You’ve probably had someone tell you that you’d catch more fish if you set the hook better? But, did you think about what that means? Having good technique when setting a hook is so important because it’s at the moment that a hook is set that a fisher will either pull in their catch or it will shake the hook loose, and the fish will swim away. Some people are just lucky and catching fish with flawless hook setting is so natural to them; almost intuitive. Others will read manuals, watch videos of professional hunters, and still struggle with proper hook setting techniques. It’s important to realize setting a hook is more about timing and the type of fish you are hoping to catch than anything else.
Factors to Consider When Fly Fishing
If you haven’t paid attention to the way you set a hook because you think it’s just something that needs practiced to get right, you’d be half right. Like anything, it does take a bit of practice to learn to set a hook properly, but if you understand when and how fish are likely to go after a fly, you can increase your chances of getting a bite and putting your hook setting techniques to work.
First, it’s important to know setting a hook has a straightforward and universal methodology. When you feel a fish strike the fly, snap the rod over your shoulder or off to one side to set the hook in a fish’s mouth. Sounds easy, right? It is, and it isn’t.
First, you have to consider the species of fish you are after, your timing, and the bait you are using. First, let’s talk about fish species. Not all fish will hit the fly the same way. What this means is you may think you’re perfecting your technique and then it goes wrong. This may be because you aren’t fishing for the same species. So, what you need to think is how you catch certain species of fish.
Next, you have to think about timing. Timing is of particular importance because you only have a second or two to decide whether to set the hook or not. If you go to early, the fish will get away. If you hit too late, you might rip the fly right out of the fish’s mouth and risk losing your catch.
Lastly, it’s important to talk about bait. In fly fishing, fishermen use flys. The unfortunate part for fly fishermen is that fish don’t like flys. Almost immediately a fish will recognize a fly as artificial and attempt to spit it out. If you miss your opportunity to set the hook, you might not get another chance.
How to Set a Fly Fishing Hook
We talked about the motion it takes when fly fishing, but now we need to get into the nitty gritty details. As we mentioned above, as soon as you feel a bite, you need to snap the rod over your shoulder. But first, make sure the end of the rod is pointing at the fish in the water before you do. Doing this will help you set the hook hard and fast. If you opt to twist at the waist, you can increase your tug on the reel by taking a step or two backward.
After you know you have the fish on the hook; it’s time to reel it in. Half the battle is over at this point, but if you struggle with reeling in your catch, you might use a ton of energy and end up losing your fish anyways. Instead, when your fish is on the hook, get the slack out of your line quick and crank the reel fast. If you have a ton of slack, use your other hand to strip the line and continue to reel in your catch. Keep steady pressure on the on the line and drive the hook in further by cranking the reel as hard as possible.
There you have surefire tips to help you be a better fly fishermen. By learning how to set a hook properly, you’ll be better prepared at the lake and can impress your friends and family with the amount of fish you can take home for dinner.
Brandon Cox is the founder of StayHunting, who is passionate about all things of hunting and fitness. Through his hunting website, he would like to share tips & tricks, finest tech that will excite all of the intricacies of hunting whether you be an amateur or a professional. Life is an experiment, pick up your backpack and go hunt!