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I have this rod and reel combo I keep missing fish on. Either on the hook set or after fighting the fish for a bit.  On the hook set the drag slips if I keep it to loose.  But I also feel that if I lock the drag thats when I lose them during the fight.  I've missed some very good fish on the jump. Even when dropping the  rod. 
 

Rod is a dobyns 735. 7’3″ 1pc. 12-25lb, 1/4-1 1/2oz, Mag Hvy Fast Action
Reel is an abu garcia pro max 7:1 ratio baitcaster

The rod is for flippin pitchin, frogs and small swimbaits. I use it for jig fishing, both flipping jigs and crawling jigs on bottom. I also use it for chatter baits and small swimbaits.  I do a lot of casting out on structure, points, rocks, drop offs, humps, logs and crawling the baits back to the boat.  Also fishing along shore flipping a jig. 
I have 30 or 40lb power pro  on it with 12-20lb floro leader on it. 

3  things. Im thinking.

1) The rod is to stiff and I'm pulling the hook out. Maybe need a longer rod, more flex? 

2) The reel drag is junk, it slips or is to tight so when fighting the fish, the hook pulls out.

3) User error. 

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User error. Do you have backing underneath your braid? May be the braid slipping on your spool that is your "faulty drag". Dobyns fast is closer to a moderate fast so in my opinion I dont believe that you need a rod with more flex to it. i use my 735's for frogging and pitching and have a phenomenal hook up ratio. Using both 50lb braid and 20lb fluorocarbon or copolymer. 

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I always set the drag according to the line strength. When I go for a hook set I keep my thumb on the spool so it doesn't slip. If fish are jumping my rod tip is in the water when I'm trying to land them. It's inevitable that some come unbuttoned tho.

 

Personally like fast action rods that are more on the moderate side, but every rod manufacturer rates them differently unfortunately.

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I'm thinking 2 and 3 are the main reasons.  You could try a Carbontex drag upgrade from Smooth Drags.  That will give you a better, less sticky break into slip.  Watch some videos of salt water anglers fighting a fish.  Move the fish with your rod, and reel back down.  Repeat.

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1 hour ago, CroakHunter said:

User error. Do you have backing underneath your braid? May be the braid slipping on your spool that is your "faulty drag". Dobyns fast is closer to a moderate fast so in my opinion I dont believe that you need a rod with more flex to it. i use my 735's for frogging and pitching and have a phenomenal hook up ratio. Using both 50lb braid and 20lb fluorocarbon or copolymer. 

Not sure about the backing! I think I put some on

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Have you tried horsing the fish in with the drag locked down? Like... ski them in. Reeling in hard and fast, but at a constant speed

 

For flipping/pitching/frogs with thick hooks that won't bend out and braid without any stretch.. you shouldn't be losing fish too much even with a broomstick as long as you got a good hookset on them

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5 minutes ago, ResoKP said:

Have you tried horsing the fish in with the drag locked down? Like... ski them in. Reeling in hard and fast, but at a constant speed

 

For flipping/pitching/frogs with thick hooks that won't bend out and braid without any stretch.. you shouldn't be losing fish too much even with a broomstick as long as you got a good hookset on them

Maybe I'm play them to much?  Yea I use stout hooks stout line, stout rod.

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1 minute ago, Mr. Aquarium said:

Maybe I'm play them to much?  Yea I use stout hooks stout line, stout rod.

Try giving them absolutely NO chance to play. NONE. ZERO.

 

Your mission: get them in the boat as fast as possible!

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7 minutes ago, ResoKP said:

Try giving them absolutely NO chance to play. NONE. ZERO.

 

Your mission: get them in the boat as fast as possible!

Ok next time ill try that,  just crank them in. 

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3 hours ago, Mr. Aquarium said:

  On the hook set the drag slips if I keep it to loose.  But I also feel that if I lock the drag thats when I lose them during the fight.  I've missed some very good fish on the jump.

Usually some middle ground between too loose to set hook, and locked down.

 

Everybody loses some that get airborne 

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4 minutes ago, Choporoz said:

Usually some middle ground between too loose to set hook, and locked down.

 

Everybody loses some that get airborne 

some of these fish haunt me. I had an absolute gorilla come up and spit the hook with this combo. I was fishing a chatter bait on bottom slow hopping like a jig. Thought I hooked a log, it came up broke the surface near the boat and spit the hook. It was a tank! 

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Your gear sounds proper.  Is it it possible that you aren't getting a proper hook set?  How biga' fish are we talking?  I've reeled in plenty of fish that are barely hooked in the side of the mouth and think, wow that fishes lip almost ripped out.  One more good tug and that fish would have gotten away.

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7 hours ago, Mr. Aquarium said:

Ok next time ill try that,  just crank them in. 

Sorry but I have to disagree with this advice. As JF said, use the rod to move the fish and keep pressure on. Reel to keep slack out of the line. 

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1 hour ago, LionHeart said:

Your gear sounds proper.  Is it it possible that you aren't getting a proper hook set?  How biga' fish are we talking?  I've reeled in plenty of fish that are barely hooked in the side of the mouth and think, wow that fishes lip almost ripped out.  One more good tug and that fish would have gotten away.

5-8lb bass! I live in Massachusetts! They were at least 5lbs

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Seems like you are well experienced and know what you’re doing so please forgive me if my question is insulting. But how are you setting the hook?  Are you waiting long enough once you feel the bite, reeling down the slack, then getting a solid sweeping hookset?  With braid and that rod you shouldn’t have to swing for the fences. If you’re not letting them take bait long enough you may not be getting a good hookset or a hookset at all. 

 

That at being said drag upgrade and proper greasing of the drag may be a cheap way to help you get your drag set well for a hookset without locking down.

 

Do you have another reel you can swap in to try and eliminate the reel drag as the issue. 

 

Or you could just switch to dynamite!

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On 3/21/2019 at 11:44 AM, ResoKP said:

Try giving them absolutely NO chance to play. NONE. ZERO.

 

Your mission: get them in the boat as fast as possible!

Well that's no fun, might as well fish panfish lol.  Personally, I love a good run, especially with a fish that peels off tons of line.

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4 hours ago, redmeansdistortion said:

Well that's no fun, might as well fish panfish lol.  Personally, I love a good run, especially with a fish that peels off tons of line.

Did you even read OP's post? I was talking in reference to frogging/pitching/flipping/jigs

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Man, when you're froggin, you sure as hell don't want to "fight" them.  Set the hook and get them outta there.  You can move them with the rod but don't be wasting no time.

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On 3/21/2019 at 1:34 PM, Mr. Aquarium said:

some of these fish haunt me. I had an absolute gorilla come up and spit the hook with this combo. I was fishing a chatter bait on bottom slow hopping like a jig. Thought I hooked a log, it came up broke the surface near the boat and spit the hook. It was a tank! 

I usually have extremely good hookup and land ratios for chatterbaits but if it's near the boat and shakes violently then sometimes it's just bad luck. But a rod that flexes deep into the backbone will help absorb those headshakes. I've thought about getting a long (like 7'7) mod-fast for chatterbaits and spinnerbaits before but opted for a shorter rod with less flex because I usually fish them in cover and a long rod would make things awkward to cast accurately. I know I've lost 3+lb smallies at my feet because I was using a jig rod to throw treble hook topwaters. And like someone else said I might try just grinding on them with a tighter drag. Unless you're worried about snapping a light leader with that braid I don't think you'd bend out a chatterbait hook with any bass we might have here in MA. I am always surprised how much my drag slips n a hookset even when it feels like I'm using a lot of force to pull it out by hand. You could set it tight for the hookset and then just back off the drag star with your thumb if you feel like it's a big one. 

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On 3/21/2019 at 7:45 PM, Delaware Valley Tackle said:

Sorry but I have to disagree with this advice. As JF said, use the rod to move the fish and keep pressure on. Reel to keep slack out of the line. 

Yes. Keep slack out. Use the rod to move the fish. Let the flex in the rod absorb shock and keep the pressure on. 

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Sounds like it may be a little of all three. 

 

 

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16 hours ago, Jaderose said:

Man, when you're froggin, you sure as hell don't want to "fight" them.  Set the hook and get them outta there.  You can move them with the rod but don't be wasting no time.

My philosophy is if I you are "under-gunned" (finesse gear, light line, light wire hooks etc.) then you should "play" the fish because the fish has the upper hand from the start. A wrong move on your part trying to horse in the fish and your gear will fail you. But heavier techniques generally the fisherman has the upper hand from the start and you can afford to horse the fish in. It may not be as "fun"....but you will probably land more fish, which I consider more fun. You don't see swimbait guys "playing" fish. They have the upper hand with their gear and the only way to keep that upper hand is to have control of the fish all he way to the boat, which means horsing them in usually. Letting the fish run means they can turn around, wrap you up, jump etc. Any time I feel my gear, line, and hook are up to the task I get the fish to me ASAP. 

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1 hour ago, MassYak85 said:

My philosophy is if I you are "under-gunned" (finesse gear, light line, light wire hooks etc.) then you should "play" the fish because the fish has the upper hand from the start. A wrong move on your part trying to horse in the fish and your gear will fail you. But heavier techniques generally the fisherman has the upper hand from the start and you can afford to horse the fish in. It may not be as "fun"....but you will probably land more fish, which I consider more fun. You don't see swimbait guys "playing" fish. They have the upper hand with their gear and the only way to keep that upper hand is to have control of the fish all he way to the boat, which means horsing them in usually. Letting the fish run means they can turn around, wrap you up, jump etc. Any time I feel my gear, line, and hook are up to the task I get the fish to me ASAP. 

I do a LOT of froggin.  I have all the right gear now to do it properly.  I do not mess around when I'm trying to horse a 6lb bass out of the muck.  get em up and get em out

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Are your hooks kept sharp and if they're stout hooks like you said are you really driving the hook in on your hooksets?

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