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Silly Question time.... holding the spool

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So i have been watching videos online and also the show big angry fish lately to pass the time and have noticed alot when a decent fish starts to do a run alot of the time they seem to grab the spool of the reel.... I assume this is to slow the line take, but why not just put a little more drag on the reel instead ?

there has to be a reason behind the technique so curious why its done



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Its generally used as a "stop it or pop it" approach when a fish looks like its going to bury you in a snag or the reef.

The idea is once you get the fish back out into open water you can just take your hand off the spool and resume fighting the fish with your normal, preset drag pressure.

Baitcaster guys do it all the time, you just don't notice it so much in the videos.

Edited by Green Hornet
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Agreed with the hornet.

adding: generally, you should set the drag before you go fishing and then not touch it. Set it to factory specs using a spring balance. Generally it will be 25 or 30 percent of line breaking strain (depending on line type) which should cover loading, shock loading plus and a bit for tolerance.

Don’t touch the drag when you are on the water - lots of good fish are lost that way - in fact I’d maybe say most good fish are lost that way. People set the drag right, then a big fish grabs and runs, and the line is screaming out like the angler has never seen before and the angler is getting panicky - they subconsciously reach for the drag to tighten it - but the drag was already set to the max so they inadvertently take it past the limit and the line pops. You will see people do this all the time, in fact I think I’ve lost most of my best fish doing it too.

so what to do when you have a good fish on and it’s heading for the snags or just about to spool you? You’re thinking I’ve got to stop this fish now or I’ll definitely loose it. Don’t touch the drag, slow the spool with you hand. Still not ideal though. In fact the right thing to do is just the opposite - take all the pressure off. Maybe flip the bail on a spinning reel, or the drag lever on an overhead. Generally a fish won’t pull unless you pull it (try it next time if you doubt this). Let it calm down and then gently lead it away from the snag. Works most of the time, and when it doesn’t work you were probably going to loose it anyway.



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Occasionally it's required to stop a fish that's almost certainly going to brick you, generally can be avoided by pre setting the drag according to the area you're fishing

It's certainly a good way to pull hooks, break line, straighten a hook or simply make the fish go harder leaving you with the "if only" we've all felt

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I usually set my drag a little lower and then hold the spool when I want it a little tighter. This method allows the fish to run without me snapping my line. Also the main reason why hold the spool and not tighten the drag, is that you can feel when that fish will take that hard run, where if you tighten the drag, by the time you realise and loosen the drag, there is a good chance its too late.

Its a good practice to get into. 

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This was common back when Black bass fishing was all the rage - even after   Jack Erskine re worked the drags on the reels they still couldn’t get enough drag pressure to stop the bigger bass ! I have seen photos of one guy with blisters on both thumbs that he got trying to stop a bulldozer heading back to its snag ! These days the drags are much better than what they had in the 80s and 90s ! 

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It's just about feel, If you have the drag done up too tight the fish could turn hard and run with the drag too tight and snap you off. If you are gaining line and using the 'grab the spool' method you can get more power and leverage and then still use your feel to let go of the reel when the fish takes a hard turn. 

In similar situations when the fish is literally about to finish you into a snag grabbing the spool is necessary because you may loose it anyways, I have landed fish that were about to brick my by grabbing the spool. I have also lost fish while grabbing the spool and breaking the line, however I was not going to get that fish anyways due to the conditions that lead me to grabbing the spool in the first place.

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