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How Much Drag Do You Need For Surf Fishing? 

Drag Do You Need For Surf Fishing
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Being a surf fisher enthusiast is a great hobby to pass the time, yet drag can always cause problems when you want to get a good catch. There are ways to avoid and perfect your drag technique to ensure your fish doesn’t escape or your rod’s line breaks.

While Surf fishing, the general rule of thumb to create optimal drag is to use 30% of your fishing line’s breaking strength. However, the percentage varies based on the species of fish you’re trying to catch, among other factors. A fisherman needs less drag for crappie than they will for mackerel.

Here are some great tips and tricks to consider during your drag and fish pastime:

How Much Drag do you Need When Fishing?

You must look after your safety and the well-being of your fishing rod. If you use too much drag, you risk a broken rod, and the game will end soon.

For a clear and functional drag setting, you need to know what you will be fighting with, meaning the possible force that a fish can counter you with.

To further understand the needed drag in general, take a look at the bellow table provided by the enthusiasts at TakclevillageOpens in a new tab.:

Breaking StrengthFish
3-6lbCrappie, bluegill, trout, smallmouth bass
6-10lbWalleye, Largemouth Bass, Salmon, Sea Trout
10-20lbCatfish, Carp, Sea Bass, Pike, Musky, Salmon, Steelhead
20lb plusRedfish, Striped Bass, Mackerel, Tuna, Sharks, Cobia

The force you must apply in pounds will set your drag depending on the fish. You want to avoid your rod’s line breaking by having your line will follow the fish and by maintaining the fish on the spool. 

How Much Drag Do You Need When Fishing for Striped Bass?

What you need to keep in mind is the behavior of the fish:

  • If it’s resisting, loosen the drag to let it get tired. If the fish is calming down, tighten your drag.
  • As a general rule, the line’s pound will equal a third of the strength of the reel’s drag. Fighting a bass with a larger drag will make your reel go into a higher gear if you’re using a heavy line. Try pulling some lines away from the reel and measuring the amount of slack to know how much reel drag you need.
  • Line length is of great importance. To begin with, use a drag setting of around 30% or below, and as you get more experienced, you can adjust it to your needs.
  • A badly set drag will make the fish break the line, which will make you lose your fish. Set your drag, so it is no more than 30% of the line pound test.
  • Striped bass can go as deep as 20 feet in some areas and need constant adjustments to avoid snagging. But with time, you will get the hang of it, becoming an easier task.
  • If you’re unsure how much drag to use with your fishing lineOpens in a new tab., a great option is always to contact your rod’s manufacturer and ask them.

How Much Drag Do You Need When Fishing for Surfperch?

When fishing for surfperch, you must be sure of the kind of fishing line you will use. As a general rule, a setting for a drag of around 8-to-10-pound test will do the job for your surfperch.

While experienced anglers can regulate the drag without the use of tools, novice anglers have the option of using a scale:

  • First, you will have to measure the breaking point of your line.
  • After measuring the braking strength, you must set your drag to 30%.
  • Don’t forget to tighten the line properly, or you could lose the fish and your line.
  • When using a digital scale:
  • Select the strength you want to measure.
  • Place your line on the hook and slowly pull them away.
  • If the scale reads below the wanted drag, tighten it. If it reads higher, you want to loosen it more.
  • Remember that fishing for surfperch requires a good and correct drag for a successful catch.

Once more experienced, you can begin setting your drag by the feel. With enough practice, you’ll get the trick in no time, so don’t worry.

Does Drag Settings Impact Surf Fishing Success During High or Low Tide?

When it comes to surf fishing tide differencesOpens in a new tab. can greatly impact your success. Understanding how drag settings affect your fishing during high or low tide is crucial. Adjusting your drag to accommodate these tide variations can make a significant difference in your surf fishing success.

How Tight Is Your Drag When Crab Snaring?

When crab snaring, you want the drag set tight and remove all the slack to maintain constant pressure on your line when you start reeling. You don’t want your drag set loose, or it will cause your snares loop to open and lose your crabs.

But, before you start crab snaring, you need to know how to tie a crab line properly:

  • Ready-made and good-to-go lines are available in many fishing stores, but if you don’t have the loops, you can make your knot using the overhandOpens in a new tab..
  • With a crab line, don’t forget to keep constant tension on the drag. Poor tension will allow the crabs to escape.
  • When your line is ready, hook to a weight of around 3-to-8 ounces, always considering the strength of your rod.
  • It’s also necessary to attach your acting sinker at enough distance from your bait box. Otherwise, you risk the snare going along with the current.
  • After setting the crab trap, retrieve it as cleanly as possible.
  • Crabs love calm waters and soft winds when searching for an ideal area to start. With this, you also avoid stressing your line with big swells:
  • Set the snares two to three hours before the low tide, getting ready for when the crabs will be roaming closer to shore.
  • The right location is essential for fishing your crabs. The best option would be a sandy beach with a flat bottom with calm waters and wind.
  • You need to avoid areas with a lot of vegetation and rocks, as they will only make your snare wash away.

To Conclude

Fishing is an excellent way to get rid of all that unwanted stress. You also benefit from having caught your fresh, delicious striped bassOpens in a new tab. for a succulent meal. Although how to cook each of them is a question to everyone, fishing them is guaranteed enjoyment.

Sources & References

Fishfrombeach: How Much Drag for Surf Fishing: The Complete AnswerOpens in a new tab.

Saltwater Sportsman: How to Use Fishing Reel DragOpens in a new tab. How to Set the DragOpens in a new tab.

Crabbinghub: Crab Snaring. The Complete GuideOpens in a new tab.

Tacklevillage: Fishing Line Strength Chart: Choosing the Right Pound TestOpens in a new tab.

Zaldy G.

I love feeling the cool ocean spray every time I hit the beach with a rod and a bucket of bait. I love the thrill of feeling bites on my line whenever I hook a big one. And I especially love the pride that comes with cooking a fresh catch and sharing it with my friends and family. Thank you for stopping by. Let's go catch some fish!

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