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How much drag pressure should I be able to get
on a Orvis BBS IV reel? I set all my drags with a scale for 1/3 the rating of the line rating on our casting reels when striper fishing (i.e: I set them to 5# when using 16# class line). If use a 16# tippet or leader, should I be able to get 5# of drag on the flyreel? If not,why not?
 

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Sounds about right. Do you scale at direct pull with no bend in the rod?? If so, I feel you would have a hard time pulling 5 lbs with rod up. Not sure if I explained that logically. Hope you know what I mean. Ron
 

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I think 5lbs of drag for striper fishing is overkill. 2 or 3lbs should be more than enough (that's with the rod pointed straight at the scale, not bent over like Sparse said). The reason for this is because the long rod absorbs so much of the impact of a fishing fish, it's tough for even a big striper to pull against 3lbs of drag. Plus, if you can palm your reel, you don't even need 3lbs. Just have enough so the reel doesn't backlash. Fly reels drags need to be calibrated differently than casting/spinning gear because of the rod lengths, which is sometimes why fly guys who know what they are doing (with the right gear) can land fish faster than the casters/spinners. Hard to believe, but true ;) .
 

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A reasonable perspective, and a good observation by both...Here is my take.
A fly reel drags effectiveness depends on it's design, and its condition. Can you crank down the drag of a high end reel and produce 10 pounds of drag? without a doubt! Would I?? Almost definately not, as there is no need, unless extrem fly fishing for big game.
...But more important in fly reel drag terminoligy is what is known as "start up inertia", or the amount of pressure to get the drag turning.... a low start up inertia will prevent a sticky drag from popping youe tippett or leader when coupled with a lighter drag setting.
Also important is the drags abilty to stay silky smooth during a prolonged fight...
Lots of drag pressure is not very important when a jerky start pops your tippett, is it? A light drag and judicious pressure from palming the rim of the spool, or a finger on the inside of the spool will provide a little extra pressure if you need.
Be sure to keep in mind that the very large diameter of a fly reel spool will INCREASE THE DRAG as the spool diameter decreases as the fish takes line( we hope!) By this stage in the fight, the fish is dragging around a fly line, and a decent amount of dacron backing through the water, as well as pulling against the drag....There is plenty of drag to tire a fish out in short order....
Drag is like baking a cake....you can always add more, but you can't take some away. At this point, you need to start over==(BREAK OFF!)
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I do not subscribe to the though process that fly tackle falls into the same guidelines of drag pressure = one third of the breaking strenth of the line.
Our rod, reel and line system is different. Our drag is too....

[ 04-07-2004, 06:02 AM: Message edited by: Frank Mihalic ]
 

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I like FlyTyer's idea on drag set up. I like the lighter drag setting when fishing from a boat cause you can follow the fish or move boat to get a better position or angle on the fish, to keep it away from obstructions. On the other hand when fish a fixed spot where there is no room to follow the fish or on a jetty I believe setting the drag alittle tighter is a good idea. I believe after you catch a number of fish on a given rod, you can almost feel what is right. I would rather error to the low side. So far I can't remember losing a fish because of a drag problem, now bite offs with blues, that is another story.
 

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I've lost some fish because of drag, but it was because I had NO drag on the reel. The fish had a quick spurt of energy, overran the spool and tangled the line, and popped the tippet. It has happened to me in fresh and saltwater plenty of times, much moreso in fresh with super light tippets. It's usually because I loosen the drag when I'm stripping off line from the reel in the beginning, and then forget to tighten it up again. D'oh!! :D
 
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