In conclusion

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There are so many reels and preventions out there now that it’s impossible to give you a hard, fixed answer about setting your fishing reels. But with practice, like everything in fishing, you’ll find you develop a feel for it.

In the beginning, overcompensate. Err to the side of caution by maxing out both of your casting controls. This will lead to short casts but far fewer backlashes early on, which will actually speed up the learning process since you’ll send more time casting and less time picking at bird nests. Gradually back off both your spool tension knob and your braking system and you’ll find the sweet spot in time.

As for learning to set your drag, you’ll also dial in that middle ground over time and find that range where it’s tight enough to set the hook, but not so tight that you’ll break your line or pull your hooks out of the fish.

Like all things in life, setting a reel is truly just a learned discipline and growth. There will be ups and downs, but don’t get frustrated. Instead try to face that adversity head on, knowing that it will be worth it in the end. It all really comes down to patience and practice which will lead to perseverance. And once you persevere, you’ll have it licked.