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Oni Blog

How to hookset

Posted on | December 9, 2014

I had another question from someone who enjoys Tenkara.

I’ve been having more questions and queries in my phone messages and homepage inbox.

Those are from younger people, which convinces me that the Tenkara fishing population is on the rise.

They sound very hesitant, but you do can actually feel free to ask me questions.

I’ve been teaching Tenkara to many people since I was in my thirties.

So reciving questions is my daily chore and actualy what I feel I am made up for.

This time, I would like to talk about the same old topic – hookset or striking.

You’ve probably heard and read this topic thousand times.

So you may skip this, but I would like to talk about the same thing as it is crucial.


hooksetting while sinking a fly.

When you strike when you sink the fly, you have to set the hook with a little pause when you have felt it biting.

This slow pause you have to instill in yourself ensures proper hookset.

It brings other benefits like no harm to fish, no line breaks.

This hookset also proves you have realized your assumption that your hookset timing is jus the time fish bites.

If you can realize this, Tenkara will be far more fun.

What you have to avoid is “surprise hookset” or to hookset with too much strength out of some surprise.

Some fishermen set the hook too forcefully as they get astounded with fish strike the hook.

Naturally, they pull the lie so hard that the hooked fish is also pulled abruptly.

Fish gets hurt and line and tippet may result in the break too.

This happens not due to equipment but due to your hooking method.

This bad habit is often observed with intermediate level fishermen as far as I see on the water. That happens to be the time when they start to increase their catch.

A lot of fishermen overseas actually and unfortunately do this forcible hookset when I see them in their fishing videos.

This is probably because they may not be able to predict the size of fish; they choose to put too much force on hooking.

Even if the fly is sunk, from some  observation  – line movement, pulling action, how they swim away, gradually you may learn what kind and size of fish you are catching.

That is the stage where you can make Tenkara your lifelong friend.

At this time of year, if you go fishing, you may go to a hatchery trout farm or fishing pond where hatchery fish usually hold on the bottom of water.

So it is unavoidable to fish the bottom.

Do not miss clues such as line movement – stop, move, vibration you feel throgh your hand; they let you know when to set the hook.

It’s a bit tricky business, but this is the bottom line of hookset.

You can imprint this technique as you experience though many hooking expericnes by seeing changes.

That experince will be of great assistance.

Other hookset methods will be reavealed some other time.



2 Responses to “How to hookset”

  1. Ernie Bolz
    December 12th, 2014 @ 11:50 AM

    I found your explanation of hook setting very interesting as I am usually more successful than the people I fish with in hooking up. I have tried to explain the feel of how I do it, but I haven’t yet found the words. After trying, I usually fall back to, “It is kind of a Zen thing” which, of course, doesn’t really help.

  2. Oni
    December 12th, 2014 @ 4:56 PM

    Dear Emie      Thank you for your Comment. Tenkara fishing looks like kind of Zen thing.I think so.
    Enjoy fishing!

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