New rods making fishing easier

Published 4:55 pm Tuesday, January 20, 2009

We find ourselves more than two-thirds of the way through the month of January and it seems that just last night, I was awakened at midnight to the sound of fireworks going off in the neighborhood. And with this came some cool weather and cooler than I thought we would have.

I did get to try out my new full-length coat that my wife presented me for Christmas and it was warm. Almost too warm for the temperatures here in the Deep South. I had planned to take it to the fishing show I went to in Montgomery, Ala., but it was as warm there as it was here for the first half of the month.

I would have liked to have worn my new coat, but was just as satisfied without it. One spot I visited at the show was the Blaze fishing pole folks. They were telling me that they haven’t changed the graphite poles that so many of our local fishermen have been using. They are still light and responsive, making them a joy to fish with, especially the 14-foot model.

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One new thing they were telling me to look for was the introduction of graphite to some of the longer glass poles, especially the longer ones like the 15-foot Hick’s bream buddy. The first thing it will do is make the former heavy poles lighter and easier to fish with. Also, they will be a little stiffer and won’t sag in the middle like they have in the past.

The above mentioned poles are bream poles and easily recognized by the wrapped-on tip. The metal tip is secured to the pole by nylon thread. Blaze has a 14-foot crappie pole that will have some graphite in it also. These poles are stiff to begin with, so the main purpose in adding graphite to them is to take out some of the weight. They weren’t all that heavy to begin with, so the new ones should be a dream to fish with. Crappie poles have a full-metal tip that is glued on the tip of the pole. The tip kinda looks like the one on your fly rod. It is very strong and can lift a big ol’ crappie right on into the boat. Regardless of how strong you think your bream or crappie pole is, don’t tie directly to the pole tip. Tie several inches up the pole and run the line through the tip. It will make the entire tip section much stronger and will last you many, many years.

A new rod out of Texas was at the show. It was camouflage-colored. The entire rod was mossy oak camo and was really pretty—if a rod can be pretty—at least good looking. The camo finish reminded me of the finish on some of the finer shotguns, especially the turkey guns. The company was just starting in business and most all the rods were stiff, worm action rods. The one I was lucky enough to snag is stiff enough to shoot pool with. The owner of the company told me that lighter action models as well as spinning models will be out soon. Everything now is casting. It won’t be long, however, until you will be able to get anything you want.

For the last couple of years, the craze in bass fishing has been the frog. Almost every major company has one and most sell very well. Stanley, of jig and spinnerbait fame, has one they call the Ribbit frog. It has been an excellent one locally. They come in a ton of good looking colors and three different sizes. They are not new, but are worth mentioning once more. What is new is their Buzzin Ribbit. It’s a Ribbit frog with a buzz bait blade attached to the front of it. Since I haven’t cast one yet, much less fished with one, all I can tell you is it is a good looking bait and I will try it when it warms a little bit. Around the grass on Lake Seminole and the many local ponds, the fish have just got to be waiting on it to hit the water. You might arrange to be on the other end of the line.

I went back to the Panhandle of Florida today. The lake is sending water down the Apalachicola as the last rains that have almost missed us locally have gone to our north and are now coming down the river systems. Higher water will cause fish to run upstream and fill the entire length of the body of water. That is what we want, especially in the areas that got so low last summer, forcing the fish to go downstream just to survive. Good luck, hunters and fishermen.