In this paper, we have studied the effect of reducing the draw between the press section and drying section as well as the basis weight of surface sized paper. The specific aim was to increase the internal strength of the base sheet by reducing the press draw even if high solids sizing reduces internal strength when starch remains on the surface of the sheet. In our study, base paper was produced in a basis weight range from 68 to 76 g/m2 with different draw levels (1, 2 and 3%) between the press section and the drying section. The base paper was surface sized at a starch solids content of 25% and 10%. According to our results, the Huygen internal strength of the surface sized final paper can be increased with reducing the press draw down to 2%. This will partly compensate the loss of internal strength caused by the starch remaining on the paper surface at solids up to 25%. It was also noticed, that decreasing the press draw was most effective in increasing the internal strength at low basis weights. Further, it was noticed that lowering the press draw too low would decrease the elastic modulus of the fiber network and reduce the bending stiffness. The woodfree base paper optimizing tools described here can be used, when the most advantageous press draw is selected regarding to the paper properties, and high solids starch solutions are used. A favorable approach (e.g. according to different grades produced) could then be to minimize the press draw (down to 1-2%), when internal strength or air permeability is critical. On the other hand, maximizing the press draw can be favorable, when bending stiffness of the sheet is critical.