Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Unfounded Opinions

Returning to my topic: a trout fisherman can do it all with a nine foot for a six line. A nine foot for an eight-weight line will cover most of the rest, including bonefish and small tarpon. I've seen tarpon of more than 125 pounds landed on eight weights, also ideal for snook and redfish. For repetitive casting, as demanded in steelhead and salmon fishing, it's as much as most of us want to cast all day long, and plenty of people use their six-weight rods for steelhead.


Most reels are sold to the public by suggesting some unheard-of emergency involving a running fish and guaranteeing that this reel is the only available product capable of bringing the trophy to a stand-still before it changes area codes. Right now, a large variety of magnificent reels is available to choose from. Most have one thing in common: they're far better than they need to be. Reels evolve slowly: the ninety-year-old Vom Hofes are still among the best. I have a number of Pfleuger Medalists made in Ohio, and even in teh most awful conditions they have never failed me. There were Japanese knockoffs of these reels and they're great, too. Thought built to appalling tolerances, they keep on ticking.


As to flies, I asked the greatest trout fisherman of my era, who is himself an out-of-control proliferator of equipment and technical doo-dads, what percentage of his annual catch would remain if he were reduced to Adamses and Gold-Ribbed Hare's Ear nymphs. His answer: "Certainly over ninety percent." When pressed about the staggering variety of patterns available in his fly shop, he said, "I don't sell flies to fish."

- from Tom McGuane's chapter 'Unfounded Opinions' in The Longest Silence


pete said...

in my experience, yup. especially with the reel. biggest fish i have taken on the fly rod was subdued with a reel which has a broken drag. palm it! works better, in my experience, and is way more fun!

Andrew Wilkie said...

I would tend to agree with the reel comment but with smaller rods say 6wt. and under where drag screaming fights are not an issue. Steelhead, King Salmon, Albies and the like absolutely require a quality drag system. This is not to say that cheaper reels don't often have a very adequate drag system, because I am sure there are numerous examples of that. I tend to hedge my bets and seek a reel with a reliable drag and the ability to take up line quickly (such as a large arbor). These two features are extremely helpful when targeting fast moving targets in waters without current or larger fish in swift river currents. Of course this is all my opinion.