Try “popping it” undone

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fisherman getting a lure unsnagged

This is always the method I start with once I get snagged. I’ll try to “pop” my bait undone by holding my rod and reel with the hand I typically reel with, then I use the thumb and forefinger of my other hand to pinch the section of line between my reel and my first rod guide. I pull on the line and then start to pull the rod back as well to create a bow in the rod and about 14 to 16 inches of space between the line that’s between my fingers and my rod blank.

Sometimes, just the pressure of this part of the process will be enough for the bait to pull free. But if not, I’ll let go of the line and immediately drop my rod tip so that the line is able to shoot through the guides and send a jolt of momentum all the way down the line to my bait. This will often pop the bait off.

If this doesn’t work the first time, I’ll repeat the process again, typically trying to pop it undone 10 or 12 times before I’ll try something else. If this still doesn’t work and I’m snagged fairly deep, I’ll often move to a plug knocker next.