Re: Drag on a fly reel
You'll learn how much the tip of your rod will bend to act as a shock absorber to prevent your tippet breaking. The feel of that bend will tell you to let line slip through your fingers if you are playing the fish by hand, or to release the handle and let the fish run against the tension of the drag. The feel is something you need to learn. It doesn't hurt to rig up your rod, tie on some tippet and then tie it to a weight of several pounds. Start with a loose drag and about 20' of line and leader out , but not completely loose , or the reel can over spool resulting in a bird's nest. Pull on the weight and see at what point the drag lets line out. Increase it until there's a good bend in the rod, but you aren't in danger of breaking it. Walk backwards letting line out against the drag. Place your fingers across the bottom of the spool and add more tension. Get use to what that feels like. You can change tippet sizes and see at what point they break- just don't go heavy or you may put too much stress on the rod. Remember to be s-m-o-o-t-h when you fight a fish, abrupt reactions are what break things and lose fish. Fighting a fish with a flyrod is far more by feel than other more mechanical methods of fishing. That feel truly sets it apart.