Can't keep um pinned


Active Member
Last year I only lost one fish and that was a bad knot. This year I'm not doing as well. For some reason I just can't keep them on. Last year I fished a floating line only, this year I'm going back and forth between floating and sinking (1.5 IPS). I seem to loose fish no matter which line I'm fishing. Last year I fished a 9' 7wt rod. This year I've started fishing a 10'8" 8wt Switch rod. Is it just me or do I need to change the way I set the hook with a switch rod?


Not to be confused with Freestone
What color socks are you wearing? I've found the best luck with white crew with gray heel and toe. I'm assuming you are talking about setting on the strip? It could be the added length of the rod and flex that is not driving the hooks like your use to with shorter rods -- particularly if you're rod is not in direct line with the line (off to the side somewhat) ? But what the hell do I know, I swore to myself not to go down switch rod road... single hand and spey is plenty of variety for me.


Future WFF Mod
I feel like the faster you get them on the reel and let your rod do the work the better chance you have of landing them, I usually pop them off when they first hit. I doubt your line or switch rod is the problem. Personally, I wouldn't use a switch rod for pinks though.
The only thing outside of randomness that seems possible to me is the rod length. I would simply switch back and see. That's a lot of difference in size.
What exactly do you all recommend for setting the hook on pinks and silvers? For every solid tug I get, I'm hooking up 25% of the time. Typically I strip and feel the weight of the fish, then finish setting the hook by lifting my rod tip to my right, roughly horizontal. Any recommendations of different tactics? I'm fishing coho specials tied with a small stinger octopus hook.
I try to keep my hooks super sharp and keep strong tension on the fish. Admittedly I've already had two kings come unbuttoned. I hope those little finny rascals are not going to school and getting wise to us!


Triploid, Humpy & Seaplane Hater
If you are hooking up, you are already ahead of the curve.
Nobody bats a 1,000. Sometimes it isn't meant to be, especially with coho when they get next to shore spinning like a top or quickly change directions.
Best advice I can give is use sharp hooks, strip strike, eliminate slack and keep constant tension.


"Chasing Riseforms"
Strip set firmly, strip set firmly, strip set firmly. A quiz will follow.
Ed. Could you please repeat that for me!? I have missed too many fish in the last two weeks on the popper! Strip set strip set strip set strip set..................oh hell, FIRMLY!!!!!!! DAH! I will repeat continuously when I first see the bulge behind my popper! Thank you. Strip set, strip set, strip set...


Active Member
I don't fish the salt much so you probably want to follow the above "Sound" advice. That said, I have some experience with fresh/still-water salmon and steelhead using similar lines. If you are pointing the rod at the fish, I wouldn't think the longer rod would make much of a difference if you are strip setting firmly. Weird things happen though, such as a fish taking the fly and running towards you (usually followed by the thought "Where'd all that slack come from?... WTF?... Sh!t...")

If you want to try something different, I'd suggest tying some flies on circle hooks. Once hooked, I've never had a fish come off using them, but it's easy to miss strikes if you don't let them take it. I forgot I was using one last week and strip set the fly right out of a steelhead's mouth. Could even feel the hook scraping across it's teeth. It's a hard habit to break, but NO setting with circle hooks, just gently come tight to the fish and the hook almost always buries in the corner of the mouth. Might work better with the softer action of a longer rod like that. Mustad C71 is a good fly circle hook. They also work great to greatly reduce foul-hooking when the fish are stacked (not that I frequent such fisheries...)

Guess I'll find out for myself though. Hoping to catch my first pinks later this week somewhere in MA11 with a buddy that lives up there.
I've lost my last 16 fish. This includes both fly and trolling, both boat and shore, river and saltwater. This is with a LOT of different hooks and fishing rigs. I have never had an issue like I have the last two weeks.


Active Member
Are you using a firm strip set with the line and tip pointed at the fish?

and keep your rod tip pointed at or just barely in the water when you are stripping so that you never have slack in the line when stripping the fly. Floater vs intermediate line should not matter if you keep a tight line to the fly.

Also use side pressure rather than trying to lift the rod high. This brings the fish in faster as it is easier to steer with side pressure the fish rather than lift it upwards and reef it straight in.