Once a bonefish takes your hook in his mouth, how you respond is going to play a critical role in determining whether or not you actually reel him in. Strip setting the hook instead of raising your rod will ensure that the hook embeds itself deeply. Bonefish have hard mouths and they chew their food with teeth that lie at the back of throat. Moreover, they never actually need to close their mouths while eating and thus, there is absolutely no guarantee that they are going to close them firmly around your hook.
If you pay careful attention to bonefish while they’re eating, you’ll notice that they make small, milky-looking puffs in the water throughout this process. Some people think that these puffs are the result of bonefish blowing holes in the flat bottom. In reality, however, these puffs are small clouds of debris that have gotten scooped up along with small crabs and fish. The food is mashed up by crushers or sharp teeth that lie at the back of the throat and the debris is puffed back out through the gills. The mouth is open all throughout this process. If a bonefish has your hook in his mouth and you raise your rod, much like you might do when fishing for trout, you’re going to pull the fly right back out, with absolutely nothing blocking its path.
Benefits Of Strip Setting
Strip setting can do more than simply get you a solid hook. This is also the same motion that you are going to use to retrieve the fly. In many instances, a bonefish might continue to follow your fly after several failed attempts to eat it. This is because a missed set can look an awful lot like a shrimp on the run.
Setting The Hook With A Long Strip Takes Practice
Countless bone fishermen have found this to be be one of the most frustrating and challenging skills to master. This is especially true for fishers who have spent numerous hours pulling in trout. It takes time to stop reflexively raising your hook when you get a bite. Try not to get frustrated. Simply consider each experience as a learning opportunity. In time, you will instinctively respond with the right actions whenever a bonefish tips down to eat.
Make sure to keep your rod pointed directly at the bonefish when preparing to strip set. Then you can give the rod a good, firm strip that will set the hook. Use the same rod-hand finger that controls the stripping to gradually release pressure on the line. The line should be stripped in with a fast, jabbing motion that spans approximately one foot to the full length of your reach.
The Scissors Strike
Not all bites and conditions are the same and this means that not every strip set is going to be a straightforward and simple movement, even if you remember to avoid instinctively raising your rod when you get a bite. For instance, if your fly line has a considerable amount of slack, you’ll have to lift the rod tip in a few short, pumping motions while strip striking. You can also use the scissors strike by pulling the rod and the line in opposite directions