Strip-Strike Technqiue

Plenty of strip-strike action in the video above.

The “Strip Strike” is the opposite of the Slip Strike. Instead of allowing slack to slide out, line is pulled in when the hook is set. In its most-basic form, the Strip Strike involves stripping line to set the hook (no significant (or even any) rod movement). This strip can be a single, short movement, or a long, hard, and possibly repeated set of strong pulls. How you apply the strip depends on the angling situation: Trout? Not so much. Tarpon? Yeah, that’s more like it.

By using a Srtip Strike, you can apply significant pressure. You can also use this type of strike to prevent the fly from being whipped out of the fish’s strike zone in case the offering has not been taken. If your eyes have not deceived you and the fish has taken, no problem—the hook gets set, the rod gets raised and away you go. If the fish has not taken, then the fly will appear to jump away from the fish (but not necesssarily out of the water), which may cause the fish’s chase instinct to kick in and once again, away you go.

Big-fly designer and tarpon-chaser, Lee Haskin, has one of the fiercest strip strikes I have ever seen, followed by an equally fierce “dropped rod” fish-fighting technique. When you are in a panga with a video camera and Lee on the deck, you very quickly learn to stay clear of his left hand!

A “lifted” variation of the Strip Strike can also be used when there is excessive slack on the water, or when you need some extra hook-set power, but not maximum hook-set power. Keep the line between a finger of your rod-hand and the rod grip. When it comes time to strike, simply strip with your line hand ((1) in the figure below) to remove the desired slack as you lift the rod ((2) in the figure below). If there is too much slack to strip—which might occur with a big Puddle Mend, for example—then thrust the rod as high overhead as possible as the strip is made. If the thrust and the strip are started together, 
it is possible to lift 20 feet of slack (more or less, depending on rod length) from the water in one fluid motion.

If your goal is more power-oriented, strike with the butt of the rod and strip hard at the same time (you may want to avoid stripping line under your finger in this scenario). Striking with the butt of the rod simply means using the butt section to apply most of the hook-set pressure. This will require a low rod-angle relative to the fish’s position in the water (below 45 degrees).

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