November 14, 2016 at 10:03 pm #5633
It has become apparent to me, as in it hit me like a brick wall this morning, that lately I have realized when putting a fish on the reel has been difficult for me.
The last few times I have hooked into big fish, I would strip the line in like always, and when I realize what’s going on and I have a brute on the other end, I feel that putting it on the reel would be best. And I start reeling in line, pinching the line to keep a tight contact with the fish, and I found myself watching myself reel just to end up feeling no fish anymore. Every time I take my eyes of the fish I lose it. My fault entirely.
I should also mention I only use barbless hooks, but I know it’s mostly me that’s the problem.
Any advice besides not to take my eyes off the fish? I do have a feeling that’s 90% of my problem.November 15, 2016 at 8:51 am #5634
Scotty if I have a big fish strike and I have some room I let him run to take up the slack line. Then it’s on the reel right away. Of course I hold the line lightly while this happens to make sure no slack is in the line. More than likely you’re getting slack in the line and that’s when the hook slips out. You also might be pulling the hook out by stripping in too fast and holding the line too tight as you strip.
I only strip in line for smaller fish, but even then I do it so no slack is ever in the line.November 15, 2016 at 12:30 pm #5635
I’d echo what Creek said, and add this: Getting the fish on the reel, unless it takes a real good run, can take a few steps. If he’s not running, start by stripping line to get him ‘on the rod’, then hold the line LIGHTLY against the rod with the rod hand while you reel in some of the extra line with the other. As Creek indicated, you might have to let the fish take some line from the hand that is lightly holding the line if he takes an unexpected run. If he takes a nice long run, he might use up all the slack, and he’ll be on the rod. If not, just keep repeating until you’ve reeled all the slack.
And secondly, getting a fish on the reel for a right-hander is WAY easier if you set up your reel for left hand retrieve, so you don’t have to swap hands with the rod at this crucial time. All my reels are set up this way, and I have most definitely observed other anglers lose larger fish while swapping hands with the rod/reel while at the same time trying to manage slack and get the fish on the reel. When I use someone else’s stuff and its set up for right hand retrieve, I find I am inclined to line the fish in rather than swap hands.
brentNovember 15, 2016 at 1:24 pm #5636
I never have understood a RH wind reel for a RH fisherman. I want the rod in my right hand. It has the most strength for fighting the fish.
Some say you can reel in faster with your dominant hand. I don’t feel that’s as impotent as having the rod in my dominant hand.November 15, 2016 at 2:57 pm #5637
I agree 100%, Creek, but around here (Atlantic Salmon country), right hand retrieve for right handers is the norm. Get an ‘outfit’ from any of the flyshops here, and that’s the way they set ’em up unless you specify otherwise.
(I must confess that I started fishing as a tadpole with a spinning reel, set up for left hand retrieve and every one of my fly reels has been switched over accordingly. I expect if you told a spin fisherman or a bass tournament bait casting expert to swap hands to retrieve, he’d look at you like you had two heads).
brentNovember 15, 2016 at 3:09 pm #5638
They look at fly fisherman like we have two heads anyway. 😀November 15, 2016 at 6:09 pm #5639
lolNovember 15, 2016 at 7:30 pm #5640
Actually, a lot of pro bass anglers do swap hands. After they cast and the lure hits the water, the will switch hands to give the lure a second or two to sink before they reel it in. Not all do it, but most do.
I am right handed, but I hold my rod with my right and reel with my left. So that’s not a problem. Here’s the problem and you both nailed it. I need to let the fish take the slack before I reel. Do you know how embarrassed and stupid I feel right now? I just never for the likes of me thought of that, but have seen others do it.
Thanks for pointing that out guys. I would have kept on doing what I was doing without realizing it.
I’m going to poke fun at myself and laugh now, lol.November 15, 2016 at 7:50 pm #5641
Nothing to laugh at. We’re all still learning. Like what you said about tournament fishermen switching hands. I didn’t realize that. Now I gotta sit through a bass tournament tv show to see it for myself.November 15, 2016 at 9:13 pm #5642
I did the same switching hands when I used bait casters fishing for bass and other warm water fish. I got the idea from Bill Dance I believe, but I could be wrong. But I know for sure one of them pros mentioned it. But for fly fishing, I cast with my right hand. I wouldn’t mind working my left, and maybe I should if I ever have shoulder issues. But for right now, I do fine. It just seems more natural to cast right handed with a fly rod.
Yeah, I do believe Bill does switch hands. But don’t quote me on it.November 16, 2016 at 8:56 am #5643
There must be a better reason for switching hands than letting the lure sink. They can’t wait a couple of seconds without switching hands?November 16, 2016 at 12:07 pm #5644
You guys have it covered, but here’s what I do.
I almost never put fish on the reel, the way I look at it, if they want to be on the reel, they have to put themselves on there. That makes it easier and a necessity, just wait till they take all the slack.
I find I can control slack line much better by hand than with the typical fly reel. Larger fish that run and put themselves on the reel don’t usually pose a slack line risk though.
The exception is piles of line on the ground, or in the water and expecting to have to move, or all the line is going to be taken on an eventual run and wanting to know that line is unkinked, and unknotted, in that case I will:
Holding the rod in my right hand, rod held at 45 degree or more angle, light pressure on the fish, pinch the line under my index finger to the rod, but light enough to give line if the fish takes it, pinch the line going to the reel with my pinky, reel like crazy, try to lay the line on evenly, and hope for no tangles.. that’s quite a rush! It’s been waaaaaay too long since I’ve done that.November 16, 2016 at 12:54 pm #5645
I’m one of those who cast and reel right handed. Been doing it for almost 50 years and switching the rod to my left hand to reel in (with or without slack line to contend with) has long been automatic. I could see how others would find it clumsy, and I’d never advocate that anyone who’s comfortable with LHW change to RHW.
Bear in mind I’m a steelheader first and a trout fisherman second – when you’re casting a 10′ 8 wt single handed rod for hours, even days, between hookups your dominant arm gets mighty tired and fighting a large fish with your less tired arm is actually easier. If there’s any slack in hand a steelhead’s first run takes care of it fast and it’s a snap to then switch the rod to my left hand.
A minor advantage in having the reel handle on the right side is the line tangles on it less often when shooting long casts.
YMMV.November 16, 2016 at 6:13 pm #5646
I can see how you’d want to switch hands casting long heavy rods all day. That does make sense.
You have a good point Creek about just waiting for a second or two before reeling. I don’t think there is just one reason for it. It’s usually done when pounding the shoreline, or a shallow weed bed. Also with the freespool as the lure sinks, it sinks straight down till they engage the reel. Casting right and reeling left tends to make one engage the reel when the lure hits the water making a tight line and therefore causing the lure to swing un-naturally as it sinks. Think of it as it’s their way of mending their line so the lure doesn’t drag back towards the boat in a curved motion.November 18, 2016 at 12:09 pm #5647
Brrrrr…it’s cold. Great for hunting. Not so great for fishing. I can wear warm gloves for hunting. That doesn’t work for tying on flies. 😀
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