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Alan's Workbench
Bad juju breaking you off?
Alan's Workbench
Mar. 27 2009, 9:24 AM - 0 Comments
A school of 50- to 80-pound Guadalupe yellowfin tuna were working the chum line off the stern of the Spirit. Several of us were already hooked up. Then it was Wesley’s turn. A yellowfin picked up his bait, and line started peeling off his reel. After an agonizingly long three-count, he threw the reel into gear. His rod loaded up in an instant. Then came that sickening sound from his reel, “zzztttttttt, zzztttttttt, zzzzzzztttttttttttt, powwwwwwwwww!!!!!!!!!!!!” Tail between his legs, he walked back to his tackle box, tied on another hook, pinned on another bait, and flipped it out into the chum line from an empty corner on the stern. His bait was inhaled as soon as it hit the water. Three more seconds, and he threw is reel into gear. I heard the same “zzztttttttt, zzztttttttt, zzzzzzztttttttttttt, powwwwwwwwww!!!” this time followed by “son of a #@*% !!!” He almost chucked that rod and reel into the water. By the time he picked another rig, the bite had died.


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Alan's Workbench
Setting a Smooth Drag
Alan's Workbench
Mar. 27 2009, 7:37 AM - 0 Comments
The short answer is one foot every five seconds.  This is the objective standard that I use to define a smooth drag system for a reel.  Let’s say that I have star drag reel loaded with straight 20-pound mono and I want to set the drag to 25 percent, or five pounds.  What I’ll do is put the reel on the rod, run the line through the guides, tie the line off to a five-pound downrigger weight and then button down the star. 

 

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Alan's Workbench
Know Your Drag Settings
Alan's Workbench
Mar. 23 2009, 11:05 AM - 0 Comments
In medicine, one of the first things a student is taught is the difference between the subjective and the objective.  Subjectives are things that a patient will complain of, like "Hey, Doc, I ache all over, my back hurts and “I'm hearing voices."  Objectives are things that can be assigned hard numbers, like a heart rate, a blood pressure, a respiratory rate, and a temperature.  Back pain can be subject to interpretation, but the number of pills taken in the previous week to treat that back pain is an objective hard number.  In deciding how best to help a patient, appreciating these differences can be very helpful. 

 


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Alan's Workbench
Keeping new reels like new!
Alan's Workbench
Mar. 19 2009, 10:20 AM - 0 Comments
Questions about general reel maintenance are the most common questions I get. After all, you’ve just spent $50 to $500 on a brand new reel and you’d like to keep it looking like new. You’d also like to keep it WORKING like new. Think of the dozens of reels in your lifetime. They’ve all died and gone to reel heaven. Now you’re buying a new reel to replace an old one and you want THIS one to be different. That’s the way it works, isn’t it.

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Alan's Workbench
The wand picks the wizard, Mr. Potter
Alan's Workbench
Dec. 9 2003, 12:00 AM - 1 Comments
It’s common on Internet boards to see a guy say that he as a reel and wants to match it up to a rod.  It’s difficult because rods will typically give you a line weight rating.  Just like with reels, I would rather see them list a drag range.  I believe that using a drag range is the most reliable way to establish a proper rating for a rod.  Experienced fishermen all have a “feel” for what is well balance, but have probably not thought it through in an OBJECTIVE manner.  Yeah, there’s that word again!  Here’s the procedure that I go through. 


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