I’d venture a guess that relatively few fishermen contemplate the attitude they hold their rod at when fishing artificials. Seems most fish their rod flat (parallel) to the water. While it may sound odd, carrying your rod tip high at around 10 or even 11 o’clock, will significantly improve your success rate.
Fishing an extra high tip offers several advantages. First, it lets you fish the most sensitive section of the rod—the tip. For the mechanically inclined, think of the tip as the rod and line’s fulcrum point. A high tip puts this intersection at an acute angle. It’s this sharp angle that enables you to sense what’s happening at the end of your line. And more importantly, a high tip offers tactile feedback on the subtleties of the bottom, structure and the dimmest of strikes.
In direct contrast, a flat rod offers a less acute transition angle at the line/tip juncture. This gentle line sweep transitions the line onto the other guides resulting in fishing baits along the rod’s entire length. In other words, you’re fishing the tip, mid-section, and butt, versus the tip exclusively.
Secondly, fishing an extra high tip affords you time to drop the rod when struck, allowing you time to setup for a solid hook set. In contrast, a flat rod handicaps you, permitting the fish to sense you’re there—often spooking them.
Lastly, fishing a high tip vastly improves your ability to work baits with crisp, clean cadences as the lively tip orchestrates the bait’s sales pitch. In comparison, lures worked on a flat tip react sluggishly to your commands ultimately reducing fish counts.