A question arose on our sister UK forum about playing a fish single handed v double handed which raised some useful issues:
There are some practical and therefore measurable issues at work.
Firstly consider this question:
Which can put more pressure on the fish during the fight?
a. A rod bent at 45 degrees (the normal fighting position)
b. A rod pointing directly at the fish.
The answer is b of course - as the reel / drag takes over.
Which means that the closer the rod tip moves toward b the more power that can be applied. This is sort of counter intuitive isn’t it!
I did a simple experiment. I used a 15ft rod & fly line connected to a spring balance some 15 yards away.
At a rod angle of 45% I could 'muscle' the spring balance to [only] about 1.5lb of pressure. (that in itself may come as a surprise to a few)
As I lowered the rod tip I could get up to 3lb of pressure as the reel was taking more of the strain. I didn’t really push this test to its limits but kept it within fish fighting bounds (rod bent a bit).
Then I tried a single handed 10ft rod #8.
At a rod angle of 45 degrees I could 'muscle' the spring balance to about 1lb of pressure. (a third less).
However, as I lowered the rod tip I could get up to 3lb of pressure as the reel was taking more of the strain.
So there you have it. At 45 degrees the 15ft applied more pressure than the 10fter. Lower the rod tip and the rod advantage is lost.
Point the rod at the fish and play off the drag if you want the ultimate power!
Here is a graphical representaion of what I found:
It would be interesting to compare a 15ft #10 with a 9ft #10 too!
Perhaps we should also say "give it some reel" rather than "give it some butt"!