(Note: This article was originally published in our June, 2015 Newsletter. We hope you enjoy it once again.)
With today being Father’s Day I have been thinking of my Dad this past week. Although he passed away almost 50 years ago, the memories are still there. Still funny. Still poignant.
Dad had so many truisms. And he wasn’t shy about spouting them when he felt the occasion warranted. Like “The sharper the hook the more you have to sharpen it”. Well, yea. That’s what you would do if you wanted to keep it as sharp as it was originally. And I mentioned this to Dad, which was probably a mistake.
He went on to explain (and explain, and explain) that sharp fishing hooks are critical. And back in the 1950’s and 1960’s sharp hooks were more the exception than the rule. Rapala lures had extremely sharp hooks, but most everything else was just OK at best. Dad believed that “hook maintenance” was critical and made the difference between a good days fishing and a disappointing days fishing. Truth be told, he was absolutely correct. Once I started sharpening all of my hooks (and keeping them sharp) my fishing “luck” improved dramatically. Go figure!
And it wasn’t just hooks. Back then we fished monofilament line exclusively. Dad would change line on his reels at least 2 or 3 times a season. Each time after he spooled new line on a reel he would troll it out with nothing on the end so it would spool on the reel correctly. I still do this and am amazed how many fisherman neglect this extremely important part of re-lining a reel. Even after a full day of jig fishing with the jig tied directly to the line I cut the jig off and troll out my line get it back in the reel straight and untwisted. Amazing how this improves line performance and casting accuracy!
Another thing my Dad insisted upon was reel maintenance. Fish hard for a few days and he would oil and grease his reels. Initially that seemed like overkill to me and somewhat of a pain in the butt to boot. But when my reels would mess up, Dad would just keep on fishing, smiling at me as if to say, “see, I told you so.” Soon I was just as fanatical as my Dad about reel maintenance.
Every Fall before we would even think about where and when we would be hunting, Dad would take all of his guns and clean, inspect, and oil them. Back then our guns were old and mine were definitely pass-downs, so not taking care of them meant jamming and often missing a critical shot at a rabbit, squirrel, or duck. It only took a few times of embarrassing myself when hunting with friends of my Dad’s that I got on board with this pre-hunt procedure.
Even today my Dad’s old sayings keep coming into my mind.
“You can’t catch fish if you’re line’s not in the water.”
“Don’t expect to hit your mark if you don’t practice.”
“If you’re not on the water every week you’ll never know where the fish are.”
“Cold feet are caused by crummy boots, not the cold.”
“Learn the terrain if you’re going after a trophy buck and not just meat.
And my favorite which I have adopted, “I may not always be right, but I’m never in doubt!”
I guess when you boil all this down it’s about maintenance, planning, and being prepared. Now I DO take care of my fishing and hunting gear. I check my bow before every hunt. I clean the crossbow rail track, oil the cam wheels, check the latch, and usually replace the bow string. My boots are checked for cracks and leaks, my clothes for tears, and my stands for anything loose.
All of my reels are oiled, greased, inspected, and new line installed just as frequently as my Dad used to do. My rods are checked over completely. My tackle box? Well, that’s a bit more problematic. I keep telling myself that I really need to reorganize, but I never seem to have the time to get that one done.
Per Dad: “Get your tackle boxes organized where you can find stuff or you’ll spend more time looking than fishing.”
Yes Dad, I know.
I guess the point here is that preparation equals success. Somehow my wise and loving Dad knew this. I hope that I can now say I have learned an important lesson form my Dad.
Yea, I’m pretty sure I have!
As Dad told me one time, “Son, I’m the only Dad you’re ever going to have.”
We hope all of you remember Dad and have a great Father’s Day. Needless to say, all Dads are special. I know mine was.
On this beautiful Father’s Day, we have plenty of deal that Dad will love. We have 25% off select G. Loomis Rods, as well as pre-order the new Shimano Curado DC 150 (which is a must-have in our book!).
Thanks to all of our great friends and customers who have supported us and passed our name on to their friends. We know we are only here by making sure your needs are our first and only priority. Please let me know if we ever fail to meet and exceed your expectations.