Pro Tips: Keep Your Rod Level When Reaching Over Currents

Correct: Hold your rod level with the water to ensure you stay ready for a quick, powerful hookset.
All photos by Evan Jones

One of the more difficult scenarios anglers face when trying to get a drag-free drift is dealing with fast water between you and your target. There are basically two options: either throw a big upstream mend, or lift as much of your line off the surface as possible and try to reach out over the fast current with your rod. Most anglers prefer to lift the rod–it’s both easier and more consistent than trying to mend–but even then, your technique matters more than you might imagine.  

When lifting your line over a current seam, make sure that your rod remains parallel to the water’s surface at all times. This will ensure you have plenty of room to perform a proper hook set when you get a bite. Many anglers only lift the tip of the, holding the rod at a roughly 45-degree angle as a result. Because the tip of the rod is already so high, there is considerably less room to set the hook, resulting in a loss of power and accuracy. 

Incorrect: lifting only the tip and holding the rod at an angle results in less-consistent hooksets.

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