Monday, October 19, 2009

Quick Fishing Lesson!

I was fishing with a friend once in the south end of Otter Creek, just off of Route 7 about 20 miles south of Rutand, Vermont. The Rainbow trout, though stocked, were plentiful and now fully adapted to their environment. I was using a Mepps lure; just a little one, and occasionally switched to a Panther Martin. I had a very high end shiny, gold colored tournament style fishing reel on my pole and when the strike came, the fish was right up out of the water, not unlike what one might see on the cover of an Outdoor Life magazine. My friend ran to my "aid." (I put that in quotes to note the sarcasm).

Gee what would I have done without his help? Okay, so the gesture was nice. He ran to my line and wrapped his hand around it, so the fish "wouldn't get away." Yep you guessed it!

SNAP!

Not exactly what I'd had in mind. It happened so fast I stood there dumb-founded. Quickly looking at by friend I said, "What in the heck were you thinking?"

He shrugged, "Just trying to help man. I heard your reel slipping!"

Okay, um...some advice for people that are out with their friends, fishing, and you hear the drag on their reel slipping......don't touch their line!

Reels are set up so the drag can be tightened or loosened. Pull on your string when you set up the line on your reel. If the drag doesn't slip at all no matter how hard you pull, it's set way too tight. A big fish will snap your line like a power-lifter would snap a pencil in his fingers. The line set like this is fine for small brook trout or perhaps sunfish and bluegills. But if you're after a fighter, like a large trout, Bass, or Northern Pike, you'd better set the drag so it will slip after a few pounds of force.

As the fish maintains a steady pull, slowly tighten that drag, enough so he isn't going far, but loose enough so he won't snap your line. Be patient. There's no hurry once he's hooked. With a 6 lb test line you could hold an olympic swimmer from going anywhere if you knew what you were doing with the drag setting. It will take practice, but the drag is there for a reason.

Incidentally, if you're new to fishing, I'd recommend the Zebco 33. Many bass have found there way to my dinner table with that reel and it's a great way build your confidence. They cast very well. I usually carry my Eagle Claw tournament spinning rod and a Zebco 33. Then I'm covered. But.....I still tend to fish alone now....or at least, out of reach of "friends." :)

1 comment:

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