Fighting technique: From a kayak or canoe. It is different. There are some tricks. You can spend years working at it and eventually come up with some of the things I teach. I am a guide but moreover, I am a teacher. By kayak, my choice, you can do it or you can do it right. The transition a kayak angler isn’t hard. There are some things that are different and someone who has mastered kayak fishing has come up with a few small technique adaptations that make the experience easier and not as destructive to their equipment.
As a guide, I teach it. I call it “fishing from the seated position.” In a boat, it doesn’t apply. Feedback from my clients, I’m the only one who teaches it, something I believe to be true after watching other “experts” fight a fish in their videos. I see bad technique. I guess whatever works for you is all right. But the way I do it you don’t beat up your gear and ultimately more efficient, you finish with that fish and move on to the next one faster.
My methods save you money. I have had clients say that my teachings saves them hundreds of dollars a year in new reels. That would be correct. One of those lessons that goes with my charters, I kept it out of print all these years until this time. “Leaving the right amount of line out” is the key. It is that basic. It is that easy. If you have a seven foot rod you want about eight feet of line out when you land a fish. The goal: To be able to grab the leader, lay the rod down safely inside your kayak and use both hands. Enough slack where you are not fighting the rod, should you need to let go of the fish it is easy to do so and pick the rod back up easily.
Related: Tip Wraps: The “loop over the rod tip”. Gravity can be used to get those little loops around the rod tip. Angle your rod at the water and grab the line coming off the reel. Tug the line gently and feel how this unwraps that small loop. Use gravity to help get the line over the rod tip. For loops over a guide instead of the tip, lay the rod up on the bow, safely from being able to drop in the water. With the rod tip down and a simple tip wrap, you grab the line just above the reel and pull on it and the tip wrap is undone.
Leaving out the right amount of line as a matter of practice:
From a seated position, with enough line out and the rod tip lifted up overhead an angler, without having to reach, can:
- Take a weed off their lure
- Bring a fish to boatside with enough line out to set the rod down to handle the fish with two hands.
- Change a lure. In all three scenarios the rod is laying safely in the boat with enough slack where you are not “reaching”
It is a skill. It is worth learning. Be easier on your gear. Be more efficient. Less time fighting the rod, more time fishing. It is worth it.
You have the chance to improve your own technique. If you have been out on a charter with me I have stopped you from doing it one way and teach you how to do it a better way. Make the change, reap the benefits.
Full time kayak fishing guide, Neil was an advocate for conservation since before the time he started guiding. Outdoor writer, speaker and radio show host, Neil connected closely with Captain Mel Berman and did many positives with Mel to promote ethical angling.
Neil wants to improve the condition of fishing around Tampa Bay. Neil hosts the Captain Mel Classic. Neil hosts Kayak Fishing Skool, the fourth Thursday of every month.
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