When the fishing gets tough, the tough go finesse fishing. We all love to chunk and wind a crankbait, swim a swimbait, flip, throw jerk baits, and fish explosive bites attracting top water baits, but sometimes you just have to slow down, tie on a small profile bait, and use light line to get fish in the boat. When finesse fishing, more than ever you will use your equipment to its fullest potential.
Here are five ways to improve your success while finesse fishing.
1. Use high-quality, low-stretch fluorocarbon lines.
Using the right line can get you more bites. However, going light might make getting big fish in the boat tough. By using a high-quality, low-stretch fluorocarbon line you can get more bites and still land big fish. The low stretch allows you to feel more bites while the abrasion resistance will help you get more fish in the boat around structure. Fluorocarbon also has closer light refraction properties to that of water than both monofilament and braided lines. This makes the line harder to see, even when you compare lines of the same diameter making fluorocarbon a stealthier approach. There are several quality fluorocarbons on the market, but I use Gamma Edge fluorocarbon and if you haven’t tried it, you should.
2. A quality fishing rod is never more important than when fishing finesse.
Hooking a big fish on light line can make for one heck of a fight. By using a quality rod, you can absorb the fight from a big fish, while maintaining the control you need to keep the fish out of trouble. In addition, if you want to make long, accurate casts with small finesse baits, a good rod helps. Matching a good rod built for the weight of the bait you are casting will really help you make more precise casts and/or longer casts. The best finesse rods that I have ever used are the Megabass Orochi XX rods.
3. Picking the right bait is a matter of when, where, and what you are fishing.
Regardless of the bait style you choose, if you are turning to finesse baits, the fish are probably on the finicky side. This is a great time to use a wacky style presentation. One drawback to a wacky presentation is sometimes a bass will short strike and when you set the hook, you lose the bait and the chance to catch that fish. Fishing with a Z-Man Fishing ElaZtech plastic bait like their Hula StickZ, ZinkerZ, or FattyZ can eliminate that problem. The patented ElaZtech plastic will not pull off the hook, which allows you to immediately drop the bait right back down to the fish after a short or missed strike.
4. Use a quality reel with a consistent drag.
While the line and rod can absorb most of what a fish can put out, you will still need a quality drag system to allow a fish to pull line when necessary. Nothing can cost you a potential fish of a lifetime faster than a sticky drag system. I suggest a larger than necessary spool size to improve casting distance, minimize line coil and increase retrieve speeds. I like a 2000 or 2500 size reel for most finesse fishing tactics.
5. Change out your tip top guide to a Recoil guide.
This final tip takes a little more work, but it can help all of your fishing not just finesse fishing. What separates Recoil guides from most other guides is that they do not have a ceramic insert. Ceramic is an insulator and absorbs vibrations between the line and the rod. When you feel a bite in your rod, it’s the vibration in the line you are feeling. So why would you want to absorb any amount of the vibration with a ceramic insert? You want to feel everything you can from the line, through the rod and into your hands. Switch out your tip-top guide to a Recoil brand guide and you’ll catch more fish.
You can certainly catch fish using almost any equipment. However, if you want to improve your bite-to-landing ratio and land the fish of a lifetime with a finesse tactic, start out by using the right equipment.
Image courtesy Luke Clausen