How to Pump and Wind the Rod

Lower, raise, rinse and repeat

proper pump-and-wind technique
Winding down under tension gathers line, while raising the rod pressures the fish closer.Illustration by Steve Sanford

A smooth and steady fight lands the fish and lets the tackle do the work. With the fish on and the rod at 45 degrees with a healthy bend, wind line as you lower the rod, maintaining the bend. When the rod is nearly level, stop winding and raise the rod smoothly back to 45 degrees. Repeat as often as necessary.