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Old 01-20-2009, 09:16 PM
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Default How to put a fish on the reel?

Just found this site...took less than a hour of lurking to discover the wealth of information and helpfulness of everyone here. I registered and hopefully you can help me with my first post.

I'm a novice fly fisherman and fish almost exclusively trout in CO. ~3 years experience. Never done anything except wading. Streams, tailwaters, and high mountain lakes. Typical fish are 8-14 inches. Rarely larger than that, but I hope one day soon.

(1) Why do you want to put a fish on the reel?

(2) How exactly do you do it? I've heard the term and I'd like to learn the correct technique, but I haven't seen a simple description. Most often I use a dry/dropper setup and have a good amount of line stripped out when I hook a fish. How to I get the fish on the reel w/ the smallest chance of losing what I have hooked?

Thanks in advance for your responses.

-Paul
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Old 01-20-2009, 10:01 PM
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Default Re: How to put a fish on the reel?

pl4a-

Welcome to the board, glad you found us. Man, you've got some great fishing out there, and I'm looking forward to your posts.

You've asked good questions. Fighting a fish off the reel helps give you a little more control-- you can use the reel's drag, and there's less chance of loose line wrapping around stuff- especially if it's big enough that you have to take off after it and chase it down stream.

As far as getting them on the reel in the first place there's a couple of things you can do-- first is to not have more line out than you need-- if you're casting 20 feet, don't have 40 feet out of the reel looping down stream. If the fish hits towards the end of the cast you shouldn't have to take up too much line to get it on the reel. One way to come tight to the fish is to keep the rod up and pinch the line to the cork with your index finger of your rod hand, and reel up slack with your free hand until you're tight to the fish directly from the reel. You can raise or lower the rod to give or take up line while you're doing this to keep the line tight to the fish. From there you can play the fish from the reel, winding in line when the fish is coming your way, lowering the rod and letting him (or her) pull against the drag of the reel if it runs. Just use the rod as a shock absorber.

Another way to do it-- provided you don't have tons of loose line out, is to let the fish decide if it's "reel worthy". This is the way i do it most times- play it by stripping in line until or unless the fish is big enough to take off and zip off taking all the slack fly line out. From there, I'd fight it from the reel, instead of stripping in line.

Hope this helps.

peregrines
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Old 01-20-2009, 10:12 PM
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Default Re: How to put a fish on the reel?

Welcome looking forward to your post, I use to fish out around Fort Collins, my mom grew up out there and we went their mnay times when I was growing up. As a matter of fact thats where I got hooked on the fly fishing passion.
Bear
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Old 01-20-2009, 10:26 PM
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Default Re: How to put a fish on the reel?

Getting them on the reel seems to be usually done to use the benefits of that drag you bought such as consistancy of pressure and adjustablility of that pressure.
It's also a part of line control. Line laying around is a broken off fish waiting to happen.

My absolute A#1 way to 'get 'em on the reel' is to have reels with very good bearings and simply slapping the spool. That sucks up line like magic!

Here's to more fish that deserve being put on the reel!
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Old 01-20-2009, 10:36 PM
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Default Re: How to put a fish on the reel?

Hmmm....It's tough if the fish is swimming right at you. Little fish can just be
hauled in if you are using 4X tippet or larger. 4X is 6lb test, and my wife
regularly horses largemouth in with 4X. She's had a rod bent in half with
5X tippet !

OTOH...I find getting 30 feet of line out of the way makes landing a fish
easier, especially in lakes where the line tends to land in a bunch right in
front of me. I had a 12" (roughly) trout come charging into one such piling of
line last year, and he spun himself right up through the middle! It took me
several minutes to unwrap the trout, and he was barely visible at first. I do
love my large arbor reels for speed with which they can swallow up line.
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Old 01-20-2009, 11:34 PM
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Default Re: How to put a fish on the reel?

Paul

Welcome to the forum, looking forward to your posts! What part of CO do you fish?

Larry
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Old 01-21-2009, 08:29 AM
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Default Re: How to put a fish on the reel?

Thanks for the responses! I think I understand enough now to give it a try with some smaller fish and hopefully I'll know what to do when I hook a bigger one. I fish mostly 5x/6x tippet and am now thinking that my lack of know-how has led to many a lost fish.

-------

Bear/Larry-

I grew up in Fort Collins. Unfortunately I didn't pick up this great sport until after leaving Fort Collins and spending a few years in VA and PA. I started fly fishing/tying in VA and spent a lot of time in the Shenandoah Valley. Now I'm in Longmont and fish mostly front range areas. I'll be visiting this site frequently to get many day and weekend trip ideas.

My memorable 2008 experiences:
-I fell in love with the high mountain lakes. I caught my first greenbacks at Fern and Spruce Lakes in June in RMNP. All day dry-fly site fishing was incredible. I plan to go back every year now. It was a great confidence booster as the fish were very willing and forgiving of some occasional poor casts.
-Long Lake and Lake Isabelle near Brainard Rec Area. Great hiking area. I saw tons of people but relatively few people fishing. Most everyone seems to congregate at Brainard Lake.

Here are my some of my 2009 tentative plans to try new places I've never fished.
-Camping trip to Ruidi Res to try Roaring Fork and Frying Pan.
-Camping trip to Steamboat to try Stagecoach.
-Up the Poudre. It's a little embarassing that I grew-up in Fort Collins and never flyfished this river.
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Old 01-21-2009, 08:40 AM
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Default Re: How to put a fish on the reel?

Quote:
Originally Posted by pl4a View Post
Thanks for the responses! I think I understand enough now to give it a try with some smaller fish and hopefully I'll know what to do when I hook a bigger one. I fish mostly 5x/6x tippet and am now thinking that my lack of know-how has led to many a lost fish.

-------

Bear/Larry-

I grew up in Fort Collins. Unfortunately I didn't pick up this great sport until after leaving Fort Collins and spending a few years in VA and PA. I started fly fishing/tying in VA and spent a lot of time in the Shenandoah Valley. Now I'm in Longmont and fish mostly front range areas. I'll be visiting this site frequently to get many day and weekend trip ideas.

My memorable 2008 experiences:
-I fell in love with the high mountain lakes. I caught my first greenbacks at Fern and Spruce Lakes in June in RMNP. All day dry-fly site fishing was incredible. I plan to go back every year now. It was a great confidence booster as the fish were very willing and forgiving of some occasional poor casts.
-Long Lake and Lake Isabelle near Brainard Rec Area. Great hiking area. I saw tons of people but relatively few people fishing. Most everyone seems to congregate at Brainard Lake.

Here are my some of my 2009 tentative plans to try new places I've never fished.
-Camping trip to Ruidi Res to try Roaring Fork and Frying Pan.
-Camping trip to Steamboat to try Stagecoach.
-Up the Poudre. It's a little embarassing that I grew-up in Fort Collins and never flyfished this river.
I couldnt tell now where they are, but Twin Bear lakes in RMNP was great and so was Horse Tooth lake. It's only been 15 years since I seen either one, things do change
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Old 01-21-2009, 11:43 AM
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Default Re: How to put a fish on the reel?

Had not seen my technique yet so thought I would post. I would agree with most that the advantage is not to have line laying around to get snagged on a rock or something where you no longer have any give and also the use of the drag for some consistency.

Anyhow, I usually when bringing a fish to the reel wait for that initial surge of energy after the hook set (15-30 seconds). Once the fish has calmed a little and settled into pulling against or laying in the current I will grab the line with my casting hand between my thumb and pointer finger while holding the rod and use my off hand to reel in a quickly as possible. For me this allows me to use my 2 fingers as a drag and go right back to the strip if needed.
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Old 01-21-2009, 11:55 AM
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Default Re: How to put a fish on the reel?

Don't know if it's the right way of doing it, but when I have a "reel worthy" fish on this line, I wait until his initial run is done and hold tension on him by holding the line to the fish between my pointer finger and the cork. Then, I put the line going to the reel in my pinky finger to create some tension between the reel and my hand (to keep it from tangling when I reel) then reel it up and resume the battle....as it were.

Although I will say, it depends on the fish. If you get a "reel worthy" fish who has a downright bad attitude, you might not get that chance. I've split my focus between the fish and the reel and damn near lost a fish or two. It's tricky...
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