Q Just what is side pressure when fighting a fish and what’s the advantage to using it?
By applying pressure with the rod low and to the side of the fish, you can shorten the fight. The principle is that when the fish is moving left, you are applying low side pressure to the right. This tends to pull the fish sideways, and it expends more energy. Dan Blanton once explained it is like having a mule pull a wagon: If the harness is off to one side, the mule quickly becomes exhausted. A mule pulls a wagon most efficiently when the harness is directly behind it. So it is with fish. Incidentally, most side pressure works only within 40 feet or so; beyond that the angle is too small.