IGFA (International Game Fishing Association) Rules Explained

Can The Angler Pull Line Onto The Reel?


Can Angler Pull On Line

Over the years I’ve observed an action done by advanced anglers when they are fighting a big fish with heavy-tackle, but I am not sure if it is IGFA-legal. Is it legal for the angler to grab the main line up in front of the reel with one hand, then pull it back while cranking the line onto the reel with the other? This would be done to help gain line when the angler finds it difficult to crank the handle against the pressure of a big, stubborn fish and a heavy drag.


The short answer is yes, this would be IGFA-legal – as long as it is only the angler that is touching the mainline. Other than the angler, the act of anyone touching anything except the leader (line, double, rod or reel) would disqualify the catch. Furthermore, if the angler used technique in question but with the rod left in a rodholder, this of course would not be IGFA-legal either.

IGFA Rule Book: Rules Explained:

Can The Angler Pull Line Onto The Reel?

Answer supplied by: Jack Vitek
Position: IGFA World Records Coordinator

This question ran in ISSUE 128 of BlueWater magazine: DEC / JAN 2018

For the complete feature, including all photos and information captions, you can purchase back-issues here

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