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Musky Reels

Link to this post 05 Jul 11

Maybe like some of you, your dad took you fishing as a kid. Some of my best, earliest memories were of my dad, sitting in the back of a boat on Leech Lake in MN untangling fishing line from me and my older brother walleye fishing. I don't remember much from those days or that specific trip, all I remember is that my dad loved fishing, and still loves to fish. I can still picture his open face reel that looked like it was made of solid iron during WWI and asking my dad how much he paid for it.

9 dollars in 1950-something.

He was as proud of that reel no matter how many "rats nests" it produced.

The reel my father used was antiquated for sure, but he loved it and as I recall (or maybe he just told me) that he landed quite a few walleye during it's heyday. Of when and where that was, I could never confirm, but it still gave me the impression that money can't buy happiness or catch fish (unless you're with a really good guide).

That sensible, budgeted approach to fishing didn't last long, my brothers and I were always fixated on the Bass Pro Shops and Cabela's magazines when they would show up at our house. (At least my parents weren't worried about us looking at other magazines) I can remember saving money for an entire summer when I was 14 to buy a Diawa baitcasting reel, I didn't even know how to use one, I just bought it because it looked cool and apparently could catch bass.

I also remember buying my first fly-rod (Orvis 5wt Silver Label) in college, before marriage, kids, or responsibility - and my dad reprimanding me, "we (our family) doesn't buy expensive equipment like that!" Only later to admit after handling it and testing it out that it was a "very fine" piece of equipment. I still have the rod and use it on the South Platte when we visit my parents in Denver. But enough nostalgia...

I have an Abu Garcia C4 reel, purchased with a hoard of gift cards and I have to say that I really enjoy the reel. It is not as fancy as other makes and models but I have managed to land one musky with it. Two seasons ago, I left it outside and during the night - it rained and my rod went from leaning against a tree to laying on a nice bed of Northern Wisconsin sand, and my reel promptly locked up.

I am not quite sure what is more difficult, convincing your wife that a $100 musky reel is a good investment, or convincing your wife that you need to spend $50 to have your reel repaired by the only guy who does reel repair in Milwaukee (Easterling's Rod and Reel Reprair - great guy by the way and does great work too!) So, through some financial gymnastics (of which didn't exactly makes sense to me either) I paid the "stupid tax" and now have a very expensive $100 reel that works very well.

If given the opportunity, I would buy another Abu Garcia, it works well for me and allows me to cast adequate distance with enough line control for those tricky, "under the tree, in the pocket of the weeds, over by the reeds casts." I anticipate needing another reel sometime in the future, I think I would give a cheaper Abu Garcia model a try. With my experience with the C4, I don't think it would be much different - besides, I think it would make my dad happy - maybe I'll get one for him.

Link to this post 07 Jul 11

Excellent and entertaining post! Keep more coming

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