2.15.2012

More Rods, Better Angler

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.






26 comments:

  1. Need is the wrong word here. Like it was said, rods are tools. If you have a pair of pliers you can loosen and tighten just about any nut, but with a good ratchet and socket set you can make almost any job easier and more enjoyable. I do think that most fishing (in our locale) can be done with just the rod you mentioned or even the Pearl Producto special. ;)

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    1. The word "need" is the heart of the argument, though.

      I remember when I was racing motorcycles and a guy on a 1000cc sport bike told me that I needed a liter bike to be fast. Little did he know that he would be beat by a 600cc sport bike who had a better rider.

      You don't "need" more tools until you have mastered the ones you already have.

      Delete
  2. Do you like the way I "dine and dash" on those conversations. I knew it would degrade to nonsense, been watching that happen for 15 years on the forums. Go in, kick the hornets nest, leave. It's fun. I won't go back to read the conversation, it's pointless.

    Put me in a tournament with a like minded angler and we'll pick apart spots rather than run and gun. We'll have a rod each, I might concede to two. We'll take the time to retie, take the time to fish locations effectively and with my 6'-8" medium light custom made MC Rod I'll catch all the 4 to 8 pound sewer bass on a 4 inch no name black finesse worm. Been there, done that.

    And no, I'm not a one dimensional fisherman. This is where I wound up after fishing small lakes in Virginia for 23 years. I just don't talk about it much.

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    1. "Go in, kick the hornets nest, leave. It's fun."
      +
      "He is still a punk like he was when he was a kid. Not necessarily a bad thing." - FSA @ OBN

      People need to do what makes them happy - this is fishing, not life and death. If your culmination of 20+ years of angling led you to your 6'-8" medium light custom made MC Rod and that's where you are happy - then no need to change.

      If buying all the latest gear makes you happy, then rock on.

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    2. Why complicate something so simple as fishing, I don't care if it's for pleasure or money.

      I once stood next to a kid about 10 years old under the Route 56 bridge in North Aurora. Everything I was wearing, carrying and using probably cost me around $500. He was tossing a jig and twister tied to line that was wrapped around a 32 ounce plastic coke bottle. I showed him where to toss the jig and he got nailed by a pretty good sized smallie. Next time I'm sure he learned how to land it.

      Taught me a lesson.

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  3. What you "need is still a matter of opinion. A lot of people would agree a medium action spinning rod is the basic setup preferred, in the end what does it matter?
    Four Season has a point, we need air, water, food and shelter. Our choice in rod and reel and how many of each is to add to the experience of fishing.

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    1. "Four Season has a point, we need air, water, food and shelter. Our choice in rod and reel and how many of each is to add to the experience of fishing"

      Enough said

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  4. I think that those conversations are just laughable. Everyone tends to take themselves so seriously sometimes. It was really a simple question and the opinion were valid until several of the guys got real personal. I have seen this before and that I why I try and keep to the topic and when things start going down, and man is it easy to see when that's about to happen, I bug out. I am more into sharing knowledge than seeing who can insult who. I agree that one rod can work in many cases and it is amazing that the conversation wound up being about insults. For the record, I don't think that anything you said was that bad, and I did not even see the thread go down the tubes. I have been busy ordering jack plates, wiring, and figuring out how I will mount my motor to the new boat that we will be fishing out of with one rod a piece!!!!! LOL!!! Just kidding, I do not start a riot!!!!

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    1. I don't know how they turned so personal either and I refused to take part of the personal attacks. I will debate until I am blue in the face when facts and relevant opinions on the subject matter are the basis for each sides arguments - call be a DB or an asshole and I lose all respect for you and your arguments mean crap to me because if that's what you have to fall back on, you have nothing and I'd be wasting my time and energy on you.

      BTW, quit commenting on the blog and finish wiring! I have some gar to catch on the fly.

      Delete
  5. But - I LIKE collecting rods/ reels / lures . . . I make no excuses for it. Nothing is truly NEEDED - hell, I caught my first legal muskie about 40 years ago with a fiberglass UL spinning outfit. But I like the stuff I amass. And, occasionally I find it useful, which further fuels the fire. Case in Point - my Dad and brother got to go with me on an annual bass trip to Alabama a few years ago. They had NO gear that was appropriate for the fish we were fishing for. But I do - lots of it! I outfitted everyone with multiple rigs and we all had a ball.

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    1. And good for you! The truth is that I LIKE to collect them too...I still don't need them and they don't make me a better angler - perhaps a more versatile one or perhaps a more confused one.

      Your scenario is fantastic and a great example of why collecting that stuff is great. Do you think that your dad and brother would have had a better time if they specific rods for each type of lure they were throwing? Do you think they would have caught more fish?

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  6. My 2lb UL Trout rod is the rod that I used when I was Carp fishing. The Carp was 2.5 lbs from the IGFA 2lb Grass Carp World Record.

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    1. Sounds like a nice fish and one HECK of a fight!!!!

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    2. Thanks for bringing up an interesting, age-old Q..More rods don't make a better angler. For years I fished with just one fly rod, learning 95% of my current tricks with that. But for me, fishing is more than catching fish. When I started fly fishing 100+ days per year for fun I started collecting different wands for different challenges and conditions, thus adding to the kick of being one-on-one with fish and nature. That "kick" received from a tightened line is the bottom line, a simple thing, really. You can get it with one rod, or with 23. And who needs more than that?

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    3. Thanks, Walt - You hit the nail on the head!

      Delete
  7. What Wolfy said. I don't need 30 rods and 30 reels, but as long as I can pay the bills and put food on the table...why not? Nobody needs, but we all want!

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  8. You are right BFA, the gear does not make the fisherman at all...and I think that's what most average anglers don't come to grips with. I fished with one to two rods for many years and I could out fish a good percentage of them out there, and that was because I was familiar and confident with my equipment from putting so much time on the water. Now that I have branched out I have started to understand the added benefit some extra setups can buy me in an average fishing situation or a tournament situation. Doesn't matter what action, length, or power the rod is. All that matters is knowing that once I throw that lure out there, I will have the best chance to present that lure, detect a strike, and bring the fish back to me without incident. Any time I go out fishing, I want to put myself in the best situation possible to catch as many fish as I can...that's the best way to learn! No one learns by going out to a lake and getting skunked...you learn by catching and putting 2 and 2 together...and only then can you make an informed decision if a different setup is truly warranted. I am no KVD or Denny Brauer...but I know that if I was fishing and the bass were hitting lipless cranks or any other lure for that matter...that I would know the right rod/reel/line setup to get my limit or outfish my buddies. Yeah it saves time and effort retying and blah blah blah if I have more combos...but the bottom line is knowing your equipment well enough to make the necessary adjustments if need be to ultimately make your experience on the water better.

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  9. I like to bring lots of rods with me even when I fish from shore, but your right I could get by with 7' Medium Heavy for most of my bass fishing.

    I'm curious what message board was it on?

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    1. Thanks, Basspastor! How you feeling lately??

      The board was WindyCityFishing.com - the best Chicago specific fishing board out there. I am happy that the deterioration of the debate over there is a very rare occurrence. I chalk it up to cabin fever.

      Delete
  10. How many rods do I need?..... at least 1 more-

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  11. Back in the mid to late 50s my mother bought my brother and me a set of rods bait casting reels with S&H Green Stamps...remember those? Even with all the time spent untangling the "backlash monster" we still managed to catch hundreds of Bluegill and quite a few Catfish and that was without a hint as to what we were doing at the time...it's been a great education. Right now, between my wife and I, we have 6 rods and 8 reels accumulated over a period of time. Two rods for trolling equipped with line-counter reels for trolling (which is 95% of what we do) and the rest for fishing off the bank or dock or casting.
    On the other side of that, my son-in-law has at least 13 rods and reels one of which is set up for my daughter to troll with...each to his/her own. Lots of confusion out there as to wants V needs.

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  12. thank you for your nice post

    ReplyDelete

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