How to Set the Drag on Black Max Baitcasting Reels

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The Black Max bait cast reel is manufactured by Abu Garcia and is designed for freshwater angling. Featuring four ball bearings, a graphite frame, brass gears and a flipping switch, the Black Max is well-suited for bass fishing. When setting up a Black Max reel it is important to properly adjust the drag. The drag controls how much line slips off the reel when under stress. A properly adjusted drag has an important role in successfully playing and landing a fish.

Items you will need

  • Rod matched to the Black Max reel

  • Monofilament fishing line

  • Casting plug

Attach the Black Max reel securely to the reel seat of a bait casting rod. Adjust the brake setting on the side of the reel to "8" as a starting point.

Hold the rod handle firmly but comfortably. Position your hand around the rod in the same manner as you would when fishing.

Place the thumb of the hand holding the reel on the reel spool.

Turn the star-shaped drag wheel on the side of the reel behind the handle to the right to tighten.

Push forward with your thumb to attempt to turn the reel. Adjust the star drag wheel to the left to loosen the drag until the spool begins to turn with forward pressure.


  • Use this method instead of pulling on the free end of the line in front of the reel. Pulling the free end of the line causes the line on the spool to dig into itself and potentially result in backlashes or bird nests when casting.
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