Wind, Current, and "Setting the Hook" - Part II

Here's the continuation of the post. For part one of this post, you can access the link below:

----------------Section 1: Tension and Force----------------
In the last post, I went through the principles of Archimede's Principles (Buoyant Force, etc), and explained situation #1.

It's interesting how I was reading some magazines about Pro-Bass fishing, and even the pros mention the importance of the concepts of buoyancy:

"...As for running depth, there's no single time and depth measurement for all these bait [Slender Silent Minnows for Fall Bass]. The bigger the bait the quicker it will sink. Also the line's diameter plays an important role. The thinner the line the quicker the bait will get down; the thicker the line, the more buoyant it is and the slower the bait will descend on the retrieve."

Mike Iaconelle, from New Jersey - "Regular contributor to BASSIN'."

"My favorite is the Strike King Tour Grade 1/2-ounce model in sexy shad color sexy shad painted blades. The lure has an extended skirt like a trailer and the package imitates the shad bass that are feeding on that time of the year ... The bigger skirt adds bulk and buoyancy; you can add a plastic trailer to do the same, but the skirts on the Tour Grade models eliminate the need for that."

Kevin VanDam (a.k.a. KVD), from Kalamazoo, Michigan.

Anyways...let's go to situation #2:

2. Have you ever set the hook (which means pulling the rod abruptly in response to a fish's bite), feel the weight and the force of the fish for a moment, and suddenly lose it? You probably said something like "OHHHHH!!!!" at that time, isn't it (or you cursed, or shacked your head. hehe)? After all, you lost the fish. Keep this thought in mind.

Believe it or not, this situation is SO RELATED to Physics. Most people don't even realize it, or have the curiosity to think about it. So, let's take a couple small steps and think about the situation first. Let's create two different images to illustrate situation #2:

A. There's a fisherman sitting close to his fishing rod, a couple meters away (or feet away, if you prefer).

- He's "still fishing", carefully watching his rod for any bites.
- He's using a very simple rig consisted of a hook, swivel, and weight.
- He's not using a rod holder, neither holding the rod.

Suddenly, he spots the tip of his fish rod bending strongly. He runs there, grabs the rod, and pulls it backwards, abruptly, in response to the fish bite. He feels the heaviness of the fish, but his line suddenly looses, and he feels nothing. He loses the fish.

B. There's a fisherman casting and retrieving constantly at a river site.

- He's casting, carefully reeling his rod to allure the fish.
- He's using a very simple rig consisted of lure, swivel, and a split shot.
- He's holding the rod.

Suddenly, he feels a force pulling his rod, coming through his line. He pulls the rod horizontally right away, in response to the fish bite. He feels the heaviness of the fish for a second, and his lure is once again free in the water. He loses the fish.

Having this two images in mind, we can start thinking about why they lost their fish. Of course some of the the first ideas that comes to our head are the timing of the fish bite (sometimes we set up the hook too late), the behaviors of the fish biting (every species has different behaviors when it comes to eating), and the strength that we use to set the hook (which is the most important factor for us here).

So, it's related to Physics. But what aspect of Physics, though? Do you have any idea? Well...I'll post below the topics that are included in this section, but I'll mainly talk about perfectly inelastic collisions:

- Definition of Energy (many types of energy: gravitational, kinetic, electric, etc.)

- Conservation of Energy (energy cannot be destroyed. It can be changed)

- Momentum (quantity of motion by product of mass and velocity)

- Conservation of Momentum (Velocity in = velocity out)

- Work (Force applied through a certain distance)

I understand it's a bit confusing, but hopefully you will understand things better once you finish this post!

2. Inelastic and Elastic Collisions

Believe it or not, this concept is directly applied in fishing! And soon, as you read, you will understand how and why. Below are two links for you to read:
Complex understanding:
If you want to read more about Energy, follow the link below:

And finally, here's a video lesson that will probably enlighten your vision on elastic and inelastic collisions:

By theory:

- Elastic collisions are collisions where objects do not stick together after they collide. The pool balls in the video are a good example.

- Inelastic collisions are collisions where objects' shape are changed after collision. Tennis ball is a good example.

- Perfectly inelastic collisions happen when objects' shape are changed, and they stick together after collision. The fish and the hook are a very good example of that!

- We use work as we fish: we run our strength (muscles) to pull the fish in through a certain amount of distance. Hence, W = FdcosPhi (Force times distance times angle where force is applied. The Phi there refers to a Greek letter, and it could be any Greek letter, seriously... it's only used as a reference to indicate angle).

- Energy is transformed from potential to kinetic when the fish moves, not to mention that there are others energies involved.


In short terms: I hope that by having this knowledge in mind, people will be more cautious under certain circumstances, and increase their chances of landing a fish, and saving their gear.

One situation is where people swing their rods wildly to set up the hook on the fish. The secret is not in using a lot of strength, but rather using a sharp hook. Sometimes, with a good sharp hook and a big enough weight (still fishing), the fish basically hooks itself! It's the same concept as a bolt rig that is used in Carping. A wild swing is not only unnecessary, but it will bring disadvantages to the fisherman: the hook may bent; the line may snap if a poor knot was performed; and the fish may go away if the hook passed through its mouth (through meat, basically).

Another situation is where people's first reaction after a snag is to pull the rod (trying to release it with brutal and pure strength). The first reaction after the person knows the hook/weight/swivel is attached to something under water (or in air, such as a tree) should be to release the line and think about what to do. By releasing the line, the tension in the line (force) diminishes, allowing other forces to act on their own. The current of the water, the buoyancy, the gravitational force - all of these can help your inelastic collision undo itself (if the hook is already not too deep. It would only be deep if the fisherman's first reaction were to pull the rod). If it's already stuck, and the person knows it...well, then the pulling starts, and it's a 50/50 - either losing or saving the gear.

It's kind of common sense, isn't it? However, action and reaction seems to be so natural in us that people keep making these common mistakes. Out of excitement, nervousness, or whatever it's; it seems our neurons are sending the sharp message that says: REACT! And that's not always the best option.

I follow this theory blindly. That's why I always play my fish with my drag loose. I would rather have the fish pulling the line out of my reel than dragging it by brute strength (assuming there are no strategic areas of snag, and no obstacles in the water). It diminishes the chances of the fish escaping, the hook bending (damaging material), and the fish suffers less.

I must admit that one day I was the one pulling it wildly! But those times are long gone...(thanks God, haha)

Best of luck for all of us!

Long Days and Pleasant Nights, as Roland Deschain would say in High Speech.


Leo S.


Post a Comment