setting a lever drag reel, and more.....

Started by alantani, September 25, 2022, 02:25:52 AM

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a buddy was asking.....


I got the cams today. Thank you!!  I'll mail you back cams from the 20 visx and 50 visx.

Also what is the best way to set the drags for these?

Is it to back off the preset knob.  Spin the spool and tighten the preset until it stops the spool then turn the preset counter clockwise three or four clicks?


when setting the drags, here's what i do.  the 20 visx should have a 100 pound topshot.  set the drag to 50 pounds at full, then back the lever to free and mark 10, 20, 30 and 40 pounds.  go back to 30 pounds and set the strike stopper there.  now run the lever through the numbers and double check the settings.  sometimes they change a little as the drag washer gets mashed down. 

the 50 visx should have a 130 pound topshot.  set the drag to at least 60 pounds at full.  go to 65 if you can.  then repeat the above process, marking the drag settings every ten pounds.  back the lever off to the 40 pound spot and set the strike stopper there. 

ideally, i would like to see 30% at strike and 50% at full for all the reels in EVERY line class.  that is not always possible.  for those reels with a fixed strike stopper (like every other reel made), go with 30% at strike and just note what you have at full. 

to choose a line class for a reel, there are several considerations.  one is the drag range, the other is line capacity.  for drag range, you push the lever back to free and spin the spool.  as the spool is spinning, you tighten down the drag preset knob until you lose freespool, then stop.  now you back off the preset knob a click at a time until you get back freespool that you are happy with.  then check the drag at strike.  this number is "the maximum drag at strike before you lose freespool."  now push the lever to full and measure the drag.  this is the full drag range of the reel.  and just to see how "fishable" your reel is, push the lever to free and try to ease the lever up through the numbers.  if that first push is too hard, then the cam might be considered by some to be too aggressive.  (yes, i would rather not open that can of worms right now.)

line capacity is the second consideration.  i have my preferences.  figure that these numbers can easily be plus or minus 50 yards.  and these are my personal preferences for west coast tuna fishing only.  remember, you have never seen me target bills or sails.  you guys who do can do your own thing.  for a given fluoro topshot weight, the braid line weight, and the braid line capacity......

30# fluoro - 40, 50, 60 or 65 pound hollow or solid braid - 300 yards
40# fluoro - 50, 60 or 65 pound hollow or solid braid - 350 yards
50# fluoro - 60 hollow or 65 solid braid - 400 yards
60# fluoro - 60 or 80 pound hollow - 450 yards
80# fluoro - 80-100 pound hollow - 500 yards
100# fluoro or mono - 100 pound hollow - 600 yards
130# fluoro or mono - 130 pound hollow - 700 yards

personally, i would rather see you fishing hollow at your level.  mono should work well enough for jigs or deep drop and it will save you some money.  topshot lengths?  as long or short as you want, figure 10-30 yards in most cases.
send me an email at for questions!


Great info Alan!!!!

(PS I'll be mailing you my Mak 10iiSEa on Monday for a full pre-use service, drag calibration (for 40# bait), and spooling of 50# white braid)