The Secret To Setting Your Reel's Drag Perfectly
Musky Hunter|August/September 2020
The Secret To Setting Your Reel's Drag Perfectly
Setting the drag properly is one of musky fishing’s most misunderstood and overlooked necessities.
Joe Bucher

Most inexperienced anglers have a tendency to set their drags too loose, which negates hook-set power and overall control. Yet experienced musky hunters often crank down the drag too tight, which can also have catastrophic results. So, what’s the answer?

I usually set my drag a bit on the tootight side. My drag will only slip under extreme pressure, but it still gives just enough on a powerful boatside strike. Yet, there’s an overlooked element in this whole drag-setting scenario that many anglers haven’t considered, and it actually neutralizes many of the too-tight drag negatives. Thankfully, this simple solution doesn’t require any special aftermarket purchases or any customizing of any kind. In fact, the true answer to most of your drag-setting problems is so simple, you’re probably not going to believe it when I reveal it.

The answer to many of your drag-setting problems is rod choice. What? Yes — the rod you use creates the perfect drag setting. How so? Well, simply because a longer rod with some flex bends automatically, compensating for a sudden burst or powerful pull from a big fish. It’s that simple. The longer rod with flex naturally acts as a slipping drag on short range, tight quarter battles with big muskies. In other words, utilize rod flex to compensate for a tight drag setting.

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August/September 2020