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Thread: Methods of preventing backlash injuries

  1. #1

    Default Methods of preventing backlash injuries

    Does anyone have suggestions for setups or rigs to prevent backlash (defined here as sinker and hook flying back toward you at 70mph) when fish get off?

    After multiple trips to the Kenai fishing for reds, there seems to be ongoing injuries from backlash of sinkers when fish get off. While most people wear eye protection, I have talked to many people who have had injuries from sinkers to the head, face, eye, and other areas. I have heard different methods of preventing problems including putting a bead above the sinkers, using braided line, but these methods dont seem effective. Please help. Thanks.

  2. #2
    Member pike_palace's Avatar
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    Three way swivel with pencil lead. No more split shot. Nearly lost my left eye in June this year due to that. 2 split shot hit my cheek, the 3rd hit just above the eye. Not fun.
    "Ya can't stop a bad guy with a middle finger and a bag of quarters!!!!"- Ted Nugent.

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    Member JOAT's Avatar
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    Don't pull so hard.

    Use lighter tackle and actually fight the fish like we had to before the invention of Spectra. Elementary physics... the less stretch and higher load test of your line will directly increase the speed and momentum of a returning sinker if the other end suddenly lets go. Lighter mono is going to transfer less energy and go limp.

    Agree that split shot or any other "in line" weight is bad. Pencil lead in surgical tube on a 3-way is probably the best for redirecting the momentum since the weight is off the axis of pull.

    Or... go fly fishing.
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    Member 9601's Avatar
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    Avoidance and situational awareness is probably your best bet. I'm always weary of the angle of pull. I always try to avoid being in direct line of the angle of pull when either I or somebody else has a fish on. For example, I drop my rod tip to one side or other when I have a fish and either turn my back or get out of the way when a guy next to me has a fish. If I net for somebody I'm always downstream of them (i.e. never between the person and the fish).

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    Member fishNphysician's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JOAT View Post
    Don't pull so hard.

    Use lighter tackle and actually fight the fish like we had to before the invention of Spectra. Elementary physics... the less stretch and higher load test of your line will directly increase the speed and momentum of a returning sinker if the other end suddenly lets go. Lighter mono is going to transfer less energy and go limp.

    Agree that split shot or any other "in line" weight is bad. Pencil lead in surgical tube on a 3-way is probably the best for redirecting the momentum since the weight is off the axis of pull.

    Or... go fly fishing.
    I disagree....

    Pull as hard as you possibly can..... as I always recommend.... LOW AND TO THE SIDE. This makes for the most ergonomic, expeditious battle possible.

    Weights go flying because everyone and their dog in the combat zone wants to high stick it.

    WRONG! WRONG! WRONG!

    Horribly inefficient and MUCH MUCH greater risk of injury whenever the fish comes unbuttoned.

    Pencil lead can take out an eye just as easily as shot. 2-3 inches off axis doesn't mean squat.

    Put that rod tip on the water, and now your gear is 6-8 ft off axis.

    Make sense?
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    Default agree to side and low

    ... but that will not solve all problems. Had a fish earlier in the year hit my gear hard. Immediately jumped and shook snapping the hook out. My drag was higher than I meant because of a previous fish on.

    Anyway, the hook and weights came flying back hitting my eye wear and forehead. thank goodness for eyeglasses.

    Wish I had had time to go to the side and low but it was just not to be.

    Light gear - well if fishing somewhere with all the room in that world so I didn't have to worry about interfering with everyone else in the reach of my gear that would be an answer - just not realistic many places that are crowed in Alaska - just not considerate of the other people fishing nearby.

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    9601 and fishNphysician, you are both spot on when talking about the angle of the rod. Rod tip down towards the water, keeps the weight/hook coming at a lower projection (around the knees), should the fish throw it. Are there exceptions? Of course there are...I'll take my chances with the rod pointed down though.

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    Member ak_powder_monkey's Avatar
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    Always always always wear glasses

    also when you fight a fish fight it to the side instead of strait up and down, not only is it more effective but its safer for you
    I choose to fly fish, not because its easy, but because its hard.

  9. #9

    Default Makes alot of sense

    Thanks for the advice doc, that method is also practical in a combat zone.

    Quote Originally Posted by fishNphysician View Post
    I disagree....

    Pull as hard as you possibly can..... as I always recommend.... LOW AND TO THE SIDE. This makes for the most ergonomic, expeditious battle possible.

    Weights go flying because everyone and their dog in the combat zone wants to high stick it.
    Thanks for the advice doc, very practical in a combat zone
    WRONG! WRONG! WRONG!

    Horribly inefficient and MUCH MUCH greater risk of injury whenever the fish comes unbuttoned.

    Pencil lead can take out an eye just as easily as shot. 2-3 inches off axis doesn't mean squat.

    Put that rod tip on the water, and now your gear is 6-8 ft off axis.

    Make sense?

  10. #10
    Member Lake creek fishermen's Avatar
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    Yep pretty much all is covered. And as monkey said wear some sort of glasses
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    Member fishNphysician's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by traderjon View Post
    Had a fish earlier in the year hit my gear hard. Immediately jumped and shook snapping the hook out. My drag was higher than I meant because of a previous fish on.

    Anyway, the hook and weights came flying back hitting my eye wear and forehead. thank goodness for eyeglasses.

    Wish I had had time to go to the side and low but it was just not to be.
    I'd recommend that folks get in the habit of setting the hook LOW AND TO THE SIDE as well... toward the downstream bank.

    No more flying hooks and weights on the false hooksets (which in the combat zone is 95 percent plus of the jerking going on).... not to mention it is the most ergonomic and efficient way to set a hook when bankfishing runnin water. Forces the hook right into the scissors for the most sold secure hook placement possible.

    Clearly safer...

    Clearly more effective...

    Your choice.
    "Let every angler who loves to fish think what it would mean to him to find the fish were gone." Zane Grey
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