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JimBuck

Setting the hook on a spin reel

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I'm fairly new to the world of catfishing and had a question in regards to setting the hook and letting the fish take the bait. I've been out a few times now and I've been having problems with hooking up on runs. From what I understand, once a fish takes the bait you should let them run with it for a bit before setting thew hook. This kind of thinking makes sense to me if I was using a baitcast/clicker, but I don't understand how this translates into the spincast world. Do I loosen the drag substantially to let them run? Keep an open spool? Reverse? I'm curious what other spincast fisherman do to allow this process of letting the fish run before settting the hook. Thanks everyone!

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If using live bait I will let them run for a bit if I am using larger bait, I just flip open the bail then after it takes some line I close the barrel and giver er the berries!

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A lot of guys have spinning reels with bait runners. That helps a lot in the setting up the hook set.

If you don't have a clicker or bait runner you can do one of three things.

-Loosen your drag and then when you get hit, tighten the drag before setting the hook. Easier said than done.

-Free spool it. Works fine if you pay close attention, much harder in the dark.

-Tight line it. This would be my choice. When the fish hits, pick up the rod and move it towards the fish to create a bow or slack in your line. Then feel for the fish while slowly tightening up the line. Once you feel the fish, give em the business.

Letting the fish run IMO is not needed in the majority of pick ups. By default in some locations you do not have a choice (one way or the other)grin

Good Luck

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OR.........tight line and circle hook if they are running hard out of the gate with it.

I've had the best luck with this option on my spinning real. No skill required...let the fish hook itself...pick it up and fight the fish in. Easy as pie.

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I use a spinning reel and I go with the loose drag thing, just make sure to strip out some extra line before fiddling with the drag, also I use mono so I can pin it to the rod when I set the hook, incase I didn't get the drag tight enough. Like said, it is eaiser said than done.

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Thanks for the prompt response everyone. I've tried loosening the drag but oh boy is that tough to deal with on top of getting the rod out of the holder....I'll give tight lining a try on Thursday when I buy some circle hooks.

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Big fish inhale live bait by flaring their gills no nibling. I hate to give big flatheads any chance to make it to cover so I fish with a closed bail and adjust the drag accordingly. Most of the big fish seem to do a fine job hooking themselves. Cat skin is tough and holds a hook inredibly well. Most of the time I need to use a pliers to get a hook out of the smallest flap of skin on a cat. Hooks go in easy but the barb holds like crazy. So no need to worry about getting the hookset just right.

It's the little tap tap taps and a hookset with nothing that drive you crazy. More often than not these taps are a little fish, turtle, or lots of fish other than cats. I might miss a fish or two by letting the little taps go but I stay more relaxed if I just wait for the frieght train. Hans

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Originally Posted By: wastewaterguru
OR.........tight line and circle hook if they are running hard out of the gate with it.

I've had the best luck with this option on my spinning real. No skill required...let the fish hook itself...pick it up and fight the fish in. Easy as pie.

100% agree. Bait + fish that swallow bait is perfect for tight lining with circle hooks. The fish'll swallow the bait, and as it swims off away from your rod, the circle hook attached to the line will drag across the fish's cheek and bury it in the corner of the mouth.

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