widely considered a ‘salt-water’, ‘pike’ or maybe simply a ‘hard-mouthed fish’ hook setting method, just like buddy Ronan, for the last three or so years i’ve equally adopted the strip-strike for trout-type fish in still waters mostly but also in rivers when using streamers, teeny-tiny nymphs or dries (and the small diameter tippets that go with them) for all the reasons noted below but there’s more to it:
assuming there isn’t a whole lot of slack in the line, i find it easier and more precise to control how much ‘strike’ (pull) is applied. this leads to many solid hookups and very few strike break-offs which is of course nice to the fisher but even nicer to the fish as it must really suck to be roaming around through life with a hook embedded in the mouth, even barbless hooks that would fall out quickly.
this works and it works very well. it’s definitely a skill worth adding to your bag of tricks.
“When you see a fish approaching (or cruising away from you!) you get into position and take your shot. You know roughly where your fly is as it sinks. You watch the fish carefully, looking for any change in direction or movement of his mouth when he is nearing your fly. If it moves, you strike. If your almost sure, you strike, maybe. If your 50/50 do you strike?? I don’t, at least not with the rod…
If you strike with the rod and the fish has not taken you will probably spook the fish. This is where strip striking comes into play. If you strip strike you gain 3 advantages:
1, If the fish has taken you will hook up with the strip strike.
2, If the fish has not taken your fly, your fly is still in the zone. (they often come back !)
Finally 3, you are far less likely to spook a fish with a strip strike as you would be with a rod strike.”
‘the proof is in the pudding… ‘
but you’ll find more pudding by clicking the image below for the complete article.
btw, if you’re having troubles breaking old rod-lift striking habits you could always give this a try…
(image author unknown)