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Hookset Question

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ONE: When using a Kahle hook, octopus hook, etc., and a cat doubles my rod over and pound, pound, pounds it, I have had several come off when setting the hook. They have to be there, right? Should I walk the rod ahead first? They seem to be solid on the line, but I hit and miss enough to be perturbed...

TWO: When using a circle hook, when do you guys start reeling? At first contact? With steady pressure? What if they are just tapping away less aggressively, what then?


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It's one of those things that everyone is different about. I can tell you what works for me... I've been rethinking the way I've been setting the hook this season and have been trying to figure out why my hook percentage was way down. Before I noticed it, I was setting the hook just strictly based on the screaming clicker and the rod buckling over. What I have been doing lately is giving the fish some slack so they don't feel me taking my rod from the holder...reel in remaining slack.....feel for the fish with the tip of the rod....once you feel it, set the hook. Some guys (myself included) like to hammer it home with a monster hookset. Other simply flick the wrist and hold on. Only time on the water will tell you what to do. Good luck and don't be afraid to try new techniques out if it's not working.

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Thanks for the info. I'm heading out tonight for some channel fishing and will just try different approaches until something works better...

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From my experience I believe that if its a big fish a majority of the time its gonna inhale a reasonably sized bait so your hook is gonna be in its mouth. I have had a few runs this year that feel like they are running good and when I click over to let the line tighten up it tightens up and I can feel my bait rip off the hook. I guess you never truely know forsure but I like to believe that it is just little ones not getting all of the bait in their mouth so the hook is not going to have a chance. When you get a run, depending on the situation and structure you are fishing, free spool the reel, pic the rod tip up so extra line comes out, click your reel over and drop the tip of your pole to where the fish is running, let it tighten up, and when you feel a solid tug give it a rip, and keep your thumb on the spool so you hook it good. You don't want to get a nice one on and have a poor hook set. This is referring to using regular hooks.

Also depending on the bait you use it could be a gar or turtle bite but you can usually tell by the way it takes the clicker out.

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