Fly Reels: Big Fish Drag Settings

There’s an interesting thread happening over on Dan Blanton’s bulletin board about drag settings for tarpon, with most of the voters weighing in on the side of “heavier is better.” My own take:
Tight is good. Catching tarpon is largely a psychological battle, and making the fish work as hard as possible from the get-go is part of the key to beating them quickly. You’ll find that even with 4-5 pounds of drag (on 20-lb. tippet), bowing to the fish gives you plenty of “leeway” in keeping the fish from breaking the tippet. This is not to say that you can’t fight a fish effectively with a lighter drag — it just takes more work and better timing and it’s hard not to screw up.

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