How To Pump & Reel

Let’s talk a 50, 300, no, 1,000 pound fish on the end of your line, whether it be a tuna or marlin or some paranormal sea creature. Anytime you got a gut-wrenching, drag-burning, shoulder dislocating beast on the end of your line, you best be acclimated to figure out how to get the darn thing on deck. When battling big game species, there’s always a few tips and techniques that can eliminate the pain and suffering, well at least keep it to a minimum. The most important aspect is the “pump and reel” technique.

With a heavy duty fish on, you’re not looking for an immediate knockout punch, but steady, calculated jabs to wear the fish down setting it up for the end uppercut. The key to battle is to short stroke the fish. The pump and reel technique consists of hooking the fish, letting him do his initial run, then pumping the rod up and reeling down, all the time turning his head upward to the surface to cajole him to the gaff. Bow down, point the rod tip to the fish and reel up the slack line, then straighten up your back pulling the rod up as you literally pull the fish closer. Repeat the motion over and over again. An old saying goes, “When you rest, he rests,” so those times you are feeling weak, lollygagging letting your muscles regain composure for the next round, that fish is doing the same. Keep pumping and reeling. Always keep pressure and direct the fish where you want it to go, otherwise, you could literally be there for a half day or longer as the fish rests and regains composure when you are too weak to reel. That said, any big fish you plan to tangle with, have two speed reels in the spread, allowing you to switch between high speed and low speed gears. When a tuna, shark or marlin strikes, have the reel fixed to low gear, that’s the heavy duty cranking power to turn the fish. After you feel you’ve got the fish tired (for at least a bit), switch to high gear now to gain line on the fish. This is a heavyweight fight, and pump and reel expends the least amount of stress on you, while applying ultimate pressure on the fish. Short pump, reel down and pull back.

That’s the key to landing the fish of a lifetime. It’s up to you for the graceful, patient application of the technique.

Ready to see the pump in reel in action? Check out this video of some of the strongest men in the world battling the strongest fish in the world. BlacktipH Fishing invited JujiMufu (fitness freak), Devon Larratt (World Arm Wrestling Champion), and Layne Norton (World Champion powerlifter) on a quest to catch some monster Goliath groupers using stand-up tackle.

1 comment

james weigand

just great watching ! no shoulder harnesses here.

Leave a comment