Originally Posted by spinsheet
That was another question that I had! When do you reel in a fish and when do you just pull in the stripped line? I guess it's all a matter of the size of the fish and personal preference?
If it's a small fish it's probably better to just strip it in, but if it's easy to get it on the reel I'd do it any way. A lot of times a big fish will get itself on the reel for you, and if they don't you probably should. As I said in the post before, set your drag right, and that is why you should do it on the reel. It is better than most fisherman.
Breaking a fish off is operator error 100% of the time. Getting cut off by teeth or another object is another story. The reason you want to get a big fish on the reel though, is that you are never going to be as accurate a drag as the drag is. I recently watched a video where some guys broke fish after fish off. They had line out of the reel, fish in fast water and just held the line tightly till it broke the fish off. It was the silliest thing I have seen in a while.If they had just given the fish line, got them on the reel and let the drag do it's job (provided they were not so silly they set that wrong also), they would have landed every one of them provided they didn't shake the hook or something else we have no control over.
If a fish is willing to got the line on the reel for you, let them. A properly set drag is more accurate than you are, especially if you are full of adrenaline with a monster on the line.
One last thing, Okuma made a very good point about layering the line on the reel. If you just reel like crazy without regard for where it's going you can get it all on one side of the spool and jam the reel. It's a bad thing. The way I do it if control the rod and the line with one hand, and reel with the other. The hand on the rod gets the fish end of the line between my thumb and fore finger, and the reel end I control the place it goes on the reel with the crook of the first knuckle of my Karate Pinky.