After a debate on one of my favorite fishing forums degraded to the point where a couple select participants stooped to the level of a five year old because they couldn't debate intelligently, I really started thinking....how many fishing rods does a fishermen really need?
The argument started over the need for a frogging rod. The question was posed by a seemingly inexperienced fishermen who got caught up in the "I need more gear" craze that fishing tackle manufacturers thrive on.
One on side of the fence, you had a group of people who claim that a fishing rod is a tool and each one is specially crafted for a certain application.
On the other side of the fence, you had a group of people who claim that most people on the forum are simply weekend anglers and that a a single rod can cover the majority of situations that weekend anglers face.
My take - I understand that there are some tournament level fishermen out there that actually make a living at catching fish. Some big names that would ring a bell are KVD, Greg Biffle, Dave Mercer, or Greg Hackney to name a few. I also understand that when you get to the level of those guys, a person can truly appreciate subtle differences from one rod to another rod. It is also to be noted that many times, when you see the front of their boats loaded with 10 fishing rods it's so they don't have to waste time retying if they need to change presentations.
But let's talk about the average guy on an internet fishing forum (myself included), aka, "The Weekend Angler". Fishing isn't our life or our livelihood - it's something we do because we enjoy it. My family won't starve if I don't pull in my limit of bass. I am not going to lose any sponsors if I don't catch fish, nor am I going to lose my job if I don't catch fish. If I don't have a rod that is specifically engineered for each lure type I choose to use, then I still won't have any of those things happen and neither will any other weekend angler out there.
So the basic question is this - does the average weekend angler need a specific frog rod?
The answer - absolutely not. Is having ten rods going to make the average weekend angler a better fisherman? Absolutely not. The absolute fact of the matter is that one rod can work well for most situations that the weekend angler finds themselves in. For me, that one rod that typically fits the bill is a medium heavy, seven foot, casting rod. I can throw stick baits with it, I can pitch a jig-n-pig, I can work a crank bait, I can even throw one of those new alabama rigs if I wanted to and guess what - I am still going to catch fish. I have pulled out plenty of fish from the thickest slop imaginable with that rod. Here are a few examples....
Here is the bottom line - I own at least a dozen fishing rods and reels. I have a ton of lures. I fell victim to the, "buy this because it will catch more fish" marketing ploys of the fishing tackle world and guess what - I will keep doing it because I enjoy the thrill of a new toy. What I won't do is claim that I need any of it to be a better fishermen. Do I find it convenient to bring a couple of different rods when I go out? Most of the time. Do I need to bring them? No. I have caught the skunk with one rod and I have caught it with five.
The day that I measure my caliber as a fishermen by the amount of gear I own is the day that I will quit fishing - and so should you.