Fight from the reel or from the rod?

Reefmo

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Nov 28, 2016
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Matt Skogmo
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Hey all,
So I was on a 1.5 bluefin fishing and saw something sorta weird (at least to me). This somewhat skinny kid - probably 18 years old, hooked into a nice 30-40lb model. He was flylining with what amounts to a jig stick -- it was what appeared to be an older 9' seeker rod with a reasonable conventional reel.

Rather that fighting the fish the way I'd think to (tip up, keep rod bent, etc.), the kid fished it almost solely straight of the reel. Rod pointed at fish the whole time.

Later in the day another guy on the boat mentioned that technique of fighting was common to 'yellowtail' guys.

Anyone have any comments on why you would fight a fish in such a manner?
 

albacore11

Member Intrepid 200# Club
May 19, 2006
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The only time I point my rod at the fish and grind is with Wahoo. For all other fish I use the mechanical advantage of the bend in the rod, and low gear on my two speeds when necessary.
 
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azbaseball

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Apr 2, 2007
425
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la mesa ca
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mike de vito
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20ft nitro
if the fish is charging the boat i would lower the rod and reel as fast as possible to keep the line tight. With the longer rods the leverage goes to the fish if the rod is held high the fish can pull harder on the rod. Think of a 10 foot piece of PVC pipe. If you hold it out straight and someone pulls down on it the leverage is about equal. if you lift the PVC and than they pull down on the end you will see it will almost lift you off your feet. The advantage of the long rod it distance casting not fish fighting. I fish the 9 ft rods when popping for tuna thus I point the rod at the fish trying to wind them in. I also use the rail and again the leverage given to the fish on the rail is to their advantage. Remember stand up rods were all 6'6' or less for that reason cheers
 

Bill W

tunaholic
Jan 12, 2006
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Bill Walsh
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The distance between the fish and the rod is the key. If line is coming off the reel then the rod tip should go high, the rod can stop the run. But what is perceived as the fish stopped running is not really true. They have made a turn with the same speed swimming and time to change your tactics to take advantage. It is all about getting line on your reel. To get the line belly on your reel you can rock your weight from one front foot to the back foot with minimal rod lift. The most efficient way to put line on the reel. Once the fish is up and down and laying out then you can get a bend in the rod.

Just my strategy for big fish on the long trips, we use 7-8 foot rail rods.
 

Reefmo

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Matt Skogmo
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One other thing to remember is if you are fishing straight braid with a short top shot of flouro the rod will act as a shock absorber since you don’t have the forgiveness of mono stretch.
Especially if you dont have a lever drag where you can feather things-- start drag or spinner locks down so fast.
 

T.O.T.W.

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I've seen it gain popularity in recent years. It's definitely a different feel and you have to really be able to react quickly to sudden movements (as noted above). Probably not much different, but in my mind, it sure seems like it will put more stress on the spool spindle. Also, sometimes when you've been pulling on fish for a while, it's another technique to employ for a while to give some tired muscles a break for a bit!
 

swami 805

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Mar 9, 2016
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sunk it
I’ve seen slow pitch rods bent thru the handle almost with the reel doing all the work. Same principle almost.
 
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No Cal Lou

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Oct 1, 2009
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I an old. I stoop down as much as this old body allows to get the rod tip high to get the fish`s head turned towards the boat. I let the rod do all the work, when the tip goes down I grind. When the fish gets straight down, the rod goes on the rail using the same method
 

Xue

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Jan 3, 2015
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Well, don't give that kid too much credit. He probably didn't know how to fight a fish and inadvertently used a technique that's uncommon.

When I was fishing big barracuda maybe 25-30 years ago we called this "under reeling". I don't know how it came about but the guy's would yell out "under reel it, under reel it". I think it might have been a term us guys just started using because we weren't real fishermen yet and fished like a bunch of noobs with jigmasters. Got yelled at a lot to keep the rod tip up, but fun times.
 

fcsd_christian

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PL_Fisherman

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May 8, 2020
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Straight grind.

I think the coolest idea that I’ve ever learned from a sportboat is the behavior of yellowtail from Mike Lackey. Their kinda like dogs playing tug of war. If you tug against the rope, the dog will tug back. But if you slowly walk backwards, the dog follows. So I found that straight grinding yellowtail oneither a high gear ratio or a low gear ratio depending on size, kills fish faster. With tuna it feels more like I have keep constant pressure to keep the fish from recuperating. Basically how ever I can get mine back the fastest, so sometimes pumping and winding to keep a steady gain or bullying them on a straight grind to keep the fish tuckered out and gain a big distance at once.
 

Rex1978

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Nov 4, 2010
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I imagine if Jamie (fishordie)sees this post, he will chime in(not sure he's back from his trip yet). I have seen him demo this type of style of fighting fish numerous times. If I remember correctly the key was to get your feet in an equilateral triangle to your body as much as possible & use your leverage against the fish. Wind towards the fish, lean back, wind towards the fish, lean back. Keeping the rod tip pointed at the fish.
I could be wrong about how he was teaching it, but when holding the rod tip when he was demoing it, it was VERY easy to gain the leverage over what was on the other end of the rod
 

DannyNoonan

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I don't know who "invented" the technique, but it certainly has its' place. You'll often see Kil Song using the straight grind / lean back and wind forward technique for killing really big fish on light action rods. If you have a quality reel with smooth drags, and as others have mentioned the ability to react quickly if the fish changes his game, then it's a very low exertion (for the angler) method of fighting the fish...

And yes, a straight grind is the preferred method on wahoo...
 
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albacore11

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Gone but not forgotten
I imagine if Jamie (fishordie)sees this post, he will chime in(not sure he's back from his trip yet). I have seen him demo this type of style of fighting fish numerous times. If I remember correctly the key was to get your feet in an equilateral triangle to your body as much as possible & use your leverage against the fish. Wind towards the fish, lean back, wind towards the fish, lean back. Keeping the rod tip pointed at the fish.
I could be wrong about how he was teaching it, but when holding the rod tip when he was demoing it, it was VERY easy to gain the leverage over what was on the other end of the rod
I don’t know about when using conventional rod & reel, but Jamie advocates the technique when using spinners. He demonstrated the technique to me while at Bob Sands.
 
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Mar 10, 2020
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John
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Not Yet
Jamie absolutely advocates this technique on conventional. He has referred to it as "flat rodding", and although there may be many different names for this, the fact of the matter is that it works with great efficiency for the angler, and is based upon math and physics.

It does seem counter-intuitive and the notion of "putting the wood to the fish" suggests pulling very hard with a big bend in the rod with a lot of force being exerted by the angler to "pull in" the fish. In actuality, this is (inefficient) energy spent compensating for the leverage the load or FISH HAS when there is a bend in the rod.

It's interesting that it's the recommended technique on Wahoo, but many captains/deck hands will frown upon this on other species and insist upon a bend in the rod. I suspect this is due to this mentor or that teacher said this or that, and like folklore was handed down and around the community. This "pump and grind" is another fighting technique and on "small" fish or "over gunned" fish (ie: 50lb gear on 20lb fish) it might not make any difference, but flat rodding is still worth a try to see if it "works for you".

In summary, pointing the rod directly at the fish is a very effective technique, and the end game is outer edge rail rodding like many have mentioned above when the load or fish is perpendicular to the rod/reel. Just like many things in fishing, it's another "tool" or "technique" for the angler to have in their "fighting style quiver". It just might be that it's the one that is most frequently used if you just give it a try and see for yourself how easy (and fast) it works out for you.

Tight (flat) lines.
 
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Omarkayak

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Jul 26, 2007
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Example: If you're trying to break off a snag, you need to put absolute maximum pressure on the line in order to do it. You point the rod straight at it. Same goes for putting maximum pressure on a fish. Then add just enough bend to take advantage of the power of an appropriate rod and to help get a crank whenever you get a chance.

Of course I'm getting older and weak, so I rail everything now. Sculpin, lizardfish, what have you. :o

Good fishin'!
BDC OK
 

Reefmo

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Nov 28, 2016
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Matt Skogmo
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Trout Sniffer - heavily customized 18.5 tracker targa
I wonder what some of the old guard -- Dave Hansen would say. Maybe he will make a video on yoursaltwaterguide.com

It just seems weird -- although the penny dropped when Omarkayak talked about putting max pressure on a snag... duh. <face palm>
 

jiggermyster

Goin' out...
Dec 12, 2003
106
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Clay
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n/a
Straight grind.

I think the coolest idea that I’ve ever learned from a sportboat is the behavior of yellowtail from Mike Lackey. Their kinda like dogs playing tug of war. If you tug against the rope, the dog will tug back. But if you slowly walk backwards, the dog follows. So I found that straight grinding yellowtail oneither a high gear ratio or a low gear ratio depending on size, kills fish faster. With tuna it feels more like I have keep constant pressure to keep the fish from recuperating. Basically how ever I can get mine back the fastest, so sometimes pumping and winding to keep a steady gain or bullying them on a straight grind to keep the fish tuckered out and gain a big distance at once.
Very effective when YT's are eating the jig.
Just keep grinding and they'll come straight to the boat.

IMO, This is where folks lose out.
First thing they do when they get bit is stop winding and switch from their jig fishing position to their fish fightin' position.
YT gets his head turned and angler gets worked.

Instead, keep turning the handle until either the fish is at the boat or he gets turned and cornholes you. Then you can pause cranking to reposition the rod and fix your hair.