Using the Reel to Fight Fish

Fly fishermen often fall into the trap of using their finger to pinch the line and control the fight. This results in inconsistent pressure and extra line that frequently tangles around sticks, weeds, boots or other random objects. By developing the habit of fighting fish on the reel you will land more fish, especially large or powerful species. Follow a few simple steps to make sure you put more fish in the net. 

1) Quickly get the excess line onto the reel!

2) If the fish goes on a run, let him go! Make sure your drag is set to the proper tension to allow line to be pulled from the reel without breaking the tippet while still tiring out the fish. 

3) As the fish runs, lower the rod tip, remove your hand from the reel and let the fish take line directly from the reel without additional tension being added. 

4) As the fish stops raise the rod tip and again apply pressure with the rod. Keep the rod tip high to provide a shock absorber and gain line and keep a constant pressure on the fish by reeling the line tight.

These simple steps will prevent breaking fish off by employing the reel. The reel is designed to provide a steady source of power while fighting the fish and can be a huge tool when landing fast or trophy fish. Get in the habit of always fighting fish on the reel!