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14 May 2020
One of the oldest and most primitive forms of fishing is handlining. Many people say the ultimate reason to handline fish is the thrill of a big catch on the line. Nothing quite compares to using all of the muscles and force in one’s body to pull up a strong and powerful fish fighting you. The challenge and variation of this fishing technique is usually what attracts anglers.
Handline fishing, or handlining, is done by dropping a weighted line straight into the water with a baited hook. There is no rod or reel involved, and so it requires anglers to be fully hands on and present in the moment. Like every fishing technique, handlining comes with pros and cons. While this technique requires an angler to be focused entirely on one line and extremely attentive, it makes it obvious to feel bites.
While this is one of the oldest forms of fishing, practiced in regions all over the world, it is still used today. Particularly, handlining is extremely effective when anglers target reef fish near the seafloor. Trolling, jigging, and drift fishing can all still be done when handlining in saltwater or fresh water.
The beautiful thing about handline fishing is that it’s minimalist and inexpensive. First and foremost, you need a line. Since you aren’t hooking it up to any unique rod or reel, all types of line work: twisted, braided, and monofilament. A wide variety of hooks is also acceptable, leaving you to your own creativity and fish-targeted approach.
-TIP- One piece of equipment you cannot and should not handline without is gloves! Invest in some really good, fingerless gloves. This gives you better grip on the line, prevents you from cutting your skin, and can keep you in the game for a long fish battle.