Tight line vs Slack line?

Discussion in 'All Catfishing' started by kickflip484, Jun 17, 2008.

  1. kickflip484

    kickflip484 New Member

    Hi there all, im new to the catfish1 websight and so far i love it. I've been river fishing all my life and the way i was taught was to throw on some sinkers a worm, cast, reel in till the line is taught and when a bite come, jerk up and set the hook. But that was for catching whatever bit. Now i want to start catching some big cats. So what i was wondering is how everyone sets their line waiting for a cat to bite. I also would like to know if you let the fish swallow the hook, or do you set the hook as soon as you get a bite. Thank you for your help.

  2. adam1886

    adam1886 New Member

    welcome to the site jeremy. i think whether you keep the line tight or slack is all personal preference. as far as when to set the hook, when we used kahle hooks we always waited for the fish to "take it". thats when they just grab on and really take it down and you know they got it in thier mouths. now we used circle hooks and the fish basically sets the hook themselfs without us setting the hook and they take some getting used to. hope this helps some

  3. Kerplunkd

    Kerplunkd New Member

    North Carolina
    As long as that catfish likes whats on your hook, he could care less whether or not your line is tight. That answers the hook set question too. The fish will pretty much hook itself when it hauls ass with that prime choice bait.
  4. massa_jorge

    massa_jorge New Member

    welcome aboard adam and jeremy! in current i always tightline. in calm water with cutbait i will slack the line up a bit. that way when they run, the circle punches through the corner of the mouth no problem. better have a hold of your rod or a good rod holder doing it like this though.
  5. kickflip484

    kickflip484 New Member

    So basically set the hook when the pole starts bouncing, lol. So does most everyone use the circle hooks? or do they stick with the good ol straight shank hook?
  6. Katmandeux

    Katmandeux New Member

    Checotah, Oklahoma
    There is no one-size-fits-all answer to your questions.

    There have been times when the bite was very timid, that I couldn't catch a fish to save me on circles and tight lines...a change to kahles and some slack in the line made all the difference. A couple of days ago, cutbait just under a cork, floated in an eddy back against some flooded willows saved an otherwise empty trip.

    I know this isn't the answer you want to hear, but you have to be flexible, and listen to the river, and the fish.
  7. Dave L

    Dave L New Member

    I'm going to agree with Adam on this one.

    Though I do keep my line tight, and I prefer kahle hooks. I rarely set a hook.
    I keep my line tight more so I can tell if there is anything playing with my bait.
  8. catman4926

    catman4926 New Member


    There is no way to realy answer that ?. Every body has there on way Some swear by circles and some swear by kahlan hooks andthen ther are them die hards that do not use anything j-hooks . I thank that you should start out with kahlan hooks being your use to seting the hooks because if you set on a circle you have just pulled it out of the mouth it is very hard to set and watch your rod load before you start reeling it in Hope this helps and by the way welcome to the BOC hope you enjoy it

    LEROYDOZOIS New Member

    i like j hooks because it caught my biggest fish yet....

    i dont have a bait clicker on my reels but i back my drag really low .... when the drag starts screaming, pick it up and tighten it.....sometimes i open the bail and wait....1 jerk....2 jerk....3jerk.....run....stop...RUN!!!!

    4/0 - 5/0 baitholders work wonders because i like to rip their face off....i learned how to do that with braid too.
  10. rob128146

    rob128146 New Member

    Rockwell, North Carolina
    I don't know about this one but I prefer slack lines. The reason why is i don't want them ol' cats to feel any pressure until they have the bait in there mouth. I think if they don't feel anything except the bait which is natural food they will go ahead with it. Just my .02 worth.:big_smile:
  11. alton

    alton New Member

    Welcome to the BOC. If you are talking about cats in the 20-80lb range, the only thing you have to worry about is the fish pulling you rig in the water. If you are talking the 2-20lb range, use circle hooks and wait for the cat to take the bait and get hooked, if you get the steady pecking, it is probably a turtle or a bunch of 6" fish. Good luck.
  12. JimmyJonny

    JimmyJonny Well-Known Member

    The only time I leave slack in my line is if I'm in a boat anchored. If the boat moves at all a tight line will snag if there is timber/ structure. Kinda like setting a anchor, LOL.

    Any other time I prefer at least 1.5oz weight and tight-lined....even in slack water. I use leaders that are 2.5' long.


    When using big live or dead baits I like using circles. I also use them for 90% of my drifting.

    When using worms, liver, shrimp, live herring and threadfins I like 2# ( not the 2/0 ) kahle hooks. I like the thinner/ligher wire hooks to keep my baits livelier.

    I've yet to straighten a kahle hook on a fish, it could happen but that's rare. If you snag timber on the tip it will bend, you will get your whole rig back and you can bend them back with pliers ; )~

    These are a few of my guild lines that I go back and have my optional success, on my home lake.

    Now that your hunting the big boys I suggest that you start using live/dead baitfish. The BoC library has tons of info to browse.

    Welcome to the brotherhood, enjoy and good luck !!