Better gear helps fishermen to be more successful! Much of today’s less expensive gear is way better than what many of us learned to fish with. It is certainly more effective than old cane poles and bobbers!
My first fishing reel was an Airex spinning reel that had a tendency to get tangled constantly. The drag was unpredictable and unforgiving. The reel and fiberglass rod made for a heavy rig. Fishing line was stiff, curled, knotted, nicked, and heavy. I often replaced line with fishing remnants found along the streams and fishing parking areas. Who knows how many fish I lost due to this clunky outfit. It was better than no reel but not by much.
Most modern reels are pretty much the same. Many of the parts are interchangeable. Key features include a smooth drag, machined spools, and ball bearings. With decent care and maintenance, these reels can last a lifetime. Having an anti-reverse, pop off spool, no spring bail feature, and collapsible handle, all make for an even better value.
With most reels, you get what you pay for. Quality reels can run well over $100 and are definitely smooth and comfortable to fish with. Rods with quality guides, handles, and flex are lightweight and powerful tools. For the price of an expensive night out, you can outfit yourself with a Cadillac fishing rig that will provide a lifetime of pleasure and put food on the table.
Preventative maintenance is so important. This year, a fishing buddy asked me to repair and service his spinning rod. His St. Croix rod with a Daiwa Tournament reel was not cheap. It was a miracle that the outfit had survived, so many years, unprotected in the bed of his truck and boat. You couldn’t have added more dirt, scum, nicks, or damage to the rig if you tried.
I first disassembled and cleaned the entire reel. Q tips shoveled out years of crud, mud, and scum. Fresh reel lube smoothed things out. The rod was cleaned, guides replaced, and tip repaired. New line, placed on correctly, finished the job. The drag was smooth and the cranking was tight and clean. His old reliable rig was ready for action.
When I returned his rig I suggested that he use an old sock to protect his reel and a tube to keep the rod from breaking. The sun does damage to line, finishes, and wrappings. You can purchase rod tubes, carriers, or make your own from PVC pipe or plastic rainspouts. A little preventative care will ensure a fun and fishy future for your well used gear.
Last week my Buddy told me that his restored and reconditioned reel and rod were again out of action. A huge rainstorm, truck bed trash, sliding ice chest, and neglect had sent his once prized outfit back to the repair shop. No effort was made to protect his investment. We will try to fix the damage done and repair a shorter rod. He called to tell me that he was looking at buying a new rod. I mentioned that he might consider buying a rod tube while he was at the store.
For more Montana Grant, visit his website at www.montanagrantfishing.com.