Setting Drag Spring Scale : straight off reel Vs Bendo pull...

Shimano Penn

I Should Upgrade My Account
Dec 3, 2014
1,521
1,215
64
Chula Vista
Name
David
Boat
Fond Memory
Whatever way you use a spring scale...use common sense on the boat
Have seen connections fail, high stick rod explosions, and spring scales come apart.
Be aware of your surroundings before you impale someone or hurt yourself.
Double check equipment
I do it at home... wearing safety glasses ;)
 
Upvote 0

MYNomad

Heading South
Dec 12, 2007
4,201
4,880
Pacific Northwest / West Coast Mexico
Name
Rick
Boat
Yes
Do any of you guys adjust for the increase in drag that results from line being off the reel? When the diameter is cut in half, the effective drag is doubled.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Blind Luck
Bill W
Bill W
No, but in the end game I may creep above strike to break a tie. You would be surprised how much you can put on a fish. Better than getting spooled.
Upvote 0
Upvote 0

DennisV

I Should Upgrade My Account
Jan 4, 2017
1,023
1,653
63
Paloma, CA
Name
Dennis Vagt
Boat
Just a NuCanoe Frontier now.
Do any of you guys adjust for the increase in drag that results from line being off the reel? When the diameter is cut in half, the effective drag is doubled.
That's why we use 25-30% at full spool.

Way back in a previous century, using mono for Marlin, we would roll the drag way back on a long run. Still not a bad idea on a biggun.
 
  • Like
Reactions: bullyo and dsl
Upvote 0

dsl

I Should Upgrade My Account
  • Nov 20, 2017
    1,281
    577
    California
    Name
    Larry S
    Boat
    Landlover
    That's why we use 25-30% at full spool.

    Way back in a previous century, using mono for Marlin, we would roll the drag way back on a long run. Still not a bad idea on a biggun.
    Good to know 👍
     
    Upvote 0

    MYNomad

    Heading South
    Dec 12, 2007
    4,201
    4,880
    Pacific Northwest / West Coast Mexico
    Name
    Rick
    Boat
    Yes
    That's why we use 25-30% at full spool.
    So, you don't have to back off the drag, even when most of the spool is out? I thought a big part of the reason for maxing drag at 30% (or whatever) was to deal with shock loads?
     
    Bill W
    Bill W
    You are really never directly pointed at the fish, although it may seem that way. Guess you will never know until a failure. No long distant failures here so guess it works for me.
    Upvote 0
    Upvote 0

    DennisV

    I Should Upgrade My Account
    Jan 4, 2017
    1,023
    1,653
    63
    Paloma, CA
    Name
    Dennis Vagt
    Boat
    Just a NuCanoe Frontier now.
    So, you don't have to back off the drag, even when most of the spool is out? I thought a big part of the reason for maxing drag at 30% (or whatever) was to deal with shock loads?
    Back in the straight mono days it was an absolute must. But with the thinner braids we use now probably not so much. But I'll let the LR guys here with more experience on cows and Supers answer that for you.
     
    • Like
    Reactions: MYNomad
    Upvote 0

    Amadeus

    I Should Upgrade My Account
  • Mar 17, 2011
    1,287
    702
    San Diego/CA/US
    Name
    Wai Jung
    Boat
    Seahawk II
    ...at this point I am not sure what benefit pulling on a bended rod...
    There is...and it depends on if the reel and rod pairing is always the same. If same pairing is "Yes" then do this:
    1. Set and measure drag with bended rod
    2. With drag unchanged, measure via straight pull...this will be the value to set next time since any drag imparted from the same rod (and guides) is a constant...no need to remeasure with the rod bended.
    Otherwise, you will need to memorize what the different straight pull values are when the reel is swapped to different rods.
     
    • Like
    Reactions: wahbam
    Upvote 0

    geebee

    My Member is Well-Known
    Nov 12, 2016
    1,151
    566
    San Diego
    Name
    Gee Bee
    Boat
    Partial to AZTEC - aspiring to INTREPID
    I have always used a spring scale and constantly hear hear people (actual real professionals) disrespecting digital scales so there's that
    maybe the actual real pros need to re-visit the subject - unless it is for the sole point of the sticky slider or battery issues (more on that below in my update)

    my definition of "pro" is one who's spent 10,000 hours in a daily endeavor - not just a guy with a webpage and a business card - but then I'm old school in that regard...
     
    Upvote 0

    geebee

    My Member is Well-Known
    Nov 12, 2016
    1,151
    566
    San Diego
    Name
    Gee Bee
    Boat
    Partial to AZTEC - aspiring to INTREPID
    UPDATE:

    I picked up a used set of OHAUS calibration weights to confirm my approach, smallest is 1g, largest is 2kg

    OHAUS-Metric-14-piece_calibration-Weights.jpg
     
    Last edited:
    • Like
    Reactions: jmch75
    J
    jmch75
    Very cool! I know those things can be pretty expensive, did you get a screaming deal at a yard sale? Would love to pick up a set and in slightly heavier masses as well!
    • Like
    Reactions: geebee
    Upvote 0
    geebee
    geebee
    to jmch75

    I got that set in San Diego off craigslist for $70 - still working on my pull ...
    • Like
    Reactions: jmch75
    Upvote 0
    Upvote 0

    geebee

    My Member is Well-Known
    Nov 12, 2016
    1,151
    566
    San Diego
    Name
    Gee Bee
    Boat
    Partial to AZTEC - aspiring to INTREPID
    SEEING IS BELIEVING

    I was pleasantly surprised (in near disbelief) when I placed the weights on my cheap kitchen DIGITAL scale one by one

    each weight showed its marked weight to .0 gram (the limit of my scale) - combining all 14 weights on the kitchen scale produced a .1 gram error

    the red scale pictured, the one I used, is a Nutri Fit EK3226, I recall its max weight is 11 pounds, and cost under $15 delivered off Amazon

    the scale zeroed each weight at .0 (a 1g weight weighed 1.000g, a 2kg weight weighed 2.000kg) - each of the 14 weights measured exactly (and quickly)

    I should add the Dr Meter ES-PS01 pictured above had a .1g error on the 7lb-12.5oz weight package I compared to the Nutri Fit

    2KG.jpg
     
    Last edited:
    Upvote 0

    geebee

    My Member is Well-Known
    Nov 12, 2016
    1,151
    566
    San Diego
    Name
    Gee Bee
    Boat
    Partial to AZTEC - aspiring to INTREPID
    my tests with the same 7lb 12.5oz on my green and gold spring scales were predictable

    the gold was within 1/2 pound of the digital scales
    green was not consistent enough to read in a 7# weight package
     
    Upvote 0

    geebee

    My Member is Well-Known
    Nov 12, 2016
    1,151
    566
    San Diego
    Name
    Gee Bee
    Boat
    Partial to AZTEC - aspiring to INTREPID
    CONCLUSION (updated July 2021)

    I discovered a digital hanging scale with "Peak Hold" feature that made this process a no-brainer, see post #42 (about 6 posts down)

    it just works

    I plan to develop a consistent pull with the Peak-Hold scale - pulling directly STRAIGHT off the reel

    the non-sticking slider on the digitals is a deal breaker for me - let alone the spring accuracy wobble - not sure I could even get it to work
     
    Last edited:
    Upvote 0

    Pitchinwedge

    Member
  • Aug 7, 2016
    764
    490
    So Cal
    Name
    Sammie
    Boat
    None
    In order to get the most accurate readings, it doesn't matter what the rod you use. Just make sure it's at least 25' long and has more than 3 guides, pulling at least 100lbs of drag on a 40N, at an altitude of 6000ft or higher, ambient temp warmer than 98*, humidity less than 1%, and during a full moon. :D
     
    geebee
    geebee
    member Pitchinwedge:

    i read your post anticipating you had something useful to add to the discussion, but then I never quite got sarcastic humor in my family, grandma always called us kids out on it...
    Upvote 0
    Upvote 0

    Shimano Penn

    I Should Upgrade My Account
    Dec 3, 2014
    1,521
    1,215
    64
    Chula Vista
    Name
    David
    Boat
    Fond Memory
    my definition of "pro" is one who's spent 10,000 hours in a daily endeavor
    WOW !!!! Five straight years of 40 hour weeks setting drags on fishing reels? I defer, that is impressive. I was just thinking about old salty sportfishing captains who have been fishing for 30-40 years so I guess not "professionals". You win.
     
    geebee
    geebee
    please see my response to member Pitchinwedge
    Upvote 0
    Upvote 0

    Shimano Penn

    I Should Upgrade My Account
    Dec 3, 2014
    1,521
    1,215
    64
    Chula Vista
    Name
    David
    Boat
    Fond Memory
    geebe, perhaps we got off on the wrong foot here. It was not me who aggressed upon you but rather you who called me out in post # 33. I now completely understand that you are trying to have a serious discussion on this but in post #2 you actually put up a chart for determining % values of simple numbers. It made it look like easy math is difficult for you. Do you honestly think there is anyone here on BD who needs a chart to figure 33% of 100 ? 20% of 60? It just started the thread off as silly and NOT serious at all. I humbly apologize for any distraction, I value BD as a source of information and try to contribute where I can but yes I can be a smart ass and occasionally behave that way. I am a firm believer in using a scale to set drags, always have been going back 30 years or so. Digital, spring, whatever. Just use something to establish a standard.
     
    Upvote 0

    geebee

    My Member is Well-Known
    Nov 12, 2016
    1,151
    566
    San Diego
    Name
    Gee Bee
    Boat
    Partial to AZTEC - aspiring to INTREPID
    frustrating search to find a usable spring scale in the 15-60lb range for the tiny increment steps and inconsistency ...

    but I did find a cheap digital hanging scale with Peak Hold feature that looks like a best option for fishing scales to accurately measure my drag settings and line knot breaking strengths: American Weigh Scales AWS PK Series (10 year warranty)

    peak hold scale.jpg


    apparent big seller for measuring draw weight on compound bows for fishing, target shooting, hunting

    has to be useful tool for fishermen measuring line class and knot strength

    "Peak Hold allows for maximum sensitivity and accurate weight or force readings too quick for the eye to see and because it is digitally held, a displayed peak value will not decay or drift ... Peak Hold is when weight or force is applied to determine the highest amount of force a product can withstand" (source: centralcarolinascale-com)

    for higher-end scales search for:

    Digital Force Gauge Push Pull Peak Hold​

     
    Last edited:
    Upvote 0

    dwaynesda

    dwayne
    Apr 27, 2003
    1,222
    796
    santee
    Visit site
    Name
    dwayne
    Boat
    Cabo 216
    Straight pull off the spring scale. On my recent trip on Tomahawk star Deck Hand Brad suggested 30# of drag at Strike on my "Heavy"; a 7'6" Viper paired with a Mak 20 loaded with 700 yards of 100# JB braid topped with 15' of 100# fluoro. First run was 3/4 Strike, then Strike until fish was within 100' of the boat, then almost full for the final 100' (40# of drag).

    Question for those of you with more Big Fish experience than me (which is Many of you!)

    Is there such a thing as bringing your BFT in too hot/too quick?
    • The 185# came to gaff in 19 minutes
    • The 120# and the 125# were gaffed at 9 minutes
    The 125# actually swam off the gaff on the first attempt. Not a problem, it came back and decided to stay the second time. It did get me to wondering if I was possibly bringing in these fish too hot? My assumption has always been that less time in the water/less chances for tangles with other lines/fish is better.

    Thoughts please!

    View attachment 1289042
    The sooner you get them in, the better your odds. Less chance of losing to chew offs, hooks pulling and passenger error. Also Bluefin tuna are exothermic, which is unique in the fish world. The bodies are warmer than the surrounding water as they create and retain a lot of heat while struggling to free themselves. The quicker you get them in the boat, the better the quality of meat. You do not want to "cook" your fish by prolonging the fight. That is one reason why the crew is so quick to gill, gut and drop in the RSW so they flesh can start the process of cooling down to preserve the flesh of these prized bluefin. If you ever stuck your hand inside the cavity right after they gut after a long fight, you would be surprised at how warm it is inside.

    Kick their asses as fast you can. I have yet to lose a huge tuna to tackle failure as you put it on the rail and winch them in. It takes a lot of pressure to break 100lb
     
    Upvote 0

    Rubberhook2

    Local Bluefin
    Jan 19, 2007
    5,271
    1,054
    San Clemente
    Name
    Tim
    Boat
    None
    Do you think it is really possible to set the drag once before a trip and maintain that drag setting throughout a trip? Do you think heat, cold or moisture will affect that drag setting throughout the day? Has anyone set their drag in the cool of the night or at a tackle shop and then rechecked that setting when the reel has been sitting in hot direct sunlight for several hours?

    Curious..
     
    • Like
    Reactions: Blind Luck
    Upvote 0

    dwaynesda

    dwayne
    Apr 27, 2003
    1,222
    796
    santee
    Visit site
    Name
    dwayne
    Boat
    Cabo 216
    Do you think it is really possible to set the drag once before a trip and maintain that drag setting throughout a trip? Do you think heat, cold or moisture will affect that drag setting throughout the day? Has anyone set their drag in the cool of the night or at a tackle shop and then rechecked that setting when the reel has been sitting in hot direct sunlight for several hours?

    Curious..
    It is surprising how much it changes overnight. We were on Guadalupe trip on the Vagabond and Capt Mike made us check our drags every morning on the 2 spring scales attached to the house before your first bait went in. He wanted to make sure we could apply max drags to the tuna before the sharks could move in and grab a bite. He knew the drag settings would change through many years of experience.
     
    Rubberhook2
    Rubberhook2
    Exactly my point. I have never used a scale to set my drags and check my drag throughout the day. Guys talking about setting their drags at a tackle shop before a trip is comical...
    Upvote 0
    Upvote 0

    cozenone

    Member
    Jan 25, 2020
    573
    649
    northwest
    Name
    joe
    Boat
    none
    It is surprising how much it changes overnight. We were on Guadalupe trip on the Vagabond and Capt Mike made us check our drags every morning on the 2 spring scales attached to the house before your first bait went in. He wanted to make sure we could apply max drags to the tuna before the sharks could move in and grab a bite. He knew the drag settings would change through many years of experience.
    WORD, Good advice by Mike
     
    • Like
    Reactions: Rubberhook2
    Upvote 0

    titan05

    Pelagic Terminator
    Apr 7, 2004
    3,902
    3,933
    San Diego North County
    Name
    Jim
    Boat
    Chelsea Rae
    I have always used a spring scale and try to set my drag at about 30% of line rating on a bent rod at strike and then back it off to about a thumb width below strike to account for line off the spool and check it there....the nice thing about lever drag reels is you can ease into a fish as needed.....I think it's called "Drag Management " ;)
    One thing I would warn everybody about is to make sure if your friend is reading the drag scale after a pull test that he reads the correct side of the scale.....years ago I was setting drag on BIG FISH reels for fishing at Clarion and I pulled and when I asked my buddy what it read he said 14 lb so I dialed up the drag and pulled again and asked....."15 1/2" .....I was in shock as I thought...."Damn Jim you are out of shape" so I dial it up again and pulled....almost put my left nut in my boot and when I made sure I had all my pieces and parts I asked how much ????
    He replied "17".....I looked at him and asked him what side of the scale was he reading and he was looking at the Kilo Gram side instead of Lbs.....37.4 pounds of drag at strike......damn near killed me....dialed it back down to about 28 pounds at strike and proceeded to rail plenty of BIG Tuna fishing 100 pound and 130 pound.....Moral of the story is if your friend is still half blind from shots of tequila just make sure he knows which side of the scale to read.....your left nut will be grateful :-)
     
    Upvote 0

    cozenone

    Member
    Jan 25, 2020
    573
    649
    northwest
    Name
    joe
    Boat
    none
    I have always used a spring scale and try to set my drag at about 30% of line rating on a bent rod at strike and then back it off to about a thumb width below strike to account for line off the spool and check it there....the nice thing about lever drag reels is you can ease into a fish as needed.....I think it's called "Drag Management " ;)
    One thing I would warn everybody about is to make sure if your friend is reading the drag scale after a pull test that he reads the correct side of the scale.....years ago I was setting drag on BIG FISH reels for fishing at Clarion and I pulled and when I asked my buddy what it read he said 14 lb so I dialed up the drag and pulled again and asked....."15 1/2" .....I was in shock as I thought...."Damn Jim you are out of shape" so I dial it up again and pulled....almost put my left nut in my boot and when I made sure I had all my pieces and parts I asked how much ????
    He replied "17".....I looked at him and asked him what side of the scale was he reading and he was looking at the Kilo Gram side instead of Lbs.....37.4 pounds of drag at strike......damn near killed me....dialed it back down to about 28 pounds at strike and proceeded to rail plenty of BIG Tuna fishing 100 pound and 130 pound.....Moral of the story is if your friend is still half blind from shots of tequila just make sure he knows which side of the scale to read.....your left nut will be grateful :-)
    The most important thing is to know where your at,,
     
    Upvote 0

    fishnfool2

    Chapo
    May 18, 2010
    352
    297
    IE menifee ca
    Name
    chapo
    Boat
    Outrider Sportfishing
    Straight pull off the spring scale. On my recent trip on Tomahawk star Deck Hand Brad suggested 30# of drag at Strike on my "Heavy"; a 7'6" Viper paired with a Mak 20 loaded with 700 yards of 100# JB braid topped with 15' of 100# fluoro. First run was 3/4 Strike, then Strike until fish was within 100' of the boat, then almost full for the final 100' (40# of drag).

    Question for those of you with more Big Fish experience than me (which is Many of you!)

    Is there such a thing as bringing your BFT in too hot/too quick?
    • The 185# came to gaff in 19 minutes
    • The 120# and the 125# were gaffed at 9 minutes
    The 125# actually swam off the gaff on the first attempt. Not a problem, it came back and decided to stay the second time. It did get me to wondering if I was possibly bringing in these fish too hot? My assumption has always been that less time in the water/less chances for tangles with other lines/fish is better.

    Thoughts please!
    Straight pull off the spring scale. On my recent trip on Tomahawk star Deck Hand Brad suggested 30# of drag at Strike on my "Heavy"; a 7'6" Viper paired with a Mak 20 loaded with 700 yards of 100# JB braid topped with 15' of 100# fluoro. First run was 3/4 Strike, then Strike until fish was within 100' of the boat, then almost full for the final 100' (40# of drag).

    Question for those of you with more Big Fish experience than me (which is Many of you!)

    Is there such a thing as bringing your BFT in too hot/too quick?
    • The 185# came to gaff in 19 minutes
    • The 120# and the 125# were gaffed at 9 minutes
    The 125# actually swam off the gaff on the first attempt. Not a problem, it came back and decided to stay the second time. It did get me to wondering if I was possibly bringing in these fish too hot? My assumption has always been that less time in the water/less chances for tangles with other lines/fish is better.

    Thoughts please!

    View attachment 1289042
    Yes a fish can come in to hot. Making it unpredictable and sporadic close to the boat always better to allow it to burn some energy away from the boat first where less can go wrong
     
    • Like
    Reactions: James Taylor
    Upvote 0