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Sonicrunch

So, I just spooled up with 1lb Gamma and...

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that stuff is thin!

So now that I have my awesome Cabela's XLM rod/reels I figure that I should be able to set the hook and fight the fish without breaking the line.

However, I pulled on about 2 feet of that 1lb line, and it stretched a good inch or more. This tells me I am going to still have to raise the rod a good two feet or more on my hookset to make sure the hook is in.

Two years ago I ran 2 lb test, and many fish got off as they got close to the hole. I attributed this to my light hooksets. I had crappy rod/reel combos, and was afraid of breaking the line on the hookset.

So last year I ran 4lb dia Power Pro. While my hookset percentage skyrocketed, I had many fewer bites.

What say the experts? How delicate do I need to be with 1lb line and a crappie at the other end?

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Not an expert, but I'll chime in.

I have a soft hook set for fear of line snapping or mouth ripping, but it is quick and decisive. This year will be my first year dropping down to 2# mono P-line flouro-ice. I used 2# Fireline @ 1/2# mono diameter and it worked wonderful for me.

When losing fish close to hole (close to boat) often isn't the problem of the hook set or line, but it's the rod power and the control of it. It's when you lose proper line tension and the fish can unbuckle the hook and spit it out. Pay attention to the angle of the rod when getting fish close to hole.

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I'm guessing I should be pointing the rod at the hole, yes?

I have a tendency to pull the fish with the rod, and then reel down to take up slack. I think I need to just reel in, and forget pumping the rod like it's open water fishing.

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I have not felt the need to go lower than 2 lb Gamma for ice fishing.. That stuff is still crazy thin, but twice as strong.. if you think about it. You always have to be careful as a fish nears the hole edge, as they can get leverage there. Keep pressure on the fish but let him swim into the hole.. thats the best advice I have for you.

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I'm guessing I should be pointing the rod at the hole, yes?

I have a tendency to pull the fish with the rod, and then reel down to take up slack. I think I need to just reel in, and forget pumping the rod like it's open water fishing.

I am sure many people will disagree with me but IMO pointing the rod at the hole is not the way to go. One of the main purposes of the rod it to absorb the shock so reeling at the whole takes away the ability of the rod to do what it is supposed to and now you are using the drag to cushion the shock which is not good, more so with light lines. Make sure to use a very light action rod.

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Dave Genz article recently stated how you should never set the hook by raising your rod to the ceiling as this allows more time for the fish to spit the bait. Instead try using the wrist more in the hook set with your palm facing the ceiling.....He had pics on how to hold the rod...........

Anyways I also agree that you want the rod to pointed more in the up position over the hole keeping tension on the line.....I never point the rod at the hole........I use 2lb p-line floro-ice and have great hooking percentage.....m-l st.croix rods also....

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I really prefer goin with the 2lb P-Line, very similar to Gamma. I fish clear lakes in shallow depths, and find that the 2lb is the perfect combination with my ML St Croix's avids. Still is a good amount of action with the lightest of light tackle.

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I personally keep the rod level and let the power/action of the rod load the tug of war. Depending on the situation and on the power/action of the rod, I may tilt it down to the hole if big fish makes a run for it. If my rod is pointed too up, then I can't pick up line as fast as required, since small ice reels don't pick up line as fast, plus one has to consider shelter ceiling. What I want to avoid is fish swimming up and taking tension off the line and then being able to quickly turn itself around and unbuckling the hook. Crappies can do this pretty easy while in hole, walleyes have a little harder time as since they are longer and there isn't much room for them.

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I bought some 1lb last year as a backup just in case the fish were particularly wary during sight fishing but never used it. 2lb worked just fine.

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I have also never felt a need to go down farther than 2lb. That is getting pretty light. Another thing you could try is using power pro still but putting the 1lb on as a leader. This will reduce the amount of stretch and should up your hook percentage.

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