Strip set, strip set, strip set! We’ve set it before, but to consistently land bonefish, it is important to set the hook with a long stripping motion, with the rod pointed at the fish, as opposed to raising the rod in a ‘trout setting’ motion. We’d be lying if we said we didn’t let our trout instincts get the best of us from time to time, but the next time your fishing the flats remember – Strip set, strip set, strip set!
To help break the habit of the dreaded trout set, our buddy Tom Larimer offered up a tip he uses when stripping the fly for bonefish – Lock your elbow on your rod arm. As you strip the fly, extend your rod arm in front of you until it is out straight. With your arm in this position, it is extremely unnatural to lift your arm in a ‘trout set’ motion. Therefore once you feel the weight of the fish, you are instantly reminded to strip set.
Also, as an added bonus, locking extending your rod hand in front of you as you strip for much longer and smoother strips. This allows for greater control of your fly whether retrieving fast or slow!