gear) with a live bait I'll troll with the drag in strike setting. In this case my hook(s) match the size of the bait and are all trebble or J style hooks. Fish will hit wide open and I want enough of a drag setting to actually set the hook. Opposite end of the spectrum is high speeding at 12-18 knots. In this case I usually have the reel set just tight enough to keep line on the reel. When that fish hits at that speed he's likely going to swim away and you're still heading out at a quick clip. Too much drag and you'll pull that hook.

    There really is no right answer. My best advice would be to look at WHAT you're pulling. What you're pulling it FOR. HOW fast you're going. What type of TACKE. How is your lure / bait designed to HOOK the fish. Then make a judgement call.
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  • reeltime1988reeltime1988 Posts: 132 Officer
    Speed of your troll also matters a lot. Slow trolling (as in barely in gear, or in/out of gear) with a live bait I'll troll with the drag in strike setting. In this case my hook(s) match the size of the bait and are all trebble or J style hooks. Fish will hit wide open and I want enough of a drag setting to actually set the hook. Opposite end of the spectrum is high speeding at 12-18 knots. In this case I usually have the reel set just tight enough to keep line on the reel. When that fish hits at that speed he's likely going to swim away and you're still heading out at a quick clip. Too much drag and you'll pull that hook.

    There really is no right answer. My best advice would be to look at WHAT you're pulling. What you're pulling it FOR. HOW fast you're going. What type of TACKE. How is your lure / bait designed to HOOK the fish. Then make a judgement call.

    Good points. I just know I have lost far more fish cause a drag was too tight than too lose.
  • Panhandler80Panhandler80 Posts: 7,869 Moderator
    Good points. I just know I have lost far more fish cause a drag was too tight than too lose.

    Assuming you are pullling appropriately sized tackle at slow to normal speeds for any fish less than a trophy, I have always felt like folks don't use ENOUGH drag. However, if you think that you're losing fish due to too tight a drag, then you probably are.
    "Whatcha doin' in my waters?"
  • Anonymous3Anonymous3 Posts: 5,987 Officer
    I have been told to just set the drag strong enough so that the line does not go out, ie very light drag setting and this way the boat will set the hook by the time I pick up the pole and then move the lever to strike where I have pre-set it to about one third the line strength. Does this sound right to the more experienced fishermen????
    You are doing it wrong. When a screamin fish hits... thumb the reel hard.
  • NorthernNorthern Posts: 798 Officer
    Speed of your troll also matters a lot. Slow trolling (as in barely in gear, or in/out of gear) with a live bait I'll troll with the drag in strike setting. In this case my hook(s) match the size of the bait and are all trebble or J style hooks. Fish will hit wide open and I want enough of a drag setting to actually set the hook. Opposite end of the spectrum is high speeding at 12-18 knots. In this case I usually have the reel set just tight enough to keep line on the reel. When that fish hits at that speed he's likely going to swim away and you're still heading out at a quick clip. Too much drag and you'll pull that hook.

    There really is no right answer. My best advice would be to look at WHAT you're pulling. What you're pulling it FOR. HOW fast you're going. What type of TACKE. How is your lure / bait designed to HOOK the fish. Then make a judgement call.

    Yep, This is the way to look at it. The extremes for me would be Kingfish (soft mouth).... drag set just to not pull line off of the reel. The other extreme would be grouper trolling with large lures @ about 6MPH. Drag set on full strike ... or even a little past full strike with 65# line. This yanks them away from their "rock up" hole before they know what is going on. Big grouper... not rocking up ever.... gotta love it.
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