ANGLERS, so far as the tackle question is concerned, may be divided into two classes; those who make their own rods, flies and certain other items of the fishing kit, and those who from lack of mechanical ability or time, or perhaps inclination, buy their tackle. That this latter class is very greatly in the majority goes without saying; and it is equally certain that a large part of the tackle bought is entirely unsuited, for various reasons, to the purpose for which it was intended. The man who is a beginner at any form of angling and goes to the tackle shop with the idea of purchasing an outfit, say for fly-fishing for trout, frequently comes away with an assortment of junk utterly useless for that purpose. On the stream the outfit naturally proves far from a success — whereupon the fisherman concludes that fly-fishing is not for him, or any man in his senses, smashes or sells the tackle and goes out of business permanently. Also, since the various forms of angling are very unlike, it is quite possible for a man to be an expert in one branch of the sport and a novice at another. The great number of fly-casters who have recently taken up bait-casting from the reel is an instance of this.
It is the writer's purpose to treat systematically the subject of tackle and, in addition, to suggest what tackle to select for the brook trout, the black bass, and other sweet-water game fishes. The reader is duly warned that he will seek in vain herein for exciting tales of mortal combats with huge bass or trout — for fish stories of any sort, either alleged or experienced. Neither are there picturesque descriptions of the mountain trout stream or the forest-bordered bass lake. Also, learned discussion or academic theorizing anent the haunts and habits of fishes must be sought elsewhere. We are here strictly concerned with the practical, unsung side of the subject — how to outfit for a trout, bass or other fishing trip; how to select a good fly- or bait-casting rod; how the rods are made and how they should be used; the proper selection of reels, lines, flies and other tools and tackle; and matters of like nature. All of which things, it is respectfully submitted, are, in a way, of some small value to a fisherman.
Necessarily, in view of the subject-matter, there will be' much "shop talk," and to some it may seem that there is considerable hair-splitting regarding what is likely to prove satisfactory and what is not. In answer to such an objection, one might say that, as a matter of fact, the whole subject of tackle is of strictly secondary importance — absolutely subservient to the real purpose of the sport, the hardy outdoor life of the woods and streams. But, nevertheless, the man who relies upon angling as the medium of his communication with the open cannot place too much importance on the quality and suitability of the fishing kit. It is a time-worn and very true sporting axiom that a poor gun makes a poor shot; and shoddy, ill-chosen tackle makes a careless, and consequently a disappointed angler. The sportsman to fully enjoy his trip, to want to go again, must meet with at least moderate success whether his purpose be the taking of game or game fish; and good guns and fine, well-selected tackle go a very long way toward insuring this success.
Camp, Samuel Granger. Fishing Kits and Equipment,. New York: Outing Pub., 1910. Print.
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