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I recently had an experience that brought the title to mind while fishing my local river. I was fishing for smallies when I had a behemoth 42lb blue catfish smash my blade bait. I fought the fish for a solid 10 minutes, steering it away from current, brush piles and rocks. While I definitely felt undergunned I allowed the fish to pull drag while letting my rod absorb the headshakes. Eventually I managed to land the fish. It occurred to me then that no smallie would ever come close to the power of that blue.

 

Which do you value more: enjoying the fight with the fish or getting it in with no chances of escape? That's basically what I am getting at. I was fishing with 10lb mono which is about as low as most people will go for bass. The encounter I had with that blue reminded me of the importance of proper drag setting and fighting technique, and the satisfaction of a good fight. I feel this is something that has been lost to bass fishermen in particular. I understand why it is in the interest of tournament anglers to get the fish in as fast as possible but it seems this style of overpowering the fish is also dominant in the recreational scene.

 

Your thoughts?

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First, light tackle is fun.  That's a big reason I fish finesse so much.  

 

But, bass fishing tackle is designed for fishing where bass live and for setting the thick hooks sometimes required to get the bass out of the thick stuff.  Not necessarily for the fish itself, but more for the where we fish and what we fish with.

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That sounds like a great fight and a lot of fun. 

 

I enjoy the fight and I used to fish mostly with a medium light rod with 6-8lb line. One day a bass wrapped the line around a tree laying in the water. I wasn't able to control the fish away from the tree and it ended up breaking the line and getting stuck there wrapped up in the tree. I felt horrible for that, there was nothing I could do to free the bass as it was too cold and too far out from the bank. 

 

I have learned to fish using the appropriate gear for the cover and structure. Medium light in open water, medium in most situations, and medium heavy in moderate to heavy cover. Also the line strength increases with power of the rod. 

 

So I guess balancing the sporting aspect with being humane to the fish and ensuring a good release. 

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5 minutes ago, IndianaFinesse said:

First, light tackle is fun.  That's a big reason I fish finesse so much.  

 

But, bass fishing tackle is designed for fishing where bass live and for setting the thick hooks sometimes required to get the bass out of the thick stuff.  Not necessarily for the fish itself, but more for the where we fish and what we fish with.

Yep, I caught a 4'lber at a local park on my son's 5'6 ultra light with 4 lb mono while fishing for bluegills. He thought he was snagged at first and I came over to help. I yanked left and then right, and then it started to run and pull drag and it was on.  Took about 10 minutes to get in for only about 15 yards away, but it was so much fun. We fished from a boat dock over the water, so there was no brush, rip rap, or anything else to deal with and just took patience.

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"Is bass gear overkill ?"

 

May depend on how & where you're fishing as well as the size of the bass you're expecting / hoping to catch.

 

For me, Overkill - Is a State of Mind. 

 

:smiley:

A-Jay 

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Considering a cane pole and line with bait will catch bass I say yes, I am guilty of overkill.  When fly fishing I have a Tenkara rod (rod and line - no reel) plus expensive Orvis rigs. Each works. If you want fun try landing a 1 1/2lb LM with a lightweight Tenkara fly rod:)

 

I think as a fishing hobbyist, gear is part of the hobby and it is way easier catching fish when your gear is tailored to the species, technique and bait. Part of the enjoyment of fishing is understanding the nuances of how rods, line, bait, tackle and reels all interact to increase chances of boating that fish. 

 

As far as OP, I caught a 10+ lb flat head on spinnerbait rod and it was best fight I had in very long time. It just wasn't giving up easy. 

 

 

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Too much of what we use is proscribed by people that don't fish for fun. They fish for TV do they can sell us what they fish with. We get caught up in the feedback loop. I often pinch down my barbs on small jigs. If I lose a fish Im not going hungry, and I don't have sponsors Im paid to sell for. So who cares? 

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There are 2 threads appropriate to your question, setting drags and horsing in bass.

Bass fishing is in general way over kill regarding the tackle and line # test used.

The simple fact bass anglers enjoy getting the fish in as quick as possible including skiing the bass across the water surface should clarify the thought process. The sport isn't fighting the fish, what counts is putting the fish in the boat as fast as possible, including bouncing the bass into the boat. Try bouncing that 42lb cat into the boat.

Tom

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I'm about the bite, not about the fight. Thats why I didn't care for the saltwater fishing I did a few years ago. The guides were like "isn't it fun fighting that fish? This is a lot better than a largemouth isn't it" My reply was "eh, it's ok, I'm getting tired of reeling though"

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With proper technique, a blue marlin of several hundred pounds can be landed in open water on line lighter than most would consider for bass fishing, don't believe me?

573-POUND BLUE MARLIN ON 4-POUND LINE

161.4-to-1

573-pound Atlantic blue marlin

Line Class: 4-pound

Angler: Leo Cloostermans

Actual Line Strength (Wet): 3.55 pounds

Fight Time: 18 minutes

Location: Azores

Date: Aug. 10, 1995

 

On the flip side, hook what would be bait sized for that marlin in a 5lb largemouth in the middle of a brush pile on 20lb fluoro, there's a good chance the fish wins that battle if you don't get it out right away. Is it overkill? Yes if every fish was hooked in an open water setting with no cover to run to, but it's necessary to land fish in a lot of real situations. 

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No way. When you're fishing for giants. I want every advantage. 

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Ya ever try pulling a 6# plus Hawg out of matted Hydrilla or buck brush?

 

I guess y'all no problem losing a Hawg with a lure stuck in it's mouth?

 

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19 minutes ago, Catt said:

Ya ever try pulling a 6# plus Hawg out of matted Hydrilla or buck brush?

 

I guess y'all no problem losing a Hawg with a lure stuck in it's mouth?

 

This^^ It's all situational I think. And seriously, no pics of that blue??

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The size of the line depends on the cover.  I think that two excellent points were made.

1.  A fish getting tangled and broken off.

2.  Fighting a fish for too long and releasing it to die later.

you need something that will get the fish out of where ever you find it, whether that be brush or pads.  Then bring it to the boat in a "reasonable"amount of time.

I fish in some gnarly stuff and light line has no place there in my opinion.

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Then there's the jaw closing power of both smallies and largemouth.  Setting the hook with a light rod sometimes does not get the hook in there.  

BUT...isn't it wonderful that fishing can be done by sooooo many techniques and styles.  Where would the "BS" and the tackle manufactures be if we only used cane poles from one swamp!!

:)

 

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To me it's about using gear based on the average of what I expect to catch, and the baits I normally use. In the past I've mostly thrown weightless or lite weighted soft plastics and medium lite to medium rods worked fine. I want to start fishing heavier baits ( jigs, larger swim baits, etc) and picked up a MH and H rod to do so. I guess what I am trying to say is I use the lightest set ups I reasonably can for what I am throwing because that is the most enjoyable for me to use. I like the fight. 

  Do I worry about breaking off a fish? I spent many years fly fishing and learned to let the rod and drag do the work. Do I worry about leaving a bait stuck in a fishes mouth? It happens on rare occasions . Try fishing in waters full of pickerel and never have it happen. If a fish is hung up in weeds, branches, I will make every effort to get it free. But ultimately if my overriding concern was to never hurt a fish, I wouldn't be out there in the first place trying to stick a hook in it.

                                                        Jim

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9 hours ago, Luke G. said:

I enjoy the fight and I used to fish mostly with a medium light rod with 6-8lb line. One day a bass wrapped the line around a tree laying in the water. I wasn't able to control the fish away from the tree and it ended up breaking the line and getting stuck there wrapped up in the tree. I felt horrible for that, there was nothing I could do to free the bass as it was too cold and too far out from the bank.

I had this exact thing happen to me when I was 15. It was the first 5lb+ bass I had ever hooked. That event was actually the point where I started buying heavier gear.

 

1 hour ago, Catt said:

Ya ever try pulling a 6# plus Hawg out of matted Hydrilla or buck brush?

 

I guess y'all no problem losing a Hawg with a lure stuck in it's mouth?

 

I use heavy gear around slop. I won't argue that at times it is necessary.

 

59 minutes ago, DINK WHISPERER said:

This^^ It's all situational I think. And seriously, no pics of that blue??

Unfortunately I was alone at the time so the pictures aren't that great.

IMG_0667.jpg

IMG_0668.jpg

IMG_0669.jpg
 

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I had a very similar run in with a low 20lb blue on 4lb test while fishing for crappie. 1/32oz jighead and a 2" power minnow under a bobber. Took nearly an hour and almost spooled me on the initial run because it ran into an off limits area where I couldn't follow it. 

Image may contain: 1 person, sky, ocean and child

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Very nice! I remember fishing for them in NC as a kid with my uncle.

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11 hours ago, Fried Lemons said:

I recently had an experience that brought the title to mind while fishing my local river. I was fishing for smallies when I had a behemoth 42lb blue catfish smash my blade bait. I fought the fish for a solid 10 minutes, steering it away from current, brush piles and rocks. While I definitely felt undergunned I allowed the fish to pull drag while letting my rod absorb the headshakes. Eventually I managed to land the fish. It occurred to me then that no smallie would ever come close to the power of that blue.

 

Which do you value more: enjoying the fight with the fish or getting it in with no chances of escape? That's basically what I am getting at. I was fishing with 10lb mono which is about as low as most people will go for bass. The encounter I had with that blue reminded me of the importance of proper drag setting and fighting technique, and the satisfaction of a good fight. I feel this is something that has been lost to bass fishermen in particular. I understand why it is in the interest of tournament anglers to get the fish in as fast as possible but it seems this style of overpowering the fish is also dominant in the recreational scene.

 

Your thoughts?

Yeah, but the reason most use heavy gear for bass (in addition to competition) is the cover they are fishing, the jagged things down there, and the relatively larger lures to be casted. Bass don't fight much, so in open water or even light cover, you could land most if not all bass with 4-8 lb mono. That would limit you to smaller lighter lures, but is actually a lot of fun. I've caught some large bass while crappie or trout fishing no problem. Oh and a 6 lb bass on a 5 wt fly rod is a goof.

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Fishing for me is more about the techniques and actual art more than the fight itself.  I get more satisfaction from skipping a jig into a ridiculous spot and yanking out a 2 pounder with a heavy rod and 20lb fluoro over fighting a 4 pounder for 10 mins on ultralight gear.  So for me...yes, overkill every time!

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If your in it for the fight, black basses are the wrong species. 

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huujv2x.jpg?1

 

This fish was around 15 pounds. Caught it on a Loomis 854 with 16lb. fluoro on an SV103 and I had no control over this fish the first 5 minutes. Did it manage it? Yeah, but that doesn't mean that I'm going to use a trout setup to try to land a 6+ lb largemouth.

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43 minutes ago, fishballer06 said:

huujv2x.jpg?1

 

This fish was around 15 pounds. Caught it on a Loomis 854 with 16lb. fluoro on an SV103 and I had no control over this fish the first 5 minutes. Did it manage it? Yeah, but that doesn't mean that I'm going to use a trout setup to try to land a 6+ lb largemouth.

Must not be too fond of the cameraman to give him the bird:lol:

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