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A Lesson from Ol’ Chumley

Posted on July 21 2014

Chum Salmn at Alaska West

The chum salmon are in at Alaska West and that can only mean one thing – it’s rod breaking season! While we certainly witness our share of broken rods throughout the season, we tend to see more rods break while targeting chums than any other species.

Why? Because chums are some of the scrappiest fish we’ve ever fished for. Even after a long, drawn out battle, chums have a tendency to make unexpected runs, jumps, or spins all the way to the net. All too often have we seen anglers reel well into their leader before an unexpected burst of energy causes the tip of the rod to snap!

What can we learn from Ol’ Chumley? When fighting larger fish, a good rule of thumb is to always leave at least a rod’s length of line (or leader) outside of the rod tip. In other words, if you’re using a 9 foot fly rod, try to leave at least 9 feet of leader and/or fly line outside the rod tip while landing the fish. That way, you are still able to control the fish using the butt section of the rod. Should the fish decide to make that unexpected run, with a rod’s length of line available, you are still able to lower the rod and allow the fish to take line.. without breaking your rod in half!

Thanks to Ol’ Chumley – some lessons must be learned the hard way.

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