Almost five years ago we ran a post about why you need to wind your backing on tight when you’re chasing big fish. A few days ago our good friend Nic Jepson sent us the amazing picture above, which tells the story better than our words ever could.
Nic was kind enough to add the story behind the photo – read and learn. Thanks, Nic!
Tighten Up Your Backing
Fish on, brake on the Loop HD 9-13 reel set on very high drag. 12 weight Xi2 rod was well bent into the fish.
Fish had already tail wagged 2 or 3 times – everything under control. Fish decides to do a BOLT and leaves the boat at an amazing speed similar to the acceleration of my son’s Tesla.
Backing well outside the rod. The extreme pressure caused the backing to dig deeply into the backing on the reel and get wedged in momentarily. When this released itself the reel was set into turbo mode and actually caused the reel to backlash.
As you can see in the picture the 70 pounder was jumping for joy at this stage, but he stayed on. With the help of Sam my guide we managed to untangle the backlashed backing and fought the fish without further incident. Fish released successfully.
So what is the corrective action and lesson learned? If you’re going for big powerful fish like these tarpon, then I suggest that you take off all your backing and rewind under high tension, in order to minimize the chance of backing being wedged. It had been a long while since this backing had been checked, but I will certainly be doing a rewind on all my reels before my next trip.