If you are a streamer fishermen or have wanted to be, then you need to learn how to strip set….NOTHING you do will reap more benefits than learning how to give it the ole’ lawn mower start. Yes, just like you were starting your everyday lawn mower….let’s see how?
No matter what line you are casting, provided you are right handed, your right hand is your rod hand and the left is your line hand; no big secret here…but as you are stripping line in you need to keep contact between the line, your line hand and your rod hand; specifically your right index finger or right middle finger. I use a stripping guard 100 percent of the time. You might ask why…well I love the feel and connection a stripping guard gives me and frankly it saved a lot of wear and tear on my right index finger. With the line under either your index or middle finger you must train yourself to strip the line with your line hand when you detect a strike. As I stated above it may look like you are trying to start a gas operated lawn tool…and it should. The next question is why?
Regardless of using floating line, sink tip line or full sinking line making a strip set is the way to go. When a fish hits and you raise your rod with your rod hand you do two things; by raising the rod hand to set the hook you will be moving the fly a foot to maybe even as much as three feet and that will take the fly out of the strike zone. Raising your rod hand is also slow…much slower than a strip set. When you make a strip set and do so correctly you will set the hook quickly but if you miss the fish you will have only moved the fly 6 to 12 inches…leaving the fly within the strike zone and many fish will attack a fly or bait fish and then come back to eat or finish it off. Now…if you are using sinking or sink tip line you won’t be able to raise your rod due to the line being below the surface anywhere from a few inches to a few feet. One last tip…if using full sinking line you want your rod tip to be in the water and pointed directly at the line and creating as little lag or belly as possible thus making and keeping contact between you and the fish.
So…start using the strip set, even if you currently are using floating line because it is going to take a while to “train” your body, but when you do you will be ready for sinking or sink tip line somewhere down the line…oh, and yes, you will catch more fish, guaranteed.