How To Set The Drag
Your fishing reel’s drag mechanism works like a safety valve – if the fish pulls hard enough, it will yield line before the fish puts on enough strain to break it. Big fish that run when hooked, such as chinook salmon, pike, muskie or carp, can pull impressive amounts of line from a reel. That is, provided it’s set up correctly in the first place.
To set your drag, tie the line to something that won’t give – a dock, your truck, a door knob, whatever. Reel the line up tight and lift with the rod till you get a good, solid bend in it. You should be able to put solid pressure on the rod before the reel gives up line. You want that fish to work for every yard it gets.
Once your drag is set, don’t mess with it. Don’t try to adjust it during a fight – doing so is a sure way to lose that fish of a lifetime.