Re: Why strip strike?
I strip strike when pulling or stripping streamers in stillwater...Generally the rod tip is pointed right at the fly and maybe even in the water.
my primary reasons (or at least what I think):
Since it's essentially a straight line from reel to fly, the fasted and most direct way to set is along that line. Moving the rod tip up or to the side lessens the power of the strike by introducing the flex of the rod...and I think it's slower.
I try to set with a hard 12" strip...
Also, the trout I'm generally after will come back after a "short strike" often, as long as my strip doesn't pull the fly too far away. Setting using the rod (for me, as a neanderthal) means a big pull and a lot of movement of the fly if I miss...a strip puts the bug right back in his face.
Sometimes it's like they are batting the fly around for a few seconds before the line gets heavy and it's time to lift the rod to protect tippet.
Hope this makes some sense..-Mike