Technical Guides Articles
The rod is bent over, the line is very tight and you are holding on for dear life. At this point, something has to give. Either the line will reach its breaking strength and snap or the rod, which is bent to its maximum capacity, will finally break into pieces. This is where the drag comes into play. In this article you will learn how to properly adjust the star drag on your conventional or baitcasting reel.
Conventional reels traditionally use what is called a star drag system but many conventional reels are now made with a lever drag system. This system uses a sliding lever mounting on the top side of the reel to make drag adjustments. The positioning of the drag adjustment lever is often preferred by anglers over the star drag design for it easy accessibility.
Spinning reel drag systems are built into the spool of the spinning reel and consists of a series of metal and fabric washers that all have a hole in the center. The washers are stacked on top of one another, alternating between the metal and fabric washers as they are stacked inside the center of the spool. As with most drag washers, the washers are lightly lubricated to slide against one another smoothly and without hesitation. They are held in place by a retaining ring that is then capped with a drag adjustment knob.
Once an angler gains some experience and confidence in using the one or two rods that they have in their arsenal of fishing tackle, the need for more specialized rods and technique specific rods usually becomes apparent. For instance, a fisherman who has been using their standard spinning rod and reel to cast big chunks of cut bait with heavy sinkers attached will quickly learn that the rod they have been using to cast half ounce lures just doesn't have the back bone to launch a bulky bait rig into the strike zone. This is the time to assess the type of fishing you are doing and what rod types will best handle your specific needs.
The purpose of the bail is to act as a gate for the line on the spool. When the bail is engaged, the line is prevented from unwinding from the spool. When the bail is disengaged, as it would be for casting, the bail releases the line from the spool. During line retrieval, as the rotor spins, the bail serves to guide the line back onto the spool.
When most people take up fishing for their first time, they are often given a rod and reel as a gift or they purchase a rod and reel combo that has already been matched up by the manufacturer. Most pre-matched combos are designed for introductory fishing purposes and do not excel in quality but they do the job just fine for the novice. But, as an angler becomes more obsessed with fishing, the need for a larger arsenal of rods and reels increases. This is the time when the knowledge of how to properly match up a rod and reel combo becomes important.
Spinning reels tend to be a top choice for anglers buying new fishing reels. There are multiple reasons but the most common reason is their general ease of use. Spinning reels are probably the easiest reel to learn to cast with, besides a spincast cast reel which has many limitations. Learning to cast a spinning reel only takes a few minutes before someone can begin fishing successfully with one. An overall understanding of how a spinning reel works will guide you to successful casting.
The choices to make when it comes to deciding on a fishing rod can be a little overwhelming. With all the different rod lengths, styles and blank thicknesses, making the proper selection can seem like a daunting task. Fishing rods have a lot of information printed on them to help you make your decision like what line strength the rod is rated for as well as the lure weights that a rod will cast comfortably. And then you have some other rating listed in there too like rod power and rod action.....what exactly does that mean? Let's talk a little bit about action and power.
There's a lot of talk about how many bearings fishing reels have. Often advertised with high price tags, it appears as if the number of bearings a reel has relates directly to the quality of the reel itself. And, what about bushings? They are often mentioned in reel advertising as well. Exactly, what are they trying to sell us here? Let's dive a little deeper into the role that bearings and bushings play in a fine tuned fishing reel.
Baitcasting reels and conventional reels use spool braking systems to control the speed at which the spool of the reel spins when the reel is in free spool mode. This is how the angler can minimize the chance of getting backlashes during the casting process. Both baitcasting and conventional reels use a brake that applies pressure to the spools axis to slow down its rotation. This brake is adjusted with a knob located under the reel handle. This brake is often referred to as the tension brake and is found on nearly all baitcasting and conventional reels.