THE DRAGS ON ALL REELS MUST BE WARMED-UP PROIR TO TAKING A DRAG READING!
Whenever you are Big-Game Fishing your Reel must have a properly tuned Drag System. The basic rule of thumb is that you should set your drag in the strike position to One Quarter (1/4) of the Breaking Strength of your fishing line. (For example: if you have 80lb test line on your reel, you should have your drag set at 20lbs in the Strike position.
The first step is to warm up the Drag-System. One should either hold the rod at a 45 degree angle or place it in an angled rod holder (do not pull against a rod the is at a 90 degree angle!) Run the line through all of the guides and tip then tie a basic loop knot at the end. Put the reel into gear with slight drag pressure and run the line out about 25 feet, then reel it back onto the spool. (repeat this step about 5-10 times.) The friction and heat on the drag washers caused by this is necessary to get an accurate reading.
Step Two is to take a drag reading which requires a Spring Drag Scale. One angler should be holding the the rod a 45 degree angle and the other holding the scale. The Anlger holding the rod should now place the drag lever in the “strike” position and the Angler holding the scale shoud pull the line off the reel with the drag scale in hand VERY SLOWLY and EVENLY. (Most drag scales have a stopper where the peak of pressure is reached.)
Step Three is to adjust the drag to the correct pressure. This is achieved by either adjusting Stars or Presets.
If you have a Star-Drag Reel all your doing is adjusting the star (more tight or loose.)
With a Lever-Drag Reel you must place the drag lever in the “Freespool” position before adjusting the pre-set. YOU MUST HAVE THE REEL IN FREESPOOL BEFORE ADJUSTING THE PRE-SET KNOB! Most reels only require minute adjustments of the pre-set to increase or decrease pressure.
You are just basically playing with these features until the correct pressure is achieved.