Fishing is full of tough decisions

By Roger Wolfe

What I want to know is when did fishing get to be so hard? Seems like only yesterday, when we were kids, the hardest thing about fishing was figuring out who you were going to get to take you fishing.

Now that we are all grown up it seems that fishing has become quite complicated and it takes hours of studying to even have a clue as to what you are doing or where you are going. The choices are endless no matter what the decision is. How are we supposed to even know where to begin?

Let’s face it, when we were young, all we wanted to do was drown a few worms and hope we came home with a fish. My how things have changed.

Point in case, I recently found myself in NEED of a new fishing reel. I had not purchased a new reel in many years and I wanted something that would be a good multi species reel and last for many years.

No problem, I thought, I would just go through one of the many catalogs that clutter my mailbox, pick out a good reel, order it online, stick it on a rod and be ready to go. Evidently, I hadn’t been paying enough attention to those catalogs because there are 64 pages of fishing reels ranging in price from $30 to $350.

There are closed face fishing reels, spinning reels, and even bait casters. Long gone are the simple days of just deciding if you wanted the tried and true Zebco 202, 404, or the top of the line Classic Zebco 33.

The long-time industry standards of Diawa, Shimano, and Abu Garcia are now joined by the likes of Pflueger and Lew’s. Throw in the fact that every big outdoor supplier seems to have their own store brand for sale and the decision just got tougher.

Once the overwhelming task at hand has sank in, it was time to sift through the hundreds of choices and choose that perfect reel. What size line? What size rod? What gear ratio will be needed?  All of these questions will have to be answered before choosing the right reel. The task is truly daunting.

All of the online shopping and Google research can’t replace the feel of a piece of equipment in your hand. So of course, several visits to local sporting goods retailers were required to check out the dozens of reels they had on hand.

Even before visiting the stores there was the straw poll of local fishing buddies and even a few professionals in the fishing arena to see what words of wisdom they could offer. In the end, it boiled down to the tried and true adage of, “you get what you pay for.”

You don’t have to break the bank to get a good reel, but you are going to have to pay a little more for a product that will last for years to come and catch lots of fish. After plenty of research, window shopping, visits to the retail stores and even more head scratching, I was able to finally decide on and take home my first brand new reel in a very long time.

It doesn’t matter what the make, model, and brand name it was, it made me happy and should serve me well in the years to come. I am in no way qualified to recommend one brand or the next. I will even admit I haven’t even had the new reel on the water yet, but it runs smooth and is made sturdy and solid.

I feel confident that it will work just fine for what I want. The thing is, how did it get so hard to buy a new fishing reel. Fishing is supposed to be fun and easy not like studying for a final exam.

If you find yourself in the market for a new fishing reel, be prepared for some tough decisions ahead. There are many quality products out there and they come in every shape, size and configuration. It just isn’t as easy as it used to be to pick a fishing reel, but that isn’t necessarily a bad thing.

Oh, and don’t get me started on finding bait to use for fishing. Who knew they made plastic in so many colors? Just forget it, I am going to go drown some worms!

Roger Wolfe is an Outdoor Columnist for Civitas Media. For comments or future story ideas he can be reached at [email protected]

By Roger Wolfe

Roger Wolfe writes abou the outdoors for Civitas Media newspapers.

Roger Wolfe writes abou the outdoors for Civitas Media newspapers.

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