2-handed Hook Set [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: 2-handed Hook Set

Sean Juan
09-18-2007, 08:38 AM
Just curious if anyone has any advice on setting the hook with a two handed rod...

With a one hander my typical set was to pull both the rod and the line back in a "V" shape around the stripping basket. The line was what really set the hook - not sure if moving the rod really accomplished anything but thats how I was taught and it kind of stuck with me.

The 2-hander I just find it awkward, like I don't have enough room. Of course it could also be that I'm getting hits at a considerably further distance than ever before.

09-18-2007, 09:00 AM
Seems like a great opportunity to teach yourself the new (and desirable) habit of always using a strip set.

09-18-2007, 09:37 AM
Yeah just keep stripping and once the fish is tight and you feel the weight trap the line with your top hand then sweep back and up at a 45 degree angle.

If your hooks are sharp that will do it. Very important to keep the hooks sharp, especially when hooking up at distance.


Sean Juan
09-18-2007, 09:58 AM
Thats the idea - but whats the most efficient technique?

Basically I have two retrieve positions, the first I have the rod under my armpit and I used both hands to work the fly - when I get a strike I set the hook with whatever hand is controling the line - and often both. The total distance I have to do this is no more than from the basket to my chest, no more than a foot or so.

If the fish is nice enough to be heading away from me its easy beans - if not I just feel that this hook set lacks power with a lot of running line out I think its hard to get a good set due to line stretch.

The other is a one handed strip, I like it less for actual retrieves more for drifts, but when a fish strikes I can pull my hand back quite a distance and usually get a very solid hookset.

Sean Juan
09-18-2007, 10:11 AM
So Sean you do a bit of a spin? Or is it more of a "Bill Dance" but with just the line?

I wish I could get all my 2-hand questions in one place...

The first was how do you get a 2/0 clouser out of your ass...now its about hooking fish...ah progress.

09-18-2007, 10:41 AM
You'll get so used to it after a few more dozen fish. I don't even think of it anymore.

Here's what I've found...

Setting the hook can be an act of reactionary mechanical movement or it can be something done in concert with the fish's actions.

Feel something - jerk... thats a reactionary motion. Most common but not very sensible actually.

I am stripping the fly with the two-hander... fish grabs the fly... I strip tight... he runs I am done, the rod tilts up and the fight is on.

Or I strip tight, he sits - I strip again and feel the compression of the line on the weight of the fish... he goes what the?? and wakes up, bolts so I tilt up and the fight is on.

Or he comes at me and I know hes on but the line is not tight... I strip again.... again.... he turns OK I raise the rod and the fight is on.

Relax and be one with the fish. Each is different.

09-18-2007, 11:03 AM
Juro provides good advice , relax. Honestly 90% of the time I just continue my normal retrieve until the fish starts pulling back. Then if it feels like a bigger fish and will then pound em a couple times with a hard rod set.

For me the equation is really sharp hooks and getting tight to the fish. Juro uses tiemco 911's which are sticky sharp and thin wire and need little up keep. Get one of those in a basses mouth and it is going to stick somewhere with little interaction from the angler. However if you are using mustads or eagle claws I sharpen at least once every 10 casts.

I will admit I have seen my share of bill dance shows. One thing to notice is whenever he gets a hit the first thing he always does is reel tight to the fish. No rod set at all. Then when the fish is on he gives it the old rebel outlaw rod set which is more for show than anything else. The fish is already hooked by the time the showmanship starts.

As with the strip set on a single hander it is all about getting tight to the fish. Most anglers (including myself as it is a hard habit to break) lose the fish via the reactionary strike which does nothing but pull the fly away from the fish. I feel the fish has set up to attack your fly at the retrieve speed you are doing when stripping in. Keep that constant while the fish is attacking the fly and he will hook himself.

It is also important as you know with the 2 handers and the distances they cast there is going to be inherently more slack in the system then the distances reached with a single hander. Number 1 priority for me is to reduce that slack , get tight and then give em the bill dance and watch that 12 inch schoolie fly out of the water and into a backcast on the 2 hander :)