Thursday, September 23, 2010


If I could have but one fishing rig only, with which to catch some fish to eat, say in an emergency, what would it be? Of course, the fishing rig selection would vary greatly by region, depending on the type of fish being sought and the type of area being fished in, but in general a good spinning reel is going to be at or near the top of the list for most locales.

There are a few places where a fly rod might be more consistently productive than a spinning rod in the right hands, but you can use various fly fishing lures and flies with a spinning rod with the right accessories (lead shot weights and bobbers that can be filled with some water to add casting weight. Of course, a spinning rig would have no problems with downstream fishing with fly gear.

I'd probably choose the venerable Mitchell 300 spinning reel rigged with 10 lb test, if possible with a couple of extra spools, one rigged with 4 lb test and another with some 15 or 20 lb test line. I choose this reel becaue I've owned several of them for a long time, they are readily available on the used market for very reasonable prices, they are a very sturdy and reliable reel that was very well constructed when they were made in Sweden and were made of all metal.

I know how to take them apart and put them back together and fix the rare problems that have arisen with them. The only reel that has performed as well for me as the Mitchell 300 is the Shakespeare 2052, a ultra light spinning reel, and I've owned (and sold/traded) lots of reels over the years. These are two reels that I always keep coming back to. When it's fish on, you can count on these reels just like they were made by Glock.

My rod would be an American Rodsmith two piece, with a blank through grip design. It's a medium rod all the way around and is 7 and a half feet long.

This American Rodsmith spinning rod of which I speak works for everything from smallish creek and river bass and panfish to lake bass and catfish to all kinds of saltwater fishing up to and including light surf fishing. American Rodsmith rods are HQ'd in Houston, my hometown, so I like buying things made in Texas and particularly in Houston. I won my rod in an auction at a medical benefit, and it's not one of their higher end rods. But it's a great rod and very responsive in a wide variety of fishing situations.

Now, if I was able to have a second fishing rig, that'd be easy to pick too. It'd be a fly fishing rod, a number six. With a number six, you could fish everything in Texas. You could fish clear streams and creeks and rivers as well as with bass bugs and such on lakes and even all kinds of bay fishing for reds and specks. I have fished the surf with a number six fly rod, and caught fish, but trust me on this, a number nine fly rod and the heavier duty flex action it brings with it on a thicker rod is very useful in the wind and surf.

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