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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm new to fishing Lake Michigan for salmon and would appreciate any advice on how to set reel drags for using dipseys (with fireline), downriggers and planer boards (boards and riggers using mono). Also,how can I test reels to tell if the drags are operating smoothly enough to handle large fish? Thanks in advance for your help.
 

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The drag for your dippsies should be loose enough to pull line out with little effort, the drag on your downriggers and yellow birds can be a little tighter but resist the urge to tighten the drags while fighting the fish on the mono rods, you could tighten a little on the fireline while bringing in the fish. You lose more fish trying to horse them in by pulling the lure out of their soft mouths in my opinion, so that is the reason for loose drags.
 

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Reel drag or line releases?

Dipseys, downrigger releases and planer board releases should be set on the water under the conditions that you are fishing in. Wind, waves, boat speed and lure types all play part in the process. The first time usually take the longest to set up. You'll want your releases to trigger when a fish hits and not until. Adjust the tension so your line barely stays in the clamp.

Fireline and other superlines require more tension than mono because they're slicker. Try giving your fireline a twist or loop or double it up at the release if they still let go early.

Your best chance of landing the next world record requires a totally smooooooth reel drag. Drag should be set while the reel is on the rod. Stiff rods need less drag and limber rod could get away with more.

No stuccato vibrations of any kind. Nice and smooth. A jerky drag puts too much strain on any kind of fishing line and it will pop. While there is no substitute for an eighty yard run (checks drag under heated conditions), you can have the line pulled from the rod tip and check for that stuccato feel or sound. Have a buddy pull the line out from the rod tip or tie your line to a post and give the rod a continuous pull. If you feel any stop and go vibration, the reel needs to be checked.

p.s. "Bob Hicks", will you kindly delete the prior "Anonymous" post. I must be to poor to pay attention. Thanx.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks to all for the posts that covered everything I was looking for (and more). J. Nelligan, if you are ever looking for a local partner in crime for an outing, post for me. I'm in Naperville. Tight lines!
 
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