Confessions of a Tackle Junkie
5 January 2004
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There should be an organisation like Alcoholics Anonymous for tackle junkies. There are millions of us, and we need to reach out. Itís a hard thing, though. I mean, letís face it, the habit is incurable, so group therapy is doomed from the start. For one thing, a mutual support meeting would degenerate into a swap meet within seconds. Myself, Iím supporting a bad reel habit, and those evil tackle cartels keep bringing new models onto the market - sleek, no glare, deep anodized beauties, with neuro-surgical machine tolerances, zero start-up inertia, silky drags, and coco-bolo handles. So far, there is no fishing tackle equivalent to a methadone regime, so, if we want to quit, Iím afraid itís cold turkey, friend.
Rods, like waders, lines and jackets, I feel, are just things to use up. Rods break, or, as we become better casters we tire of their actions, or we just keep finding new situations where we need a specialised rod. You know, if you need a tip-actioned, nine foot, three piece, four weight, Winston, with a well-figured birdseye maple and tooled silver reel seat, you need it bad. Right?
Occasionally we find a rod that we learn to love, then we get all neurotic about it and are afraid to use it. Experience tells us that as soon as we get precious about a rod, we will break it. I propose this as Wyattís Certainty Principle. All my real users, plain, middle priced sticks, that just get thrown into the car and abused in all sorts of ways, are indestructible. My former favourite, a snappy little Sage travel rod, I recently managed to smash although I handled it as if it was made of porcelain. The only reliable prophylactic against this inevitable distress is to own lots of rods, treat them like brooms, and not get attached to any of them.
Reels, on the other hand, are just trouble. Iíve got a drawer full of great old Hardyís that I never use, and I canít sell or give away. Too many memories and too much emotional investment. I made a big effort to trade-up last year and part-exchanged several of my rubbed and worn pawl-click winches for a set of spiffy new black machines that I was convinced would change my life. The new reels lie in their cases, as anonymous and efficient as assault rifles, while I try to come to terms with the knowledge of Blanche, my old Saint John, hard used and losing her looks, in the hands of somebody new.