While recently fighting a fish, my reel basically fell apart while I was adjusting the drag. The drag adjustment knob popped off and the working parts fell onto the cockpit floor. The crew quickly handed me the pieces so I could reassemble the reel. Since no-one ever touched the rod and reel except me, I’m curious as to whether this catch would be IGFA legal?
The situation you described would be completely IGFA legal, even though multiple people touched the internal components of the reel. The intent of the IGFA rule stating that “no-one other than the angler can touch the rod and reel” is that the angler is physically unassisted in fighting the fish throughout the entirety of the fight. In this case, the angler fought the fish completely on his own and the assistance provided did not remove any of the physical strain of the fish from the angler. In essence, this is no different than the crew assisting the angler into a harness or fighting belt, which are both legal when done properly. Congratulations on some great team work in the cockpit!
IGFA Rule Book: Rules Explained:
Reel Repairs During A Fight
Answer supplied by: Jack Vitek
Position: IGFA World Records Coordinator
This question ran in ISSUE 101 of BlueWater magazine: JAN / FEB 2014