What is handlining, and the basics?

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doobieb
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What is handlining, and the basics?

Post by doobieb » Wed May 02, 2007 7:54 pm

Hi I’m a bit of a newbie at fishing in general, the last time I fished with a rod was about 8 years ago (with parents before left home) and (I’m now 18). I didn’t know about handlining till last summer when I went to some Greek islands where I saw some people fishing with lures of which they swung around (like a lasso) and cast out a good 30 metres from a handreel, is this handlining?
I promptly bought one of which is a plastic version of the picture on the front page of this site, but with one side with a shallower angle as to reduce casting resistance and a handle from one side to the other, I tested the line with a very bad knot and found out that it was 10Kg, is this to thick for this country (U.K.) as I have not had much success in this country? Does 8 inches of wire and a beefy swivel at the end have a detrimental effect because without I lost fish in Greece before i added this?
What sort of lure is good for a silty English estuary (clear water)?
For bait fishing what size hook, type of bait, and should I ledger or float fish? What lengths man and size of line should I be using between tackle?
Reason why I use a landline now that I'm home, is that it fits in my bag (or saddlebag :thumbsup: ) (I keep my tackle in a tobacco tin with what does not fit strapped on with an elastic band)so I can bike :) :D :cool: :p a to the estuary, and because any plonker can pick up a rod and cast straight of, where’s the challenge. And using a rod you don't get the feel of line, and pulling directly against the fish. Also some fish sit and wait for fish to come past (is this true or just rumers that seem to make sense), handlines give you freedom to move.
Is handlining illegal in fresh water because you can only get a rod licence, but you’re still paying for E.A. and all the cases of people being (seen on net) fined haven’t bought a licence?
Last edited by doobieb on Thu May 03, 2007 3:57 am, edited 3 times in total.

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Post by domvonn » Wed May 02, 2007 8:27 pm

hi doobie..welcome ! welcome...
I promptly bought one of which is a plastic version of the picture on the front page of this site, but with one side with a shallower angle as to reduce casting resistance and a handle from one side to the other, I tested the line with a very bad knot and found out that it was 10Kg
ish consider handlining, :) imho fishing with no rods/poles/nets ...with juz a pair of hands using a line and hook is consider handlining.
Whether izzit legal or not depend on countries..most pple like us in S'pore usually handlined on jetties ..quite rare for freshwater lakes.
Let Peace answer u , he is the pro in handlining. :thumbsup:
I am a predatory fish keeper/fisherman/photographer.:)

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Re: What is handlining, and the basics?

Post by Tere » Wed May 02, 2007 10:21 pm

Good Day Doobieb,

Its our pleasure to have you here. Righty, first and foremost, if I'm not mistaken, in UK the fishing activities are governed by your country's Environmental Agency.

If I'm correct, under their regulations, there are 2 classes of licenses.
1. Coarse Fishes and Trouts
2. Salmon and Sea Trout

For Coarse Fishes and Trouts license, a full license will cost about £24.50. For Salmon and Sea Trout license, a full license will cost about £66.50. (Per year). It states that if you are fishing for Coarse Fishes and Eels, you can use 2 rods and lines (i.e. 2 Setups) and only 1 Setup for Trouts.

I reckon that that means you're only allowed to use 2 handlines to get Coarse and Eels or 1 handline for Trouts.

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Post by doobieb » Thu May 03, 2007 3:47 am

hi domvonn, thanks for the replie, do you mind expanding on what jettie fishing involves ie is it just a hook with a chunk of fish on the end which you lower down on on the downtream side of the flow? Im totally in the dark in england because handlining simply dosn't exist in this country (except old school freids who just come along as something to do together (he bought http://www.streamline.com handline), and the only reference to handlining on the web are prosecutions of poachers.
I would tend to agree with you tere (thanks for replie) they cant exactly tell you of for using slightly different eqipment, while your still paying the E.A.

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Post by Tere » Thu May 03, 2007 10:10 am

doobie,
Handlining is essentially the art of fishing that had been employed thousands of years back whereby early human secures a hook-like contraption to the end of a line, attaches a bait and a weight.

It is actually the most basic method of fishing. Think of it as not requiring a baitcaster or a spinning reel and a rod. Just the drum of line that you can aquire from your local tackle joint, attach a running sinker, a swivel, a leader and a hook. Exactly just like how you'd rig a normal set of tackle.

You hold onto the line with one hand letting the line rest on your index finger and strike once you feel the fish biting. :D Its a truely 1:1 fight ... simply exhilarating!


Hope its clear enough. :)

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Post by Peace » Thu May 03, 2007 11:29 am

I'll try my best to answer your question but my knowledge is limited to Singapore fishing, so must be careful in translating my answers into your own fishing applications.

There's two general casting method for handlining; the lasso method and the pendulum cast. You've already witness the lasso cast which involves with building up momentum in a continuous swing before sending the terminal tackle flying. This ain't a bad method and gains good distance but requires quite a bit of space around you. A little dangerous and not suitable when casting where there are obstacles like bushes and trees around.

The pendulum cast is more commonly used, at least in Singapore. You start by positioning yourself with your master hand side against the casting direction. (That is to say if you're right handed, you'll find yourself facing 90 degrees counter clockwise from the casting direction. Hold the line using your master hand at a distance (2-2.5ft) from line end(load) and the spool on the other hand with the side of the spool facing the casting direction as well.

Swing the line back and forth gradually a few times in the casting direction. When you're comfortable to make the cast, wait for the load to swing all the way back, and throw the line forward with full force; releasing the line just before your throwing hand straightens forward. It is important to keep the side of the pool facing the direction of cast so the line can pay out smoothly.

This casting method requires less space and is more accurate.

For the type of spool, I've only tried the conventional normal both sides straight spools and the one side tapered spools. The difference in casting distance is not significant if you fill the spool with lines close to the brim. The one you just mentioned should be: http://www.streamlines.com/ . Looks pretty good but I can't find it here to try it out. I bike to fish myself, so I can appreciate how size and load is critical to choice of tackles. ;)

Aside from the possibility of spooking a fish, use of wire leader shouldn't affect the ability to fight a fish. Not significant anyway. :p Perhaps you can elaborate on how you lost the fish, there are many ways one can lose a fish; for example, weak/poorly tied knots, abrasion to leader/mainline, defective swivels, hooks thrown off, etc.

On the angler's part you can inspect the line for abrasion before casting, use strength rated swivels and lines and that knots are properly tied. When fighting a fish, don't use brute force unless necessary; like when you know the fish is diving for cover. Because we can't be exactly sure how the hook is set, we must cater for the possibility that the fish might be only slightly/lightly hooked.

Line strength may also vary depending the type of stress it is being applied to it. The initial take of a fish is usually fast and strong which can cause the line to burst depending how you control the tension.

As for luring and baiting, I cannot help you on that one. :o The species of fish is unfamiliar to me and even for same species of fish, they may favour different food and feeding patterns across different areas. The effective types of lures/rigs are often unique to its own fishing locality. I suggest seeking your local anglers for advice, preferrably those from the same waters too. Or perhaps anyone one can help out on this one. :)

Type of lines and hooks should be relative to the type and size of fish you're targeting, as well as the nature of the fishing ground. I would say an overall tackle set up with a 10kg tested strength is good enough unless you're targeting for big fishes. :p The type and diameter of fishing lines to use also depends whether you're using gloves/finger guard or not. If you're using bare hands, always stick with nylon, softer ones if possible. Hook size will depend on the size of fish you're targeting.

Handlining is very old school indeed and very unique in its own way. Sensitivity is an advantage as the extra medium(rod) is removed out of the equation. They are useful in tackling subtle takes from fishes. Not quite sure what you meant by "freedom to move" but I personally believe that it has finer movement controls to how a lure / bait can be moved. A direct engagement with the fish is another art itself.

Welcome to Hlf doobieb. :flower::)

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Post by doobieb » Fri May 04, 2007 3:34 pm

Thanks for all your replies, great help. You’ve got me interested on how you handline in singapore, so you put a weight towards the end of the line and one hook on the end. What distance do you put between the hook and weight, and what size weight is good. What is a running sinker, whats the swivel for and what is a leader? What size hook do you use for a 10kg line (obviously this depends on species, but what size will only catch fish too strong for the line and what size hook do the fish that can eat it get to small that the line thickness being seen gets to be an issue)?
Just out of interest what kind of bait do you use in Singapore?
Are there like loads of people on the sides of piers or is it just a couple (is it kind off a pastime that most people do or just a small devout group of people like who are really into handlining like rod fishing is in England)?
Does the lasso method get any further than the pendulum?
Peace, the reason why i mentioned loosing a fish was decause i didnt now wether is was the norm to use wire just in case the teath would cut nylon as was the case. "freedom" simply because your not manuvering a couple of metre of rod up and down the bank/shoe/rocks.
So teres reply makes sense my nmistake was corrected
Last edited by doobieb on Fri May 04, 2007 7:01 pm, edited 4 times in total.

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Post by Tere » Fri May 04, 2007 4:26 pm

doobieb,

Mate ... we're in Singapore not in Portugal :D

I'm using 150lb (68kg) Handline :D hahahahha

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Post by doobieb » Sat May 05, 2007 7:12 pm

:shocked: What size fish are you catching........sharks!!!!!!
how do you get fish that size up onto a peir? As all i need to do is bring it close enough to grab as i am close to the water (somtimes by the gill or tail, or if your jack(the person who i fish with) lift it up with the back of a filliting knife)
Last edited by doobieb on Tue May 08, 2007 3:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by Peace » Sun May 06, 2007 1:08 am

Let me introduce you to some common rigs used here. First is the long snood bottom feeder rig. which looks somewhat like this:
Image

where A: 8 inches B: 2-8 inches C: 2-3 feet D: 5 inches wire
'a' can be a knot a use of three-way swivel and 'b' can be a knot or a swivel.
All dimensions are estimates.

This rig is suitable for fishes near bottom, for use with live or dead baits. Typical baits used on this type of rig are squids and baitfishes. Fish caught on this type of rig is often gut hooked due to the length of the branch line. (unless circle hook is used)

The next one is called the Apollo Rig, Paternoster Rig if you want. Consists of two short branches of the main leader.
Image

where A: 7-8 inches B: 4-6 inches
'a' can be a knot a use of three-way swivel.
All dimensions are estimates.

This rig can be more generally used than any other rigs. Baits commonly used on this rig includes live/dead prawns, worms and squids. More effective if the line is guarded by the angler. ie. angler holding line/rod to aid setting of hook. Has good sensitivity to fish bites and reduces chance of gut hooking.

The third type of rig, or rather tackle, is Hong kong hook (or jigheads) that is more commonly used by handliners here. Simply tie the hook to a leader and connect the leader to the mainline using a swivel. Bait used is usually live/dead prawns. Can only be used at limited depth due to its weight, suitable for rocky or near shores. They're less likely to snag due to slow sinking, and able to attract fish's attention. It is baiting and luring combined.

You can find the definitions of some of the terminology in the glossary page.

Running sinker is a weight with a through hole. Hook line is inserted through the hole and the sinker can run along it, or rather, allowing the hook line to extend or retract from the sinker.

For the hook size used should be relative to the typical mouth size of the fish you're likely to expect. Even with the same size of hook, strength can vary greatly due to the material composition and thickness of the hook. If you want a number, I would suggest using size 2/0 - 4/0. :)

Common baits used here are herrings, prawns, sand whitings, worms, squids, bread, crabs, etc. It certainly does depend a lot on the species you're targetting. But for most part, herrings and prawns are most commonly used for saltwater fishing. On the freshwater part, we mostly artificial lures since most freshwater bodies are reservoirs which restricts the use of organic baits.

Hmm, there's certainly lots of people fishing at jetties and piers on our side, especially during weekends. Most shore anglers will use rods since they give them extra reach. Handlining is only suitable on jetties, piers and seawall. I don't find many handliners on shore, but they are still commonly seen used on boat fishing. Overall, local handliners are just a small handful of anglers, finding them online is far more rare. :lol:

I never really seriously tried lasso method of casting because it looks dangerous to me. :p But I believe given enough strength, line and space to spin the line, it can actually cast further than the pendulum method.

Regarding the use of wire, you're right; it is necessary if you're expecting fishes with sharp teeth like pikes. Wire is a lot more abrasion resistant than nylon, so it can withstand the bites from the fish.

Tere must be targetting for huge groupers and rays, but I'd say it's still an overkill. :lol: I may be laughing now, but wait till he shows us his monster fish he's going to haul up on his upcoming fishing trip. ;)

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Post by doobieb » Sun May 06, 2007 10:39 pm

Thanks peace :thumbsup: thats exactly the kind of infomation iwas looking for :D great help.

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Re: What is handlining, and the basics?

Post by Ali Saeed » Wed Dec 31, 2008 3:52 pm

But is it comes in Sport Fishing? why Fishing club disqualify fishing records caught by hand lines? why IGFA don't have hand line in their rules, they says its simply hauling the fish in and in most cases you cant land big fish like tuna and marlins moreover on low line class such as 2/4/6 is it impossible to land fish on hand lining?

Please answer my question, Neither i am favoring handline nor i use it but for my knowledge i wanna have a clear significance that why it cann't be comprise in Angling/Sports Fishing.

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Re: What is handlining, and the basics?

Post by Peace » Wed Dec 31, 2008 10:38 pm

Hi Ali Saeed,

I don't think I am one who can give you a formal answer on this question. Frankly, I am not a professional sports angler or have ever been involved with IGFA. But here are some of my thoughts on this.

Firstly, there are two concepts when it comes to 'handlining'. First one involves using only using the spool (normal attached to a winch) to reel the fish in. There is basically no hand contact with the line during the fight of the fish, the machine does all the work and all you need to do is crank. I personally don't regard that as handline fishing.

Handline fishing in my definition(2nd concept) requires the angler to work the line by hand, that is to say you must hold the line while you fight the fish. Of course gloves are allowed. In this sense, you're actually using your hand as a rod and somewhat a reel. This form of handlining is definitely sports worthy, and perhaps with higher degree of challenge.

In sports fishing, I believe they are looking for competitiveness in skills, strength and stamina of each individual governed by a set of standard rules. With the first concept of handlining as I have mentioned about, you can see that the human factor isn't really important to land the fish, thus lost the competitiveness.

I believe much is not understood about handline fishing by the angling community, hence it is not classified as a sports. Handline fishing started as a practical/commercial form of fishing when people actually need to fish for food. There were no regards for the game factor as landing the fish was priority, so fisherman used heavier lines, more hooks, winches, whatever that could increase effectiveness and productivity.

There should be very little limitation when it comes to line class as well assuming you are wearing gloves. It might be a little harder to grip very low diameter lines if you're wearing gloves though. I don't do big game fishing so I can't tell you what it is like. But landing game fishes on handlines (working by hand) is very possible.

I do light fishing and I go as low as 0.25mm without gloves, that's as low as I will go without getting a good chance of line cuts.

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Re: What is handlining, and the basics?

Post by Ali Saeed » Mon Jan 05, 2009 2:18 pm

Thanks for the reply Peace, but isn't the drag concept is what makes it Sport, example using 10 lbs line with 4 Lbs of drag pressure N 10 lbs rod to land 20 lbs fish, means no matter what you can do you cant put pressure more then 4 lbs on 20 lbs of fish in whole fight? at other end by using hand lining, it is impossible to apply same level of pressure and using thin dia lines are almost impossible? 2 lbs 4 lbs etc. classes.
moreover
How can we do Surf casting by hand lining? or trolling, jigging N' at the end very important Fly fishing, where angler have to cast a fly using line weight holding 2lbs tippet class? can we land marlins and tuna on hand lines? and most of the times we end up hauling small fishes as there is no concept of fixed drag and if fishermen says that they can apply drag using figures fine but it cant be same on all level.

So can we call it One's way of fishing? no matter if it is sport or not, if someone enjoy doing it using hand lines, that enough for him/her? Yeah ... or its for those who cant afford expensive fishing tackle or for those who don't care about making records? or for those who want to fish but don't care of catching bigger ones while trolling etc.

Isn't landing a fish on fly tackle is the most difficult in all angling? or hand lining gave more challenge over fight on fly tackle?

I repeat, Neither i am favoring handline nor i use it but for my knowledge i wanna have a clear significance that why it cann't be comprise in Angling/Sports Fishing.

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Re: What is handlining, and the basics?

Post by Peace » Tue Jan 06, 2009 12:13 am

If drag load is a governing limit in the rules of the game, then it cannot be applied to handlining. Because how would one measure the resistance your hand is applying to the line? But if line strength is the sole criteria (instead of both line weight and drag), then it is still possible. The problem doesn't lie with line strength, be it 6lbs or 4 lbs, but rather the thickness of the line that makes it comfortable to handle. There are certainly lines with high diameter and low line strength.

Handlining isn't feasible where casting a considerable distance is required, you just can't throw or swing that far with your bare hands. Jigging isn't feasible as well, you don't have the advantage of a rod as a leverage to attain the desired quick action. It's impossible to cast fly lines with hands as well, they need momentum from a large radius of oscillation which will also require the leverage from a rod. I don't get the part where you say you can apply drag using figures, maybe you might want to elaborate on that for me. I have no experience with Marlins or Tuna, but I don't see why it is not possible.

You can call it one's way of fishing, but isn't any other form of fishing a way of their own too? ;) Handlining is certainly affordable, but I wouldn't say it's kid's play. If you're looking at the extreme end, ie. record size game fishes, you may have problems with stopping the fish with your hands and resort to using your spool or some kind of reel system.

As I've mentioned, I've not tried fly fishing before so I can't compare it with handling. But both types of fishing will involve a lot of hand pressure in controlling the fish. There's no doubt that rods and reels are very much more versatile and effective in landing a fish than hand lines. Handlining is just another form of fishing.

My apologies if I cannot give you a straightforward answer, you should really write to IGFA and ask them instead. I'm sure they have a good reason for not including handlining.

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