03: Advanced Angler Training

Between The Lines - Ch 08: Training

The previous 'bungy exercise' will certainly result in a better understanding and style of rod handling than the average angler. To have a greater understanding of how much pressure you are actually putting through the rod and the possibilities of how much you actually can, try the following exercises.

s01ScaleSetup w01wrap w02DoubleWrap
Fig 1 Fig 2 Fig 3

This set of tasks is the same as the previous exercises differing only in the setup, replacing the bungy cord with a set of scales and a pulley. (Fig 1) If you have practiced on the bungy system then it will be quite easy, if not, you may find it very difficult as this exercise is where strength, stamina and technique are all important factors.

Once again start off without the harness and using a light tackle outfit such as 8 or 10kg. You will find that challenging enough to start on. (Vid 1) 

Vid 1

 Again the idea is to be as consistent as possible throughout the whole exercise. Even on light tackle it is very difficult to put even pressure on the pump as you will find out soon enough. Once the harness is on the scenario changes dramatically. (Vid 2)

Vid 2

 This is an exceptional series of tests that could change much of what you previously thought possible with relatively light tackle.

The final exercise is redlining the tackle. With some practice very light tackle is capable of exerting rather extreme pressure. (Vid 3)

Vid 3

 Taking wraps on the line (Fig 2) is explained in the next few pages and should only be taken on the double line. In this extreme exercise (Fig 3) the rod should not go above 10.30 (clock face).

You are now getting to the stage where you can be at ease knowing what both you and your tackle is capable of. (Vid 4)

Vid 4

The angler training exercises starting with the bungy going through to redlining tackle certainly take an angler from novice to advanced in a very short period of time, considering most anglers never get to this stage regardless of how many years they have fished or how many fish they have caught. Few anglers are even aware these possibilities exist, let alone the concepts that take you from advanced to expert. The most important thing an angler can do is maintain tight line and pressure on a fish, but there are many more possibilities in controlling the fight.

To reach the status of a ‘master angler', similar to a black belt eighth dan in martial arts, you have to look upon your tackle and to some extent the boat, as an extension of yourself. The rod for example in most gamefishing applications is a rigid extension held in place by belts and harnesses and chairs. It shouldn't be. That's like using a sword in a single plane just raising and lowering it in front of you. As in the case of the sword these tactics are most useful at close quarters except for raising the rod above your head when a fish is on a long screaming run to pull line out of the water to minimise drag. The ability to apply pressure by moving the rod to the side to roll and turn a fish. Putting the tip down to the waters edge, and even below it to change the angle on a fish to stop it jumping near the boat and turn it are just a few of the many possibilities. These are certainly difficult to do with chair outfits, but once the concepts are understood the boat can be manoeuvred to apply similar angles from the rod tip to the fish. With practice on stand-up gear these manoeuvres are quite simple to do even with extreme drag pressures. Note that an important part of the exercises using rods with roller tips is maintaining the line coming off the roller at 90 degrees, not the side of the roller.

When we first started discussing anglers we said that with the aid of crew and boat an angler can catch fish with knowing little else except that they should turn the reel handle. The exercises discussed should take the angler to a more competent level to be an important contributor to the capture and tagging of the fish. At this point perhaps they deserve to have their names enshrined in the record books.


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