By Jeff Goldberg
Fish.307.com Fishing Tackle Superstore
Over the last 2 decades, I have learned a thing or 2 about fishing and fishing tackle. Every year there are lots of new gadgets, improved widgets and things to make the anglers life more productive. My observations tell me that the technical part of the process, rods, reels and line are much better now than 20 years ago. Within these three areas I am not sure which of them has come further as advances in technology and engineering have improved.
So lets talk a little bit about Rods. Twenty years ago or so is when quality graphite rods started becoming the norm even among lower end rods. Certain brands like G Loomis, St Croix, Lamaglass and other rod manufacturers that specialized in rods only really picked it up to the next level. As the modulus of the graphite used increased the sensitivity went up creating more sensitive rods. At first the prices were quite high and then they moderated a bit and the standard for rods increased. So today you can still buy a very technical high end rod for lots of money BUT in the $35 to $70 range you can buy a rod that would have been $150 or more 15 years ago. This is not to say that you can still buy indestructible rods made of a graphite composite or fiberglass that are basically the same as they were that same 15 years ago. Rods in that class I am not a fan of. Yes you can’t break them and they last forever BUT (there’s that but again) they have no or very little sensitivity which translates into less fish caught. So here is a true scenario that I was part of on my birthday in 2000.
My father and I were fishing buddies since he first took me flounder fishing when I was 4 years old. Needless to say we spent a lot of time fishing. He was always one to buy cheap stuff always saying it made no difference in how many fish you catch. So here is the scenario, I own a fishing tackle shop now as an adult. I know and have good equipment. He insists that he can out fish me with his low end rod. I agreed to a contest. To make it fair, I spooled 2 brand new mid priced reels (about $40 each) with the same line. I then put one on his rod (6′ medium 8 to 12 pound Ugly stik) and 1 on mine (6′ 8 to 12 pound G Loomis GL3). I then tied the identical jig (cabin creek spider jig salt pepper with red flake) on each rod. I did all of the setup so there was no deviation. The rules were simple, who ever caught the 1st fish had to buy lunch. Who ever caught the most fish had to buy dinner and who ever caught the biggest fish bought ice cream. This was always the rules when I was a kid because he always bought anyway. Now it was for real….
We traveled to the north end of Northwest Bay on Lake George. Just to the left of the washout, there is a big rock along the shore, and about 20′ off the rock a hole about 20′ deep. Perfect for the end of August on Lake George. The fishing began; all was equal in line, lure, and skill. The only difference was the rod. We had a time limit, one hour. It was 2pm in the afternoon (not the best time for smallies). After the 1st 5 minutes, I had caught 2 and Dad 0. After 1/2 hour I had 9 total and he had 1. After the end of the hour I had caught 14 fish, the most, the first and the largest, a 3 lb. large mouth. Dad only caught 2.
After the hour was up and I was contemplating how I was going to pay for all of the meals and desserts for 11 people, Dad insisted we switch rods for a while. It was amazing-he started catching fish immediately. The difference was the rod had so much more sensitivity that he started feeling the lite bites. The vibration telescoped up the rod to his hand, and he no longer missed bites because he could not feel them. It was very different than the rod he was accustomed to.
Needless to say it wound up being an even more expensive day than I thought. I was instructed it was time to buy dear old Dad new fishing rods, and the old fiber glass (indestructible) rods were retired. I wouldn’t trade that day for anything.
I would also like to weigh in a little bit on the invasive species problem on all of our water ways and forests. There has been a big push for boat washing on Lake George. I have some real questions about the effectiveness of what they want to do. The first is in the liability ridden world in which we live; who is going to pay for all f the insurance needed to cover for boat damage and or someone falling off or walking into a trailer or damaging someone’s boat. Who is going to cover the null and void warranties on boats that had 145º water put through live wells and outdrives that the factories will no longer cover because the water was too hot? Who is going to protect all of the other bodies of water that most day trippers will travel to as they will no longer come to Lake George? Who is going to pay for all of the lost jobs in the Lake George region because people will no longer be able to afford to come here, and what will happen to FISH307 when our customer base dries up because people won’t be able to get on the lake until after 9am?
I am all for protecting ALL of our natural resources. EDUCATION is the answer not RESTRICTION!!! Everyone’s tax dollars go to pay for OUR LAKE, ALL of us should have EQUAL ACCESS not just those who can afford exorbitant fees. Lets protect the lake so everyone can still enjoy it.
Go Fish be safe and remember you are out there to have FUN, SO DO IT!!