Published Mar 30. 2006 - 16 years ago
Updated or edited Aug 8. 2015

Breaking off snags.

Tonight as I was fishing for walleye on the wisconsin river I got snagged on the bottom and after a few roll casts and whipsnaps I realized that i had to do the enevitable and break off my fly. So I pulled strait back on my line and as I did I noticed that my flyline streched a bit before my tippet finally broke. I was wondering if there is a better way to break off hooks then just pulling strait back?

I can't see any other way to do it but maybe there is. It doesn't seem like it would be verry good to be putting so much tension on it. I don't want to accidently ruin my $60(U.S.)flyline or is flyline more durable then I think?


Hi Kirk,...

Hi Kirk,
When I know that I'm fishing on a bottom where I am going to hook a stick or two, I do a couple of things. And with the early season Largemouths feeding on my hellgramite immitations like crazy these days and the Hickory Shad run starting to get going here on the Potomac, I am fishing deep right now. OK. Two things. I tie my flies on a slightly finer hook. Just a lighter guage or two than I usually tie on. The other thing is to use a heavier tippet. I usually fish for bass with a six. Now I use and eight or a ten. This lets me pull straight back on the line and the lighter hook will straighten a tiny bit and release. It doesn't pull it completely straight. Just enough to free it. I have done this about twenty timres already this Spring and I just bend the hook into a curve with needle nose and it is fine. On the river I keep a small stone in my vest because the fly often hooks on rocks, so touching up the tip is a good idea. The only fly I have broken off this year was on an old dock post. I burried it deep and there was just no way. Another thing this lets me do is rid the pond I am fishing in of sticks. With the heavier leader you reel a lot of them in.

Bob Abrams
McLean, Virginia

taff's picture

Hi Kirk,...

Hi Kirk,

If your fishing a river you might let the current take the flyline and leader down past the snagged hook. Then, a sharp tug on the flyline against the weight of the current will sometimes release the hook.


I also use a barbless hook....

I also use a barbless hook.



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