Rod tip up, or rod tip down?

losthwy

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Agree with it depends. Fishing salt water generally is different than fishing rivers. You have rocks, sticks, moss and currents to contend with. Last thing you want when a hooked, running fish in fast moving water is the added drag of your line under water. Once the initial run is over and working working the fish back to me, to the slack water, I begin to lower the tip.
 

irideaduck

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What appears to be missing in this conversation is river water velocity in the water column. For me, I'm trying to land the fish in a calm section of the river. The fish seek refuge at the bottom of the river where the current is very low, it's very possible to apply side pressure and slide the fish along the bottom in the boundary of lower water velocity out of the current. Once in my landing area I'll then raise the tip to move the fish to the surface to net. If you try to pull the fish up through the higher velocity water the water acts on the fish, at this point your fighting more than just the fish.

On the Madison a few years ago we were anchored in the middle of the river fishing a nice run/hole, I hooked into a fish and the current quickly flushed it downstream below the bottom. The guide had me place my rod into the water which allowed me to easily slide the fish along the bottom of the river and back up to the boat so we could land it ... it was amazing how easily the fish slid back up to the boat along the bottom.
 

ts47

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Thanks for the responses, especially Silver Creek. 3 for “up”, 2 for “down” and 1 for “it depends”. Very interesting guys..
Haven't read through the entire thread but saw this and had to comment. The answer is always, "it depends". Most steadfast rules are there to get you to the next level of education - when you learn another rule that allows for changes to the first rule... Rules keep you safe or safer until you begin to understand the why. What matters in the end is the "why", not the rule. You can fill in some of the missing "whys" for the below rules from prior posts in this thread. Just to be clear, these are my opinions. Others here know more than I. YMMV

Some good rules to follow(mostly for trout):
1. Down and to the side, unless there is something in the water, then...
2. Keep the rod tip up to get the line or the fish past structures on the water, unless the fish is jumping, then...
3. Keep the tip just below the surface of the water, and...
4. Never try to pull to fish against the current. Doing this adds the strength of the fish to the strength of the current and adds to the likelihood of breaking your tippet - As Silver said better than I will ever be able to, "You've got to walk the dog".

In the end, what you are trying to do is guide the fish in the safest or easiest or most efficient way to your net in a manner that causes the least stress to your gear, the least stress to the fish, around any obstacles that could cause problems, and in the end to your net. Always remember that big trout don't handle the stress of the fight as well as smaller trout do. Being efficient with your fighting reduces the stress, time fighting and may allow a big fish to grow even bigger for the next time.

Once you learn how to properly fight the fish, you need to learn how to properly land the fish. Rules for landing the fish:
1. Keep the fish in the water pointed upstream with water flowing over it's gills as much as possible, and...
2. Give the fish a chance to rest. It will let you know when it has enough energy to swim away on its own, and...
3. Holding a trout, especially a big trout out of the water increases the likelihood it won't survive. While it may swim away, it may die a few minutes later. If you want to see the fish or get that Kodak moment, don't take the fish out of the water until everything is ready. Better yet, crouch down in the water and quickly turn the fish on it's side to get the photo without the fish ever leaving the water.
 
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sweetandsalt

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Have you ever heard the expresson, "Give him the butt!" No one ever said, give him the tip. The tip is for casting and line manipulation, the butt is where the power is. The Orvis Position is also known as high sticking, a good way to break a rod.
 

dr d

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While fighting a 24" brownie in Utah last year, the guide kept yelling get the rod up! I had it over my head. Finally landed the fish with sore shoulders. In upstate New York last fall, fighting a 24" steelhead, the guide kept yelling get that rod tip down on the water! Landed the fish with sore forearms. Both time I was nymphing with an indicator.
My group asked the guide why the difference, rod up/rod down? He had no answer for me.
I think the Utah guide wanted to get the indicator out of the water, but the New Yorker didn't.

So what's is the vote here? Up or down?
1.only up when there are obstructions a.s.o.

2.otherwise always down

3.and pointing on the fish(perhaps have a look on the famous frödin on YouTube f.e. when fishing mörrum salmon ...;)).

have fun.


thomas
 

LePetomane

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I fight fish with the rod tip at 45 degrees. That way you are using the butt of the rod. With any steeper angle the tip comes into play. I always get a laugh when I see someone with the rod at 90 degrees and held high above their head.
 

ThatMrF

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Wow. This thread has some great insights. What may seem like a simple technique to many of you has been slowly learned by me.

The people that introduced me to this sport always told me to keep my rod tip up so that is where my attention went instead of focusing on not giving the trout any slack and on using the butt to fight the fish to the net. I’ve lost some nice fish due to many of the mistakes addressed in this thread—pulling against the current, keeping tip up when fish jump, not using the rod butt to fight them into the net faster, pulling them up into fast water, etc. Each of those examples kept me from landing my record fish during my last trip.

I appreciate the full explanations about why these “rules” are situational and the insight that the rules are steps that lead us to understand the why.

While this is basic information to many of you, it could be game-changing to others, like me. Shouts of “Set!” and “Rod tip up!” do not a fisherman/woman make.

Thanks for the breakdown, everybody.
 

silver creek

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I fight fish with the rod tip at 45 degrees. That way you are using the butt of the rod. With any steeper angle the tip comes into play. I always get a laugh when I see someone with the rod at 90 degrees and held high above their head.
I have several comments.

First, a 45 degree angle does NOT necessarily mean the rod force/bend is transferred to the rod butt. Where the rod bends is determined by the force exerted by the line and the angle of the line in respect to the rod tip. So as the fish gets closer to the rod, the angle of pull on the rod tip increases.

Secondly, what I think you mean is that at 45 degrees, more of the force/pull on the fly line is transferred down the rod from the rod tip. This is true,

Thirdly, at 45 degrees, about 50% of the line tension is directed straight up which is still working against gravity to lift the fish higher in the water column. This is better than the elevated vertical "Orvis pose" rod position, but it is not as effective as the low rod position which places most of the rod pressure on the fish rather than lifting the fish against the force of gravity and hydraulic pressure.

Note the image below from my earlier post.



Finally, what is important is NOT how far the rod is bent. It is how much of the rod bend is working against the fish and how much is working against gravity and hydraulic pressure. The higher the rod angle, the greater the percentage of the rod bend is working against gravity and hydraulic drag. Against an elevated rod tip, the fish can just tip it's head down, and the water flow against the fish's angled body creates hydraulic pressure that pulls against the elevated rod tip.

So although 45 degrees is much better that an elevated rod tip, in my opinion, it is not as effective as a low rod position. The low rod position eliminates the ability of the fish to use gravity and and tipped down body position to place pressure on the rod.

When the rod is low to the water, is when the maximum pressure is against the fish and the least is fighting gravity. Therefore, against a large fish that has run downstream, a low rod places the maximum amount of the line tension on the fish to bring him back upstream towards the angler.

Here are some articles on fighting fish



"5. Rod tip too high. We like the ‘down and dirty’ method with big fish – in most situations right up to the end of the fight, your rod tip should be in the water. Yes, sometimes you need to raise your rod to avoid an obstacle – that’s fine. But otherwise, keep your rod low for maximum fish fighting mojo."



"One of the quickest ways to tire a fish during the fight is to apply side pressure. Fish swim in a side to side motion (viewed from above they become S shaped) when they are fighting. If you apply upwards pressure you are doing very little to tire them, side pressure works much quicker. If you want a demonstration of this have a friend hold the rod while you hold the end of the line to imitate the fighting fish. Move your hand in a side to side motion while your friend applies upward pressure and then have him drop the rod to the side. You immediately feel much more tension than from the upright position."
 

huronfly

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Silvers got a really good explanation above.

I'm normally fighting fish with rod bent right to the cork in my hand and with the rod low and to the side, if the fish jumps I'll take a bow, or if there are some boulders or snags present I will raise the rod up and try to get myself in a better position to fight the fish while still maintaining as much pressure as I can. Clamp down and put the muscle to em!!
 

LePetomane

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SilverCreek, I fish mostly cane and I have found this to be helpful, especially the second photo.

 

Ard

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While fighting a 24" brownie in Utah last year, the guide kept yelling get the rod up! I had it over my head. Finally landed the fish with sore shoulders. In upstate New York last fall, fighting a 24" steelhead, the guide kept yelling get that rod tip down on the water! Landed the fish with sore forearms. Both time I was nymphing with an indicator.
My group asked the guide why the difference, rod up/rod down? He had no answer for me.
I think the Utah guide wanted to get the indicator out of the water, but the New Yorker didn't.

So what's is the vote here? Up or down?
Answer is simple, quit using the enhancement device which is sorta like a bobber and then land fish however is most comfortable for you. I've done it both ways and usually apply a combination of the 2. I am curious though, did these guides really yell at you about rod position? I take people fishing every year for king salmon who have never caught a big fish in their life. When they get hooked up with a nice fish I do my best not to stress them out. I do however calmly instruct them to move to shore and to do so carefully so they can land the fish without incident. All my clients and any friends I take fishing use streamers or tubes so our focus is on casting - reading water and fishing techniques. We can do that because we're not watching a Thigamabobber
 

ThatMrF

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Answer is simple, quit using the enhancement device which is sorta like a bobber and then land fish however is most comfortable for you. I've done it both ways and usually apply a combination of the 2. I am curious though, did these guides really yell at you about rod position? I take people fishing every year for king salmon who have never caught a big fish in their life. When they get hooked up with a nice fish I do my best not to stress them out. I do however calmly instruct them to move to shore and to do so carefully so they can land the fish without incident. All my clients and any friends I take fishing use streamers or tubes so our focus is on casting - reading water and fishing techniques. We can do that because we're not watching a Thigamabobber
Ard, this is great advice, and I think it is about the fifth time today that I was encouraged to ditch my indicator. The universe has spoken.

I’m going out tomorrow with a tentative plan to use a hopper/dropper rig (is this the nicotine patch for indicator users?) and using what I’ve learned in this thread and corresponding articles to fight the fish properly. I hope to get plenty of practice.

This may not be the thread for it, but I’m curious to know what are some good steps to take to ditch the indicator fishing for those of us that were taught this way since we started with a fly rod? Like a 12-step program for recovery from the past trauma of indicator fishing? I created a thread about this the other day. I’m admitting the problem; I just don't know what the next step is.

Oh, and I’m Ben, and this is my bobber bottom. (everyone) Hi, Ben.
 

LePetomane

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I’m going out tomorrow with a tentative plan to use a hopper/dropper rig (is this the nicotine patch for indicator users?) and using what I’ve learned in this thread and corresponding articles to fight the fish properly.
That's a good one. I don't fish many hopper hatches but I am a fan of the dry/dropper rig. I don't use a dropper of more than 18 inches. I fish it as I would normally fish the dry and the nymph is along for the ride. One needs a nymph that will sink fast yet not pull the dry under.
 

silver creek

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Ard, this is great advice, and I think it is about the fifth time today that I was encouraged to ditch my indicator. The universe has spoken.

I’m going out tomorrow with a tentative plan to use a hopper/dropper rig (is this the nicotine patch for indicator users?) and using what I’ve learned in this thread and corresponding articles to fight the fish properly. I hope to get plenty of practice.

This may not be the thread for it, but I’m curious to know what are some good steps to take to ditch the indicator fishing for those of us that were taught this way since we started with a fly rod? Like a 12-step program for recovery from the past trauma of indicator fishing? I created a thread about this the other day. I’m admitting the problem; I just don't know what the next step is.
Ben,

You do realize that when you use a hopper/dropper rig, the hopper functions as an "indicator" that has a hook.

There is also the greased leader tactic which is a favored technique initially to fish small nymphs and pupa in and under the film. Now that emergers have been developed it is used to fish early stage emergers as well.

This was in the era before strike indicators and the dry dropper technique was developed. It is still one of the the best techniques, I believe, to detect strikes just under or in the film. The end of a floating leader is extremely sensitive to even the most subtle of takes.

It is also a great technique to fish to fish in shallow water near the bank using a sunken ant or a sunken spinner. There is no splash of a heavy fly or of an indicator. The cast is not affected by a bulky dry fly or an indicator. Accuracy with slack line casts and the drift is optimized, because there is just the fly and the leader. Even subtle strikes are detected because the leader is the indicator.

Sometime it helps to be an old fart that has seen and fished the old ways before indicators and the dry dropper.

Here are a few more ideas on when and how to use this technique:

Midge Fishing in Paradise | MidCurrent

"In the greased leader technique, the angler dresses the leader with a paste fly floatant (thick silicone pastes work best), down to within a few inches of the fly. This controls the depth of the fly's drift, and the angler watches the point where the tippet passes through the surface film for indications of a strike. While this removes the bulk of an indicator from the leader—allowing better accuracy and a more subtle presentation of the fly—it also offers much less buoyancy and is much harder to see. This approach works best on very slow currents, and on lakes and ponds when there is minimal wind, as the greased leader will sink in faster or choppy water. It also works well when the light is low, as the greased leader shows up in flat light as a dark line on the surface film of the water. The greased leader technique is perhaps the best method for suspending a pupa pattern just under the surface. In stillwater situations, where the numbers of suspended pupae may be astronomical, a very slow draw of the fly may make it more visible to the fish, and make it easier for the angler to detect a subtle strike…."

Jason Borger writes:


"The greased leader tactic is meant to accompany smaller sub-surface imitations, although it can also be used with tiny, visually-elusive dry flies. The idea is to use the leader to suspend the fly and provide information about drag, as well as helping to signal takes by the fish. In other words, the leader becomes a nine-foot long monofilament bobber. If you simply can’t stand the idea of a bobber, regardless of form, just say “fly suspension device.” It not what you say, it’s how you say it, right?"

Here's the deal. A strike indicator has TWO purposes.

The first is to SUSPEND the fly at a given depth chosen by the fly fisher. So it is a SUSPENSION DEVICE.

The second purpose is to INDICATE the strike. So it is a as a DETECTION DEVICE.

So apply these two purposes to the greased leader technique and there is 100% correlations. The greased leader is a strike indicator.

Ages ago, in the era of bamboo rods and silk fly lines, the anglers were using strike indicator methods.
 
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