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Thread: Using a fly reel. help needed!

  1. #1
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    Default Using a fly reel. help needed!

    Well i took the plunge and picked up a 9wt Sage Launch for 75.00. It was on the close out rack and was the last one they had and they took my offer. Well now he is the tough part. How does one use a fly reel. I will be fishing reds on the Kenai. I have fished them the last few years on a spinning reel. Whith a fly reel do you let them take drag on a run like with a spining reel? How do you wind them in? I fished a lot with a fly rod as a kid buy that was for small trout and panfish in MN. There i had an automatic fly reel. Guys i need some help here!

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    Member 6XLeech's Avatar
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    Default Watch and learn...

    Experineced fly fishermen taught me a lot. Just watching them on streams, seeing how they did every step, including landing fish --has been a tremendous learning experience - and still is.

    Tough this time of year now of course. When I got started, I watched some DVDs too- the Scientific Angler series I found at Walmart. Joan Wulff and Mel Krieger, several others and a bunch of fly fishing stuff on YouTube.

    Little drag for little tippet. Heavy drag for heavy tippet. Most of the very strong fish I've caught in Alaska were steelhead, Rainbows or Dollies. On the Anchor River, I watched many guys land good sized fish without moving a step. Me I tend to move with the fish until he tires, then hold my ground, cranking down on the drag. Many Alaska fish are not leader shy and a heavy (15#) leader gives some confidence that you can crank down the drag without worry. But a light leader can be helpful when bites are sparse.

    Even the Alaska species I've caught can be very strong fish. I can't wait to get into some frisky salmon - and Kings, wow - that's gotta be something! Learning to work with heavy drag seems an important skill to me. Good luck.

  3. #3

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    the problem I see most begginners making is too much drag, no drag at all, or trying to palm the reel too hard.

    Palming the reel is just that...you use the palm of your hand as a drag system. First and foremost watch out for the reel handle, she'll get you every time! Now cup your left hand assuming you are a righty, pretend you're holding the rod in your right hand straight up...and apply your left hand under your right as if the bottom of your right hand were the reel. It's pretty simple yet very effective. but DO NOT clamp down too hard.

    Many hit a fish and try to hang onto the reel handle....one of three things happen. The fish either pulls the reel handle from you and you beat your nuckles as the fish goes screaming away on the reel handle spinning mach 5. The line breaks (which is more common), or possibly the rod breaks. Hit a fish, strip line just so your tight...and from here I prefer to let the fish take all of the line not on the spool, and now fight him. If that reel has a good drag system, you dont need to palm at all.

    Fly reels themselves are truely simple. I have a technique for getting line back on the reel while keeping my line tight to a fish. It looks complicated but it's not. I take the line to the fish between the pointer finger and the rod, clamped down pretty good however if the fish makes a run let him take line. This can be hard...so listen on . with the main line clamped down under the pointer of your right hand, take the line coming off the reel (assuming you have a bunch of it on the ground, and slip it between the pinky and ring finger also on your right hand and reel like crazy LOL. This basically keeps any knots from happening on the reel as you pick up the line to fight the fish from the reel. You reel in the line and hold onto the fish at the same time...this is impossible to do if the fish is hot, but if it's holding it works perfect. Keep the rod bent, dont apply to much pressure to the fish at this point and let him go if he wants to go, but letting line out like this can be tough. Now if the fish decides to go nutz...I grab the line with my left hand and use that as a drag system till I'm on the reel. I prefer to let the fish take all the line out again, keeping the rod tight, let him take that loose line, the stuff we're trying to get back on the reel so you can fight the fish from the reel. you WILL get it back LOL! Confuzing I'm sure, but it's really simple. Once the fish is on the reel it's fight the fish time.

    I dont like too much drag, opting for just enough to pick up line...but not much more then that. That long rod is a great buffer from breaking lines, but it only goes so far. Once a fish starts to tire...I turn down my drag a notch or two, and fight from there. The shorter the line to the fish, the easier it is to break (as is the rod itself). Remember you can easily add a little more drag by palming so to light of a drag is ok as long as it's not overrunning itself...actually to light of a drag is a good thing for me anyways! To heavy of a drag and pop!

    I also move with a fish...you dont have too but with a ton of people on the water that is the 'nice' thing to do, it allows everyone to get back to fishing quicker. I dont like a fish getting to far downstream...you can get them to come back up going down and dirty on them with your rod tip...but fighting a fish is for another thread.

    as for winding them in...grab the handle and reel...pump and reel just like you would any fish. when he pulls I bow slightly to the fish if he needs more I drop the reelhandle and let him take line. And lastly dont get your rid tip too high once the fish is up close. It'll force the bend to the tip, and you're likely break your rod!

    btw, where in Mn are you from?

  4. #4

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    My husband fishes with a pflueger reel, a Trion 1912, for king salmon. He uses only 30# plus monofiliament line also (remember to tape fingers first so you don't get any line burn). You need to stop the fish, change his direction and start him on his way in to shore. Letting him run will only make him throw the hook or break the line. Sockeye are a bunch easier but it depends on the water too, quiet water is pretty easy to guide them in towards shore but fast water will force you to stop them as soon as you can. If any of the salmon-type fish get much out into mid-stream it's real tough to land them.

  5. #5
    Member oldmil007's Avatar
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    Default

    Kevin,

    You ain't the only one with respect to "Help Needed"! Thanks for asking this question.

    TradBow, great explanation of some basics. You seem to have the knack of putting stuff in plain, easy to understand talk.

    Haven't fly fished in about twenty years but I'm getting excited about relearning. These tips and others offered throughout the Fly fishing Forum are good stuff! Thanks to you and the many others who have been so generous with their advise.


    - Jay

  6. #6

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    Jlady,

    I think you're miss understanding what I ment buy "taking all the line".

    When you're fishing with a fly rod you'll find you USUALLY (not always) have some extra line on the water depending on the style of fishing you are doing. Ie casting streamers in a lake for trout you may have a LOT of line laying on the water when a fish finally hits that needs to be taken up vs say fliping for reds, or casing for kings. Either way I prefer to let the fish do his thing and take this line, so you are not trying to handle the line as a drag system vs let the reels drag do the work with some extra palming adding in when needed. so fish hits, you set the hook and be ready for a run. On this run you try to let him take as much line as possible to get back onto the reel. If he stops, you start reeling staying tight to the fish till you are on the reel or the fish starts trying to run again. Once you're on the reel you can fight them from there much easier.

    As for horsing fish. I think you'll loose more fish if you do yet you need to apply ENOUGH to land them. You'll loose less fish with a long rod I believe also (I grew up walleye fishing with a fly rod and a spinning reel, it worked fantastic), but you are right you cant just let them go every where either. There IS a happy medium.... to much vs to little. on a trip to the russian you will learn real quick the people who thought horsing fish was a good idear lol. KERPOW!

    When a fish pulls you have to let them pull, when a fish stops pulling you can start do fight your fish...up down, AND left and right. I call it the down and dirty and yes you can turn a fish quite easily. I find myself loosing more fish doing the down and dirty closer to shore but I also dont fish with 30lb test for anything. So I'm a little more limited in how much guns i can put to them and when. The longer a hook stays in a fish, the bigger the hole it creates and the higher the risk of a hook falling/pulling out is very true. Fighting fish is almost as much of an art as is casting a fly rod or getting a fish to hit to begin with. Knowing when to and when not to pull/reel only comes with time. Learning to control all that extra line is first and foremost on a big fish..the bigger the fish the more important it is. Grayling are a great fish to learn on, or any other small, over eager biting fish. It'll become second nature when you hit that 50lb king.

    I'm by no means an expert and if you watched me you be like what the heck..but it works, it's simple, and most can pick it up and tweak it to their needs relatively quickly.

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    I watched so YouTube fly fishing for Tarpon to see how to fight with a fly reel. Thanks for all your help guys!

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    Default leader

    Quote Originally Posted by TradBow View Post
    The shorter the line to the fish, the easier it is to break (as is the rod itself).
    re: rod breaks - I've heard to never exceed your line weight of your rod by more than double the breaking strength of your leader. Ex: 6 weight rod, 12# test max leader; 9 weight rod, 18# test max leader.

    Only time I have broken rods is when I have violated this general rule (okay...only time I broke a rod while actually fishing).

    Curious is this is an old fisherman's tale or solid advice???

    Thanks all...

  9. #9

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    I wont go heavier then my backing which is usually 25. I think fly line cores are also built on 25lb lines.

    Typically I dont go higher then 20, but I do it quite a bit on a 7wt us 20 lb mono.

    really dont horse your fish and keep the rod angle down and you'll be fine. I've stuck steelies on 3 wt's with no ill effects.

    Usually it happens in one of two places. One you hook a fish and really try and lock down on them. Or two, the fish is about ready to be landed, generally "played out", you have your rod up high and mighty when the fish decides to go. The tip of a fly rod isnt designed to handle the surge of a fish...it's ment for casting. (as is all rods). Add a scratch to the rod in the wrong place and SNAP. I've never understood this but I have a buddy who breaks rods left and right. high end rods to boot. I've broken one...got a little overzealous on a snag thinking it was a fish. I have broken rods in storage now thats another story LOL!

    Locking down on a fish is evident everywhere...an evening on ship/russian/kasilof will show you what I mean. People are too afraid to loose a fish. I understand in combat fishing situations you can't be running everywhere either but there is a happy medium. You cant overwork your gear or something is going to give!

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    Default candy cane...

    Quote Originally Posted by TradBow View Post
    ..... the fish is about ready to be landed, generally "played out", you have your rod up high and mighty when the fish decides to go.
    ahhh yes, the classic "candy cane." Especially prevalent when you don't have a friend with a net in their hand....I suspect that high end graphite is especially susceptible to these breaks, although I have no evidence one way or the other.

    Thanks for your comments tradbow.

  11. #11

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    You are correct that the rule of thumb is the tippet should never been more than double the rod weight (6wt=12# tippet. 10wt=20# tippet maximums).

    As for bending a rod over and breaking it, I think this is one of the most common mishaps. The spine of the rod is not meant to be beant over and back into itself, called "C" sticking it, very commonly done landing fish by yourself. This action will break a rod in a hurry.

    Any nick in the scrim of the rod (scrim is the outer layer of the blank) will cause for a failure and could break under even normal circumstances when using the rod.

    Highend or low end rods it don't matter, all of the above can cause a rod to break.
    "The Tug is the Drug"

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