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The bite

AmuricanAmurican Posts: 168 Officer
Just wondering, I have seen some videos where when they get a bite they just strip the fish all the way in. Is this for any reason, maybe to keep fish out of structure? I have only caught maybe 20 fish, all ladyfish, all the same day, all waist deep at the beach. So I just let go of the stripped line and let it run to tighten up the line. Is it a personal preference?
Fly fishing isn't just a hobby, it's a passion.


  • Permit RatPermit Rat Posts: 2,283 Captain
    In salt water, you are probably looking at people fishing near mangroves or docks, for snook and redfish. These fish are very strong when close to home and most people do not put the fish on the reel. If they let the fish run (like you do) until the line comes tight on the reel, they are already back in the mangroves, or around pilings, etc. In other words, gone. Essentially the same holds true if the angler drops the fly line and reels up the extra line. It is very hard to maintain sufficient pressure on the fish while doing this and the end result is the same.

    If you are out in the open and a fish runs enough line off such that you are on the reel, then you are OK. But I have fought big tarpon for 30-40 seconds or more (that's a long time!), before that happened. Sometimes they just go ballistic close to the boat and never really take any line. Here you have to maintain as much pressure as possible by stripping in whenever you can.
  • lemaymiamilemaymiami Posts: 4,418 Captain
    Permit's got it right... here's the advice I give my anglers no matter what size the fish you've hooked is. On the hookup get the line tight and keep that rod bent -no matter what. The easiest way to do that is by hand stripping the line as though you never intended to use the reel at all. If the fish is big enough he'll take you to the reel and from there on out you'll use the reel exclusively. That goes triple for snook since they're so fast and very good at changing directions. If you pause and attempt to wind up loose line to be "on the reel" many snook will use the slightest bit of slack to shake that fly or bury you so far into snags that you'll never win.... so just use your hands and the line until they commit and take you to the reel.

    For big or fast fish that "take you to the reel" stuff will happen very quickly and you're smart then not to put a lot of pressure on the fish -just concentrate on clearing the line (it will want to wrap around anything nearby, including you....) until you're "on the reel". We do quite a bit of night time fly fishing small tarpon (my angler got a small one of about 20lbs night before last) and it was all hand stripping until we moved away from all the dock pilings that fish was next to. At that point it was a simple matter to allow the fish to pick up the small amount of slack and transition to the reel...

    Most of this isn't rocket science it's stuff that most will learn on their own over time -but they'll lose a lot fish learning.... If you start with the right basics you'll be far ahead of where I was, starting out all those years ago... Hope this helps
    Tight Lines
    Bob LeMay
    (954) 435-5666
  • trout069trout069 Posts: 5,450 Admiral
    What Mr.LeMay said.That advice put you way up the curve.
  • AmuricanAmurican Posts: 168 Officer
    Thanks for the info guys. Can't wait to get back out and fly fish.
    Fly fishing isn't just a hobby, it's a passion.
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