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  1. #1

    Default fish clears most of the backing--what to do?

    Yesterday evening, I hooked what I believe was a large carp in a local pond. The fish stripped line out in slow steady pulls (only once did the fish make a burst that made the reel drag really zing). I was content to let the fish take line, but eventually, most of my backing was out with no sign that the fish was tiring or wanting to turn. I wasn't sure what to do. I considered stripping off a bunch of slack to take the pressure off momentarily, but declined because if it didn't work, I'd have virtually nothing left in reserve. What I did instead was to increase the pressure--knowing the risk of breaking off or, as it worked out, pulling the hook free.

    Any insights on what I should or could have done? I've not had any experience with large fish on the fly rod--especially fish that make runs.

    For the record, I was using a Scientific Anglers 2X leader on a 6 weight Martin rod (something you could get at a Wal-mart or K-Mart type of place) with a Cabela's Cahill reel I got on clearance for under $20. The reality is that my set-up worked fine in keeping me hooked to the fish and in the game, but obviously won't give the ability to do feats of wonder when fighting a fish.

  2. Default Re: fish clears most of the backing--what to do?

    For a 6wt rig, your set-up may be fine. However, If you're going to be attacking BIG fish with it... you may need a reel with more backing capasity. You can also change your backing to one of the Micro-Diameter backings in order to get more on your spool.

    Other than that, you probably did the right thing. Before all your backing is gone you should increase the drag. Palming the reel is probably the best way to do this instead of cranking the drag dial.

  3. #3

    Default Re: fish clears most of the backing--what to do?

    Fr Marion,
    Sounds like one exciting battle with a leviathan that would give Jonah a run for his money. Just no telling what it could have been in the Missouri. About all you could done is what Steve suggested. Better luck next time.
    "Many men go fishing all their lives without knowing that it is not fish they are after"
    Henry David Thoreau

  4. Default Re: fish clears most of the backing--what to do?

    Did you try walking the bank with it and giving some side pressure to get the fish to swim along the bank? So far the biggest Carp Ive caught on my 5wt was 10lbs on a 4x tippet. And Im able usually to give just enough pressure to persuade the fish to swim in a different direction. Just caught this one saterday

  5. Default Re: fish clears most of the backing--what to do?

    Iryansl is correct. You need to persuade the fish that the direction it's going is the wrong way by redirecting the fish. You also need to tire the fish out. If you simply walked the bank with the fish it would keep going until it hung you up on some debri. Too much pressure or drag and you'll break the tippet or pull free from the fish. That's fishing. The first thing you need to do is find out the maximum pressure you can apply before you break the tippet. Then once you have a feel for this and hook up with a large fish then you can apply this amount of drag to the line and "work the fish". Sometimes just drag is not enough and you need to pump the rod and pull in different directions in order to turn the fish. Apply pressure early before you start to run out of backing. Keep catching the big ones and you'll get the hang of it.
    Good Luck.

  6. #6

    Default Re: fish clears most of the backing--what to do?

    Next time that happens. give the pole to me, and ill show you the correct way to loose your fish, line and backing.. dave

  7. Default Re: fish clears most of the backing--what to do?

    I agree with putting more pressure on the fish. I like to accomplish that by cupping the reel more so then on the drag. With 2X tippet, it is over 8lb test I believe so that gives you some strength to turn the fish. You may want to check your drag before fishing again, maybe it could be tighten some. When you have a fish on, that is NOT the time to tighten it because you not going to beable to check it correctly and you may over tighten it and bust off the fish. Good luck! Go get another big one!

    Give a man a fish, he will have dinner. Teach a man to fish and he will be late for dinner. Quote by Someone. *L*

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