Q How do you determine how much rod pressure you are using when you strike or fight a fish?
To some degree, the type of rod you’re using determines the amount of rod pressure you can apply. Obviously, you can’t apply the same amount of pressure with a 3-weight rod that you could with a 12-weight. But a simple experiment can really explain rod pressure.
Run 15 feet of line through the rod guides, and then wrap the line several times around the butt. This removes the drag from the equation. Firmly clench the end of the line in your hand, and have a companion pull almost straight back with the rod, placing a slight bend in the rod just forward of the handle. Then have the person gradually raise the rod, continuing to apply as much pressure as possible. As the bend in the rod moves toward the tip, you can feel how quickly the pressure drops off. When the rod is held nearly vertical, only a few ounces are being applied. That old saying Keep the rod tip up applies only to very light tippets. If you want to apply rod pressure to really battle a fish, you have to bend only the lower portion of the rod.