How to Loosen Drag on Fishing Poles

How to Loosen Drag on Fishing Poles
Anglers choose to loosen the drag on a fishing pole to increase slack along the line so it doesn't snap if a fish pulls against it hard while trying to escape. A fishing line that is too tight can easily break as a fish swims away or puts up a fight. Adjusting the drag also allows you to control the amount of pressure on the line, which will determine how much wiggle room your catch has once the hook is set.


Difficulty: Easy

Step 1
Grip the fishing rod in your hand with a finger over the drag mechanism, which on a saltwater spinning reel is a knob on the front of the reel.

Look for either a bottom-controlled drag or a top-controlled drag.
Step 2
Release the drag to create slack on the test line. Twist the knob in a counterclockwise direction, which will cause the drag to loosen with each rotation. Notice how the pressure along the line diminishes.
Step 3
Guide the test line from the tip of the fishing rod by hand. Fishing gloves will provide a stronger grip, so wear them if necessary. Continue pulling until the drag releases the length of line you need.
Step 4
Set the drag to 25 percent of the breaking strength of the test line. All fishing line is rated for a specific breaking strength--which is the amount of weight a test line can handle before it snaps.

Tips & Warnings

The greater the amount of drag you release, the longer the distance your line will cast.

Article Written By Charlie Gaston

Charlie Gaston has written numerous instructional articles on topics ranging from business to communications and estate planning. Gaston holds a bachelor's degree in international business and a master's degree in communications. She is fluent in Spanish and has extensive travel experience.

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