The friction clutch (more correctly, the friction brake) is a very important and no less useful part of the modern mechanism of a fishing reel, most often – inertialess. He has supporters, there are opponents, and there are people who do not even suspect about his existence. A correctly adjusted friction clutch will turn on itself when the load on the tackle is equal to the load for which it is configured, and it will also turn off itself when the force is weakened.
The clutch can be of one of three types – front, rear or combined. The front one is built into the spool (and is also replaced only with it), and a special screw serves to adjust it, which is located on the spool (in its front part). A reel with such a mechanism is light and inexpensive, but not particularly reliable and very fond of self-tightening at a not quite suitable time for this. The accuracy of its adjustment is very good – one click of the screw to adjust for three hundred grams.
The rear (together with the regulator) is located behind the coil. It is more expensive than the front one, heavier and much more reliable. It is also more coarsely regulated – only five hundred grams per click of the screw, but it very clearly maintains the set values and can be used when catching the largest trophy fish.
The most expensive and heaviest reel is a combined one, it has a friction clutch both front and rear, and switching between them takes place using a bytrunner. Although such a reel is versatile and reliable, it is mainly used for passive fishing, because you cannot swing such a heavy one.
An experienced fisherman always knows exactly how to adjust the clutch for any conditions, less experienced fishermen often adjust it to the maximum load specified by the line manufacturer.
In order to perform such an adjustment, you need to fully equip the tackle (spinning, donka, feeder) and pick up a load with a mass slightly less than the line can withstand (optimally, seventy-five percent of the specified by the manufacturer). Then do the actual setup. First of all, you need to attach the prepared load to the required tackle (equipped) (you can simply attach it to the hook). In this case, the load should be located on a flat surface a few meters away. After that, you need to fully tighten the clutch and release it by one click (this will be a margin for depreciation). Then you need to simulate a sweep and begin to reel in the line, lifting the tip of the rod and trying to maintain an angle of about forty-five degrees. You can, of course, lift it vertically, but the loads in this case will be greater, and the tackle can simply be damaged. Now you need to smoothly and slowly release the clutch, and the load should not budge under any circumstances. As soon as the ratchet clicks and the line starts to run out (that is, the brake is applied), the adjustment can be considered completed.
For a properly set drag to be useful, the tackle must be properly assembled, that is, the rod, reel and line must meet the test of the bait being used. Do not forget that you can always adjust the brake right during its use, but you cannot tighten it tighter than under the maximum load. The clutch should be stored in an untight state, and the coil should not belong to an unknown brand, because it is not known how it will behave in a critical situation.