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Daniel Lin

Rod Position When Fighting A Fish?

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I'd like to start a discussion on rod position theories when fighting a fish to the bank/boat. The reason I ask this is that I've been thinking about getting a cranking-specific rod lately, and I've been doing a lot of observations comparing videos of both pros and Youtube amateurs with my own technique to try to see how I might benefit from one.

 

I honestly don't remember where I learned this, but I was taught to keep the rod low to attempt to discourage jumping (even sticking the tip in the water if necessary) and to keep it perpendicular to the direction of the fish as to keep maintain an amount of tension on the line. Yet, I never see this done by other folks when they have a fish on. Either I'm an undiscovered genius or there's something very wrong with my technique.

 

One that that I have noticed is that often I will barely have any load in my rod, although I'm not sure if this is more attributable to the size of the fish I'm generally catching (usually in the 14-18 inch range, my cheapo scale reading up to about 3 pounds on a very good day) or if MH tackle is a little heavier than I need for the waters around here. I'm pretty sure this relative lack of load has resulted more than once in losing a fish on a jump once it unloads the rod and is then effectively shaking on a slack line.

 

Watching folks running cranking rods, it seems that perhaps abandoning my current technique on lures liable to be shaken free and going with a rod-tip high and straight toward the fish approach might sacrifice jump discouragement for a significantly greater load on the rod, giving me some "working room", persay, when a fish jumps. It would appear that on a cranking rod with a slower action, the longer time it would take for a rod to unload gives the fish time to get back into the water and resume the fight without a slack line situation occurring.

 

I should also mention that I'm pretty much throwing straight braid these days, but I'm open to putting a spare mono spool into my primary baitcaster if the day calls for a lot of cranking. If you're wondering how I acquired a spare baitcast spool so readily, I bought a BPS Prolite Special combo from the pawn shop for like $35, and the rod was in great shape but the reel felt like the geartrain was full of gravel. No amount of non-labor intensive maintenance has been able to resolve this issue. The good news though, is that I already had a Prolite Special reel that I use as my primary baitcast reel and the spools swap from one to the other with no issues whatsoever. Right now, one's spooled with 30lb braid and other other has 15lb Big Game mono.

 

Am I just reading into this too far and overanalyzing the crap out of a relatively simple matter? I'm interested to hear what everyone else has to say as to rod position during the fight. I'm not too concerned with details regarding the actual landing or chasing it around the boat, etc, that's a whole other can of worms.

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Clearly, the objective is to land the fish. 

 

If what you doing is successful, there isn't really anything to worry about.

 

It doesn't matter what "The Pros" or anyone else does.  If you're hooking, fighting & landing your fish - You're the Pro.

 

Don't fix it, if it Ain't Broke.

 

A-Jay

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Clearly, the objective is to land the fish. 

 

If what you doing is successful, there isn't really anything to worry about.

 

It doesn't matter what "The Pros" or anyone else does.  If you're hooking, fighting & landing your fish - You're the Pro.

 

Don't fix it, if it Ain't Broke.

 

A-Jay

As much as I try to take the "If it ain't broke, don't fix it" approach to life, I'm just one of those guys that's constantly tinkering and modifying everything in my life to squeeze just a little more performance out of it. Getting into bass fishing has been great (or awful, depending on how you look at it) in terms of feeding this need to optimize everything.

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Yea, I see your interest in this, there are fundamental's to it, but for Bass ( freshwater ) it's not overly important, I don't think it's critical, I mean after so long of fishing it's second nature really. Now tuna or tarpon, etc, I'd say it would be, just not for most freshwater fish, most especially Bass Fish. Good question ...

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Lol.. Hey now, you can't have the glass half empty & half full... Or Can you?

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As much as I try to take the "If it ain't broke, don't fix it" approach to life, I'm just one of those guys that's constantly tinkering and modifying everything in my life to squeeze just a little more performance out of it. Getting into bass fishing has been great (or awful, depending on how you look at it) in terms of feeding this need to optimize everything.

 

Where as self improvement through introspection is generally considered a good thing, there often comes a time when a man may realize that when dealing with the outdoors and nature, the vast array of unseen and unknown variables makes complete control unattainable.

 

Some look at this as the real beauty of it.

 

A-Jay

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Where as self improvement through introspection is generally considered a good thing, there often comes a time when a man may realize that when dealing with the outdoors and nature, the vast array of unseen and unknown variables makes complete control unattainable.

 

Some look at this as the real beauty of it.

 

A-Jay

That's real deep, man. Real deep. That sounds like the opening to a nature film or something.

 

But is that not the paradox that is the very essence of human nature? What differentiates us from every other organism on this planet is our drive (and eventual ability) to exert such a degree of control over nature. This, of course, doesn't come without consequences (i.e: pollution, driving species into extinction, depletion of natural resources), However as much as I would enjoy an educated discourse on the topic, this board is dedicated to bass fishing, and we should keep the topic to that lest we risk a thread lock due to derailment haha.

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I usually keep pressure going the opposite way the fish is trying to go. Made it a habit not to pull up/back in the direction of my face. I think we have all set the hook on a dink that has flown back to tailwhip our nose at least once. :) 

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I agree totally with A-Jay one this one!

Landing fish requires the angler to be control from the hookset to the thumb, to obtain this your rod tip should not be in the same place through out the fight.

Experience is the best way to increase the percentage of fish you land, bass over 6 #s will tell you if your rod tip is to high, to low, to left, to right or did you apply to much pressure or not enough.

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I think you will notice a dramatic improvement if you buy a Moderate Action rod

and spool your reel with monofilament line.It sounds like you have done your

homework, so I will just suggest a basic starting point: Maintain your rod at 10:00.

Keep constant pressure on the fish, it should be either coming in or pulling drag,

not staging. I depend on my drag extensively and will muscle the fish to the

maximum extent the drag allows.

 

My specific equipment:

Pinnacle Optimus XLT/ DHC5-701CAMCB  http://www.bassresource.com/fishing_lures/pinnacle-optimus-xlt-dhc-review.html

St. Croix Avid AVC70MM/ Scorpion 1000/ Sunline Super Natural

G.Loomis PR844S/ Core 100/ Super Natural

Lamiglas SR705R/ CTE200GT/ #50 Kanzen with #12 Super Natural leader 

 

 

 

:winter-146:

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Wow... some pretty insightful words have been shared on this thread so far. As far as what rod position to use when fishing, I have learned this through experience over years on the water be it on bank or boat. I have learned overpowering a fish due to  excitement or poor judgement can lead to losing plenty of fish. I have also learned that allowing a fish to jump excessively will increase the fish's odds of throwing the hook. So I like to keep its head down as much as possible. Sometimes keeping the rod really high and reeling very fast can give you the advantage of working a very nice fish out of some nasty cover where you will other wise have definitely run the risk of losing it. Trusting your equipment to do the job that they were designed to do vs you doing all the muscle work yourself. Knowing when a fish is swimming towards at a high speed and figuring out how to get the upper hand in this situation. These and bunch of other things you will figure out in trial and error fishing than watching someone do it imho. You can watch and study someone ride a bike, but if you don't get on the bike and experience it for yourself, everything you watched and observed will not make sense. ;)

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Daniel I believe keeping your rod tip low while fighting a bass near the surface is good practice. As Catt mentioned, there will be times when the fish will cause you to modify that position to maintain pressure. Maintaining pressure is fundamental to consistently landing fish. A 14-18" fish is more than big enough to allow you to use the flex of a MH rod to accomplish this. Keeping the rod loaded is easier with a slower action rod, and using braid makes that more important.

Whether learning to use and exert control over nature or keep pressure on a fish, experience is the key. Knowledge and skill are acquired by doing the research and the clinical work. Relax and enjoy the process.

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Keep your rod bent... when it pulls, pull back... don't break your string

 

 

oe

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I think it depends on the tackle, the cover, the depth, the distance between you and the fish, and whatever feedback you're getting from the fish... so, basically everything that's going on.  I've only really learned to key in on a particular variable from making mistakes.  

 

I remember very clearly the first time a fish jumped with the aid of my rod which I had jacked up to 11:30 directly in front of me and lost the fish. Soon after I had the opportunity to very clearly remember the first time I thought I had a fish outsmarted by dropping the tip in the water right after the hookset, only to have him wrap me up and break loose because I had failed to put adequate distance between the fish and the cover before dropping the tip.  When things like this happen, I cuss and spit and do my best to assimilate the lesson into my technique.  

 

In general, I try to keep a bend in the rod, and continue to look for and break down those small individual experiences that will hopefully one day transcend conscious thought and become sound instinct.  Seems to me you're in the right head-space to learn what works and why, so have have fun exploring the ins and outs of mono and a moderate action rod; over-analyze away and enjoy it.

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By fish I will assume you are asking about fresh water bass, this being a bass fishing forum.

Most bass anglers use tackle that can easily over power the average size bass being caught, so no real fish fighting skill is required. Simply keep sufficient line tension for less than a minute and you can land 99% of the bass. The 1% of bass that out weight the line test you use will take some skill to land. For the big bass you need to control the fish, keep in front of you with the with the rod tip held upright about 45 degrees and loaded with tension, your drag set properly and you know exactly where the bass is at all times.

Tom

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