alan tani @ alantani.com fishing reel repair rebuild tutorial a few notes on fishing from a buddy of mine, tony friend
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Author Topic: a few notes on fishing from a buddy of mine, tony friend  (Read 16701 times)
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alantani
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« on: February 11, 2010, 08:23:34 PM »

Guys,

I got around to writing down my view of how to set up a fishing rig. Dianne read it and said it made sense to her,  so it passed the "fishing novice" test.

I'd be interested in hearing your comments.

Tony

Quote


Rods, Reels, Rigs, Drags And Why You Should Have A Balanced Rig

When I first started fishing, I thought a “balanced rig” meant having everything as strong as possible so that nothing would break. I was so wrong.

The concept of a “balanced rig” is the same, irrespective of the fish you are trying to catch, but a rig for a lake trout is going to be very different from a rig for a 50lb Yellowfin Tuna.

So let’s use, as an example, a rig for a salmon in the ocean. Although most people aren’t even aware of it, the process starts with the question “how hard does a salmon pull?”. Or, put another way, how hard do you want to pull on the salmon before you risk pulling out the hook. The answer that I use is 5lb.

So, if that’s the case, we want a rig that will comfortably pull on the salmon with 5lb of pull, but that if the salmon pulls harder than that, the reel drag will slip and the fish will take line.

Now we have to choose a rod. Most people walk into the shop, give the rod a flex, and say “That looks pretty good – I’ll take it”. But there’s more to it than that. That rod will have a rating – something like “15lb to 25lb”. What does that tell us? Unfortunately not as much as I would like, but at least something. It tells us that the rod was designed to fish lines with a breaking strain of between 15lb and 25lb.

So let’s take our rod home, put it in a holder of some kind, run some 20lb breaking strength line through the guides, tie it off at the reel seat, then start pulling on the line as though there was a fish on. What is going to happen?

Well, of course, the rod will bend. If we pull harder, it will bend more. If we keep pulling harder the rod will develop a very pronounced bend, then if we pull even harder the line will break, probably at the knot where we tied it to the reel seat.

But nowadays many people, myself included, fish with braid with breaking strengths of 50lb. If we went through the same process with 50lb braid, eventually we would break the rod. So what is the real meaning of the rod rating? The rod rating gives us an idea of how much tension we should put on the line if we don’t want to break the rod. More importantly, how much tension we should put on the line to keep the rod flexing within its design limits.

How do we do that? That’s where the reel comes in. The reel has two jobs. The obvious one is to take up the slack in the line as you pull in the fish. The other is to cause the drag to slip if the tension in the line gets too great.

But how much drag do we actually want to have? Most fishermen set the drag, give the line a tug, mess with the drag a bit, tug again, and give a grunt of happiness. That’s one way to do it.

Let’s get back to our salmon. If we know we don’t want to pull on the fish with more than 5lb of line tension, we should set the drag to release at 5lb. Try it by putting a spring balance scale, available at most tackle shops, onto your terminal tackle and have someone hold the scale. Pull back on the rod as though there was a fish on, then mess with the drag and try again until the spring shows 5lb when the drag slips. You will see for yourself exactly what the rig will look like when a big salmon gets on and starts tugging.

Now we can see if we bought the right rod. If it has a nice bend to it, without looking like it will break, yet soft enough to take the shock loads out of the rig when the fish shakes its head, you are getting close. How did we know that that rod would work in this setup?

There is a guideline that is very reliable:
The middle of the rod’s “range” (in this example, 20 lb, half way between 15 and 25) should be about four times the drag we want to put on the line. So 5lb of drag, times four, gives us our rod "mid-point" of 20. That's how we knew the rod we bought should be just right for the job.

Note: It would be really helpful if rod manufacturers would put the design drag settings on the rod, but they just don’t seem to understand the importance, or maybe they think that we fishermen can’t understand drags. And unfortunately rod makers are not consistent in the way they rate their rods, so you still need to flex them in the store.

So now you can see why it is important to know how much drag you want to have, or put another way, how hard you want the fish to pull before he starts taking line. But what should that drag be?

Here’s where fishing experience is the best guide, because, as far as I know, there is no table that shows the drag to use for different fish. I have found 5lb to be very suitable for salmon, and 10lb very suitable for live-baiting tuna. Typically trolling rigs for tuna are set higher than live bait rigs, so you can get the jig fish in quickly. I have found that 12lb to 15lb to be more appropriate. Naturally, the rod and reel need to be heavier grade (keep the rigs balanced, remember?).

If you set your drags for each fishing situation, you will learn what drag setting works best for you, and you will develop your own list of drag settings.

The simple summary is this. In a fishing rig, the drag setting is actually the single most important factor, as the drag is what the fish “sees”. He sure isn’t climbing into the boat to see what is the rating written on the side of your rod. Once you have determined the drag, multiply that by four to get the rod rating middle point. Once you have matched the drag to the rod characteristics, you have a balanced rig, one that will flex enough to handle the shock loads, but is strong enough to fight the fish you expect to catch.

Now you can see why lever drag reels have become popular. With lever drag, you can set the drag at “Strike” before you leave the dock, and you will always know that the drag is set correctly for the fish you want to catch. How do you set the drags? With the spring balance scale you bought. It is your friend, the most useful fishing tool of all.

How much drag can a person handle? Remember that if you are using a 7 foot rod, due to the leverage you are lifting with 2 ½ to 3 times the tension in the line, which is the drag setting. So if you are fishing for tuna with 10lb of drag and have a big strong fish on for 30 minutes, you are doing curls with a 25lb dumbbell repeatedly for 30 minutes. Believe me, the adrenaline rush dies out long before 30 minutes. Now you know why you were so tired half way through that tuna fight.

Unless you are using a harness clipped to the reel lugs, when you’re using your (much stronger) back, I suggest you don’t use more than 10lb of drag when live-baiting tuna. Even a twenty minute fight with a salmon, using 5lb of drag, can leave a strong fisherman puffing.

Most people, myself included, forget in the heat of a fish fight the one more thing you need to know about drags. When using a spring balance you are setting the drag for when the spool is full of line. Does that make a difference? Absolutely.

Imagine you get a really feisty fish that rips off 200 yards of line, and your spool is now half the size it was (pretty exciting idea). Now the tension in the line has only half the leverage on the spool it had when the spool was filled. But the drag is still the same, meaning the drag won’t slip until the rotational force (that’s torque for you engineers) is the same as it was when the spool was filled. If the spool is only half the diameter, then the line tension before the drag slips has to be twice as high. Effectively the drag setting has gone up from, say, 10lb to20lb. Now we risk breaking gear, especially terminal tackle and at knots.

In the heat of a fight, the right thing to do, if you can remember it, is to back off the drags as the line spools out, and crank it back up as you recover line. Like I said, if you can remember.

I hope this helps explain what is going on with your rig.

Tight lines, hard strikes, and good fishing





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Dominick
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« Reply #1 on: August 31, 2011, 01:33:33 PM »

Tony, Alan:  I missed this post until today.  That is a great explanation of drag and drag settings.  My first big fish was a white Marlin in the Dominican Republic.  I was arm weary within 2 minutes.  The battle took about 20 minutes and my arms were numb and limp when the fish was boated.  It felt good to catch the fish but I was exhausted.  I have more experience now and have graduated to a harness.  It is not practical to do the arm curls, so harness and fighting belt it is.  Also I am thumbing or palming on the big reels when necessary.  Yep experience is the best teacher.  Dominick
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 Give a man a fish and he will eat for a day. Teach a man to fish and he will sit in a boat all day drinking beer.
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« Reply #2 on: August 31, 2011, 02:30:31 PM »

Excellent!!
This post explains a lot about setting drags.
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Rob

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"A good man knows his limits." - Inspector Harry Callahan, SFPD
Bryan Young
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« Reply #3 on: August 31, 2011, 02:42:00 PM »

Funny, I missed this as well.  Great write up from Tony.
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Cheesy I talk with every part I send out and each reel I repair so that they perform at the top of their game. Cheesy
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« Reply #4 on: September 15, 2011, 12:12:59 AM »

and something else......




Quote



Alan, I was searching around the web and found the following.
I found it interesting, although somewhat overstated marketing
puffery. I have edited it slightly to remove extraneous stuff.

I do have one question about my Marquesa 20. When it came back,
there was a little plastic bag with what looked like the four little
"cast control" weights in it. Is that what they were? If so, why not
have them installed? Should I put them in?

Tony

http://www.stripersonline.com/t/671474/new-fin-nor-marquesa-reels
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
6/30/09

I am the VP of product development and manufacturing for Fin-Nor and wanted to introduce our new Marquesa reels. We have been working to bring back Fin-Nor to its former glory and are filling out the product line with very refined and tough reels.

The reels boast design features and quality that stands up the the competitions $600 reels but for a much sharper price. The reels will retail from $259 for the 12 up to $319 for the 30 size. The reels will be available in 4 sizes and 6 different models. 4 topless models and 2 with a top bar and adjustable tension clicker. True one piece forged aluminum frame and gear side cover and spool. 6 ball bearings and roller clutch bearing. Smooth and strong carbon fibre drag system. Fast 6.1:1 gear ratio and anti-backlash casting weight control system.

Before being at Fin-Nor I was the CEO of Penn. I grew up there and my father was there for 45 plus years. I grew up talking about Fin-Nor at the dinner table and am excited to be a part of building something.

The smaller 2 reels get 22 to 23 pounds of drag at full that is about 12 to 13 at the strike button while maintaining freespool. The casting system is built with 4 blocks. The casting weights are only accessible by opening up the reel. It is not very difficult as the drag is a pull type system and the spool come out of the frame with the right side plate. However it isn't something you would want to do in the field.
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« Reply #5 on: June 15, 2012, 11:15:53 AM »

Alan,

Thanx for this article for it validates how I was taught to setup rod and reel. My gear mentor/rod builder was mentored by a guy named Jerry who used to own Hermosa tackle and later bought the shop from Jerry. Im an engineer by profession and taught in school that the mid-point of a tolerance range is the design optimum for which the item is made (ie 17# for 10-25# rated rod). This mid-point/optimum holds true for all products (rods, reels, cameras, electronics, cars etc).  This is how I select my rod/reel combos to use for various line classes. In my spread sheets for rods under the classification of line test I put the optimum number first followed in parentheses by what I actually fish it with [ie 17#(15#)].  For reels I choose reels that hold the line test/yards that I plan to fish that are listed by the mfg as the middle line class for the reel as well, and this method has served me well over the decades of fishing.

Thanx Alan for sharing your research on these articles on this page and I hope more will read them. I thought i had read a good 75% of the posts on this forum when in reality I had read only what I was initially interested in. Now I see I've only scratched the surface.  Thanx to all of you guys for contributing to this site and I'll do my best to help and question as well.


Leo
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« Reply #6 on: January 22, 2013, 10:37:54 AM »

This is the most comprehensive thread I have read on heavy duty gear!  Alan, if you ever set up a Novice Section on this excellent forum, this thread should be required reading for all novices.  For instance, I had no clue that fighting a large fish on a 10 lb drag was equivalent to continually doing curls with a 25 lb barbell.  Since I am getting older and my stamina is decreasing, that is an important factor for me.  There were many other important factors that I had gleaned from extensive reading from many sources and here it is all in one place.  Just an excellent source!

Novice Norm Cheesy
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