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Strip Setting Keeps You in the Game

Posted on June 01 2015

Fly fishing for bonefish
He’s still coming! Photo: Kyle Shea.

If you’re a regular to our humble little blog, you’re probably aware that every once in a while we like to remind our readers that when fishing for bonefish, it’s crucial to set the hook with a long strip set rather than raising the rod.

Why do we keep telling you this? Because its really, really important when it comes to landing bonefish! In case you’re not sure what we mean, here’s a quick primer..

As trout fisherman, we’re taught that when a fish takes the fly you set the hook with a quick raise of the rod. This works great for protecting light tippets and burying small hooks into the soft mouth of a trout. However, bonefish have much harder mouths and raising the rod simply does not apply enough force to bury the hook. Therefore, setting the hook with a long strip set, with the rod pointed directly at the fish is by far the best method for a solid hook up.

A solid hook up is not the only advantage of strip setting on bonefish however, it also keeps you in the game on a missed set as well. Because the set is essentially the same motion used when retrieving the fly (aka stripping the fly), it’s not uncommon for a fish to keep following the fly after several attempts of eating it. We’ve seen fish hooked after two, three, and even four missed hook sets! After all, a missed strip set mimics a fleeing shrimp pretty darn well.

On the other hand, a quick raise of the rod (trout set) often throws the fly completely out of the water. In other words, taking you out of the game completely.

Don’t trout set mon, you’re guide will appreciate it.

More on Stripping for Bonefishing


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