Re: Getting fish to the reel/drag
It is a skill to get the line back on the reel for bigger fish, and one which definitely is worth some attention and is something that I am concentrating on. I find that early on in the fight there are more accrobatics, especially from rainbows and so when I hook one I first wanna make sure he gets some of his dancing out the way before I get him on the reel. I learnt this lesson especially well the other night when I set the hook on a beauty and he had jumped a couple times and while I was spinning the spool to get him on the reel he jumped and spat the fly at me. Next fish I hooked I waited til I had her in control and took the line up while I was able to maintain constant pressure on her... she did help by going on a tearing run as well which was nice... but the important things are to keep good tension on the fish while taking up the excess line, and most importantly keep your eye on what the fish is doing, not on your reel and stop spinning the spool if the fish gets frisky. Any fish that is large enough to warrant you fighting it on the reel will probably give you enough time to do just that, just pickthe right time.
And when it comes to setting the drag on a reel I saw on a TV show some years ago some guys that were fishing marlin and were pre setting their drags. They set their rod in a holder and attached their scale to the end of the line/leader and pulled. The reading on the scale was their drag reading and so they just adjusted the drag until it was where they wanted it to be. I always thought that was a great idea, but I have never tried it cos, well I tend to have my drag set on the lighter side of things and can often make the fine adjustments while fighting a fish.