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How Much Drag Needed For Grouper Fishing

author
James Lee
• Friday, 20 November, 2020
• 7 min read

Generally speaking I think inshore fishing requires 3 to 5 lb of drag. The whole point of drag is to allow/make the first run while pulling extra weight, because it tires them out.

reels grouper reel fishing strongest fish rod bottom
(Source: attractivefishing.com)

Contents

In my experience having 10 lb drag on a 5 lb fish means the fish isn't being tired out because it is pulling out very little line, it gets to the boat and is very green. So no, I don't get the point of having a 20 – 30 lb drag reel while inshore fishing.

The problem with heavy gear for inshore fishing is twofold. Two most of the trout/reds are going to be small, using a 5000 reel and H rod to pull in an 18-inch speck isn't much fun.

For example, groupers may be found near docks, fishing buildings, or other areas that provide a great place to hide. Just as important, fishers need to understand that the grouper does have an aggressive streak when presented with bait and lures that catch its attention.

The higher the poundage on the line, the heavier the fish a person can catch, so aim high when going for groupers. A large, live bait sunk to the bottom of the ocean probably results in the most success with the grouper.

If going for artificial lures, try to find jerk baits that emulate the look and feel of an injured fish. When reeling in the line, let the lure more in erratic and jerking actions to attract the grouper's attention.

fishing grouper goliath catch giant capt chew tries drag heavy without help 00pm thu url august
(Source: chewonthis.tv)

Map out the location using appropriate nautical charts and seek out deep water with thick rock groupings littering the bottom of the ocean bed. Fishers may also want to focus their fishing efforts on naturally-rocky areas, such as near ledges on the edge of the ocean.

These ledges typically hang over fairly rocky areas and provide excellent shade and protection for the mysterious and often quite aloof and grumpy grouper. Anyone trying to catch a grouper should hire a professional to not only get them out on the water safely, but to also provide even better tips for fishing.

I have seen many reports of anglers landing good size Tunas on all different types of reels and some of them only maxing out at around 30-40 pounds of drag. I eventually would like to Travel to Venice or RI targeting Larger Tunas and just curious If Spinning reels with all that drag is needed.

We as humans and fishermen tend to complicate our lives with fancy gadgets and gear. Luck, skill, tackle, boat handling, line, hook set, current, etc........

I always encourage people that want to fish with me and say, “I don't have any of that high dollar shit” to come and bring their gear. They may pick up a spare “high dollar” rod and reel to jig with, and then they see why we use it.

grouper goliath fishing clearwater fish mouth boat hook water angler
(Source: fishingbooker.com)

To me- the “high dollar shit” is not only better equipment for the job but it makes the experience better. So to answer your question- No, you don't need it, but if you fish for any length of time and have the financial means, you'll get it.

I am going to go into this quite a bit in the jigging sessions at the Canyon Runner seminars this winter. For fish up to ~100-120lbs, you can use almost any reasonable quality reel, star or lever drag, or spinner for that matter.

For big fish, say 200+lb blue fin, you need equipment that can produce 30+lb of drag for extended periods of time. Some manufacturers hype “max drag numbers as something to hang your hat on.

FWIW, for big fish, I use 100lb line with 28-30lb drag at strike, 32-35lb at full. For Huge fish (240+), I beefed up to 130lb line with 40lb drag at strike, 45-50 at full.

I finally got my hands on a PE10 but probably won't get to put it through its paces until NC 2012 or my Royal Star trip in April 2012 Both trucks will do the job, but one is going to have an easier time and will last you a lot longer with less chance of failure.

grouper fishing
(Source: www.youtube.com)

Both trucks will do the job, but one is going to have an easier time and will last you a lot longer with less chance of failure. Another thing to also think about is the fact that not all drag ratings from so many manufacturers are created equal.

There are plenty of fish that you have to stop short fast using max drag on the most capable reels in the world. In Panama trolling live bait for Cuber Snapper you need to produce 40lbs plus at strike and you still can't stop the big ones.

The SWL factor for the line needs to be even more conservative than that used for the reel, drag capacity, or rod. Denis has a good answer to this question, I've always been on the fish's side and know the quicker you get them in and release them the better there chances to survive.

AHH yes drag numbers the most lied about subject next to the size of the fish caught. When it comes to high drag and tuna for instance that fish is going to take the same amount of line whether it's set at 30# or 40# so your not going to stop him as the idea of drag is too slow them down and wear them out and not to try and stop them because that very rarely happens.

Its Amazing that I hear see people post all these high drag claims that they fish with yet you almost never hear the stories online of the failures that go hand in hand with those high drag numbers also you almost never hear about the claims that they were fishing with 38# of drag at strike but when a scale is put to the reel its set at 25 or 26# which is quickly followed by the scale must be off or it wasn't like that this morning when I checked it. Bottom line is high drag will lose you more fish than it will gain you.

grouper goliath fish florida groupers harvest they catch jewfish keys flickr fishermen very anglers pay much want gather afraid aren
(Source: magazine.fishsens.com)

And anybody can go online and claim to use 35# of drag but the fact of the matter is that very few can handle even the high 20s for any period of time without a harness. Bottom line is high drag will lose you more fish than it will gain you.

And anybody can go online and claim to use 35# of drag but the fact of the matter is that very few can handle even the high 20s for any period of time without a harness. On two long range boats on larger model Yellow fin even with huge drag pressures, the smaller high drag reels were getting down to the knot with regularity.

I have no idea what a harness is (why would you use one when you have that nice big rail to lean your rod on?). My answer goes against the grain but IMO for your targeted area you don't NEED a high-end reel i.e. saliva, Stella, etc.

I have seen many reports of anglers landing good size Tunas on all different types of reels and some of them only maxing out at around 30-40 pounds of drag. I eventually would like to Travel to Venice or RI targeting Larger Tunas and just curious If Spinning reels with all that drag is needed.

I love my Stella's and personally feel they are the best however there are other manufactures that make great reels such as … Accurate Twin Spin SR 30L at 4:1 and 40 pounds of drag 2.

fishing salmon reel reels wind level saltwater grouper bass line capacity drag conventional boat trolling ocean 1bb powerful smooth
(Source: www.ebay.com)

Accurate Twin Spin SR 20 at 5:1 and 30 pounds of drag 3. AHH yes drag numbers the most lied about subject next to the size of the fish caught.

Angler drag is not going to stop them, it's all about dominating them in the energy battle & tiring them as quickly as is practical. Anybody can go online and claim to use 35# of drag but the fact of the matter is that very few can handle even the high 20s for any period of time without a harness.

When the fish is running the angler rests in the best energy conserving situation he can organize (let the drag do the work).............when the fish stops running the angler goes to work dominating the fish & forcing it to spend energy resisting the angler. Sufficient line pressure is required to achieve this, whether that is from the drag system alone or assisted by an educated hand on the spool is up to the angler.

The amount of pressure you can exert on the fish is limited by the capability of the rod, reel, line, knots etc & whether the hook wire diameter will tear in the fish, or bend open, at that pressure or not............and whether the angler has organized himself in his fighting style & accessories to sustain the energy effort required. The style of the fight is totally determined by how close the fish is to the structure.

The fishing gear is only as good as its weakest link ...........often that is the hook.............inadequate equipment extends the fight, tires the angler & results in a fish that is poorer quality if harvested & poorer chance of surviving the next 48Hrs if released. If I was going to fish higher, it would be with a rod that stays in the holder and never comes out, unless chair fighting of course.

grouper reel fishing jig butter fly
(Source: www.thehulltruth.com)

It's a harness, just your arms or leave the rod in the holder, which is pointless IMO. I have no idea what a harness is (why would you use one when you have that nice big rail to lean your rod on?).

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Sources
1 www.fishingdestinguide.com - https://www.fishingdestinguide.com/
2 fishingbooker.com - https://fishingbooker.com/destinations/location/us/FL/destin
3 www.takemefishing.org - https://www.takemefishing.org/saltwater-fishing/types-of-saltwater-fishing/florida-deep-sea-fishing-destin-information/