Thursday, April 19, 2012

Painfully Obvious Tip #3

I fish small streams often. The fish run smaller and even the big ones, those that measure longer than a foot, have so little room to run that one rarely needs to do anything more than strip them in after they've exhausted themselves. The reel is there to hold the line. It's not for playing fish.

Last weekend I visited a large river for the first time this season. The fish aren't much larger (though there's always hope for one) but they do have plenty of room to run. So, while many can be stripped in, there is the odd one that will give you a run for your money and the reel, and it's drag, will come in quite handy.

Which brings us to Painfully Obvious Tip™ #3:
Check your equipment. Ensure that the drag on your reel isn't ratcheted down all the way like it was at the end of your last trip. Otherwise a large fish will make you its bitch and steal your flies.
I don't regret losing this obviously nice fish.

It was a learning experience.

BONUS P.O.T. for bait anglers:
How to keep your bait off the bottom

BONUS VIDEO*: These fish were stripped in**

Brown Trout from Sipping Emergers on Vimeo.

* Yes, I was too lazy to add a cool soundtrack (i.e. banjos or some such thing) or video of the drive to the river or some foot level video of me walking to or from the river. And I wiped out the sound from the camera cause, as Owl Jones points out, all you can hear are squeaks and gurgles. Video really is a pain in the ass.
** On a reel whose drag was set so tight that it would foil fish catching six days hence.


  1. Unless you leave your rod set up all the time, you should be adjusting your drag as you rig up. It's what I do.


  2. Now that's a pretty cool video. Should have added music. This is the best tip yet. I can't count the number of times I've done the same thing.

    1. Yeah, I could have waited a day or two to add music and edit a bit better but just decided to get it done.

  3. good tip Steve and great video. Thanks for sharing.

  4. Unless you're fishing every day, you might want to consider backing drags off all the way after use. Especially if you're not fishing a particular reel very often.

    1. My problem/error is that I usually tighten them up on my walk off the water so that if the line snags on a branch or something that it's easier to unsnag. As you suggest, I should probably have a habit of untightening it when I put the reel back in my bag.

      I need to build a good habit here.

    2. Actually, that's more to preserve the drags/reels than anything else.

  5. Good advise. Even small stream guys need to check.
    Nice video.

  6. The stripers are going to make you their bitch with knobs on. I must charge my camera.