Friday, February 26, 2016

The Ever Versatile Fishing Rod

     I suspect that if you were to check the garages, basements or closets of most  American households, you would no doubt find at least one fishing rod. Perhaps more. In some cases many more. When my friend Bob Pinard was getting ready to move, he took me into a storage room where there must have been dozens of rods and reels. I knew that he didn't fish all that much, so I wondered why he had so many. Well, Bob's a very practical guy. When he sees a bargain, he takes advantage of it. Apparently, down through the years he's run into a number of yard sales or moving sales or whatever, and when something was cheap enough, he grabbed it up. Of course the only problem with that is finding a place to put them all, and if space isn't an issue, what do you do with them all? It's too bad he didn't have a lodge or some other tourist business. He could have rented them out for a profit. I have a few rods of my own, maybe six or so. I have an old True Temper fly rod that I bought down at Mac's Trading Post when I was twelve years old. Don't ask me why, I've seldom used it. When I was young I read all the outdoor magazines and then clipped the ads and sent off for the various catalogs. Orvis was a premium fly fishing company, and being young and stupid, I guess I thought that if I had a fly rod I would somehow become a better fisherman. Well, that never happened, but perhaps some day an antique fiberglass fly rod will be worth more than what I paid for it. I took the dog out for a walk the other day. He eats so much that it necessitates a number of trips outside to deal with the digestive by products of all that food- mainly carrots. Anyway, we have a leash that is retractable. It stretches out about thirty feet I think, which is usually fine, but sometimes he gets a wild hair up his nose and wants to go running after something. Because of the arthritis in my back, I can't very well run without a good deal of pain, so he ends up pulling me along. Of course he doesn't listen to any of my commands to stop. I started thinking that what I needed was a longer leash so that he could travel at will and I could stay stationary. Then the thought hit me- I should just hook him up to my halibut fishing rod. It's got a Penn 49 Reel on it with at least 120 pound test braided line. I could put the reel in free wheel and let him run to his heart's content, sniffing all over the neighborhood while I sat on the front porch and drank coffee. When I was done with my refreshing beverage, I'd just start reeling him in. If he resisted, I'd just tighten the drag and yard him on in like a big halibut. It would probably work pretty good as long as he didn't wrap the line around a tree or some large obstacle. Of course if the line parted I'd have to get down off the porch and chase him down and try to entice him to come in with something like a piece of cheese. He's a sucker for cheese. Of course so am I.  In any event, I think the dog rod would be a good idea. For people with small dogs who may not want to leave the confines of the house, you just hook the collar to a snap on the fishing line and cast them out into the yard. Of course you'd want to make sure you didn't cast them into the rose bushes or the daffodils, but with a little practice you could probably get good at it. If you were afraid that the dog might get hurt on impact, just devise a little parachute for them. Who knows, the dog and you might both enjoy it. It would be like a game of chasing the stick.  You know, March is just around the corner. In many parts of the country, it's a pretty windy month. When I was a teen, my best friend and I wanted to go fishing one March, but there was still ice on the water in a lot of places, so we decided to hook up some kites to our fishing rods and went out to the golf course. That really worked good. Once the wind caught the kite, the line started peeling off our reels like a giant marlin. The problem for me was that I had some cheepo little reel, like a Zebco 202 or some such thing, with like, ten pound test line. I could see that the kite was really climbing, and fighting it was quite a thrill, but when I tried to reel it back in, there was no way that it was going to return to the earth, at least not the way I wanted it to. The line finally broke and that kite pulled a Charlie Brown and headed for the nearest tree. However, for about five minutes I had the thrill of a lifetime fighting that monster; but alas, like the proverbial fish story, that one got away.


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  2. Love it - great idea for Rigby! If you'd quit feeding him so many carrots and so much cheese, the 120 lb. line might do it - just joshin' ya, Tom :) Remember Ron Popeil's little job called the Pocket Fisherman? Well, Jim has one (don't ask me where/when he found it) that he tried using to play with our first cat, Tess. He attached a cat toy to it and cast it from our couch, end to end, in the apartment we lived in many years ago....It was great fun for about 10 minutes, then she got bored/tired of running. Maybe we should have tied on a hoochie... Gotta love those useful fishing rods!

    1. Hi Jill- it's true, he does eat mass quantities of food. That's why we had to substitute carrots for cheese. Didn't want his cholesterol to spike. Just think, if the tables were turned and we had to go chase after things, how healthy we would be!

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