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Landing Big Fish Near The Boat

by Captain Jim Barr on 03/23/17

When you're playing a big fish from a boat and you are getting close to landing it, it's very easy to put too much pressure on the tip section of your rod. When playing that fish with a fly rod- as it's coming closer to the boat, with your rod hand pinch the fly line with your forefinger against the rod grip. With your line hand strip off 2-3 feet of fly line from your reel and let it pile at your feet. With the rod hand still pinching the line, grab the leader just above the fish with your line hand while simultaneously releasing the pinched line from the cork grip. This maneuver releases the tension on the rod's tip section and eliminates the potential of snapping the tip from holding the rod in a near vertical position where the rod flex is completely on the tip section.
   Tom Rosenbauer of Orvis showed me this procedure a few years ago when we were filming a video for The New Fly Fisher, and it works great. It's also effective when using a spinning or surfcasting rod. For reels with a bail there's no need to strip line from the spool, simply open the bail.

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