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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello, I've searched the site on this topic but could not find a clear answer. Just wanted to know how long do you wait before you set the hook while chunking mack or using clams. Lately I've been loosing fish using j hooks and letting the fish take out line for 3 to 5 secs and then trying to set the hook. When I do this the fish is gone. Should I wait longer or set the hook sooner.

Thanks, Jay
 

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Young salt
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Whats the deal man, ur still stewing over that lost fish Saturday morning aren't u??? Just kidding man, busting balls. There really is no "right" answer to this question as different conditions, fishing different areas with different variables all factor into setting the hook. Unfortunately it's trial and error, getting a feel for it. If you're using clams or worms switch over to circle hooks, it will increase your hook up ratio substabtially (more fish than not will hook themselves while attempting to escape with ur offering). Keep it simple, the set up ya had this weekend was fine, 3 oz sinker on a slider, fluoro leader, but try a 6/0 circle hook. When using herring or mackerel you'll be better suited with a J hook, but every fish is different. When ya see the tap tap on your line pick up ur rod and "bow to the fish," cause it will most likely play with ur bait a time or two before actually picking it up. When ya feel the fish tug and it doesn't stop tugging, chances are the bait is in it's mouth and now would be a good time to set the hook. Ur gonna hook up and ur gonna lose fish, its all part of the game....that fish I got Sat. was barely hooked in the bottom lip, I was lucky not to lose him. I may head back out there tonight to use up the clams I have left....but thats weather permitting of course. Good luck man, we'll have to get out again soon and do some more fishing.




StriperHyper ~ Will
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Hey Will, do you let the fish take out line or set as soon as the pole is jerking. Iv'e had 5 strikes where the fish has the bait and the reel is spinning I tighten the drag and try to set and the gd fish is gone.
 

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It's a clam, not a half a bunker
The moment the fish grabs it the whole thing is in it's mouth. If it's not then it's probably a microbass and who cares if you miss it.
When you feel the hit, set the hook
If you wait, you dramatically raise the odds of a gut hook and a dead bass

And what's this about tightening drags ?
Beginners fishing rule #1 - NEVER eff with your drag when you have a fish on. Have it properly set before you even cast.
 

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jay, just get your drag set. go to the bait shop and have them set it and learn how to set it yourself. and never touch it again. don't listen to what anyone else tells you how to fish.
when fishing you are obviously setting your rod in a sandpike and leaving it alone. bad news. if that's the case use a circle hook.
keep the rod in your hand. the way wild dave said is okay to do as the fish will run with the bait BUT as soon as it feels tension in it's mouth it will spit the bait. opening the bail and holding the line on the spool with your left middle finger and pinching the line between your thumb and index finger will allow the line to peel out of your fingers without the fish being aware and then when you close the bail you can begin 'CROSSING HIS EYES" i only wait till the fish takes a foot or so of line to do this. using circle hooks would be better for you as you can close the bail after it's run a few yards and rear up and feel the weight of the fish as he hooks him or herself. it takes practice not to "set the hook" like usual but better for all involved.



 

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jay, just get your drag set. go to the bait shop and have them set it and learn how to set it yourself. and never touch it again.
Actually I have to disagree with that. i always back off the drag at the end of the day/night. Keeping the drag tight 24/7 compresses the washers over time and takes away from the drags effectiveness. Especially on older reels with older style washers (oiled felt, cork.........)
 

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And what's this about tightening drags ?
Beginners fishing rule #1 - NEVER eff with your drag when you have a fish on. Have it properly set before you even cast.
yes, by all means, when you finish fishing, back off the drag and
THEN go fishing tomorrow or next week and when a fish bites/???
oh? i forgot! i did what i was suppose to do and now have to tighten the drag.. oh wait! i can't do that with a fish on right? wtf? zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz
zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz snap... well, that was interesting?
are we on the same page now?
and no, not everyone will do that but i can bet it will happen.
when he gets better he can then get technical and perform preventive maintenence...
your a good teacher sensay>>>
 

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I guess because I had so many people drilled it into me that it's second nature. Mess with the drag, break off the fish. I guess if you're already skilled with working the drag during a fight it's OK, but remember, a too tight drag, especially now with no stretch braid (most braids test higher then the rod's rating) can strip the gears, break the rod or snap the leader - and it'll always happen on a short line right in the wash.

Always let off the drag at the end of the day and always check it before the first cast was another one that was drilled into me. (that one makes a lot of common sense)
 

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First Mate
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Always let off the drag at the end of the day and always check it before the first cast was another one that was drilled into me.
When I first got my boat and started fishing on my own, every time I got back my uncle would ask me if I remembered to loosen the drags. now its second nature. although he never showed me how to set the drag at how ever many pounds... I just go by feel. What is the right way to set it?
 

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When I first got my boat and started fishing on my own, every time I got back my uncle would ask me if I remembered to loosen the drags. now its second nature. although he never showed me how to set the drag at how ever many pounds... I just go by feel. What is the right way to set it?
I only go by the feel and always have. I have never had an issue.
 

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I too go with the feel.
But a good way is hooking your rod / line / hook in a fighting position to a spring scale and pull on it until it reaches 1/4 to 1/3 the breaking strength of your line. 20 lb test would be somewhere between 6 to 7 pounds on your scale. 50 pound test would be ~ 12 to 16 pounds on the scale.
 

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attatch the line to a post somehow and without putting a mad bend in the rod, pull and feel the drag. if you can manage a little tighter fine. 14-16 pounds is sufficient for me anyway. i like to get it set for quick fights and not have her stay out there too long.



 

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So... I've got a question guys... I just picked up a Tica reel with the "Hit and Run" (baitrunner) feature. I've been able to hook up with Gam octopus hooks like 100% of the time and haven't gut hooked yet. (knock on wood). So last night I tried using a circle hook. And I couldn't seem to get a good hook set at all. I've rigged up with a fishfinder, and #5/0 Owner circle hook, baited with sandworms. I'll cast out and flip the baitrunner lever (sometimes I'll spike it). Once I get the tappin', I'll bow to the fish and let it run with some line (3-5 seconds) before I lock down to my main drag setting. With a octo hook this practically a guaranteed set everytime, but not with a circle. Should I be doing something differently? I'd like to be using cirlce hooks as most of my fish are just barely legal lately and I'd hate to guthook one. Thanks for any wisdom any of you can impart.

-GotHooked
 
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