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I’m a bit of a gear-head, (yes – the gears are always spinning – like a squirrel on a tread mill).  Actually, although that is true, what I mean by “gear-head” is that I like fishing gear.  New gear is awesome!  Often though, when I am talking about the new gear I bought or more often than not, just read about or heard about, I will get the comment, “back in my day…we only had one pole and we used it for all our fishing and we caught everything and you should’ve seen the fish we caught, and blah, blah, blah.  It’s true that to catch a fish, you don’t need the latest and greatest.  I remember catching fish with my grandfather.  We used bamboo poles with line attached.  I also remember the first pole I bought with my own money; a department store special.  It was the only pole I owned and I used it for every kind of fishing that my uncle and I would do.  Sure, it worked, but that was then and this is now and if you haven’t noticed, a lot has changed in the last 30-40 years.

Once upon a time, a family had a telephone.  You could speak to one person at a time and if someone else was trying to call you, they got a busy signal.  Today, a typical household will have a cell phone for each member and they have text and instant messaging capability.  Instead of talking to one person, you can send out a message to all of your friends at once and get multiple instant response messages.  You can send out tweets to the world, informing of what you are doing at any given moment, you can set your status on multiple social media platforms.  The list goes on.  Sure – it’s still communication but it is on a way different level.

The same applies to our fishing gear.  We have the best technology for the species  of fish we are targeting; anything from super-lines to high modulus graphite rods to electronics that give a complete picture of the underwater world.

You can always choose to romanticize the lore of yesteryear.  There is nothing wrong with the technology of that era.  There is more than one way to extract plutonium  but while  using a giant centrifuge will apparently  get the job done, it is not necessarily the most efficient way to go about it.  The same is true with our communication devices, and the same is true with our fishing tools.


A Case in point –


A couple of years ago, I was fishing with my brother-in-law and my father-in-law out of Port Burwell for perch.  It was one of those magic days and I have pictures of a couple of happy campers, cleaning what was a boat load of fish and the resulting fish fry that resulted.  We all fished from the pretty much the same spot as my boat is not large and we all used relatively inexpensive fishing rods and reels – nothing too fancy – but decent gear.  I however, had stopped at my local source for all things fishing, Angling Outfitters and had discussed earlier with the owner about where I was heading out and what I was fishing for.  He told me to go out to 40 feet of water and use braided line. (say what??)  His reasoning was sound – that in 40 feet of water, fishing just off bottom with mono, that there is too much stretch in the line ( something like 10-12% stretch) so 4-5 feet of stretch  in the line when going to lift a fish – chances are that you won’t be able to hook set properly and that the fish will get off.  Well, turns out that I put the braided spool on that day and let me tell you this: First, that I could feel everything happening with my bait at 40 feet.  I could feel the take, I could feel when the fish spat the bait (the rod was pretty sensitive too – IM 6 graphite with a really fast tip), and I could feel when the fish retook the bait.  When I set the hook, it was instant as there was no stretch in the line – for every 6 inches of motion at my hand, there was 6 inches of resulting motion at the hook.  The overall result was this  ( sorry Wade, I’m not trying to brag), but for every fish they put in the boat, I would put at least one, sometimes two! That’s not an exaggeration either.  We used the same baits out of the same water but my gear allowed me to catch more fish.  Oh, and that’s not to mention the  electronics that allowed me to instantly find 40 feet of water in the first place.


To put a fine point on it-


Technology has changed the way we fish.  The environment we live in has changed, the species themselves are different, and the water we fish has drastically changed too.  With all of those changes, we can choose to keep things simple, and there is nothing wrong with that, but we can also choose to bring our A+  game and to take advantage of all of the options available.  The next time someone tells me their fish tales and talks down to the technology that I choose to take advantage of, my answer  and attitude will be simple  – “Well, we all do what we can to have a good time fishing”.   After all is said and done, isn’t that what it’s supposed to be about anyway?  Having a good time fishing and enjoying yourself?  I just happen to enjoy myself more, when I have landed more fish and if that means taking advantage of some incredible technology to boot, well than hey, sign me up!

Father-in-law with author – “a boat load of perch”


One response to “Back In My Day…”

  1. Rick Gingerich says:

    First let me say a very interesting read, boy do you have it bad! It would be interesting to see the video that won you the D.A.D. and don’t forget the amazing technology that suggests when to fish, I am of course referring to your wrist watch.
    Your Friend Rick.

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