Originally Posted by Jim Casada
Shawn--I suspected your method might be one focused on tailwaters, and it makes perfectly good sense in such settings. There's also another advantage, although I don't know whether you have thought of it or not. Your method makes a "paritng of the ways" (popping off a fly in a fish) much less likely than an abrupt lift of the rod tip. The latter type of set is fine if done with the right amount of force, but it is all too easy to set the hook too hard (that's the voice of sad experience and many a departed fish, fly in its mouth, speaking).
Jim, Like I mentioned; I am inexperienced with smaller streams - so, my method has developed around fishing tail-waters.
*The biggest advantage for me is to always have my rod action in reserve. Once you engage your rod; you essentially have spent both methods of setting the hook or utilizing drag. Many times I miss a fish and still get him on the same drift with my short tug method. Plus, a hard-set with the rod is trout-spooky at times.
**Another advantage is the line length involved with setting the hook. I like a short-controlled-tug; not a knee-jerk pull
. Kind of like casting a fly in grass. You can pull it free easily if you use your rod; but, if you tug; it will usually get caught in the grass.
May be that is not the correct description; but, that is how it feels to me. I like to keep my movements on the water simple and stealthy. I rarely false cast and I shoot cast most of the time. I find I have most control of my setup with good line management and reserving my rod for drag (after; I confirm a strike).