Does anyone know how to measure drag? I have the idea of using a digital fish weighing scale and pulling line off the reel as I slowly tighten drag star.
I modify my drags and want to know if I'm making an appreciable improvement or not.
That's a pretty good way to get an idea of "reel drag" for "fishing drag" you'll want to mount the reel to a rod, hold the rod at a 45 degree angle and pull line at a 45 degree angle from the rod tip. You'd be surprised how much of a difference this "fishing drag" makes versus reading the drag pulling straight off the reel. Also, for the most accurate drag readings, you'll want to warm the drag washers by making multiple "runs" of moderate drag force off the reel before taking any measurements. warming the washers makes a much larger difference on large offshore lever drags, but the effect can still be seen even on lighter gear.
There is a general rule of 3, for every third of a spool the drag is increased by a third and you want to keep your drag at a third of your lines breaking strength for hard runs. So if you fish with half or two thirds of your line out your drag is higher then what you would test at full spool. Just something to be aware of when fishing heavy drag. The rod also adds to what it takes to pull drag. I know this is true for conventional reels but I'm not sure about spinning reels.
If you're wanting to set your drag to a specific weight for fishing, testing with the rod is a good idea.
For what you're doing (checking modified drag vs. stock drag to see if there's a difference), I wouldn't mess with the rod, as it would be an unnecessary variable. Clamp the reel to something sturdy (OK if it has to be on the rod to do this, but line should come straight off the reel, not through rod guides), connect line to a scale, pull line straight off the reel, and note weight. Repeat after each modification to see if anything has changed. Keep things like line length and angle as consistent as possible for best results.
thanks, those were my original thoughts. I found the penn 525 reels I rebuild had cupped drag washers (metal) from the stamping process. I bought some jewelers tools and hammered the discs flat, steel hammers dented the stainless discs, I use brass hammers. I polished the flattened discs.
I was hauling in a giant pile of seaweed against a hard running tide and was surprised how far I tightened before lock up.My century eliminator was groaning, my back was straining, I thought the braid would snap. It was 30 or 40, don't remember. I'm really curious how much the drag measures before and after. Factory rated it 15 lbs.
I built a few more reels and used a digital fish weighing contraption to pull on line as I tightened the drag. It's not a good method. I did see a 25, factory was 12, so I am on the right track. I'll take everyones suggestions and devise a buddy set up to get a few different measurements.