Have you gone through all the steps that include casting the line, luring the fish, getting the bite, and setting the hook? Now you are just going to reel in the fish. The last thing that is the essential setting of the reel is the drag system. One needs to set the drag to capture a fish. It would be a great pain to lose a fish because of setting the drag wrongly and failing to put the required pressure on the fish to make it land through the little tackle.

If it comes to what is drag fishing? The angler uses a reel and the rod that needs a drag at some point. The drag refers to friction. The reel has a pair of friction plates inside that allows the reel to function when the fish pulls the line strongly, that friction overcomes, and the reel rotates backward, preventing the line from breaking. Setting the drag at the start of your fishing day is a must because setting it after the fish is hooked seems too difficult. The reel gets damaged if drag adjusts during the fishing because the gears are not designed to make adjustments while fighting a fish.

The proper setting of the drag is an important factor that relies upon the fish. If the drag is not set appropriately to match your fish, the line might come out too slow or too fast, making the fish shake, and it results in the breakage of line that would be great damage. The rod and the line you are using play a vital role in setting the drag properly.

Setting the Drag on the Reel

The drag is on the top of the spinning reel. The drag is set by tightening the click wheel and turning it to the right, and turning to the left will lose the drag.

Pull the line directly through the guides on the rod; ensure that all the knots are out of the guides. You have to tighten the drag if the line pulls out easily. the drag needs to loosen if the line pulls out hard.

The small spring scale is there to check the force if the force remains undetermined by checking it accurately. It is best to lose the drag, and it will take time to fight the fish for a little longer compared to tightening the drag that would break the line.

Setting Drag on Conventional Reels

The reels hold their procedure of setting the drag, which varies from reel to reel. Dragging is an essential factor to discuss, and the anglers must have awareness in setting the drag.

  1. The most convenient way to set the drag on a reel is to test it by using your hand and pulling the line directly above the reel.

  2. Tight the drag by turning the adjustment button to the right. Make sure the line pulls out conveniently; lose it by turning the button to the left if the drag gets too tight. The spincast has a drag adjustment mechanism in a closed face model with a top set roller.

  3. Accurately, checking the force is not an easy task. So, the small spring scale is there to examine the force and function accordingly. This feature is the same as Boca Grips or many other fish handling tools. Grip your rod at 45-degree, and then add the weight on the hook. It enables the drag not to move unless it holds one-third of the line’s weight. For instance, a line having 20 pounds of weight would not move until the weight of the hook is almost 7-10 pounds.

  4. It is best to keep the drag loose and fight the fish for a little longer. Otherwise, the tight drag would break the line and lose the fish.

Setting the Drag on Baitcaster Reels

The procedure for setting drag on the baitcaster reel is the same as that of the conventional reel. The difference lies in the location of the drag adjustment mechanism. 

  1. The baitcaster reels have a star-shaped drag mechanism next to the reel. As the drag functions on other reels do the same on the baitcaster, you can tighten the drag by turning it to the right and loosen it by turning it to the left.

  2. The thing you need to do is to test the drag. If you are fishing by using the braided line instead of the monofilament line, then test the drag by winding the line a few times around the pencil or the fishing reel handle, do not use your bare hand to test the drag. The braid will cut your fingers if you stretch the line too forcefully.

 Tips for Setting the Drag


  • Must bear in mind the line type while setting the drag. The braided lines do not stretch as the monofilament lines, so keep the drag in that range.

  • The rod works like a spring when it is under pressure. The pressure on the rod increases when the fish is on the line. The loaded rod has kinetic energy that works by putting pressure on the fish under the drag of the reel. When it bents, the pressure applies to the fish.

  • The rod with a slow backbone and a fast tip bends better and provides convenience to the angler by putting more pressure on the fish. The rods with slow functioning put most of their heat on the angler compared to the fish.

  • Keep the drag setting higher for the rod with medium tip and slow backbone bending. Otherwise, the fast action rod would put more pressure on the angler while capturing the fish.

  • The drag setting varies in standing posture, so make sure to set it accordingly. When the standing angler holds a heavy rod, much pressure exerts on a fish because the rod does not bend as the lighter ones do.