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Line Drag Calculator:
Small screen shot of Reel Drag Calculator. If you've ever been confused as to what or how to set the drag on your fishing reel here's a little program to help. There are all sorts of figures bandied about the web as to what you should set your drag to but the real answer is that it varies with the thickness of the line and size of your reel spool, 25% being a commonly quoted figure. 25% might be close if you're using 50lb line on a small spool but for lighter lines it's way more conservative than it needs to be. The background for this is that as line is pulled of your reel the spooled diameter gets smaller and the effective drag increases. With finer lines this effect is nowhere near as significant.
The line drag calculator takes the thickness and spool diameter once line has been drawn off into account. You set the safety margin to whatever you feel appropriate, 50% works for me. That's 50% of the weakest link which will probably be your hook length if you have one. If you've measured the breaking strain of your weakest link, that's including any knots so much the better. Just enter that number into the breaking strain box and uncheck the 90% box. If you're going off the manufacturers line data, check the 90% box. This will account for less than perfect knots.

It's tempting when a fish starts running to increase the drag. The drag will naturally increase as line is spooled off and put more pressure on the fish. Increasing the drag as you're playing a fish presents two problems a)It's nigh on impossible to set it back to where it was, just turning the drag back to its previous position won't work. b)It's going to get you closer to snap off if the fish runs any more.

The easiest way to set the drag is to fill a container (plastic milk bottles work for me) with the correct amount of water. For ease of calculation 1 Litre of water weighs 1 Kilogram. Thread your rod up, tie it to the end of the line and set the drag so it's just slipping with the weight suspended in mid air.

An alternative method which is easier to do on the bank is to set your drag up at home using the above method. Once you've done that, measure the drag without the line going through the rod rings. If it's a fixed spool reel do it with the bail arm in the fishing position with the line going over the roller, pulling towards the rod tip.

You'll need to do this for each rod. My 13' match rod for a 3.3lb hook length measures 0.455kg/1lb straight off the reel whereas my 11' match/carp rod measures 0.5kg/1.1lb at the reel. Through the rings they're both set to 0.656kg/1.44lb.

It's a work in progress so please do give me any feedback you have to offer or let me know of any problems you encounter. Use the email address in the about box or the contact form on this site.

This program is written for Windows™ but will run under emulators on other platforms - probably. There's no installation program. The program doesn't write anything to disk and doesn't store any information on your computer or connect over the internet. Simply copy it to wherever you want on your computer and run it. If UAC on your computer won't let you run it, sort your UAC out, don't come back to me. Download the zip file Here

And - for something a little different!
Guitar Repairs and Custom Building:
Guitar repairs and custom builds by Ged Green logo Master luthier services and guitar repairs in the UK.
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