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How do you protect your rod when you get hung up?
Posted by: Leslie Cline (---)
Date: May 09, 2022 08:50PM

I made a few observations after I broke three-inches off the tip of my rod on a snag:

1.) In the wind, lighter braid (#2/10 or #4/15 Power Pro) can throw half-hitches into the tip of my rod when I "jiggle-shake" the tip to wiggle out of the rocks.
2.) Fishing in a boat in the wind can leave little time to scream at your buddy to hit reverse on the trolling motor before it is too late.
3.) Heavier braid tends to half-hitch less, but is less finesse for fishing lighter jigs.
4.) Mono and Fluoro don't seem to half-hitch.
5.) I may just have to stop with the "jiggle-shake" and lose the jig. Or go with more mono/fluoro when I am fishing in wind. Right now, I am thumbing the spool, pointing the rod at the snag, and what happens, happens.

What are you all's thoughts on keeping your rod safe in such conditions?
Does the Bow-String Snap harm the blank when the line pops against it?
What are your first resort techniques for freeing a stuck bait and protecting your rod?

Sympathy posts are welcome...

Les

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Re: How do you protect your rod when you get hung up?
Posted by: Mark Talmo (---)
Date: May 09, 2022 10:24PM

Leslie,
Now here is a great topic to certainly generate a plethora of replies. While I have adopted a number of methods throughout the years, I will certainly be following this topic simply because I am here to learn.
When I get hung-up, the first thing I try is a different angle; works some of the time, but not always. Second, I’ll try to “slap-bounce” the hook free, again it works some of the time but not always. In either case, staying within the flex capabilities of the blank is paramount. When all else fails, point the tip of the rod toward the snag and pull straight back until SOMETHING gives, hopefully the obstruction but most often it is the line. OK, one will need to tie-on another hook or lure, but at least one still has a rod to fish with = AVOID HIGH-STICKING!!!

Mark Talmo
FISHING IS NOT AN ESCAPE FROM LIFE BUT RATHER A DEEPER IMMERSION INTO IT!!! BUILDING YOUR OWN SIMPLY ENHANCES THE EXPERIENCE.

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Re: How do you protect your rod when you get hung up?
Posted by: roger wilson (---)
Date: May 09, 2022 10:30PM

Leslie,
Pretty simple.

First, if you have problems when you "jiggle-shake" your tip to wiggle a hook out of rocks - then don't do the jiggle shake any more.
Rather, feed line off the end of the rod, and then put the rod in a rod holder to keep the rod safe, and wrap the line around a dowel or club and use only the dowel or club to free the line. Sure you might break the line most of the time but you will not damage your rod, because you are not using your rod to free the snag.

Otherwise:


If your line gets tied around the rod anywhere - simply relax your hand and keep the entire rod pointed directly at the snag, and do not try to lift, lower, or move the rod from side to side.

If the line is pointing directly at the snag - the rod will not be damaged and if enough force is placed on the line, the line will break with no damage, ever to the rod.

Of, course, it is always a good idea to have a razor knife handy at all times. If you go get hung up and if the line is snagged on the rod, and if you can get some slack in the line - quickly grab the razor knife to slash the line.

It is also a good idea to have a club or dowel handy so that if you do have slack on a line and the hook is snagged, take a half dozen wraps of line on the club, put down the rod with the bail open, and use the club or dowel to rip the hook loose or break the line.

Also, if building rods for such light line, attach tip tops that are anti fouling in nature and tend to shed any knots that might happen to the top end of the rod.

For, example, a tip top like this one tends to shed knots better than some of the other tip top designs.

[mudhole.com]

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Re: How do you protect your rod when you get hung up?
Posted by: Lance Schreckenbach (---.lightspeed.hstntx.sbcglobal.net)
Date: May 09, 2022 10:54PM

Roger beat me to the tip top type, That's all I try to use now. I also do the line slap method and if that doesn't work, to break off, point tip directly at the stuck lure, hold the spool and move back till the line breaks (do not bend rod). A lot of times it will just come out with a lot of straight pull force and sometimes it will come flying back at you, so be ready.

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Re: How do you protect your rod when you get hung up?
Posted by: Joel Wick (181.214.54.---)
Date: May 09, 2022 11:09PM

Jigs with beaked or curved points tend to get unsnagged more easily. A change of direction usually pulls it free, especially in wood. Letting current, waves, or wind take slack line, then a sharp tug works quite often.

Since we're building rods, may as well pour some jigs, too. I'm a big fan of Eagle Claw 500BP Li'l Nasty, Gamakatsu Jig 90 Big River, and Victory 11149 V-Loc hooks. Owner 513s, too.

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Re: How do you protect your rod when you get hung up?
Posted by: Aaron Petersen (12.144.64.---)
Date: May 10, 2022 07:41AM

I fish the back of the boat when out with my Father in Law. He needs hearing aids but will tell you he hears fine after asking you to repeat yourself. This leads to situations where I lose some tackle. I too point straight at it to remove the rod from the equation. Yes I lose tackle, but even a $25 lure is better to lose than to break a rod.

I caught my Father in Law trying to retrieve a squarebill from a tree top by putting the rod tip in the water and trying to poke the lure out. It was the latest S glass rod I had made for him to throw shallow moving baits with. I told him the rod is worth more than a squarebill. He insisted he has never broken a rod doing this. SNAP! He asked if I could fix it. My reply, "I can fix stupid but I don't warranty stupid." I then pulled his lure retriever out of the tackle compartment and got the lure back for him. When the head is harder than the rod the rod will break.

A.P.

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Re: How do you protect your rod when you get hung up?
Posted by: Michael Danek (---.alma.mi.frontiernet.net)
Date: May 10, 2022 08:05AM

I almost exclusively use braid on graphite rods, mostly premium blanks, and fish jigs in rocky areas, so get snagged a lot. I snap it a few times (trying to develop a little shock going from slack to tight on the snap) to see if it will come that way, then go around to the other side if possible. Often changing the angle that much will free it. If all fails I point the rod straight at the snag and pull until something breaks. Usually the knot at the lure breaks or the snag comes free. When snapping I don't develop a lot of force or bend in the rod; it;s mostly about the shock. I have never broken a rod doing this. I don't think it would be wise to develop a lot of force snapping against high pound tests. I use 15 pound test leader max.

As mentioned before, avoid high sticking, and use non-fouling tiptops like the Fuji Arowana. But even without a non-fouling tiptop, all one has to do is make sure he doesn't have a knot at the tiptop before working on the snag. I seldom see this as a problem, possibly due to my first step of snapping.

I see no reason why the bow string approach would harm anything, although I doubt if it's that effective.

I don't even have rod holders on my boat and see no need to put the rod down. I just point the rod directly at the snag which prevents any chance of over-stressing the rod. Yes, a dowel or some other tool to wrap the braid around is a good idea to prevent cutting the hand or the braid from digging into the spool.

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Re: How do you protect your rod when you get hung up?
Posted by: Jim Ising (38.35.168.---)
Date: May 10, 2022 09:50AM

1) STOP pulling as soon as you realize you're hung up[.
2) Motor past the hang up in the opposite direction on a mostly slack line.
3) Once past the hang up, jiggle with sharp, short pops, throwing slack in the line every time.
4) Keep going beyond the hang up to increase the angle. Keep popping.
5) At about 8-10 feet beyond the hang up if the pop/jiggle has not worked, Point at the snag with a straight rod and thumb the spool till something fails.

This works above 90% on rock, oyster and most times even wood. The key is not to drive the hook too deep at the first sign of a hang up.

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Re: How do you protect your rod when you get hung up?
Posted by: Jim Ising (38.35.168.---)
Date: May 10, 2022 09:51AM

1) STOP pulling as soon as you realize you're hung up[.
2) Motor past the hang up in the opposite direction on a slightly tight line.
3) Once past the hang up, jiggle with sharp, short pops, throwing slack in the line every time.
4) Keep going beyond the hang up to increase the angle. Keep popping.
5) At about 8-10 feet beyond the hang up if the pop/jiggle has not worked, Point at the snag with a straight rod and thumb the spool till something fails.

This works above 90% on rock, oyster and sometimes even wood. The key is not to drive the hook too deep at the first sign of a hang up.

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Re: How do you protect your rod when you get hung up?
Posted by: roger wilson (---)
Date: May 10, 2022 10:16AM

One of the big disadvantages of braid, when it comes to a snag situation.

With mono and its stretch, one could often snap the jig free with the stretch and rebound of mono line, that is not present with braid.

With braid, and no stretch, the ability to snap a hook free is much reduced compared to mono.

If in doubt - do not bend the rod, keep the rod pointed straight at the snag and again if there is any doubt, cut the line and move on. Baits and lures are inexpensive compared to rods and reels.

Be safe

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Re: How do you protect your rod when you get hung up?
Posted by: John DeMartini (---.inf6.spectrum.com)
Date: May 10, 2022 11:18AM

If it does not come loose by moving to the opposite side of the snag then you are most likely to lose your line and lure.

Open the bail lay the rod down in a safe place, wrap the line around any rigid item, screw driver, wrench etc and pull hard until the line breaks or gets free.

Have fun

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Re: How do you protect your rod when you get hung up?
Posted by: Peter Yawn (---.mpls.qwest.net)
Date: May 10, 2022 12:28PM

Buy your own boat so you are in control of the trolling motor. Barring that, agree with above. Open your bail, let line out, and give the boat captain a chance to pull around. I don't like to do the bow string snap with light rods, but it does work very well with big musky lures in the rocks. Actually works better with braid because the lack of stretch gives a quick change from tight to slack. I can't imaging that it would harm a blank, but I could be wrong.

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Re: How do you protect your rod when you get hung up?
Posted by: Gary Weber (173.241.113.---)
Date: May 10, 2022 12:51PM

Leslie,
Addressing #1,4 and 5:
When I first used braid (power pro 10/2 ) I was trying to handle the boat in some wind while fishing. I managed to get the half hitch around the tip and also the wind blew the line between the reel and the stripper guide. That put an end to me using light braid. However I was able to pick up some thrifty deals on fire line 8/3 and 6/2. I have not had any tip knots or blowouts between reel and stripper guide since then. Now berkley has reformulated there fire line, and I have not had a chance to test it out. But the old line worked well for me.

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Re: How do you protect your rod when you get hung up?
Posted by: Leslie Cline (---)
Date: May 10, 2022 05:46PM

This is great, everyone!

Thanks for the tips and shared experiences!

Les

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Re: How do you protect your rod when you get hung up?
Posted by: David Baylor (---.res6.spectrum.com)
Date: May 10, 2022 06:20PM

Interesting that there are those that evidently have success in freeing a snag using the bow string method, with braided line. I have never been successful doing that when using braid.

If I am hung up and using braid in heavy wood cover, I either go in and try to gently push the bait off of what it is hung up on using the tip of the rod. And having broken a few tips using the rod to free a snag, I stress the word gently. If I can't get it off quickly and easily, I back out, I extend my arms towards and point the rod at the where the bait is hung up, and use thumb pressure to make sure the drag doesn't slip, and pull directly back towards my body. If that doesn't work, (I use 65# braid) I hit the trolling motor in reverse with my thumb still holding the spool and the rod still pointed directly at the the bait, and try to pull it off using the power of the trolling motor. If that still doesn't work I go back in and cut as much of the line off as I can, and go my merry way.

If I am in open water and using braid, it means I am fishing a Carolina rig around rock piles n such. In that case I drive to the other side of where the bait is hung up, and use the same methods described above of extending my arms and pulling back in a straight line, or of using the trolling motor to pull it free while having the rod pointed at the bait. Either one of those two methods work 99% of the time if it is the weight that's hung up. If the actual bait is hung up, the leader always breaks before the braid. Again I use 65# braid.

If I'm using fluorocarbon or nylon mono, and fishing heavy wood cover or bushes n such, I try to go in and get it, using the same methods I described above. If I am out in open water fishing rocks I will always try the bow string method first. How chunky the rock I am fishing determines how successful I am with it. Sometimes it's about 75% of the time. Others, it's less than 30% of the time. If that fails I just go and pull in the opposite direction. I will not stuff my rod down in the water to try and free a bait from rocks. You have to be able to push the tip past where the bait is hung up, and trying to do that in rocks is pretty much a guaranteed broken tip. At least for me.

It's just a bait and weight.

During a tournament, if I get hung up in heavy wood cover or a bush, unless I have already thoroughly fished the cover, I will automatically break it off. If I have been fishing the cover for a few casts and will be moving to a new piece of cover, I go in and get it, if I can get to it. It depends how deep the water is though. I'm not going to beat up my trolling motor just to get a bait out.

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Re: How do you protect your rod when you get hung up?
Posted by: Leslie Cline (---)
Date: May 11, 2022 06:49AM

David,

I value your level of detail and description (on this post and many others). I forgot to ask in my original post if anyone uses a weighted knocker to slide down the line and free a snag. I never have, myself.

Thank you again!

Les

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Re: How do you protect your rod when you get hung up?
Posted by: David Baylor (---.neo.res.rr.com)
Date: May 11, 2022 06:55PM

Leslie, I use one of the weighted knockers that has pieces of small link chain to free crankbaits if I am in deeper water. It's made by Daiwa. TW carries them. I'd say I get back 90% of my baits using it. It either knocks the bait free, or if I wiggle it enough one of the pieces of chain catches on one of the treble hooks, and I just pull until the hooks bend

I used to use one of those extendable lure retrievers, but honestly, they are a pain. Especially when you're in windy conditions. I've come very close to breaking a rod while using it. I still carry it on the boat, but about the only time I use is when I am fishing ultra shallow. As in I've cast my bait into a tree that I can't use the boat to get to. lol

And thank you for the comment and compliment on the detail I sometimes go into. I truly appreciate it.

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Re: How do you protect your rod when you get hung up?
Posted by: Phil Ewanicki (---.inf6.spectrum.com)
Date: May 14, 2022 03:33PM

Always pull straight back, not to one side. You gain 0% advantage pulling to one side of a snagged line. If it won't come off on a straight pull just pull straight back until the line breaks. Losing a lure, hook, sinker, and bait are all hugely less loss than breaking a rod. Of course, if you REALLY like to build rods and buy components . . .

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