from my Lure World column in Pike and Predators
Apologies to whoever it was that
asked me to define 'palming' as a means of holding rod and multiplier reel. I
had an e-mail meltdown and lost your message! When most people see a trigger grip
on a rod for the first time they think that it is designed for the index finger
to wrap around. When this is on a single handed, pistol grip rod they are right.
Finger round the trigger, thumb on the spool and that's it for single handed casting.
you step up lure weights and need a double handed rod then the grip can alter.
This is when you palm the reel. Instead of the hand being below the reel it should
now wrap around it so that the palm covers the right hand (if right handed) end
plate of the baitcaster. The thumb can now cover more of the reel's spool for
better grip (to prevent slippage during the cast) and the first three fingers
rest in front of the trigger. Using the palming hold there is no real need to
grip the rod tightly as it will almost hang from your fingers on the trigger,
and this reduces cramp and strain on the reel hand.
palming the reel like this there is no need to change your hold on rod and reel
when casting, retrieving or playing fish. It is comfortable and practical. Some
anglers prefer to have just two fingers in front of the trigger when using larger
reels. Try this too and see which you find most suitable to you and your outfit.
Still, sort of,
on the jerkbait tack I frequently get asked about leader choice for these lures.
Are solid, single strand, wire leaders best or multistrand ones? I have used both
types - catching good fish on both, and to be perfectly honest can't tell if the
choice affects lure action as some people claim. I seem to get as much glide out
of my jerkbaits with 90lb multistrand leaders as I do using a solid leader. Neither
do I find that solid leaders tangle any less frequently than do multistrand leaders
- as is also claimed at times. So, I use the ones I like best - multistrand.
types of leader have their drawbacks and advantages. Solid leaders are tricky
to straighten out if they get a bad bend or kink in them through fouling with
the lure, or during a fight with a pike - and leader straightness does
seem to affect lure action. They are also a nuisance to transport, while multistrand
leaders can be kept coiled up in grip seal bags. Reliable solid leaders are easy
to make. Multistrand leaders need either crimping (not everyone trusts crimped
traces, but in heavy wire I find it okay) or they have to be twisted - which is
not easy in heavy wire.
strand wire leaders are thinner than multistrand leaders of the same breaking
strain - so if you think that matters it might be a factor to consider. However,
I don't recommend that you do away with the swivel if choosing solid leader. The
swivel may be superfluous as an anti kink device when using lures that don't impart
line twist, but it is important as an attachment point for the braid. There are
two reasons for this. The one I think has most bearing is that 80lb single strand
wire is a lot thinner than the eye of a large size of swivel fitted to jerkbait
traces and I am convinced that this affects knot strength. I am sure that knots
are stronger when tied to a wire of a diameter at least equal to that of the line,
and thicker wire than the line is better still - if not taken to extremes, of
course. I have heard it suggested that tying a knot direct to the wire of the
leader might weaken the knot through repeated flexing too. Either way, keep the
swivel as a safety net.
take my word on this. Give both leader types a try and see which works best for
Every so often someone somewhere will want to know if pike are put
off taking lures by seeing the trace or the line. Does trace and line colour make
a difference to catch rates?
are some people who swear that they catch more fish on finer lines than thick
ones. I suspect this is more to do with their lures fishing deeper on finer lines
than they do on thicker ones than any visual impact the line has on the pike!
Similarly I don't think pike are put off by thick leaders used in conjunction
with large lures. Maybe bright flashy traces would alarm pike, but then again
they might attract them.
it comes to line colour I have never worried about this since the day I caught
some fish on deadbaits fished on a bright yellow line, and nothing on the other
three rods fishing more subdued lines! Even a thick almost white braid doesn't
worry me, and I am sure it doesn't worry the pike either.
said this please don't get the impression that I am implying pike can't see the
braid or the trace. I am as certain as I can be that they do see it. I don't think
they are aware of its implications though. If they have any intention whatsoever
of 'eating' your lure they are probably totally focused on that.
makes me think this is that the people who worry about the visual impact of lines
and leaders never seem worried about an adverse visual impact of a lure's hooks.
The only time you hear about folks considering the visual impact of hooks is when
they talk about painting them red for added attraction! In any case, why would
a pike that is chasing a bright yellow and orange lure be put off by a bit of
bronze trace wire and some white line in front of it?
that follow lures in and shy away at the last minute are, most likely, not going
to have the lure - or they'd have grabbed it sooner. So when they turn away I
am sure that it is not the line that spooks them, but the sight of the angler
or some sudden movement the angler has made.
advice on this subject is to stop worrying, and concentrate on what your lures
are doing. That will certainly improve your catch rate more than changing your
line or leader colour.