Putting fish on the reel

How often do you fight your fish on the reel ?


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Rip Tide

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I noticed on a recent thread a member saying that he never "pulls on the line"
I assume that meant that he puts all his fish on the reel to land them, never stripping them in.
Regardless of this member's intent, I'm wondering how often folks do that.
I used to fish with a guy who reeled in every single fish, no matter the size so I can imagine he's not the only one.
 
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spm

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When I first started fly fishing, someone told me you were supposed to strip the fish in. I did that until I tripped on the line pooled at my feet and went head-first into the water ...twice. Now I fight the fish on the reel.

steve
 

mridenour

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Big fish, I try to get on the reel as soon as possible. Things in between, I just decide on the fly (although I decided on a fly before I started casting, this is a different kind of deciding on the fly). A lot of decent trout take a good run and I can give them the line and get on the reel, especially on small streams when I don't have a lot of line out. Little ones usually get stripped in. Sometimes, for whatever reason, this doesn't apply but in general that's how it goes.
 

ejsell

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Completely depends on the size of the fish and how much line I have out. If it's a small fish but I have a ton of line out, I'll reel it in at least a little. If it's big enough to take out some line against the drag I'll put it on the reel. Otherwise I just strip them in.

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kentuckysteve

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Depend's on the size of the fish for me also.If it's small i just strip it in and usually won't reel any line in.I have not tripped over the line and hit the water yet but after reading that i'm sure it's coming.
 

Ard

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Probably me Paul,

It's a personal thing that I do, I won't say it's right and that someone else is wrong. I will say that I don't step on my line - get my feet or any sort of debris tangled in my line - fish don't swim or jump through my line and become tangled - and........... It just makes me feel good using a reel for what they were made for :)
 

100954

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With larger fish, get them under control (to the extent possible), then get them on the reel. I have lost a couple fish fooling around getting them on the reel. But I like to use the drag when fish are making runs.
 

nevadanstig

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Larger fish always. I do with smaller fish as well if I'm in fast water and have less control over the stripped in line and the fish. If I'm standing on the bank or in slow water and the fish isn't large, I strip them in.

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rangerrich99

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How I've managed my line has changed over the years since I began fly fishing. For the first couple years, I pretty much stripped all fish in. It helped that most of them were pretty average-sized trout or small bluegills, so it's not like they were peeling much line anyway. But I also didn't manage my line very well, especially when wading, so many times I was stepping on my line, or it was getting tangled in various streamside flora.

One day I really mangled my line after a day on a creek, and resolved to start managing my line better. So for awhile, once I learned to slap my reel rims, pretty much every fish went on the reel.

As time went on and my proficiency developed, I decided that small fish didn't deserve the reel treatment. Unless they were small Ferry fish, which instinctively know that the best way to spit the hook is to fling themselves downstream into the main current. It's amazing to me how much line a 12-inch fish can take when aided by a 20,000 cfs current.

Which is basically where I am now. Most fish don't end up on the reel, but if they put up a good enough fight, on the reel they go.

So, most of the time, I let the fish decide if they're 'reel-worthy.'

Of course, there's also the pure fun of hearing that reel drag screaming as a good fish sprints downstream, and at least for me, trying to slow that sucker down with my palm cupped under the rim is just one of the best feelings in fly fishing. Right then I can pretend that I'm a real fly-fisherman, almost like Paul Maclean.

If you've never put a good fish on your reel and heard that drag scream, you're missing out. And yes, it's even better on an old click-and-pawl.


Peace.
 

scotty macfly

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I let the fish decide, but if they get down river from me, and the current is fast, they go on the reel, that is if I'm fishing a river. But the smaller streams, it's stripping the line in most definitely.
 

FlymanSJB

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I get the fish on the reel every time now, regardless of the size I think it is. Been fooled too many times in the last few years.

I also developed way better line management practices so it's way easier.
 

jimw

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I let the fish decide also. I usually fish 9wts with a stripping basket so tangles and line management are not an issue. i would say about 1 out of 10 are put on the reel, but its up to the fish. I usually fish heavier tippet 20# mostly
 

comeonavs

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I fall in the sometimes for practice and let the fish decide categories


However 90% of my fishing is small stream small river fishing so average cast is maybe 20' and average fish would be 10" trout ...so take it for what its worth


Bigger fish on a float trip or bigger water I always go to the reel to as Ard said avoid the tangle of line at my feet.
 

smarty140

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Same story as most others - strip in smaller fish, especially in slower water, but use the reel whenever in doubt - larger fish or fast water.
ryan


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ia_trouter

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In addition to fish size, it would seem it depends some on how you are fishing. Easy to put a small fish on the reel when swinging. Catch a 1# bass stripping line with 20ft of line at my feet and it would seem pretty ridiculous to try to put him on the 8WT reel.
 

karstopo

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Redfish, speckled trout 3-4 pounds on up almost always end up on the reel, but it's really up to the fish. If it's a pretty hefty fish and I've already stripped in a bunch of line before the eat, I'll take advantage of little periods in the fight to get some line back on the reel. Sometimes fish will do the work for you, but other times the fish make runs toward you and you have no choice but to be off the reel, at least for part of the fight.

I've busted some tippets on good redfish and jacks by not letting line out of my stripping hand quickly enough when the fish makes a sudden lunge. I'm working on that bad habit. I surely have more confidence in the reel's drag than my stripping hand. Speckled trout have very delicate paper-like linings in their mouths and require a light drag or touch especially on the bigger fish.
 

mka

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I'll strip initially then go to the reel to get the line out of my way while bringing larger fish to the net. I find I don't break fish off as much when I'm using the reel's drag to play a fish. However, I do bushwhack a lot of small creeks and usually bring smaller fish to hand by stripping them in to me...the flexible tips of my ultralight rods do a nice job of protecting the tippet in those environments.
 
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