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jcrazy

Rod tip UP vs. Rod tip DOWN

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when im reeling in a fish i have the rod to the side

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I often fish with a horizontal sweep and fish certain lures with the tip down, but once the fish is hooked, ALWAYS tip up. The rod then acts as a shock absorber to both wear the fish down and compensate for a sudden surge (this is especially important with smallmouth).

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Part of it depends on how much line I have out when I'm playing the fish.  If he is half-way across the lake (not really) I may dunk the tip in the water to keep him from running on me and jumping to throw the bait/hook.  If he is half-way in on the cast, I want the rod tip up to keep tension on him and help absorb the shock as he tries to pull away.  Then once I have him near the boat, I may dunk the rod tip again while playing him down (if needed) and to try to keep him from jumping and shaking loose.

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I agree with R/W but when the fish heads for the surface get the slack out & the tip down. It helps to keep the fish from jumping. When he is out of the water your line has slack in it & he might shake your bait loose.

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sweeping  pulls for the fight unless shes trying to dig deep and wrap you then, straight up.  Either way, once shes more than 1/2 way to the boat it's up, up, up.  

Every fight is different, this is just a rough outline to go by.

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I typically reel in my catch with the rod at the 10'oclock position this gives me room to manuever, UNLESS the bass decides to jump water, then i position my rod down.  It may or may not help, but I haven't  lost a fish which decided to fly for quite some time.

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