PLEASE NOTE: In order to post on the Board you need to have registered. To register please email paul@sexyloops.com including your real name and username. Registration takes less than 24hrs, unless Paul is fishing deep in the jungle!

Strip strike or trout set

Moderator: Paul Arden

User avatar
johnnybg
Posts: 6
Joined: Sun May 05, 2019 9:03 am
Location: Denmark

Strip strike or trout set

#1

Post by johnnybg » Sun Nov 03, 2019 8:49 am

Hi guys and girls

I hope I’m the right place for asking this question:
After having lost or missed quite a few fish this season I started looking into if I’m doing something different compared to earlier seasons and if I can improve my changes of landing the fish.

I’m from Denmark and I’m primarily fishing for sea-run browns on the coast and occasionally sea-runs and salmon in the creeks/rivers.
First of all, from my point of view, it seems that I still get the same amount of takes. However, I’m wondering if my hook setting skills are way too dusty or underdeveloped.

There are typically 2 ways I’m loosing the fish:

1) Often the fish breaks off right after the take and my strike or lack thereof. I think I do something in between of a slow strip strike and then immediately follow up with a lift or sweep of the rod. Should I concentrate more on developing a "tropical" strip strike instead - and if so, how hard should I pull/strike? I almost always use a 6-weigt 9’ rod with a 0x tippet.
I honestly believe there’s an added advantage to the strip strike over the trout set in the way that the chances of having the fish strike a second time is better when I only move the fly around 3 feet in the water compared to a trout set (rod sweep) that’ll move the fly one rod length away for the fish instantaneously. This is one of the reason why I’ve been thinking of going 100% strip strike and no trout set or rod sweep.

2) Often the strikes come a split second after the strip stops - and with cold and wet fingers in the winter months every now and then (quite often actually) the trout manages to pull out line between my fingers and the cork handle the exact moment my stripping hand looses grip of the fly line in order to make a new strip. I don’t know how to prevent this - do any of you have similar experiences and a possible solution?
Another problem in this regard. When the fish strikes immediately after a strip and when my stripping hand hasn’t got a hold of the line to make a new strip yet, would you lift the rod immediately or wait a second more in order to perform a strip strike?
How would you strike and why when fishing for sea-run browns and is there a quick fix for not loosing the grip of the line between your fingers and the cork handle?

Hope to hear what conclusions you have made based on your own fishing.

Tight lines! ...hopefully soon again :D
/Johnny

User avatar
Paul Arden
Site Admin
Posts: 12270
Joined: Thu Jan 03, 2013 11:20 am
Location: Belum Rainforest
Contact:

Re: Strip strike or trout set

#2

Post by Paul Arden » Sun Nov 03, 2019 10:41 am

Hi Johnny,

Good questions! With trout and streamers I rarely strike. I will “trout set” if I think that the fly has been eaten while static. Otherwise I just continue retrieving with the rod pointed at the fish. I never strip set with trout and streamers. There are several reasons for this “lack of striking” - the first is that you can pull the fly out of the mouth with an early strike and the other is that often if the fish miss it once they will usually strike again and if you struck the fly is now too far away for a second eat!

With fish pulling the line out of the fingers between strips, and cold hands, I can’t really think of a solution. Perhaps instead of just using the index finger, try stripping behind the first two fingers? It’s been a long time since I’ve fished in the cold!

Incidentally if the fish are breaking at the fly knot, the strongest knot I know is the 10 turn half blood. A Eugene bend is a close second and allows a small loop to the eye if that’s what you want.

If the leader is breaking at the other end of the tippet, it might sound overkill, but I use a Bimini here nowadays. That’s close to 100% and takes 30 seconds to tie with practise. Either loop to loop or tie into a Slim Beauty.

About 8 years ago I really had to get into my knots for the jungle fish and it’s now become standard for times when I trout fish. I’ve even been using Biminis while fishing .10mm in Bosnia :D

Also to consider is breaking strains of the material and maybe a new material altogether. Nylon that has been wet loses its strength very quickly. Also sunlight is bad news. I generally try to fish material that is as strong as I think I can get away with without altering the fly action.

Cheers, Paul
It's an exploration; bring a flyrod.

Flycasting Definitions

User avatar
Graeme H
Posts: 1643
Joined: Fri Jan 25, 2013 2:54 pm
Location: Perth, Western Australia

Re: Strip strike or trout set

#3

Post by Graeme H » Sun Nov 03, 2019 11:05 am

G'day Johnny,

A few points that may help:
  • I make sure I grip the line between my (two) fingers and the rod grip tightly between strips. By which I mean, I loosen my grip on the rod while I strip, then tighten it while I bring my hand forward in readiness for the next strip.
  • If a fish hits between strips, I pull the rod backwards along its axis away from the fish. This will set the hook.
  • Quite often, the fish will have hooked itself before I can pull the rod back, especially if I'm using the newer "low stretch" lines (e.g. Rio's "InTouch" lines)
  • Hooks must be SHARP!
Breaking fish off? Depends on where the break in the line is, but "tie better knots" would be my advice. Are you checking your knot strength?

Cheers,
Graeme
FFi CCI

User avatar
johnnybg
Posts: 6
Joined: Sun May 05, 2019 9:03 am
Location: Denmark

Re: Strip strike or trout set

#4

Post by johnnybg » Sun Nov 03, 2019 6:03 pm

Thank you both for your elaborate answers. Now, I have something to work with. Much appreciated 🙏

Nick
Posts: 243
Joined: Sat Jan 19, 2013 5:15 pm

Re: Strip strike or trout set

#5

Post by Nick » Sun Nov 03, 2019 6:34 pm

I agree with the above. If you are breaking off 0x tippet on Danish sea trout, you either have bad line or bad knots or you have found some exceptional fish!

I believe in strip setting for everything except dry fly trout on light tippet. Certainly for sea trout it’s the way to go.

When you find the answer to question 2, let me know! I have been plagued by the same problem this year (and last year, and the year before etc etc.) if I concentrate hard and keep the line pinned to the cork all the time it works, but when takes are infrequent I forget to do that.

N.

Mangrove Cuckoo
Posts: 220
Joined: Tue Jan 29, 2013 7:51 am

Re: Strip strike or trout set

#6

Post by Mangrove Cuckoo » Mon Nov 04, 2019 2:06 am

johnny

I have never fished for sea-run trout, but consider these observations if you wish...

Instead of pinching the flyline between your two finger and the cork, pinch the line between your two finger tips and the tip of your thumb. You can do this by cradling the handle in your hand and allowing your thumb to roll over the cork to meet your fingers from above. If you slide your hand forward to slightly in front of the cork it may be easier. Doing so also tends to keep folks from lifting the rod involuntarily and too hard due to excitement.

The trick to sticking the hard mouthed fish where I live, without breaking the tippet, is to use an "is he there" strip. It is not a hard yank, but instead, a deliberate attempt to feel for the fish's weight on the line. If/when the fish is felt, deliberately try to pull it toward you. The rod is not lifted to set the hook, instead stays low and gets ready to absorb shock.

Instead of worrying about the line slipping through the finger tips of your rod hand, you hold on to the line in your line hand tightly as you wait for the fish to respond... which it definitely will because its food never tried to pull it through the water before. The goal then becomes holding tight up to right before the tippet breaks.

Yanking on the line is ineffective here but our fish have very tough mouths and our hooks are heavy. Our main challenge is getting the hook point imbedded deep enough to stay put, and maintaining tension through the initial panic by the fish. If it stays buckled after that first response, some strip strikes on the taut stationary line can be added for insurance.

Some times the fish jumps off, and some times you hang on too long and the tippet breaks, but trying to do it this way gets the best percentage of hook ups for me.
“Very simple man. Catching fish makes me happy. Scaringly simple.”

Håvard Stubø

User avatar
Paul Arden
Site Admin
Posts: 12270
Joined: Thu Jan 03, 2013 11:20 am
Location: Belum Rainforest
Contact:

Re: Strip strike or trout set

#7

Post by Paul Arden » Mon Nov 04, 2019 10:43 am

Sorry I missed the 0X tippet size! Where does the line typically break? The fly knot or somewhere else?

Apart from knots, it could be a bad batch, old, got wet etc etc. When in doubt I test nylon against a spring balance or just by feel. It’s not perfect but it should at least confirm if it’s the material at fault. Also testing knots against knots by breaking them is always good fun (wear eye protection!).

Cheers, Paul
It's an exploration; bring a flyrod.

Flycasting Definitions

User avatar
Lasse Karlsson
Posts: 3674
Joined: Wed Jan 09, 2013 9:40 pm
Location: There, and back again
Contact:

Re: Strip strike or trout set

#8

Post by Lasse Karlsson » Mon Nov 04, 2019 2:54 pm

Somehow I do not think Johnny means the tippet breaks, but the fish gets of the hook instead 😊

Cheers
Lasse
Your friendly neighbourhood flyslinger

http://www.karlssonflyfishing.com

***Bring Mark back!!!!!! ***

User avatar
johnnybg
Posts: 6
Joined: Sun May 05, 2019 9:03 am
Location: Denmark

Re: Strip strike or trout set

#9

Post by johnnybg » Tue Nov 05, 2019 5:42 pm

Lasse, you're right. What I meant to say was that the fish gets off the hook. It's not often that the line breaks because of a strike or a fisk. However, it has happened.

When the line breaks it's nearly always in the perfection loop. I use a 9' tapered nylon leader with a perfection loop in the end where I attach a 2 -3' tippet with a loop to loop connection. Would it make sense to use a bimini here instead of a perfection loop?

Sorry if my "Danglish" led to misunderstandings.

BR Johnny

User avatar
Paul Arden
Site Admin
Posts: 12270
Joined: Thu Jan 03, 2013 11:20 am
Location: Belum Rainforest
Contact:

Re: Strip strike or trout set

#10

Post by Paul Arden » Tue Nov 05, 2019 7:53 pm

Hi Johnny,

:) no problems! and yes that’s a different angle! To solve a perfection loop breakage, tie a Bimini into a Slim Beauty. It should never happen there again.

Fish getting off the hook is different. If it’s at the strike there are other things to consider because it can also be the way the fish takes the fly. For example the fly might be too big, leader problems, how it’s presented and so on, however my original suggestion would still be not to strike at all but instead hold tension and allow the fish to hook itself.

After this point I would start to look at other things. Long shank hooks, hook shape And sharpness, Intermediate lines. It can actually be a wide set of potential causes. I’ve been having this problem recently, I believe the problem im my case is too buoyant a fly sitting in the roof of the mouth causing me to miss the fish. The answer here is fly design, which I’m working on.

It can also be the day; one one day the fish all get hooked, on another day they seem to bump the fly or “come short”. Then I don’t think it’s a striking problem, for me that’s a fly or fish mood problem :laugh:

Cheers, Paul
It's an exploration; bring a flyrod.

Flycasting Definitions

Post Reply

Return to “Flyfishing”