What is the best way to set the hook using a larger 9 inch plus wakebait?
I am using cxx and an okuma gs xh heavy rod. My best method is to wait a second or so, then just pop the rod, keep it high, and reel hard/fast but I am always trying to get better.
I have tried waiting then really jamming hard and did not hook up well. I also tried immediately reeling when I see the explosion and keeping the rod at 12 o'clock or 9'clock. This did not work well either.
I am using owner stinger trebles and I might be over thinking this. But I would still like to learn the best way to set the hook on a wakebait.
#18437, "RE: Wakebait hooksets" In response to Reply # 0
Sweep set while reeling down hard is usually good. An XH action rod might be too stiff. Much like crankbait or zara spook fishing, you don't need a stiff rod for wakebaits.
With an 8' rod you can move a lot of line from the point when the fish hits to the point when the rod is loaded up.
As far as timing goes, I am not a believer in using a system like "I count to 3 then set". Over time you should just develop an instinctive feel for when to set the hook. Being jumpy is always bad. Processing it in your head for a second 'OK there's one' then sweep setting is good.
The slight pause will help you if the fish misses the lure altogether. If the fish is really hungry it might come back for another hit or you might get another cast at it.
#18438, "Wakebait hooksets" In response to Reply # 1
I like the sweep set idea but I am always trying to get their head up and mouth open. Can you get their mouth open as well pulling to the side as when pulling up?
I recognize that a fish exploded on my bait, hesitate, and swing, it is quite a short amount of time. I am not counting to 3 or disengaging the bail and letting the fish run. Should I set as soon the fish hits it?
If your using 3/0 stingers wouldn't the XH rod help sticking them? I think that the hook gap on a 3/0 is different than spook fishing, right? When I hook a fish they are hooked too well, I have never ripped a fish off.
Actually the xh rod brings up an interesting question. When I am hooking fish on the wakebait, they usually head shot it, and then the bottom treble pins them again, limiting their movement. This is awesome from a landing and safety perspective but I feel bad when that second treble hooks them in the pec fin or through the outside of their gills. There is always at the least some bleeding, but I have not seen a fish I caught die, yet.
I feel bad for the fish but like the benefits of the second treble. Although if I kill a big bass I would be very upset. Should I take the back treble off and use a single treble hook at the same size or larger size by the head? Or should I just toughen up and if I kill a big one chalk it up to bad variance?
#18439, "RE: Wakebait hooksets" In response to Reply # 2
I'm with Rob on needing a lighter action rod...when I only had my Okuma XH rod I had a harder time keeping wake bait fish pinned. I use the 7-11 MH for my 6 inch MS slammer and Wake Bait Jr. and my 7-11 H for my 9 inch slammer and big walking baits. I think the lighter tip in these rods help to keep the fish hooked. I just sweep and reel like I do when fishing crankbaits
#18440, "RE: Wakebait hooksets" In response to Reply # 3
Eh I am chucking an 8 ounce bait with 3/0 stingers, I think the XH is warranted, I could probably use a XH with a more parabolic action but I really like the fast actions of the guide series. I have not lost a fish once hooked, if you see my post above, I am worried I am hurting fish by hooking them so well.
I think I was unlucky a few times and the fish just did not hit iron. Also the misses might have been toothy fish, so whatever on them.
I am still torn though on my hook setup. That back stinger always sticks in the fish, it is pretty gruesome but great for landing ratio and safety for me in a tube with an ultra sharp hook flying around. I might try taking off the back treble this weekend.
Pretty funny, I go from asking how to hook fish better to not wanting to hook them as well, oh well fishing hook ethics class doesn't sound to bad.