The Remembrance of Heroism Through Sacrifice
- May 24, 2023
In last week’s piece, I mentioned that versatility was a key to catching more fish. In fact, the whole point was that the more different species of fish you were willing to pursue the better your chances of hooking up — literally. I would like to continue that theme of versatility but with a different
In last week’s piece, I mentioned that versatility was a key to catching more fish. In fact, the whole point was that the more different species of fish you were willing to pursue the better your chances of hooking up — literally. I would like to continue that theme of versatility but with a different slant in this article.
In addition to being willing to pursue different fish species, it’s also important to be able to use an assortment of equipment and a variety of techniques to catch said fish. For now, let’s zero in on the rods and reels that make up most fishermen’s arsenals. I don’t have space to get into a great deal of detail regarding each piece of equipment but let’s look at each a little closer.
Let’s start with what I suspect is the most commonly used piece of equipment these days and that is an open-faced spinning outfit. It’s probably the most used because it’s the easiest to learn and it works for a host of fish and with a wide variety of lures and baits. The open-faced outfit came to us from Europe in the 40s pretty much replacing the difficult to use bait-casting outfit that had its roots right here in America. The so-called bait-casters had revolving spools with stiff metal rods that were spooled with some sort of heavy braided line. They were difficult to cast frequently leaving the user frustrated and with a handful of twisted, snarled line. Enter the open-face spinning outfit and the introduction of monofilament line. The spinning reel does not have a revolving spool but rather the line peels off a stationary spool coming off in loops that are gradually reduced in size by consecutively smaller rod guides on the rod.
One of the big positives for the spinning outfit and monofilament line was its ability to cast greater distances with greater ease, and that included its ability to cast even lighter lures. Over the years these outfits have in themselves become more versatile in that they come in a variety of sizes geared to the pursuit of different fish species. A medium size — say seven to seven and one half foot rod length — with matching medium reel spooled with six-pound test line is a good choice for most trout fishing while an ultralight outfit with smaller reel and two to four-pound line might be ideal for panfishing in a nearby pond or lake. Larger, heavier outfits can also be put to use on bigger fish like bass, walleyes, pike and even muskies.
While spinning gear is a great choice, I don’t want to leave you with the impression that that is all you need — not so. Actually in spite of the bad rap casting gear got earlier in this piece it definitely has its place in the fish catching world also. Over the years the reels have improved immensely, and due to an assortment of adjustments and controls, the old backlash is nearly a thing of the past. So why add a bait-caster (today they are more accurately called plug-casters) to your arsenal? Casting outfits are capable of great lure casting accuracy and they can handle heavier lures in heavier cover than a similar sized spinning outfit. If you’re fishing for largemouth bass in lily pads with a topwater lure, a casting outfit is the better choice. Casting outfits handle big lures with no problem, and they have a lot of backbone for fighting fish out of heavy cover. Like spinning outfits, they come in different sizes and weights for different reasons.
I certainly don’t want to leave the fly outfit out of the conversation — it too has its place and if fact it may well be my top choice in a number of fishing situations. For trout, it’s a top priority especially when a hatch is coming off, and the trout are working. A fly rod is great for any number of delicate presentations, which are often what’s needed to connect with trout. By the way, a fly outfit rigged with poppers is an outstanding way to take largemouth bass, smallmouth bass and with smaller lures even bluegills. Fly outfits also come in different lengths and weights to accommodate different fishing situations.
Here again, the point is “versatility,” but here we’re talking rods and reels. The more of this equipment you become proficient with, the more likely you are to catch fish, and that’s what I like to do.
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