Originally Posted by fishinfrenzy
SNIP<<<In conclusion, I guess what I am asking is what is the best way or best technique to get larger fish to the reel before they break your line? Also, does this sort of thing happen somewhat often or am I just terrible because a 5x tippet is only equivalent to about 4-5 pounds of strength and just seems so delicate to what I am used to. Plus, how heavy do you guys set your drag? It seems like you almost have to have it set at practically nothing to accommodate such light tippet material.
First FF, that's tough luck that's hard to swallow!!! There'll be lots more though.
While I'm a fair to middlin' noob at Fly Fishing, I've been spinning for more years than I'd like to admit, and I think the drag issue carries from one to the other fairly well.
Setting the drag is kind of a feel thing for me. I purposely keep mine fairly light to accomodate experiences such as yours. I think you'd be suprised how much strain a 5X tippet in good shape, with good knots, can take. If you can comfortably strip line off the reel, your drag is probably set on the light side (which is bviously better than the heavy side).
Strip out ~ 20 ft of line, and set your hook into a piece of wood (on your deck, in the garage or somewhere) and pull the rod 'till the drag slips. Tighten it a click or 2 at a time and pull again each time 'till the tippet breaks. Now strip line off the reel again with your hand and notice how hard it is to pull. In order to comfortably strip off line, you'll probably have to loosen off the drag by a few clicks.
When I did the above, I easily found my "comfort" zone with the fly reel, with a drag slip that's well below the breaking point of the tippet to accomodate for a damaged tippet or a weak knot.
Just out of curiosity, how much line did you have stripped off when the fish hit? I try to keep a bare minimum so when that big one hits, I don't have 15 or 20 ft of line at my feet to contend with.