Why it pays to bring more than one fishing rod…

I stopped at a local dock to toss a couple of lures the other night.

When I reached this local pier, there was a father and his young daughter beating the heat with a quick swim. As I approached them, I could just hear the bashful young lady talking to her father about my fist full of fishing rods. She assumed that I was the first to arrive, and that a bevy of anxious anglers would soon be arriving. Her father on the other hand assumed that I took my fishing very seriously.

I myself, felt that I was very restrained in only bringing four rods.

Every professional angler out there knows exactly why I would carry so many rods. The boy scout mantra comes immediately to mind: Be Prepared.

There are a few good reasons you would want to prepare and bring multiple setups.

  • Response – Dave Mercer talks about having a followup bait ready at all times when you miss a fish. This has been proven true for me on a number of occasions. While fishing a plastic frog in some tight lily pads, I missed a good hit from a fish. Had I just thrown back my frog and hoped for a second chance, that fish would have most likely passed on my bait. However, my fishing partner that day followed up immediately with his weightless rigged tube, and ended up catching the very fish I missed.
  • Options – Like many avid anglers, I have a rod and reel combination that suits the presentation or technique I wish to use. This allows me to rig each stick with a different bait before I even get out on the water. Typically, I will have one rod for crankbaits, one for topwater, one for texas rigs, and the last as a wildcard (often another yet very different topwater or spinnerbait). On any given day you never know what makes the fish react, having several setups prepared will help you figure that out quicker.
  • Time – Particularly with heavy braided line, changing lures is very time consuming. Having several different presentations available to you immediately saves the time you spend changing lures; this time can be applied to fishing, like it should be. I typically choose my strategy the night before hitting the water; I think about what I am fishing for, and where. Knowing I am fishing clear vs. murky water, or weedy vs. open water will make a big difference in the colors and lures I choose to use.
  • Chaos – Everyone gets tangles. This is not reserved for those who use baitcaster reels (although they feel this pain more often). Even the best spinning gear can loop, tangle and knot, but it is the dreaded birds nest that strikes fear into the heart of most anglers. When you have multiple rods, you can switch easily and keep fishing. Deal with those nasty tangles later, when you have the time to pick them out.

I also like to prepare a soft bag before trips, depending on the water I am fishing. Let’s face it, if  you have been fishing for more than a couple of years, you likely have boxes and boxes of tackle options. It just isn’t practical to bring everything. So, I tend to bring a soft bag that carries four large trays; one is always terminal tackle, and the other three are usually plastics, crankbaits and stickbaits, and lastly an array of spinners, topwaters and swimjigs.

As always, when that fishy feeling takes you, AnyPuddle will do…

Why are baitcast reels typically a right hand retrieve?

I am fairly certain that every angler out there, like me, asked this very same question: Why would the baitcast reel have the handle on the right side?

Most of you likely started fishing as a child, and cut your teeth on the domed spincast reel, and transitioned into the spinning reel later on. Only those who take their fishing very seriously typically progress to using a trigger rod and the low-profile or round baitcast reel.

Let’s face it, the baitcaster is intimidating.

  1. It blows up on you in a big tangle at the most inopportune times
  2. When you blow up your spinning reel, it doesn’t usually stop you from fishing for 20 minutes
  3. It typically has a higher entry cost than a spinning reel
  4. And someone put the handle on the wrong side!

I’m a little bit older now, and have come to the conclusion that the baitcast is not the enemy. However, I am still perplexed about why the handle is on the right side of the reel. I still cannot figure out how a right hand retrieve is more convenient or better than left. Most irritating of all is the fact that most manufacturers do not even make all of their models in a left hand retrieve. Kudos to Shimano and Abu Garcia for supporting the non-conformist angler in most of their product models; slight nod to Quantum as well, they are trying.

After doing some research, it is apparently because most people are right handed and the thought was that you would use your dominant hand to crank this type of reel. To me, casting with your right hand, then switching hands on the rod is counter intuitive. Further, I feel like I have far more control over the rod when palming the reel and rod in my right hand.

The only thing that plagues me about this is: Why do all the pros appear to use a right hand retrieve baitcaster, and switch their rod to the left hand?

I will let you know when I solve that mystery.

Happy fishing, and remember, when you need to get your lure wet, AnyPuddle will do…

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