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Bobby Bass

Drag or Back reel?

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BobT

I think we can easily come up with scenarios if favor or against either method. I believe it comes down to what one is comfortable with and I incorporate a little of both relying primarily on backreeling with a sense of security knowing that I have a drag system that can kick in if I don't.

Because I prefer to backreel, I also like to leave my anti-reverse unlocked all the time. This proved to be a problem one time when a friend who was fishing with me noticed my line going out and grabbed my rig to set the hook only to find out that the reel was able to free spin. Turned into a "reel" mess. grin.gif

Bob

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eyewinder

I've seen a number of good fish lost by anglers who try to adjust their drag during the fight.

I set my drag relatively loose, and don't engage the anti-reverse until it's time to put the rod & reel away.

I think the drag is fine for average-size fish and even larger fish that aren't known for fighting qualities.

I've seen large trout-salmon-hybrid stripers move so-o-o fast that a drag is an impediment to landing the fish.

But, probably most important, when using no-stretch lines the drag will often contribute to ripping the hook out of the fish's mouth, where backreeling won't.

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TKO_PUNCH

No doubt about it, backreel with a big walleye. You can feel and respond to her every move. More of an art and better experience once you land the big pig. With a drag, you just wait until she tires.

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slipperybob

Back reeling is sort of an art. I'd almost wish that there were some kind of drag system for back reeling, because sometimes when a fish take's off and "Zzzzzziisssshhhhhh!" you're other hand is not on the handle...it wouldn't just bird nest on you.

About some years ago, there was this company that came out with a back reeling spool bail system. I purchased the reel. It was heavy, very heavy with probably twice the weight of an equivalent spinning real. I really like the engineering design of it. However it was poorly machined and the part's didn't fit so well together. It was a very wobbly reel in comparison to it's engineered concept of eliminating wobble and bird nests. I never even spool line on it. I returned the mail ordered reel and took whatever refund I got back.

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upnorth

I rely on the drag, but I set my drag pretty darn light. I rely on my finger for added a bit more drag/pressure when fighting a larger fish and it allows me to let a big fish run if he wants too. I have landed some pretty good sized Steelhead(upto 10 #) and Salmon(upto 19 #) on 6# line using that method.

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DTro

With a good drag, I don't understand the argument. It's like anti-lock brakes. No matter who you are, you are not going to outperform them. Some people might not like them, but they work. Just like a good drag. I set it based on the line strength and never worry about it. I usually have it on the loose side. Who cares if a smaller fish pulls out a little drag. I won't lose a big one.

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walleye_dog

Back-Reel for me. Up in Manitoba we can sometimes find some BIG lakers in 60-80 feet of water, which really gets fun on walleye tackle while jigging with a 1oz. jig and minnow. But trying to set the hook in this situation you need a tight drag, then hold on because the freight train has just departed. So back-reeling, when done correctly is kind of an art, but really effective.

I also learned to thumb the spool on a baitcaster many yaers ago. I used to do a ton of night fishing for muskies before I got married. In most situations my drag would be extremely tight for hook sets, but a majority of the fish I caught were next to the boat. This usually meant my thumb was the only option for playing a green fish.

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slipperybob

Quote:

With a good drag, I don't understand the argument. It's like anti-lock brakes. No matter who you are, you are not going to outperform them. Some people might not like them, but they work. Just like a good drag. I set it based on the line strength and never worry about it. I usually have it on the loose side. Who cares if a smaller fish pulls out a little drag. I won't lose a big one.


It's not an argument of which is better. It's like a preference of driving an automatic or driving a stick shift vehicle. With technology these days, automatics can have much more gears in comparison to stick shifts. Would a person still want to drive a 5/6 speed stick shift or opt out to drive an automatic with up to 8 speed gears? Antilock is great, but the road is a sharp curve. Try steering your vehicle and it goes straight. Without the added feature of stability control in conjunction of the anti-lock, driving a vehicle in this condition is an art without any of those technological advancements.

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Leif

I think that drag is way better as long as you set it right. It is more consistant then back reeling

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slipperybob

I'm wondering what people feel is setting your drag right? For me it's to ensure that the line will not break under these two premises:

1) setting the hook

2) big fish makes sudden run

Call it: playing a fish, guiding a fish in, or fighting a fish. There's an art to doing that but for some people it's just reeling in a fish.

Even under the condition of back reeling, you're drag is still working. Furthermore one must consider how pricey their spinning reel is. I have full confidence in reels over $100. I have some confidence in reels $50-$100. I have little to no confidence in reels under $50. Drag disc size and whether it's multilayered or contain cermanics to dissipate heat are part of the technological advancements.

Hmm...I think I'm taking this way too Seriously...

LOL's I'm gonna pull out my Zebco 33 spincaster reel.

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BobT

To my knowledge the suggested drag setting has been about 30% of the line's rated strength. The drag should therefore slip when one applies more than 2-1/2lbs. force against 8lb test line. This may vary to some degree depending on the reliability and design of the drag but one must keep in mind that no matter the quality of the drag, it is friction that is creating the resistance and when you overcome friction you introduce heat and as the heat continues to be introduced the result is usually an increase in friction so the drag will likely get tighter as the system gets hotter. The more a fish takes drag the more likely it can fail. Naturally, the amount of time the drag is working and the speed at which the line is being taken play a role as well.

Bob

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CrawlerKing

Back reel.....when I have that money fish on the line, I want as much control as possible. Even though I use "good" reels, Quantum Energy PTIs, I still have the most confidence in back reeling....I have seen too many people fishing with me lose quality fish when the fish makes that last "big run" and their drag doesn't work. I don't ever remember losing a fish because I was back reeling... smile.gifbut of course I have a pretty selective memory!

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