It's widely believed that the best way to set the hook is to jerk the hard as you can and hope for the best. A solid hook set will catch more fish, but there's a better way to sink the hooks rather than jerking wildly, especially if you're using monofilament line.
If you have any slack in your line, a fast flick of the rod will exert practically no force at the end of the line. If you find this a little difficult to believe, try a little experiment. Have someone stand anywhere from 10-20 feet away from you holding the end of the line. Let out some extra slack and pull as hard as you can. Chances are you won't pull the line from your partner's fingers. This is because there is slack on your line and depending on the type of fishing line you have the stretch can be affecting it as well.
A better way to get a powerful effective hook set is when you feel a bite, point your rod at the fish or direction of the line and immediately reel up slack until you feel the weight. Then, set the hook with a quick snap of your rod. This type of hook set sends more force for driving in those hooks.