Theories and beatings:
We at Alpha have multiple theories about bass fishing and the intricacies associated with this sport. Most of the time, I think fishermen build theories about their pea-brained foes to ensure they remain sane during the chase. In certain cases though, there are theories that are worthy of further explanation. In this case, I believe the Alpha staffers have refined a theory that will help you land more fish.
It’s called the theory of Felt Pressure and Reaction, and it goes like this: The reaction of a fish after it’s hooked is equal and opposite to the amount of pressure that is applied. Here me out as I explain further.
Clausen's Shakey-Head Clue:
Many years ago I was watching an interview with Luke Clausen and some talking head. The interviewer was flabbergasted at Luke’s “confidence” in utilizing light line and spinning rods around docks. At this point, Luke had won the Forest Wood Cup and made a few million more skipping a shakey-head under docks. His response really went something like this. The harder you pull on a hooked fish, the harder they’ll fight back. If you just keep pressure on them, most of this time they’ll swim free of the dock and tire out.
Starting when we were infants, my little brother and I would exchange slugs to the shoulder on an almost constant basis. Even now, 30 some years later, the chance of a random shoulder bruising when it’s least expected is always a possibility. The more painful and surprising a slug was, the more nuclear the response from the recipient.
It seems like bass react in a similar manner. When you blast them with 20lb test and an heavy flipping stick, they go berserk and start jumping or racing for nasty cover. It’s like you punched them in the shoulder, unexpectedly, and now they’re tackling you in a church parking lot…. (That really did happen, much to my poor mother’s disdain.)
A few years ago, I was heaving a chatterbait around in a tournament on the Columbia River on our glass cranking rod, the Rebound. Somewhere at the end of a cast, a strait mule (9.02lbs) ate the chatterwagon and the fight was on. The problem was that I didn’t think it was a big fish, because it wasn’t fighting that hard.
My fishing partner asked how big I thought it was, and if I needed the net. As I looked back over my shoulder to tell him the fish didn’t feel big and not to worry about the net, the mule came to the top and rolled around. I didn’t see it, but my fishing partner did, and he proceeded to blow both windshields off the boat trying to get the net.
I don’t think Mrs. Mule was super concerned about the situation until our eyes met near the boat. We were both surprised, and I was unprepared. Because she didn’t fight very hard, I didn’t bother to re-position the boat away from the cover we were fishing… dumb. Her response was explosive; as she ran under the boat so fast my rod hit the gunnel causing her to jump strait up on the other side… right into a waiting net. I got blessed on that occasion, but it really taught me something about how a fish reacts to applied pressure.
At first, that fish was mildly inconvenienced with the constant tugging on her jaw, and she wasn’t convinced the situation was dire until she actually saw the boat and my stupid look of disbelief.
Land More with Glass:
In the past, the biggest selling point for a fiberglass rod was the ability to keep fish from pulling off of treble-hooks. Obviously, that theory is true, but there’s another aspect I never thought about. Fish that fight against the Rebound usually fatigue quicker than those caught on a heavier graphite rod. As fish fight against the glass they deal with a constant, even pressure that just wears them out with less incident.
This theory doesn’t always hold true, especially with warm water smallmouth, but there’s definitely a noticeable difference in landing percentage (much higher.) So much so, that many of our pro-staffers have switched to S-Glass for almost all moving baits (spinnerbaits/chatterbaits/rattletraps/crankbaits…)
Thanks for reading. Hopefully this theory will help you land more fish. In future blogs, we’ll dig into how S-Glass can generate more bites with moving baits.
Post any questions in the comment section and we'll do our best to answer!!!
Check out the Rebound here.