History of Bait Casting
The history of the bait-casting rod begins with the rod known as the "Henshall," made to the specifications of Dr. James A. Henshall, whose work in the field of angling literature, and in game fish culture, has placed every American sportsman deeply in his debt. This rod is 8 1/2 feet in length, and designed purely for Weight underhand casting, the side cast, and for casting the minnow and other natural baits, a method discussed in a later chapter. This form of bass fishing, with its accompaniments of live-bait trouble-makers, never acquired wide popularity, the majority of bass fishermen continuing to still-fish or troll or, under favorable conditions, fly-fish. Then, only a few years ago, some anglers in the vicinity of Chicago began to use a very short rod, generally less than six feet, and to cast overhead; a method suited to and evolved from the local bass fishing conditions, weedy, shallow lakes, where great accuracy in casting, attained best by the overhead cast, and a sturdy rod were essentials. The baits used were frogs and various pork-rind baits. Followed then the invention of a number of artificial baits which were very successful and adapted for casting with the short rod — and the game of bait-casting had its inception. Many anglers now favor the exclusive use of artificial baits for bass even as the fly-fishing purist is wont to frown upon the use of bait for trout. This is purely a matter of the personal equation. Many of us can still see some slight, passing merit in a “garden hackle," or, on occasion, some little utility in the plebeian strip of pork-rind.
Camp, Samuel Granger. Fishing Kits and Equipment,. New York: Outing Pub., 1910. Print.
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