Rod vs Handline

I have not fished from my kayak for years. When I did, I trolled (and on a few occasions bottom fished) using a handline. This was in Long Island sound and I would usually come back with a nice bluefish. Last year, I spent a week kayak camping down on the Gulf on the MS Gulf Islands Natl Seashore. Through the water, I saw many sharks (I think they were mostly blacktips). One spectacular 7-ft-er did a couple of just for the hell of it jumps about 50 feet from me. Anyway, I had planned on returning to try to do some catch and release game fishing on a future trip (this presumes of course that BP’s ongoing oil leak does not completely destroy the ecosystem). Anyhow, I feel that a handline is pretty compact and honestly, even though I’ve done a lot of rod and reel fishing in my youth, I’m not even sure what the point of a rod is. So what I am wondering is whether or not I should get an expensive rod, or go the handline method which has served me well in the past. I have no idea what it would be like to catch a very sizeable fish like a shark. Would I risk being turned over with the initial strike. Should I secure the handline (if I went that route) to the kayak or just have it snugged up under some bungee so that a really hard hit would just pull it off the boat (I could tie a little float to it). Or are my apprehensions about this all in vain? Or would I be much better served with a rod?

Thanks in advance for your wise counsel

it happens sometime that when you …

– Last Updated: Jun-06-10 1:18 AM EST –

...... reach out and grab onto the line to slid your hand down to the hook (bucktail , etc) that is stuck to the fish's mouth , that's there along boatside in the water ... that the fish get's a look at you and takes off again .

If you have ever had that line (17-20 lb. mono) cut clean to the bone as it burns through your fingers in a split second , you might think twice about having it (the fishin line) in your hand any more than is absolutely nessasary . To me the rod and reel are your fish/line controlers and not your hands on a hand line .

What kind of line would you use to prevent that kind of thing from happening , some kind of rope ??

I guess I don’t literally mean a handline as in the line is in my hand. I have used a rope winder that I think was actually intended for water skiers or something. But a more intentional example can be found at Yes, there is a rope for startlrs and then monofilament. I used wire leader on the ends of mine as bluefish will bite through monofilament pretty easily.

I get it now , sure why not …

– Last Updated: Jun-06-10 9:06 PM EST –

....... plenty of trollers around the bay are dragging one or two lines like the those in your link , behind their boats now a days , along with the standard trolling rods set out ... they pick up some fish on them sometimes I'm told .

Seems like a ok way to present a live bait from a kayak while paddling around in billfish salt waters .

Probably kind of interesting if you get a good hook up .