Fishing has come a long way since the first anglers used a stick and a length of rope to catch their fish. Yet, even though fishing gear can be high tech, the basic goal remains to catch and land a fish with some finesse and skill. Here are some of the more popular items that fishermen buy:
The rod is simply a flexible rod between 2 and 20 feet long. A basic rod without its accoutrements is called a blank. Many rods are beautiful as well as functional, and some are of such quality that they are passed down through generations. They can be made of many types of material from woods such as hickory and ash to steel, aluminum, bamboo, glass and carbon fiber. Most modern day reels are made of carbon fiber, and the highest quality carbon fiber yields blanks that are both rigid and very responsive. Some carbon fiber rods are made stronger by having woven graphite wrapped around them.
There are different rods for different fishing environments and different fishing techniques. They include:
- Spinning rods are used for fish that live in clear, narrow rivers
- Leger rods are made to hold weighted bait on the bottom of the body of water, whether the water is still or running. They are often used to catch medium sized and heavier fish.
- Float rods are long and light to hold a float on the surface of the water.
- Fly rods are used to catch game fish such as trout and are fine enough to float tiny, artificial flies on the surface of the water. Heavier types of fly rods are used to catch bigger fish such as salmon.
- Boat rods are made for catching ocean fish such as marlin and are very strong and tough. Experts claim the best types of boat rods are uptide rods, which are both strong and flexible.
- Shore rods are the most varied types of rods, since there are so many shore-fishing techniques. Because of this, many people who use shore rods have them custom made.
One caveat about a carbon fiber rod is to never use it near electrical wires or during thunderstorms. Carbon fiber s a good conductor of electricity.
Reels hold the line that the fisherman pays out and pulls in and gives them greater range than the long string attached to the stick. As with rods, there are many types of reel, but they mostly fall into two categories. These would be fixed and revolving. In a revolving reel, the spool in the center revolves, and in the fixed reel, it is stationery. Categories of reels include fly wheels, closed-face reels, multiplier reels, boat and shore reels and bait casting reels. Fishermen choose different reels depending on the type of fishing they are engaged in.
Like just about every other bit of tackle, fishing lines have grown to be fairly complex. They are still the key to whether a fishing expedition is successful or not, for even a bait that seems irresistible won’t catch a fish unless it is presented well. Lines include:
- Monofilament lines made from nylon. These are the most popular lines.
- Braided lines, which are stronger than they appear
- Wire lines, which can come in single or twisted strands
Hooks, of course, are the business end of fishing gear. Though what they do is simple, they come in an amazing variety of sizes and styles. There are three basic hooks: singe, double and treble. However, they can range in size from the tiny 30 to 1 for freshwater fishing and from 1/0 to 16/0 when it comes to saltwater fishing. Fishermen also take into account the gauge of the wire, the type of eyes the hooks have and whether the hooks are angled. Other considerations include how long the shank is as well as hook bends, shapes, points and finishes.