How to Fight a Large Fish on Ultralight Tackle

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Be prepared:

To land large fish on ultralight fishing tackle consistently, you need to be well prepared. One of the most important things is to make sure your line is in good condition. The line is the weakest point between you and that lunker.

Next, make sure your spinning reel drag mechanism works well and is set properly. You can learn how I set the drag on my ultralight fishing reels here: Setting the Drag

Finally, check your knots and make sure your hooks are sharp.

Fighting the fish:

1) When you get a strike, make sure to set the hook properly so the fish can’t easily “spit” the hook. You can find a great video on how to properly set the hook here: Setting the Hook

2) As soon as you set the hook, put tension on the fish by quickly tightening your line. It’s very important to keep the line tight throughout the fight.

3) As soon as the fish feels the pulling of the line, it will make its initial run. The first run is the most powerful one because the fish is full of energy.

4) Hold your rod up at a 30 – 40 degree angle to force the fish to bend your rod while it’s pulling out the drag. This will put the maximum tension on the fish and tire it more quickly.

5) When the fish stops or slows its run, lift your rod to pull it towards you. Then drop the rod back down while quickly reeling in line. Remember, lift up to pull the fish closer, and then drop down to reel the line in. Do this until the fish is close enough to land.

Things not to do:

Don’t attempt to stop the fish and muscle it in. If you do, you’re asking for broken lines, snapped rods, and straightened hooks. Remember, you’re using ultralight spinning tackle, so you really need to consider the strength of your gear.

Don’t reel against the drag. When the fish pulls line off your reel, let it go. Only when it stops should you reel the fish in. Cranking your ultralight spinning reel handle while the fish is pulling line out will result in major line twist and, due to this, possible lost fish.

Additional tips:

Be ready for additional runs. The fish can make a run for it at any time, even when they seem tired out. Be prepared to drop your rod tip ( 30 – 40 degree angle ) and let the fish take line.

A landing net is very handy when trying to land a large fish caught with ultralight fishing gear.

More great how to guides on the blog

How to Properly Fish with Spinners
How to Estimate the Weight of a Fish
How to Attach Fishing Line to a Reel
How to Set Your Drag the Easy Way
How To Free Snags On Ultralight Tackle
How to Correctly Fillet Fish

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