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NED RIG STRUGGLES w landing big small-mouth


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Everything you're using looks fine, maybe a better reel with a better drag? I have no experience with smallmouth that size, but after using $80-200 reels I bought a certate last year in a moment of madness. Thought I'd been completely daft when I first fished it, but the first time I hooked anything big enough to pull drag I got it. Amazing drag, just ticks away in a way my other reels never have. Kind of one of those have to experience it things. I remember Matt Pangrac saying he'd borrowed a couple of Stellas off someone when he fished the St Lawrence open, just for the drag. Might be something in it?

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Original poster didn't mention bending or breaking hooks, which I'm sure he would have if that were happening.  If the fish are getting off while surging then it is not slack line that's causing the problem.  Which leaves managing the drag, line stretch or lack of it, or too powerful of a rod.

 

I've never had a reel that cost over $200 (a couple do now, but not when I bought them) and I've never had a situation where I blamed the drag for missing a fish.  I've used a lot of reels that cost less than $100.  When set on the light side they all work just fine.  I also very very seldom ever adjust the drag during a fight.  Set it right and forget it.  

 

I have backreeled at times in the past , but found it was too easy to screw up.  Works fine on slow fish, but not so much on fast fish.  Back reeling is going to be impossible on many current reels which don't have an anti reverse switch.  

 

I think the answer is to concentrate on good sharp hooks, the right hook set, the right drag setting, and patience.  

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4 hours ago, MickD said:

Original poster didn't mention bending or breaking hooks, which I'm sure he would have if that were happening.  If the fish are getting off while surging then it is not slack line that's causing the problem.  Which leaves managing the drag, line stretch or lack of it, or too powerful of a rod.

 

I've never had a reel that cost over $200 (a couple do now, but not when I bought them) and I've never had a situation where I blamed the drag for missing a fish.  I've used a lot of reels that cost less than $100.  When set on the light side they all work just fine.  I also very very seldom ever adjust the drag during a fight.  Set it right and forget it.  

 

I have backreeled at times in the past , but found it was too easy to screw up.  Works fine on slow fish, but not so much on fast fish.  Back reeling is going to be impossible on many current reels which don't have an anti reverse switch.  

 

I think the answer is to concentrate on good sharp hooks, the right hook set, the right drag setting, and patience.  

I may start using a mono leader for a little more stretch.  The advid X 

 

4 hours ago, MickD said:

Original poster didn't mention bending or breaking hooks, which I'm sure he would have if that were happening.  If the fish are getting off while surging then it is not slack line that's causing the problem.  Which leaves managing the drag, line stretch or lack of it, or too powerful of a rod.

 

I've never had a reel that cost over $200 (a couple do now, but not when I bought them) and I've never had a situation where I blamed the drag for missing a fish.  I've used a lot of reels that cost less than $100.  When set on the light side they all work just fine.  I also very very seldom ever adjust the drag during a fight.  Set it right and forget it.  

 

I have backreeled at times in the past , but found it was too easy to screw up.  Works fine on slow fish, but not so much on fast fish.  Back reeling is going to be impossible on many current reels which don't have an anti reverse switch.  

 

I think the answer is to concentrate on good sharp hooks, the right hook set, the right drag setting, and patience.  

I'm thinking the advid X is- ML XF but feels stiffer, maybe to stiff.? 

I use the same reel for the drop shot and land 95% of the fish I hook which makes this frustrating. It only seems to happen with the big smallies, I've never bent a hook while fishing. im thinking maybe a mono leader for a little more stretch, thoughts?. I may have the drag setting a little to tight as well.

If the gear seems decent enough, I'm thinking user error . My hook set, plus drag must be costing me the bigs. Thanks for your input

9 hours ago, Tim Kelly said:

Everything you're using looks fine, maybe a better reel with a better drag? I have no experience with smallmouth that size, but after using $80-200 reels I bought a certate last year in a moment of madness. Thought I'd been completely daft when I first fished it, but the first time I hooked anything big enough to pull drag I got it. Amazing drag, just ticks away in a way my other reels never have. Kind of one of those have to experience it things. I remember Matt Pangrac saying he'd borrowed a couple of Stellas off someone when he fished the St Lawrence open, just for the drag. Might be something in it?

The Stella drags sounds to be the best of the best. I'm sure it could only help with the bigger smallie surging at the boat. A 5lb++ smallie peels drag super fast when they dive. I have a stradic which I may try out. Lots of ideas from the fella in this thread. Sounds like user error on my part, couple adjustments coming up this spring.

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Just now, Dingaling man said:

I may start using a mono leader for a little more stretch.  The advid X 

 

I'm thinking the advid X is- ML XF but feels stiffer, maybe to stiff.? 

I use the same henw for the drop shot and land 95% of the fish I hook which makes this frustrating. It only seems to happen with the big smallies, I've never bent a hook while fishing. im thinking maybe a mono leader for a little more stretch, thoughts?. I may have the drag setting a little to tight as well.

If the gear seems decent enough, I'm thinking user error . My hook set, plus drag must be costing me the bigs. Thanks for your input

What length is the rod?  While X-fast rods have soft tips, they get into the power of the butt fast, and if too short may not give you enough "give" in the system before the force builds fast.  If 7 or longer, I would think it would be fine.  Mono and FC really stretch about the same, although many don't believe it.,    But yes, a mono/FC leader will help, might want to go longer than you are now using to give more "give."  I use 7 foot XFast ML power with 14 pound FC fly leader tippet material, 15 pound braid, about 5 foot leader, and don't feel I have a problem.  I don't land them all, but do most.  I probably set the drag lighter than most would, but as I mentioned before, in open water there is no need to horse the fish.  Did you notice how  I set the hook (when conditions allow it).?  Often when getting a light bite, I drop the rod to get a little slack, then sharp snap up to set the hook.  When you get it right you feel the solid "hit" as the slack is removed and the line becomes tight.  Thunk!  But it's not "ripping there jaws out," it's more snapping the hook into them.

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A SMB is entirely different than a LMB after the first bite / clamp down.  If it is a C & R bass ?    Ha  HA  HA    They learn how to play with the lure to their advantage. They DECIDE when playtime is over.  

 

 I just enjoy their speed, power & intelligence.       :happy-127:

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My opinion is it could be the xf tip.  Fast is probably better suited for the larger smalleys.  I have the 6' 6" axid-x ML F (2 of them) and I haven't had any issues with tiny to larger SM, although nothing over 4lbs in the lake I fish.  And a little longer rod maybe.  I have been using the ned on the bullet z finesse hook and it's been great.  I also use straight-mono.

 

Sorry for your frustration on the monsters.  A bigger net with a longer handle?  Like 10 ft ?

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7 minutes ago, E-H said:

My opinion is it could be the xf tip.  Fast is probably better suited for the larger smalleys.  I have the 6' 6" axid-x ML F (2 of them) and I haven't had any issues with tiny to larger SM, although nothing over 4lbs in the lake I fish.  And a little longer rod maybe.  I have been using the ned on the bullet z finesse hook and it's been great.  I also use straight-mono.

 

Sorry for your frustration on the monsters.  A bigger net with a longer handle?  Like 10 ft ?

I'm think a longer rod, I'll have to make some kind of spring loaded net to shoot out at them lol. A fast taper and a longer rod sounds like a direction I'm heading

1 hour ago, cyclops2 said:

A SMB is entirely different than a LMB after the first bite / clamp down.  If it is a C & R bass ?    Ha  HA  HA    They learn how to play with the lure to their advantage. They DECIDE when playtime is over.  

 

 I just enjoy their speed, power & intelligence.       :happy-127:

The smallies definitely bite and fight alot different then large mouth, especially around the St.lawrence.  it's super addictive 

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1 hour ago, MickD said:

What length is the rod?  While X-fast rods have soft tips, they get into the power of the butt fast, and if too short may not give you enough "give" in the system before the force builds fast.  If 7 or longer, I would think it would be fine.  Mono and FC really stretch about the same, although many don't believe it.,    But yes, a mono/FC leader will help, might want to go longer than you are now using to give more "give."  I use 7 foot XFast ML power with 14 pound FC fly leader tippet material, 15 pound braid, about 5 foot leader, and don't feel I have a problem.  I don't land them all, but do most.  I probably set the drag lighter than most would, but as I mentioned before, in open water there is no need to horse the fish.  Did you notice how  I set the hook (when conditions allow it).?  Often when getting a light bite, I drop the rod to get a little slack, then sharp snap up to set the hook.  When you get it right you feel the solid "hit" as the slack is removed and the line becomes tight.  Thunk!  But it's not "ripping there jaws out," it's more snapping the hook into them.

The Advid X I use is 6'9 ml xf--, a longer rod could definitely help. The big ones surge so much, I do fish lots of open water as well, so a 7'0+ ML is worth a try.

The big ones could totally get into the power of the butt end of the rod in a hurry , from being to short and not enough give.  Especially the bigger fish. I have no problems with anything below 4lbs, it's been the bigger fish and always near the boat mostly,  when they surge from seeing me. The 6'9 advid x also feels stiff, more like a medium-XF, Finally making sense!!

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If you think it's the rod, go with a MBR flex and call it a day.

 

The tackle involved is very similar to a light weight DS set up...Do you have the same problem with loosing larger ones with DS?

 

Truth be told this is the first time I have someone with this problem.  How are the hook sets with the smaller ones?  Roof of the mouth?

 

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Kingston is a great place to visit.  40 years ago.  The fort & military base & museums. Waterfront  Life was outstanding back then.  I like your vinegar & fries.  Outstanding.    Hope It keeps much of the history for visitors       ?

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3 hours ago, Dingaling man said:

Advid X I use is 6'9 ml xf

Just now, MickD said:
3 hours ago, Dingaling man said:

Advid X I use is 6'9 ml xf

St Croix rods are generally a little more powerful than other brands, for the same descriptive terms.  So your observation is consistent with this trend.  I expect a longer rod will make a difference.    I use a St Croix SCV70MF for smallies with tubes, and have no problems.  Its tip is probably more powerful than yours, but being longer and fast rather than Xfast, it probably gets into the powerful butt less quickly than yours does.  Rods are complicated.  And all M's aren't the same, and all XF's aren't the same.  Another advertisement for the use of CCS numbers in describing rods.  

 

Consider that a 7 foot 3 inch XFast medium power rod is the equivalent of having approximately a 5 1/2 foot moderate action light power rod taped to the end of a 2 foot broom stick.  Think about it.

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18 hours ago, NHBull said:

If you think it's the rod, go with a MBR flex and call it a day.

 

The tackle involved is very similar to a light weight DS set up...Do you have the same problem with loosing larger ones with DS?

 

Truth be told this is the first time I have someone with this problem.  How are the hook sets with the smaller ones?  Roof of the mouth?

 

I've just about mastered the drop shot, I throw it a ton. I rarely lose any big fish on the drop shot.  I added the ned rig last year and the smallies eat a ton. I didn't have any problems until hooking into 5LB+ fish. It was consistent, kept losing them closer to the boat which was frustrating to watch a big one swim away, I could throw a swim bait out quickly and somtimes land that fish. I hook them mostly in the top of mouth, 

MBR  flex?

16 hours ago, MickD said:

St Croix rods are generally a little more powerful than other brands, for the same descriptive terms.  So your observation is consistent with this trend.  I expect a longer rod will make a difference.    I use a St Croix SCV70MF for smallies with tubes, and have no problems.  Its tip is probably more powerful than yours, but being longer and fast rather than Xfast, it probably gets into the powerful butt less quickly than yours does.  Rods are complicated.  And all M's aren't the same, and all XF's aren't the same.  Another advertisement for the use of CCS numbers in describing rods.  

 

Consider that a 7 foot 3 inch XFast medium power rod is the equivalent of having approximately a 5 1/2 foot moderate action light power rod taped to the end of a 2 foot broom stick.  Think about it.

This is making total sense, im going to pick up a longer rod. The world of rods can be confusing since there's so many out there with different power from different brands. Thanks for the brake down, the 7'3 equivalent to a 5 1/2 makes this even more simple. 

17 hours ago, cyclops2 said:

Kingston is a great place to visit.  40 years ago.  The fort & military base & museums. Waterfront  Life was outstanding back then.  I like your vinegar & fries.  Outstanding.    Hope It keeps much of the history for visitors       ?

It's still the same during the summer time here. I fish near the old fort bunch, lots of big ones but the scenery is top notch.  It's been quiet with covid but this summer it will be booming again

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On 3/18/2022 at 8:43 PM, Bird said:

A fish that gets off feet from the boat counts as landed. Lol

 

 

It didn't in my tournament yesterday.  Lost big bass and would have moved me from 4th to 2nd.  It was 3' from the net.  Oh well.   

 

I find that I lose big fish on a Ned when I rush to land them.  With smallmouth especially since I am usually in deep water, I just let the fish tire itself out.  It often takes a minute or two to land the fish since I keep giving it line.  When it gets close to the boat and you know it isn't ready that is when I get ready to give it more line.  I have more trouble landing bigger largemouth than smallmouth since I am usually shallower with largemouth so I don't have the depth to work with.  We're using such small hooks, you can't rush 'em.  Your setup is fine.  Good luck.

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I buy ned heads, then snip off the hook just past the keeper.

 

I push it into my plastic ned bait, secure it w a small drop of super glue.

 

Then, I use a 1/0 Owner rigging hook and Texas rig it from the other end, leaving the hook point just below the surface.

 

Solved my issues with fish being able to shake off a standard ned hook.

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3 hours ago, Junk Fisherman said:

 

It didn't in my tournament yesterday.  Lost big bass and would have moved from 4th to 2nd.  It was 3' from the net.  Oh well.   

 

I find that I lose big fish on a Ned when I rush to land them.  With smallmouth especially since I am usually in deep water, I just let the fish tire itself out.  It often takes a minute or two to land the fish since I keep giving it line.  When it gets close to the boat and you know it isn't ready that is when I get ready to give it more line.  I have more trouble landing bigger largemouth than smallmouth since I am usually shallower with largemouth so I don't have the depth to work with.  We're using such small hooks, you can't rush 'em.  Your setup is fine.  Good luck.

Aw man, so close but sounds like you had a decent tournament!!

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On 3/18/2022 at 9:43 PM, Bird said:

A fish that gets off the scale after it's in the boat counts as landed. Lol

 

 

I fixed it for you. 

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If you are loosing larger fish on lighter weight rigs at the boat I believe it is because they still have to much fight in them.    Most of my larger fish have come in light gear and I am so afraid to loose them that I slow way down and play him before getting close to the boat where my rod, reel and line work best.

When it got close you loose the benifits of proper gear.

 

 

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On 3/19/2022 at 12:55 PM, Dingaling man said:

The Advid X I use is 6'9 ml xf--, a longer rod could definitely help. The big ones surge so much, I do fish lots of open water as well, so a 7'0+ ML is worth a try.

The big ones could totally get into the power of the butt end of the rod in a hurry , from being to short and not enough give.  Especially the bigger fish. I have no problems with anything below 4lbs, it's been the bigger fish and always near the boat mostly,  when they surge from seeing me. The 6'9 advid x also feels stiff, more like a medium-XF, Finally making sense!!

I use a 6' 10" ML/XF St. Croix LTB for my Ned rig fishing, I really doubt it's your rod. It sounds like you're likely putting too much pressure on them at the boat and pulling the hooks. Ned rig fishing is about finesse, including the fight. There's no need for a bigger/heavier hook, that's just bass guys trying to jamb the technique into the mold they want it to fit in. I pour my heads on a lightwire #2 Eagle Claw hook. I've landed flathead catfish over 20lbs on it in around 5 minutes. No smallmouth in the world is going to put up that fight and the hook/rod/reel/line/leader handled it just fine. I also backreel which allows me to set my drag tight and put a lot of heat on a fish if I feel it's needed, but also take it easy on a fish that is surging or if I feel my line is compromised. If they suck that bait back in very far, it's likely in the thin skin in the roof of their mouth and not in their lip. That skin is soft and tears easily under pressure. I've seen it happen when big largemouth inhale bladed jigs and get hooked further back and pull off at the the boat, wouldn't be at all surprised if that's what is happening to the OP. 

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Lots of good information here.  I fish the same water you do and for large smallmouths.  I use similar equipment except for the rod.  I use a longer rod ( 7' 6'' Shimano Intenza in L ).  I use different heads some tungsten, some lead, but most with a small light hook.  I don't strike hard and I don't back reel.  I use a long fluoro leader ( 7 foot) with 10 or 15 pound Power Pro braid.  I don't loose a lot of fish but when I do, it's on the first jump.  It's easy to get excited when a 5 pound smallmouth is close to the boat (or under it).  I'm very patient and get most of them in.  I think a longer rods helps with the fight close to the boat.  It helps you better control the fish. 

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38 minutes ago, Reel said:

Lots of good information here.  I fish the same water you do and for large smallmouths.  I use similar equipment except for the rod.  I use a longer rod ( 7' 6'' Shimano Intenza in L ).  I use different heads some tungsten, some lead, but most with a small light hook.  I don't strike hard and I don't back reel.  I use a long fluoro leader ( 7 foot) with 10 or 15 pound Power Pro braid.  I don't loose a lot of fish but when I do, it's on the first jump.  It's easy to get excited when a 5 pound smallmouth is close to the boat (or under it).  I'm very patient and get most of them in.  I think a longer rods helps with the fight close to the boat.  I helps you better control the fish. 

 

Good stuff.  I too use a 7'6 rod and feel that the extra length helps control the fish.  You're right- it's that first jump when I lose them if it happens.  

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On 3/18/2022 at 1:40 PM, TnRiver46 said:

Back reel 

 

granted, most people want to hear their drag so that’s probably not an option. Those bigs make a living coming unhooked 

Back reeling is a lost art

I fish some deep brush piles

too light on the drag and you're dragged into snag city

 

when I fish open water I'm more likely to have the drag a little looser and let them run

 

 

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18 minutes ago, BassNJake said:

Back reeling is a lost art

I fish some deep brush piles

too light on the drag and you're dragged into snag city

 

when I fish open water I'm more likely to have the drag a little looser and let them run

 

 

I had too many fish make a super fast dive at the boat on your home lake and pull the hook, that’s when I started backreeling. It’s a instant reaction to a speeding fish instead of loosening drag. I’ve caught 40 inch gar that fought like a tuna and let them backreel for what seemed like 100 yards in very short amount of time 

 

basically it’s the ultimate way to deal with super fast fish 

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