Our king salmon seasons in Alaska and British Columbia are underway, so today we present you with a friendly reminder of one of the most common mistakes made when fighting big fish on spey rods – not putting enough pressure on the fish!
Take the photo above taken of Alaska West guide, Ben West, while hooked up to a hefty king. Notice how the rod is being pulled low and to the side? Good. Now, notice how the butt section of the rod, including the cork handle, has a deep flex to it? Great.
Believe it or not, rods are made to bend this way!
When fighting big fish like king salmon on spey rods, its absolutely crucial to exert maximum pressure on the fish throughout the fight. After all, kings pull hard, and if you’re not pulling hard back, odds are they’re resting, thus prolonging the fight and increasing the chances of coming unbuttoned. However, longer spey/switch rods can make this more difficult, requiring more effort to bend the butt section of the rod – where the most power is. That’s why we really like the down and dirty approach to fighting fish – keeping the rod low and to the side, allowing the fish to be fought with the bottom half of the rod, rather than the tip section (the result of pointing the rod straight up in the air).
Get that rod low, pull hard, bend that butt section, and you’ll bring more brutes to hand.