Effective rod angle when fighting fish

maxpowers

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That seem the opposite of my experience. I had a 40-ish bluefin pulling drag on my newell r332 with 40 lbs topshot. I had the rod at about 30-45 degrees to horizon and couldn't really slow the fish down. This was with almost locked down drag or about 12 lbs or so. The deckhand took my rod, put less than a 1/4 turn on the star, pointed the rod at the fish and started to winch the fish in to get enough lines back for me to continue the fight. But you are correct. We should not be afraid to try other methods if they allow us to enjoy the experience more.
 
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drumford

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The angle of the dangle is inversly proportionate to the heat of the meat(your rod)!:D
 
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okie man

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I know this, when checking my drag with a scale my cofe'd 30s will only put out 30# of drag straight pull but if I put a nice bend in the rod it goes up to 34-35#.
 
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sdrepairman

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well from what i have experienced it seems like the more bend in the rod the more pressure on the fish, but also on you too
i had one fish last year dumping out my line and i had my rod at about 30 - 40 degrees and when i got down to my last 75 yards or so i put the butt of the rod on the deck and put that rod straight up, and with in the next 40 yards i finally was able to stop the fish and start to gain line back on the reel
so for me, the more bend in the rod,the better
 
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maxpowers

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I am going to try an experiment later this week. I will set my squall 2 speed at a straight zero degree to horizon and a steady pull ( walking speed ) and record the drag. Then wind the line back on and have someone hold the rod at 20 degrees to horizon and do the same pull test. Repeat at 45 degrees, 60 degrees, and 90 degrees. Will report back what I find.
 
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maxpowers

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ok just a quick follow up. went home and set the drag to 10 to 11 pounds straight pull from the reel at a stedy pull. at about 20 to 30 degrees to the horizon, there was more pressure felt on the reel end but the scale still registered about 11.5 pounds at the end of the line. at 45 degrees it was very hard to continue to hold the rod and pull the drag. to me it felt like i was pulling against 30 or 40 lbs but the drag barely register 10 lbs. at 60 to 70 degrees i could not pull hard enough to get the drag to slip. the scale stop at 9 lbs. i didn't bother testing 90 degrees. the lever was never touched once the initial straight pull confirmed the drag numbers. just get a scale out and test for yourself. i was very surprised.
 
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Fishybuzz

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ok just a quick follow up. went home and set the drag to 10 to 11 pounds straight pull from the reel at a stedy pull. at about 20 to 30 degrees to the horizon, there was more pressure felt on the reel end but the scale still registered about 11.5 pounds at the end of the line. at 45 degrees it was very hard to continue to hold the rod and pull the drag. to me it felt like i was pulling against 30 or 40 lbs but the drag barely register 10 lbs. at 60 to 70 degrees i could not pull hard enough to get the drag to slip. the scale stop at 9 lbs. i didn't bother testing 90 degrees. the lever was never touched once the initial straight pull confirmed the drag numbers. just get a scale out and test for yourself. i was very surprised.



Kil Song is IMO a master fisherman…..he and I have discussed his technique and I have used it when a fish is way out and not straight up and down with very good results …saves your back and arms…..you must have a reel with good smooth drag system and your connections well made.

Never be afraid to try something different or new…….that's what make fishing fun for me.
 
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salty brain

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Few years ago I saw a guy killing them at Guadalupe with that technique.SO I gave it a try, I have long arm so when Im reeling and extending my arms I have to cut it short or the rod butt pops out of my arm pit. It works good I just have to remember not to go for the full reach. It hurts when rod butt smacks you in the jaw.
 
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Solandri A

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I have often wondered what is the best rod angle when fighting a fish. I think from the perspective of the fish, the pressure felt is the same whether it is from a rod bent at 30 degrees or from a rod pointed at it. The drag pressure is regulated by the reel's drag system mostly.
Tension in the line isn't constant just because the drag pressure is constant. Get a length of line and tie it to the ceiling. Now tie a 5 lb weight to the bottom of it. Gravity always pulls the 5 lb weight down with a force of 5 lbs, so it's like the constant force your reel's drag is exerting on the line. If you just let the weight hang there, yes there will always be 5 lbs of tension in the line.

Now lift the weight a bit so there's slack line, and let it drop. When the weight reaches the end of the line, it suddenly jerks the line taut. This greatly increases the tension in the line. Oversimplifying, the tension in the line is the 5 lb weight due to gravity + the force needed to stop the weight's downward fall. Drop the weight from high enough and it'll snap 50 lb test even though the weight is only 5 lbs.

The more quickly the weight is slowed down, the greater the tension in the line during this shock load. So the stretch of the line is a big factor. A very stretchy line slows down the weight gradually, and the tension in the line does not increase much while it's stopping the falling weight. A low-stretch line slows down the weight quickly, and the tension can easily spike over the line's breaking strength.

Your rod basically does the same thing as adding stretch to the line. If you imagine the line tied to the rod (pointed horizontally) instead of the ceiling, when you drop the weight, the rod now acts like a shock absorber which gradually slows down the falling weight, thus lowering the tension spike from slowing down the falling weight.

So the ideal amount of bend in the rod is about halfway to max bent. That way if the fish suddenly pulls, the rod can bend more to absorb that shock. If the fish suddenly swims towards you, the rod can straighten out to help keep the line taut and give you time to reel in. The angle at which the rod will be half-bent depends on the stiffness of the rod, so there is no one universal ideal angle. But as long as you've angled the rod so it's about half its max bend, you're doing fine.

From the angler perspective though, is it easier to point the rod at the fish or create a very small angle 1-5 degrees vs. 30-45 degrees? Any thought on this?
How much force the angler has to exert on the rod is easy. It's just a torque. Look at the line the fish is pulling straight. Now draw an imaginary line perpendicular to the fishing line. Slide this perpendicular line up or down the fishing line until it goes through the fulcrum (pivot point) of the rod. If you're hand-holding the rod like a bass rod, the fulcrum is where your hands are. If you're using a fighting belt, the fulcrum is the bottom of the rod. If you're holding the rod with your hand while holding down the butt with your armpit or elbow, the fulcrum is in the middle between your hand and armpit/elbow.

The longer this perpendicular between the fishing line and the fulcrum, the more force the angler has to exert on the rod. Length or action of the rod doesn't matter. Only the length of this perpendicular. At one extreme (rod pointed at the fish), the perpendicular's length is zero, and it's really easy (though you completely lose any benefit of the rod's shock absorption). At the other extreme (rod pointed 90 degrees to the line), the perpendicular's length is maximum, and it's really hard on the angler.

This is also the reason why fighting belts are so helpful. The torque the fish exerts is (tension in line) x (length of perpendicular). You have to generate a counter-torque (force of your hands) x (how far up that perpendicular you hold the rod). At this point, the rod is just a simple lever. The closer to the fulcrum you apply a force to counter the fish, the less mechanical advantage you have, and the harder it is. The further you apply force from the fulcrum, the more mechanical advantage you have, and the easier it is.

Think of it as a half see-saw. The fish is sitting on one end of the see-saw and its weight is pushing that end down. Your job is to lift the fish. If you place your hands really close to the pivot point and lift, it's really hard. But if you place your hands halfway up, it's a lot easier. When you hold the rod with just your hands, the pivot point is at your hands and it's really hard to lift. Works fine for bass or trout, but no way for tuna. When you wedge the rod butt into your armpit, you're sliding your hand further from the fulcrum and making it easier to lift. When you use a fighting belt, the pivot point is at the bottom of the rod, and you can place your hands as far up the rod as you can reach. The further up you hold it, the easier it'll be (though if you go too far up you'll start to interfere with the rod's bend).

Kil Song is IMO a master fisherman…..he and I have discussed his technique and I have used it when a fish is way out and not straight up and down with very good results …saves your back and arms…..you must have a reel with good smooth drag system and your connections well made.
Actually, the stretchiness of the line, amount of line that's out there, and (lack of) any sudden movements the fish makes will matter more than the drag. The technique works when the fish is way out because the line does not go straight to the fish. The fish is likely going slightly or completely sideways and not just straight out, so the line will have some arc in the water. If it suddenly changes direction, the water resistance of that arc helps to absorb the shock even if you've positioned the rod so it doesn't offer any shock absorption.
 
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wils

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Get a length of line and tie it to the ceiling. Now tie a 5 lb weight to the bottom of it.

What knots do you recommend for this? and what is it being connected to? a drywall screw just in the drywall? or eyescrew in a joist?

What about line test? mono? braid? brand?

How high should the ceiling be to have a sufficient amount of 100# line for the 5lb weight to be able to break it?

If EVER I see a hands-on demonstration at the rail of torque angles emanating from the butt of a rod firmly planted in a rod holder, someone is going swimming.
 
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