Sunday Classic / Don’t Let Go of the Fly Line in Your Rod Hand During the Hook Set

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Always maintain a grip of the fly line in your rod hand when setting the hook. Photo Louis Cahill

Have you ever set the hook on a fish, and the next thing you know, you’ve got your arms spread apart in the shape of a giant slice of pizza, leaving you unable to reach the fly line with your rod hand?

Do not be ashamed if this happens to you every now and then on the water. You’re not alone, I promise. Many fly anglers do this regularly, and the reason they get themselves in this situation is because they’re letting go of the fly line in their rod hand when they set the hook. You can completely eliminate this problem on the water if you make sure you keep a solid grip on the fly line with your rod hand during and after every hook set. Doing so, it will allow you to maintain tension and control of the fish while you’re stripping in fly line or getting that excess fly line on the reel.

I know some of you that have found yourself in this situation have probably used your mouth to hold onto the fly line until you can get your hands back into the correct position. God, I know I have plenty of times. Sometimes this works, other times it doesn’t. One thing I can assure everyone on is that proper fish fighting technique with a fly rod doesn’t call for our mouth to be involved. Next time you find yourself in this predicament on the water, forget about using your mouth, and immediately bring your hand that’s holding the fly line back to your rod hand so you can resume fighting the fish effectively. As mentioned before, you shouldn’t have to worry about doing this if you always make a point to not let go of the fly line in your rod hand during and after the hook set.

Keep it Reel,

Kent Klewein
Gink & Gasoline
www.ginkandgasoline.com
hookups@ginkandgasoline.com
 
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6 thoughts on “Sunday Classic / Don’t Let Go of the Fly Line in Your Rod Hand During the Hook Set

  1. Great tip. It’s a common mistake, for sure. I used to loose control of the line on hook set all the time, generally with hilarious results. There may not be a better way to loose a fish. I’ve gotten much better about it and share this wisdom when I can.

  2. I like to think of this as developing a new habit as opposed to breaking an old one. Unless I’m actively casting, my line is under the control of my rod hand at all times. Once my cast is completed, my line hand delivers the line to my rod hand and there it stays.

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