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  1. #1
    turbineblade Guest

    Default Why strip strike?

    Hi -- this is not an argument against such a commonly advised method of hooking a fish. I'm just curious about the mechanics of it.

    Is the idea that strip striking a fish moves the fly more horizontally through the water than a "rod up" bass strike? I've tried strip striking some of the panfish and bass, crappie with my lighter rods and I have trouble getting hook ups sometimes. Not a lot mind you, just more problem than it seems like I have "coming tight" with the rod...not really a hard strike, just a "pull up" if that makes sense.

    Should I practice this technique on all my fish? Is it useful for ALL fish species, or just when stripping streamers (which is common in a lot of SW fishing)?

    What about rod striking low and to the side -- does that accomplish the same thing?

    Just curious to get the real answer here. I like to understand things before I invest my time in learning them .

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Pocono Lake , Pennsylvania

    Default Re: Why strip strike?

    Strip striking gives you a better ( deeper) hook set and with larger SW hooks and hard mouth predators it really makes a difference! When you lift and strike the time it takes and the water resistance to the fly line lessens your hookup bite. When you feel a bite on retrieval and you strip with you rod pointing at the fish , no extra resistance and quicker hook sets. Also with a strip set you can set the hook more than once without any slack as long as the line hand stays tight. I have a bad habit especially with Stripers from the boat of hitting the fish to many times on the strip which many time results in a break off . All I need is the one hard strip and I'm hooked up good!
    For me in SW the only exception is using poppers or other large top waters at close range and then it seems that a lift is better but not always.
    As far as FW I find the strip set to be the only way to go when night fishing because I never lose feel of the fly and can react without seeing or hearing the take!
    "I was born to fish" Lee Wulff
    "There's more B.S. in fly fishing then there is in a Kansas feedlot." Lefty Kreh
    " It ain't over till it's over." Yogi Berra
    "Your not old,you've simply acquired a patina." Swirlchaser

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  4. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    quiet corner, ct

    Default Re: Why strip strike?

    There too much flex in the rod to get a solid hook up with the sweep strike.
    Not only that but you should strip strike 3 times to make sure you're hooked up.... count 'em.
    And then once you're sure that you're connected, do it once more to be positive.
    The simpler the outfit, the more skill it takes to manage it, and the more pleasure one gets in his achievements.” --- Horace Kephart

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Brookline, MA

    Default Re: Why strip strike?

    The other thing with lifting the rod is that some of the pressure of the set is actually absorbed by the flex of the rod. A rods entire job is to absorb pressure, and this isn't always what you want. Strip striking ensures that every pound you pull is transferred directly into the strike.

    A secondary reason (and some people consider this the main reason) is that a strip strike doesn't always cost you the fish if it is ill timed. If you lift the rod to strike, the fly moved very unnaturally and in many cases comes clear out of the water. Strip striking simply looks like a quick dart of the fish to avoid being eaten, and in many cases will not deter the fish from striking again. This is the primary reason I do it.

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  7. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Ben Lomond, Ca
    Blog Entries

    Default Re: Why strip strike?

    I strip strike when pulling or stripping streamers in stillwater...Generally the rod tip is pointed right at the fly and maybe even in the water.

    my primary reasons (or at least what I think):

    Since it's essentially a straight line from reel to fly, the fasted and most direct way to set is along that line. Moving the rod tip up or to the side lessens the power of the strike by introducing the flex of the rod...and I think it's slower.

    I try to set with a hard 12" strip...

    Also, the trout I'm generally after will come back after a "short strike" often, as long as my strip doesn't pull the fly too far away. Setting using the rod (for me, as a neanderthal) means a big pull and a lot of movement of the fly if I miss...a strip puts the bug right back in his face.

    Sometimes it's like they are batting the fly around for a few seconds before the line gets heavy and it's time to lift the rod to protect tippet.

    Hope this makes some sense..-Mike

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  9. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Languedoc/near montpellier
    Blog Entries

    Default Re: Why strip strike?

    You can also strip strike when you fish overgrown streams or creeks and there's not enough room to lift the rod....

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  11. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    south florida

    Default Re: Why strip strike?

    As others have said, a strip strike with the rod pointed directly at the fly puts all the force directly into the hook quickly (less line and tippet stretch).

    But for some species, like bonefish, there is a downside, especially for those new to it, so I tell my friends who fish for bonefish to forget the strip strike. The problem, especially with downtown fish that have all been caught before, it that their reaction to feeling the hook is explosive, and they will often pop the tippet before the strip strike is halfway through. The angler cannot release the line fast ennough.

    With a rod strike, anglers seem to have just enough time to react and doens't break them off immediately nearly as often. And the smaller hooks do not require the pressure to set as larger hooks and bonier jawed prey.

    When using tiny little strips with a crab fly, don't get a death grip on the line, and when he picks up, do a "slip" strike, not a "strip" strike. Once your line is clear and your drag is screaming, you can always safely do another strike against the drag with the rod.

    More bones (large ones) are lost from broken tippets in the first second after the bite than in the entire rest of the fight, until it's time to grab them to get the fly back. Cheers, Jim

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  13. #8

    Default Re: Why strip strike?

    When I am wading for bass and using streamers I almost always use a strip set. Reason being that if the bass misses on the strike, the fly is still right in front of him and a second strike comes quickly.

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  15. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Manning, S. C. (formerly MD)

    Default Re: Why strip strike?

    Good discussion. IMO, a strip strike allows the most direct application of power to the hook. When the rod is pointed at the fly, and you're retrieving line, there will be slight amounts of slack. But since everything is basically in-line, the strip strike removes that slack quickly, and as others said, provides direct & quick setting of the hook.

    Raising the rod, if done rather slowly, actually puts more slack in the line. (Like when roll casting.) If done quickly, that section of line between the rod tip & water, being arched will bounce, which adds to the slack. You may really be losing control of the line & fly when raising & striking with the rod. Doesn't mean you won't get a good hook set, but may cause you not to as well.

    There is a certain amount of stretch in the line also. There's probably a small amount in the leader & tippet too, but not likely enough to have any impact since they're relatively short. Being in-line with a strip strike may also take advantage of that line stretch, like a bungee cord, while raising the rod, again because of the the arched line & stretch may really be adding more slack that also minimizes the power you put into the strike.

    The low & to the side rod strike might be fine in some short line situations. Guys who use other tackle do that a lot. But there the rods are generally shorter & stouter, and the line diameter thinner so there's less resistance. If they're using braided lines, there's very little if any stretch. Since a fly line is larger diameter compared to lines used with other tackle, and depending on the length of line, a fast side strike with the rod may also be adding an unwanted bow in the line, which again limits the power applied to the hook.

    As the math rule goes, the shortest distance between 2 points is a straight line, so goes the most direct way to apply power to a hook point, and the strip strike is the closest thing you'll get to that straight line.
    Last edited by bigjim5589; 08-21-2013 at 12:49 PM.
    Remember, no one likes to be behind the big truck, but that's better than being under it!

  16. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Wasilla / Skwentna, Alaska
    Blog Entries

    Default Re: Why strip strike?

    I'm not sue if this is the real answer but................................

    I do this after the fish has taken the fly and is already on the hook. It either pulls a poor hooking lose or sinks it in so that the fish will be landed. As others have said this is primarily used when fishing streamers in salt or fresh water. When fishing dries I do virtually nothing and the fish hook themselves when they turn to the bottom after taking a floating fly.

    it also allows for a hook set when the rod and or you are not in an optimum position for a twitch of the rod. Actually, once you become accustomed to a deliberate pull on the line rather than a reflexed jerk of the rod I believe you hook more fish.

    Might as well do it, everyone else is


    Anywhere can be the land of great expectations, broken dreams, or paradise found, it's all up to you.

    Life On The Line - Alaska Fishing with Ard
    Ard's Forum blog, Alaska Outdoors

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