Video: Correct Way to Fight Fish on Spinning Tackle

The vast majority of bass anglers who set the hook and then fight a fish with spinning tackle do it wrong.

Video: Correct Way to Fight Fish on Spinning Tackle

In the YouTube video below, veteran tournament bass angler Randy Blaukat demonstrates the correct way to set the hook and then fight a fish with spinning rods and reels. He explains a technique known as back-reeling, which allows an angler to exert as little — or as much — pressure as desired when a fish makes a sudden run.

Like Blaukat, I’ve been fishing with spinning tackle for bass since the early 1970s, and I agree 100 percent with the tips he explains in this video. When back-reeling, I have total control when fighting a fish. There’s no way I would rely on a spinning reel’s drag to fight a fish, especially when using line of 8-pound test or less.

One additional tip I’ll mention that Blaukat doesn’t cover is when you know how to back-reel, and you plan on doing so with every fish you hook, you can set your drag just a touch tighter for setting the hook. If your drag is set so loose to prevent line breakage while fighting a fish, then it’s often too loose to put enough pressure on a fish to properly set the hook, even with the hook-set technique described by Blaukat in his video.

Another advantage to back-reeling that Blaukat doesn’t mention: A primary reason some spinning reels cost crazy amounts of money is because of their high-quality drag systems. It’s true that the drag system of a $275 or $375 spinning reel is superior to one found in a $75 model. Learn how to back-reel and you can save the $200 or $300 difference.

FYI: Several modern spinning reels (especially the most expensive ones) don’t give you the option of back-reeling; there’s no mechanism (anti-reverse lever) to switch from back-reeling to forward-only reeling. I would never buy one of the these models, and certainly Blaukat wouldn't either


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