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Discussion Starter #1
I was taught as a youngster, that when fighting a fish, I should try to always keep my rod tip up. Made sense to me. That's the way I continued to fish up to the not to distant past. I was fishing with a guide on a Olympic Peninsula river about the size of the Clackamas and hooked into a nice feisty Chinook. As I was fighting this fish, I kept my rod tip up like I had always been told. The guide looked at me like I was nuts! He said to "get the rod tip down", "this wasn't ocean fishing". I did what I was told and ended up landing the fish (pretty 24 lb. hen).
Is this the way it is supposed to be done or does it matter that much?

Makes me feel kind of silly if I've been doing it wrong all these years. But if keeping the rod tip down on the smaller type rivers works better, I'm all for it. Just didn't feel as comfortable.
 

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I've always used the rod to help land the fish, i.e. keeping the tip up.

I'm not sure what the guide was teaching you, but I learn new things every day. Maybe there's something we've all been missng?:shrug:
 

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I was taught as a youngster, that when fighting a fish, I should try to always keep my rod tip up. Made sense to me. That's the way I continued to fish up to the not to distant past. I was fishing with a guide on a Olympic Peninsula river about the size of the Clackamas and hooked into a nice feisty Chinook. As I was fighting this fish, I kept my rod tip up like I had always been told. The guide looked at me like I was nuts! He said to "get the rod tip down", "this wasn't ocean fishing". I did what I was told and ended up landing the fish (pretty 24 lb. hen).
Is this the way it is supposed to be done or does it matter that much?

Makes me feel kind of silly if I've been doing it wrong all these years. But if keeping the rod tip down on the smaller type rivers works better, I'm all for it. Just didn't feel as comfortable.
Keeping the rod high may result in a snapped rod.....keeping it level or slightly higher, allows the rod to "load up"..it's this load up that keeps the hook in place, and allows the rod to fight the fish over using your arms and wrists.
If your using a landing net, sometimes a high rod is unavoidable....but a high rod can and will snap if to much pressure is applied via man or feesh.

I saw 2 rods snapped yesterday...."high sticking" while landing a 6lb coho...one of those rods was $320:crazy:
 

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I agree with fshklr, if you keep the rod tip high you do have a greater chance at snapping the rod, your best bet is when fighting a fish keep your rod hand elbow tucked into your side and bring your forearm up as if you were taking a drink of a beer butt keeping your elbow tucked in then point your wrist down as if you were pointing to the ground, sounds weird I know but actually what it does is give you a strong backing for your butt of the rod to rest against your forearm and points the rod at a 2 o clock angle which keeps the rod high enough to keep the hook stuck and not over stressing the backbone of your rod and remember to pull back on the rod and reel down, use the feel of the rod if the fish wants to move towards you pull back on the rod if he wants to run point the rod out to a 3 oclock angle or even a 4 and you should be fine
 

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You want the fish to fight the rod and not the line..
Whether your rod tip is up or sideways you just dont wanna point your rod tip at the fish, cause it puts all the presure on the line.
Reel down... Pull up...
 

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Discussion Starter #6
One of the things I wonder about this type of fighiting a fish is, does it make the fish work harder? When I think about it, it seems like you would have more leverage against the fish pulling it sideways instead of trying to bring it to the top in a straight up vertical fashion.

Make sense?:shrug:
 

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Check out my article "Fighting BIG Fish" in STS Magazine (not the current issue, the one just before).

Keeping the tip up is very "old school".... you gain maximum control by employing side pressure to "steer" your trophy in the intended direction. Simply keeping the tip up does nothing but lift the fish's nose... he is free to swim any direction he pleases. Side pressure with your rod tip held low to the water is your very best friend when fighting BIG fish, especially so in flowing water.

Full details in the article. I highly recommend it :wink:
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks Doc, I appreciate your feedback. I had an idea it might have something to do with how to control a fish. It just seemed very unusual to do it that way after all this time and I have to remind myself from time to time to watch what I'm doing.

One more question, Do you still want to keep your rod tip up in the ocean or deeper waters than say 40'? Or do you fight the fish the same way?

Thanks again for all the advice.:cheers:

Tight lines to all!
 

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fight the fish to land it, sideways pressure is best, sometimes rod in the water pressure is good, sometimes high is good, depends on the fish and the situation.

recently i had a fish swim under the boat....the rod had to go in the water then around the motor and back up high....
 

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When you are in a boat in deep(er) water your are in essence above the fish. Sideways pressure is more subtle and upward pressure brings him up to the boat. This is where the lift up and reel down works best. Just don't high stick in any case.

And yes pushing the rod down in the water is a very effective method of getting them out from under the boat.
 

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When the fish makes a run (especially steelhead) or does some fancy acrobatics I tend to point the rod at the fish to reduce ft/lb spikes and use drag resistance only, it doesn't last long before I bring the rod tip comes up for line recovery. I think keeping the resistance consistent throughout the fight works well. I generally lessen the drag as the fish gets closer to the boat due to the situation becoming less forgiving.
Just one way of doing it IMHO.
 

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River fishing I always keep my rod tip low especially when fighting big chinook. When bank fishing I'll apply hard side pressure with the rod tip low in an attempt to pull the fish out of faster flowing water if necessary.

When I'm ready to land the fish I'll continue to put hard side pressure and pull the fish onto the beach if it's going to be kept or in shallow water if it's going to be released.

From the boat, again hard side pressure lifting the head at the last second before netting.

Mark
 

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River fishing I always keep my rod tip low especially when fighting big chinook. When bank fishing I'll apply hard side pressure with the rod tip low in an attempt to pull the fish out of faster flowing water if necessary.

When I'm ready to land the fish I'll continue to put hard side pressure and pull the fish onto the beach if it's going to be kept or in shallow water if it's going to be released.

From the boat, again hard side pressure lifting the head at the last second before netting.

Mark
:agree: That's exactly the way to do it!

And remember to immediately drop the rod tip the instant the fish's mid-section clears the hoop. It will instinctively swim for the bottom of the bag every time.

When I'm netting, I usually bark, "Drop him!" as soon as I see the pectoral fins clear the hoop.

Continuing to lift the rod tip beyond that critical drop maneuver will cause the fish to jump out of the bag before the netter has a chance to close it.
 

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The Bend is your Friend. Rule number one is to keep that rod loaded up at all times. Sometimes that means keeping the tip up and sometimes it means side pressure. It's all relative to where the fish is and where you want him to move to.

Taking the rod vertical much past around 45 degree's to the water definately turns into a dangerous game that can easily result in a Ka-Snap.
 

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One thing I had to learn the hard way is when in a river and the fish got directly below me... I kept my tip up and tried to pull straight towards me.... "plick"... that was the sound of my spinner popping out of the fishes mouth. Try to keep below the fish, but if it gets directly below you... MOVE to try and keep the pressure from the side. Side pressure holds the hook in and if you apply pressure directly out of the fishes mouth you will get just that!

:twocents:

Jay
 

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You can still high stick a rod even if you are pulling to the side. If you are pulling up stream and fish is down stream close to the bank. the rod is then loaded at top third of rod. that top third will break off. I have seen it. its the exact same load as high sticking.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
You can still high stick a rod even if you are pulling to the side. If you are pulling up stream and fish is down stream close to the bank. the rod is then loaded at top third of rod. that top third will break off. I have seen it. its the exact same load as high sticking.
That's a good point. I guess that if the fish is close to the bank and you are fighting it in a sideways fashion, backing up from the waters edge to decrease the arch or bend of the rod would help. If you have room to back up of course.
 

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When using a spinning rod, I take off the anti reverse after hooking up and getting the fish under some control. That way when it makes a sudden surge near the boat or bank, I can back reel and take the sudden strain off the drag.

RV
 

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Also, when fishing for steelhead I have found that keeping side pressure on them tends to reduce the number of times they come up out of the water. I have seen more people loose steelies when the fish comes out of the water and the angler zigs the rod when they should have zagged. You want to make sure that you keep the rod loaded up when the fish is not airborn. When a steelhead goes airborn, you need to "bow" to it, otherwise its 'flip, flop, SNAP' goes the line.
 
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