The Fish Sniffer - Jingle All The Way
Jingle All The Way

Written By: Kathie Morgan, January 4, 2014
Species: N/A
Location: N/A,

One of the more interesting benefits of having to move from one's residence of 35 years is going through all the "stuff" one has accumulated over the years. For someone such as myself who is interested in so many activities, the sorting/saving/storing/dumping process is a Herculean task.

In addition to fishing stuff, there was all the biking stuff, the shooting stuff, the camping stuff, the photography stuff, and the cooking stuff. Personal friends who have stopped by the place have all marveled that there was enough "stuff" to stock a small store.

While there can be much written about the other stuff, I was particularly focused on the fishing stuff. With the other activities, it was a simple yes/no decision as to what was to be kept and what was to be dumped. It was either useful or not useful. The useful stuff was kept, the useless stuff was dumped.

The same cannot be said about fishing stuff, however. Rods have changed over the years, evolving from solid fiberglass to hollow fiberglass to the modern graphite rods. The problem is that the older stuff is still usable. OK, the older fiberglass stuff may be heavier, softer, and less sensitive than the newfangled graphite rods, but they can sure still catch fish! In fact, the older stuff can often fish better when using bait, while the graphite shines with lures, so it is hard to think that one can "dump" the older rods.

The same can be said for reels. The older stuff can certainly be usable although they are bigger, heavier, and slower to use than the newer reels. Due to newer designs, a petite bass reel can now generate more drag than a mid-sized ocean reel of the 60's. The newer reels can certainly out cast and out fish the older reels where lures are involved, but when it comes to trolling or drifting or mooching, the older reels are still as effective as ever, so they still have a useful life.

So now we have a bunch of rods and reels that may not be as "cool" as they used to be, but still haven't come to the end of their life spans. Too good to toss, and not valuable enough to sell, keeping them or perhaps gifting someone with them seems to be the best two alternatives.

I found lots of line in the mix; big, bulk spools of line. Every one I tested was passed their prime, and all snapped with little effort. Every one of them was dumped. (Lesson learned … if you can't use all the line on a bulk spool within a year or two, don't buy the

line, you will toss most of it eventually.)

The hardest time I had in the whole process was with the lures. I had/have literally bushel boxes of lures. Because I am not above fishing for practically anything that swims, you can bet that I have lures for just about anything that swims. I have 100 count bags of swim baits, grubs, worms, ring worms, crawfish trailers, and salamanders; hair jigs by the gross; dozens of candy bar jigs; and crank baits? By the hundreds.

The problem with crank baits is that most of them by definition are collectables. Consider the number of crank baits that are introduced every year, multiply that number by however many colors and sizes that are available, and figure in the fact that very few crank baits have a life of over five years, any you end up with a whole load of baits that can be considered collectable.

Who knows if all of these lures will work or not? They are all little works of art … examples of some fisherman's imagination and they all have their stories to tell. It breaks my heart to even think about tossing any of these beauties away.

In all of this sorting/saving/storing/dumping process what really struck me was the sheer volume of money that has been spent on fishing, and I haven't even mentioned the boats I have had, the magazines I have subscribed to, the books I have bought, or the trips I have been on!!

I am sure that if, instead of fishing, I would have invested the money, I would have been able to retire at least five years ago … but then, I wouldn't have had as much fun now, would I?

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