Fighting Belts and Fishing Harnesses that Won't Give Up
When it comes to fighting belts and fishing harnesses, we know there's no skimping on quality. Fisherman’s Outfitter stocks an extensive selection of fishing belts and harnesses from top brand names, including Braid, Alutecnos and Aftco. Whether you're in the market for a Alutecnos Soft Bucket Fishing Harness or a Braid's Power Play Fighting Belt we've got you covered.
Looking for the perfect fishing belt or harness for your needs? Contact our experts to find what's right for you.
Fisherman's Outfitter Tip: How to Use Fishing Belts and Harnesses
The key to using stand-up gear is to understand the proper way to use your body to pressure the fish in accordance with the class of tackle. Remember, each system has a slightly different pivot point and angle of pull so you can maximize your ability to use your weight as a balance against drag pressure.
With 50-pound tackle, the pivot point — where you lean back from a fully vertical position to apply resistance — is at the knees. When the fish is running, lean back with your knees bent and your back relatively straight. The reel should be almost directly above your knees and in the same vertical plane. Your hands should be on the reel and your body weight should be balanced against the pressure of the fish. No effort should be exerted during a run. When the fish stops, crouch slightly to lift the rod tip and gain line. To put line on the reel, raise yourself by straightening your legs while lowering the rod tip as you reel down. The entire movement of the rod tip should be from about 15 degrees above horizontal to 45 degrees, and the rod should always be “loaded” to eliminate slack line.
With 80-pound test, the pivot point remains at the knees, but you can lean back farther during a run to accommodate the increased drag. This requires little effort because of the lower pulling point of the bucket harness, which now sits at your hips instead of above your waist. The reel position should be above your thighs and slightly behind the vertical plane of your feet and knees due to the lower position of the gimbal pad and the shorter rod. One hand should be on the reel handle, while the other should be grasping the top frame member to aid your balance and to level line during retrieval. When the run stops, pump the rod by squatting slightly and leaning back to raise the tip, then raise your body and turn the reel handle to take up line.
With 130-pound tackle, the pivot point is completely different. You should lean back from your ankles with your knees almost straight and the reel well behind the vertical plane of your feet. The gimbal belt is even lower, as is the pulling point on the reel straps. When the fish runs, you should lean well back against the drag. To feel comfortable in this position you must have complete confidence in your line, knots and crimps. Grip the reel with both hands, which allows you to use both your lower- and upper-body weight to raise the rod tip when you pump and achieve greater balance when leaning back against a run. To gain line, move back toward the vertical plane and take a turn or two of the handle.
Full-fingered fishing gloves, such as those made by Bluewater Designs, are recommended for all three line classes, and are a necessity with 80- and 130-pound gear. The gloves will protect your fingers as you wind line onto the reel or as line is peeling off during a run, as well as help you keep a better grip on the reel and rod.
Regardless of line class, never try to gain more line by raising the rod tip higher than 45 degrees. You’ll rarely gain more line this way, but you will tire yourself out faster. Instead, settle into a rhythmic, rise-and-fall motion to keep the fish moving toward you. Again, you’re not trying to pick up yards of line with each pump, just a foot or two. By using your body weight, you can stay comfortable and rested while maximizing pressure on the fish. — Gary Caputi