Reeling in Large Fish
Large sea fish are handled the same as fresh-water fish, except that being larger and stronger it is more difficult to cheek their rushes, and a large fish like the tarpon or tuna will sometimes take out several hundred yards of line before you can stop him, even though you may have a handle drag set at a heavy tension, and a leather brake pressed down with the thumb. If you have neither brake nor drag, which is unwise where big fish are found, you must have thumb stalls so that the revolving, line-wound spool of the reel will not burn your thumbs, for you must sometimes press both thumbs on the reel as hard as possible. Then sometimes when you get the fish stopped, you cannot induce him to come nearer and he may even attempt another rush. In such cases the fisherman "pumps" the fish, and slowly recovers his line, foot by foot. For this a leather belt with a rod cup for the butt of the rod, is worn. The butt of the rod is set in the cup and with both hands the angler raises the rod by main strength, drawing the fish several feet nearer, then he suddenly lowers the tip of the rod and reels in the several feet of line that he has gained. The operation is repeated again and again as long as the fish will stand for it, but when he gets tired of it he makes another run and must be pumped again. Only stout tackle, the kind used for sea fishing, will stand such use.
Brooks, Lake. The Science of Fishing. Columbus, OH: A.R. Harding, 1912. Print.
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