Putting fish on the reel

How often do you fight your fish on the reel ?


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Bigfly

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The first time you see the fly line jump from the ground to wrap around your rod butt, or reel handle you will know when to get'em on the reel......
If you can actually strip them in, then you did it right.....
On my water, they all go on the reel.....just in case.
Because if I think it's a little feller, it may already be too late........

Jim
 

cab

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Didn't read through all the replies, but seems I'm in the majority.

I do prefer to put them on the reel, 'cuz like Bigfly said, ya never know......:shocking:

CAB
 

chechem

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Usually I try to get them on the reel, unless they're small.

But when in a float boat the fish sometimes run back toward the boat, and reeling is too slow. Those I strip in as fast as possible, and put them on the reel later if possible. These are often 18-21" fish, so it's too fast to simply reel.

 

huronfly

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Trout here are small so I strip em in. Most other species I fish, pike, steelhead, bass, all go on the reel asap.

I have challenged myself to using only my hand with my 6 weight on steelhead and its a blast, and actually good practice for handling line. The fish will inevitably pull line off the reel but Ill do everything else by hand just for fun sometimes.
 

clsmith131

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When I hook a striper in lake or stream, I "play" the fish by hand until I settle into the fight and get the fish under control. Sometimes, they will dart for cover, and you don't have time to put the fish on the reel before they wrap you around timber. Once the fish is under control, I manage my line and put it on the reel. If it comes toward me, I may never get to the reel, but the reel is definitely where I feel the most in control. If its a bass or crappie, or if I'm trout fishing, its just easier to bring them in line in hand. Also, it becomes a pain to keep pulling line off the reel every time you catch a small fish.
 

myt1

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More and more I put the fish on the reel.

It just seems neater and cleaner...more than a few times I've tripped over, or got my stripped line tangled on stuff, while landing a fish.
 

fredaevans

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In Western Washington/Oregon (west of the Cascade Mtn's) and Nor. Cal almost all of your fishing (moving water) 'requires' you get your extra line back on the reel.

One of the main reasons for this is (water's above) 'trout' sized fish are few and far between. Just not that type of fishery; think Steelhead and Pacific Salmon. If 'trout' are you're target fish expect to go up to the head waters.

fae
 

sweetandsalt

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My preference is to fish for fish that don't give me a choice, still one of the salient aspects of fly fishing is the absence of mechanical advantage as in spinning reels with an emphasis on manual line handling. When a fish takes, I hold my line between thumb and forefinger of my line hand allowing the fish to take line under pressure similar to my reel's drag setting. Holding slack away from my body to limit the potential for tangling and applying that manual drag, once the fish comes tight to the reel it is a seamless transition as in double clutching to match engine speed with a manual transmission. Sometimes a fish will run at you faster than you can gain line on your reel and then strip as fast as you can, all techniques are among your options. I lost the biggest striped bass of my life while stripping line.
 

just4grins

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Here's my philosophy, since you never really know what you have until you see it, put it on the reel. Part of this is to remain in the habit, because occasionally I fish in big fish water, and part is I don't want to get out of practice, because I may need it. If you screw up with all that line on the water with a fish who knows how to screw you up, it will.
 

camelbrass

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The fish determines whether the fight goes onto the reel or not although if the fight is a 'stalemate' I'll reel up the slack and put it on the reel to give me more leverage. I've ocassionally gotten some deeply cut fingers as a result though.

Regards,


Trevor
 

myt1

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I originally answered this poll quite some time ago and I forget my response.

Now I definitely try to get my fish onto the reel as soon as I can.

Part of the reason has to do with having some really nice reels and, gosh darn it, I'm going to use that sucker for something other than a line storage devise.

Plus, if I'm using the reel I'm not tripping over my line.
 

ddb

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I never set my drag heavier than the lightest setting w/o overrun and almost always put fish on the reel if they can take line. Palming the reel gives instant control from dead stop to near free rein. And IMO stripping in the tiddlers may injure them more than smooth reeling in and reduce chances of their survival.

DDB
 

brownbass

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I would rather have the fish on the reel. I have stepped on lines, tripped on lines and had trout jump thru my coiled line and tie it in a knot. If the fish is close and I will strip them in.

Bill
 

karstopo

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Fly reels are pretty pathetic for gaining line on a fast fish that is running towards you. Even 7:1 or 8:1 spinning or baitcasting reels can't keep up with fast fish moving at you. The arbor would have to be ridiculously large to match the other type reels for line gain. I sort of wonder about the whole large arbor obsession when those seem to, in my experience, make no material difference in catching up to a fish on a run moving quickly towards the fisherman or boat.

Imagine that a fast fish, you pick the species, runs towards you after a take at the beginning of a long cast. Fish will be off the reel because there is no way to reel fast enough, large arbor or not, to put it on the reel. So you strip in line as fast as you can and maybe even then it's not fast enough. Fish finally turns near the boat or your position, then runs out some that line you just stripped, then turns obliquely towards you again, then runs out away to finally end up on the reel.

I actually like when a big fast fish does something like this and it is up to my line handling skill, or lack thereof, to try and hang in there until the fish makes it to the reel. All that off the reel stuff at the beginning of the fight right after the take is high drama and a heck of a lot of fun. The fish will sometimes run away from you right away and the fish is almost immediately on the reel. But some of these off the reel tussles when the fish is changing direction or head shaking are some of the most memorable encounters. When the fish does hit the reel, I often get the feeling that "now I've got you". Of course, the fish have a way of proving that feeling wrong time and time again.
 
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