Welcome back! Here I am, the less than competent angler again, bringing you how this past week's fishing went.
Obviously, the weather is unseasonably warm. Monday I was out on the river in upper 60 degree F weather. Tuesday, it was mid-70s.
Monday? Yeah, I'd rather not talk about it, but that's what we're here for. So, I went out Monday because it was warm and overcast with a slight wind. About an hour in, my pretty pink Shakespeare reel bit the dust. Then about another hour went by and my backup reel (a spincaster) spit out a whole bunch of line all over the ground, which got tangled up. After cutting everything free, I called it quits. I did find a huge fake fish on a massive hook to bring home, so it wasn't a total wash.
On Tuesday morning, Hubs and I did some reel research. We decided to replace my pretty pink reel with a baitcaster that was in stock at Wallyworld, and since I had some groceries to get anyway, I went down there. The reel I went there for was a Quantum something or other. I ended up getting an Abu Garcia Black Max - because all specs being equal it was 1) an Abu Garcia and 2) $10 less expensive. Hubs set it all up for me and I went out Tuesday afternoon. Umm, yeah, if you haven't used this type of reel, do some online tutorials before you get out to the lake and look like an idiot. If you don't know how to futz with the thingies*, you'll end up with a rats' nest of line in the reel. I figured it out, but after untangling the reel about 4 times in an hour, I think I'll be going back to a Zebco closed reel. (Not Shakespeare. I've had enough of those and their short lives.) Let Hubs use the open baitcaster. Needless to say, I didn't catch anything.
Wednesday was another episode of the Further Adventures of B.E. & the Abu Garcia. In all fairness, I think I would have these problems with any of the open faced baitcasting reels. (I'm not the only one. Go ahead and use your google-fu - there are loads of videos on how to use these things.) So, anyway, I wasn't ready to give up yet. And I still wanted to fish. I went back out to where I tried testing the reel the day before. Tweak the reel, cast, tangle, sit down to untangle, tweak more. I tried everything and finally got so I wasn't tangling every cast. Still wasn't getting any distance. My determination is that this kind of reel is not made for someone like me - whose go-to set up is worm, hook, sinker, bobber. Next time I'm at Wallyworld, I'm getting a plain ol' regular reel. And if I want to fish before then, I'll take the spincaster and just get over my dislike of those things.
Frankly, I wonder if the change to other types of reels was ever really a boon to fishing for regular people. As I was sitting there untangling the line for the sixth time, I came to the conclusion that baitcasters, and spincasters, too, for that matter, are a huge hoax upon us normal folk. With my little pretty pink reel and pretty pink 5.5' pole, I've caught all kinds of fish and had loads of fun doing it. I've put food in the freezer with it, which is kind of the ultimate point for me. Fancy equipment is wasted on me.
Friday I finally went back to Wallyworld to find a new reel. I was intent on a Zebco, but when I got there, they had a Pflueger with a lighter weight and a smaller profile than any but the dinkiest Zebco, so I got that one. It's a Trion 10 (prespooled with 75' of 10lb test.) Hubs attached it to my pretty pink pole and set everything up for me, then we went fishing together. I tell ya, that reel is like butter. Casts awesome, retrieves awesome. I discovered I needed to tweak the drag when I had a 12" bass on and the thing was squealing, but when I hooked the 10" later it worked like a dream. (Hubs caught a 13" bass, too, so neither of us got skunked.)
Well, that's it for me. Have an awesome next week and, if you get a chance, do something outside.
*It's a technical term. This particular reel has a drag like all other reels, but it also has a thing you can set depending on weight of lure and another thing that determines drop speed or something. It's all very technical, which is why I'm probably going back to something super SIMPLE.