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I'm planning on getting out to try some Pike fishing in Sweden this autumn. Never tried it before so I could do with a few basic pointers on equipment, suggestions for the following:

a) Rod type, length, action, and power.

b) Bait/lure, hook size

c) Reel type

d) Line type and strength

e) Specialized equipment (I've seen some stuff about a metal leader) & rigging - A rigging diagram would be great!

f) Tips on techniques...

A lot to cover there, would appreciate any advice really including answers for small parts of the post!

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Here is my local tackle shop if you want to see what sort of equipment I have to choose from – rg255 Oct 25 '13 at 8:56
Since you aren't having much luck with this question being answered you might try splitting it up into more answerable sections. Such as one question focused on equipment, and then another on technique for starters. You could honestly have one single question just dealing with the rod type and going into more detail with that. As it stands it's just too broad to get sufficient answers. – manoftheson Apr 22 '14 at 19:16

4 Answers 4

I'll try to answer some of the questions you have:

b) The kind of lure I normally use for snatching pike is a wobbler, when it comes to bait, small fish(eg. common roach) usually piques the pikes interest.(no pun intended.)

f) The pike likes to muddle around the reeds and similar environments, so you either need to go get it or make it come to you.

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I've been very successful catching northern pike in Alberta with the following setup. I should clarify that I was catching pike up to 18" long, and my setup reflects that.

b) 2", 1/2 oz Spoons. The 5 of Diamonds (red on yellow) and red stripe on white also works well.

c) Spinning reel, one with an easy to adjust drag is helpful. It might just be me, but I have often found myself quickly needing to adjust the drag after catching a larger than expected pike.

d) Standard monofilament line. Slightly heavier weight than normal, sometimes pulling up a pike is comparable to pulling up a log.

e) You will want to use a metal leader. Pike have very sharp teeth and will bite right through the fishing line. I have typically used 10" long leaders and have had success with both the black leaders and the standard steel. Gloves and good needle nose pliers to help prevent your hands from getting all cut up while removing the hook.

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Gloves and needle nose pliers are indeed a good suggestion. I know a person who got a nasty infection from a pike bite in a Swedish lake. – Kenji Sep 5 at 21:31

All other answers assume that you want to use spinning reel and lure as your tackle, but it is also possible to catch pike on the fly. It is indeed a lot of fun, as you can check out from this video filmed in Sweden. At around 15 minutes they show how they set the tackle.

In answer to your questions, here is how I would go with a fly rod after pike:

a) I would use a heavier rod (at least 7 or 8 wt) with appropriate line (at least 7 or 8 wt). Not only to be able to fight the big pike, but also because you can cast bigger flies on windy days with them.

b) I would use bigger streamer flies with lots of flash. Anything tied to hooks size 4 to 6/o would be nice. Minnow imitations (common roach/mört is the usual food for pike in most Swedish waters) work well. For those, white streamers with flash to them work nice. Perch imitations also work great, and I think that flies with green, yellow, and red patterns can match those.

c) You want to have a line that matches your rod (at least 7 or 8wt), and a floating line or sink tip would do. You will mostly be casting towards banks and the weeds, so a full sinking line will not help you much. As with spinning tackle, you will want to have a wire tippet guard, and you can get leaders with those already tied to (many tackle shops in Sweden sell something like this). You want your leader to have a breaking strength of at least 8 pounds, but it is wise to go higher if you know you will meet bigger fish (depends on where you fish).

d) You want a reel that can hold at least 100 yd of 20 pound test backing, and preferably one with a big diameter so that you can reel in more line faster. Pike don't often take off with your line like salmon do, but I'd be rather safe than sorry in case you get that one big pike that does it.

e) As That Brian Davies mentioned, you want long hemostats/pliers and gloves to handle the fish. A rubber landing net is also a good thing to use if you plan to release the fish (it is nicer on them than just hauling them into the boat). Since we are on this topic, you should try to keep the fish in the water and wet your hands before handling them if you plan to release them. Don't hold them through the gills upright like you see in some pictures, as that risks rupturing their internal organs and is a recipe for dead fish. Exception made to some trout creeks in northern Sweden where you are demanded to dispose of all pike you catch. There you should dispatch the fish humanely.

f) Cast your fly towards the bank/weeds, make an initial strip to straighten your line if you have some slack to it, wait for a while so that it sinks, and then retrieve it with fast short strips like it is a minnow swimming fast. One exception is when it is very cold and during spring when they are tired from mating. Then you should give slower motions to your fly. Otherwise, pike are really aggressive and will attack anything that looks like another fish. I have hooked pikes accidentally while I left my fly in the water and was texting or talking to someone.

Good luck fishing, and I hope that you get a fish like this one in this video.

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I just got back from fishing in Minnesota, where one of the kinds of fish we were catching were pike in the 25" range.

I had metal leaders in my tackle box but I didn't use them. I used a standard spinning reel, 6' medium action rod, and 8'lb monofilament with a swivel and another 2' of monofilament line with a single barbed hook. And nightcrawlers for bait.

Pike are aggressive, so they are more likely to strike when the bait is moving. Particularly if it starts moving suddenly after resting for a while. So all of our pike strikes were when we were trolling or reeling in. One of my catches was when I started up the motor in our boat and started driving while my line and bait was still in the water. The pike struck that and I didn't even realize I had hooked it until I stopped the boat a few yards away and grabbed my pole.

Pike also like to hang out in reeds and vegetation, because they can lurk, hide, and ambush the prey that are swimming by. Unfortunately this makes it more difficult for us fisherman because we're always getting tangled up in the weeds. So I've heard of people using a type of spoon (lure) that is designed to not get caught in weeds as you reel it in.

Another tip for pike (as for all fish) is that in the early morning they are more likely to be closer to the surface. Being an aggressive fish, i've heard of people catching them with buzz-bait, which is a noisy, loud top-surface lure. I personally have only ever caught bass on buzz-bait, but I suppose it's possible to catch pike with them too.

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