Shoulder Belt - Pros and Cons?

Discussion in 'Tackle and Rigging' started by DanS, Feb 6, 2009.

  1. DanS

    DanS Senior Member

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    Has anyone had first or second-hand experience with the Smitty Shoulder Rest Belt?

    [​IMG]

    Is the smile due to the fact that he's not on a real boat with the rod bent over?

    PS. I understand that for really big fish vs. a puny fisherman, a full harness with plate is the way to go. I'm envisioning this with the Rod Huki, so that you can continue the fight before going to the chair.
     
  2. jig

    jig Senior Member

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    Second hand - buddy of mine did not like it at all. Said it made him feel like he was tied up, with uncomfortable, uneven pull that kept you off balance.

    I think anything in the shoulder harness actually makes you work harder. It puts the center of gravity way too high, and ends up hunching you over. How can you pull with you lower body when the pull point is at your shoulder? It actually transfers the pull to your lower back, just where you want it least.
     

  3. fonz

    fonz Member

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    Second hand - buddy of mine did not like it at all. Said it made him feel like he was tied up, with uncomfortable, uneven pull that kept you off balance.

    I think anything in the shoulder harness actually makes you work harder. It puts the center of gravity way too high, and ends up hunching you over. How can you pull with you lower body when the pull point is at your shoulder? It actually transfers the pull to your lower back, just where you want it least.

    With a shoulder harness I thought that you just lean against the rod.

    If you are hunching over too much I think that the shoulder straps are too close.
     
  4. lordhell

    lordhell Moderator

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    That shoulder strap will pull your upper body downwards during a fight, forcing you to use your back to straighten up or else lose balance. If you have back problems, avoid this strap like the plague. If you need to rest your spinning reel, use this adapter from braid:

    osCommerce

    Then hook into the adapter from your bucket harness, that way, you can use your body to wear down the fish when the fish is peeling line, and you don't need to break your back trying to keep balance against the fish.
     
  5. Ricky-Ray

    Ricky-Ray Member

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    I'm not much of a coffee grinder guy anymore and even just looking at that pic makes me think it's not going to be comfortable. Thank goodness I love using the rail.
     
  6. jaredchasteen

    jaredchasteen Senior Member

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    I believe the shoulder harness puts to much pressure on your back.with the rod high enough to attach to the shoulder harness you are using you back to fight the fish and not your weight. I fought a very large swordfish for over 2 hours with a shoulder harness, and got the shit kicked out of me. I bought the black magic after that.
    I dont have any experience fighting a big fish on spinning tackle but plenty on conventional. The more you can use your body weight as leverage the better off you will be.
    Some people love them, heck Zane grey only used a shoulder harness and he caught more big fish than all of us combined.

    Note how high the gimbal is on my body. Sorry for the shirtless pic.
    [​IMG]
     
  7. DanS

    DanS Senior Member

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    Thanks for all great advice.
     
  8. Sea Crappie

    Sea Crappie Senior Member

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    That looks more like a medieval torture device than fishing tackle.
     
  9. bigscrnman

    bigscrnman Senior Member

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    I have used both (shoulder and bucket) and the best advice is to GO LOW! A good bucket type with drop straps for the plate is best, I prefer to have my plate set just above knee level where the gimbal sits about 6" above my knees, this means that all I have to do is lean back and CRANK! I have whipped 200# plus fish this way, could never have pulled that off with a shoulder rig of any type!
     
  10. fishingduck

    fishingduck Member

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    I have the exact Smitty shoulder belt in the picture but wear it around the
    waist. Not too bad in the rare case you hook into big fish on a spinner.