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Thats a good setup you have, you certainly can't blame your tackle for any poor trips :)

When fishing for BIG fish (Tope :D ) I always loosen the drag and switch the ratchet (line out alarm) on.

I also adopt the same approach when fishing 2 rods, just in case I am busy with one and something happens on the other. It has certainly saved me from losing one rod...

However, under 'normal' fishing circumstance I wouldn't bother with all that - just prop the rod in the rest (keeping a close eye on it) and let the fish hook themselves.

Having said that.... I nearly lost a rod/reel/tripod yesterday when a seagull flew into my line while my back was turned. So far this year I have 1 seagull and 2 cormorants to my name.
 
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