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Welcome to The Podcast Question of the Week! Each week we will summarize how the boys answered a question from one of The Outdoor Journal Radio podcasts and perhaps offer a little more insight into the topic.
This week’s podcast question of the week comes from Mike Bragg from Alabama.
Have you ever lost or broken a pole on a big one?
Pete: I’ve broke more carrot sticks than most guys have bought. I broke so many through hook sets, not too often on the fight though, either a hook set or being stupid and craning a fish into the boat improperly. Craning them in is one thing, but holding them there, that’s the worst thing you can do!
Lost a pole on a big one? Remember that trip on the Roanoke River? I had caught a striped bass. Turned to speak to the camera. I left my crankbait sitting just off the edge.
Pete and Angelo fishing for striped bass on the Miramichi river
Angelo: Spinnerbait, not a crankbait. Now the reason that I know that is I have that picture vividly, because you were wrapping up, you were doing an on-camera piece with your fish. You left the pole hanging over the side of the boat with that white spinnerbait dangling.
And I’m sitting at the other end saying, ‘My God, he just put that hanging on the water like that, a striper could jump up and eat that.’
Pete: And it did, right before my eyes! Boom, the whole rod and reel went into the water! It had a cork handle. And we said, ‘Hey, that floats!’
We said, ‘Let’s go look for it’, and it was in a bush about a hundred yards down the river. We got the rod, the reel back and the cranking spinner bait back and no striper.
Angelo: There was no crank involved, there was a spinner bait!! And no striper bat. How the hell that happen? He hid it hard enough to drag it into the water. But didn’t set the hook on himself, obviously.
Pete: Another story is Len Perdic and I were shooting in Woodstock, and they have a little pond there for carp. And Lenny brought out this brand-new Stella reel on a carp rod. So, it was a $1200-$1500 outfit. And sure as hell, a carp took it and ran and took it straight into the pond.
And he was freaking out because there were no buzzers. We were using floats or whatever. So, I bet you four to five hours later, we caught a fish. Brought it in and had the pole stuck. We caught the line and got that rod and reel and the cart back. Yeah, he was a happy boy after that!!
Angelo: As far as breaking poles…..One of the problems we have, I think, and probably a lot of people have, is that we tend to take care of our rods when they’re off the boat. You know, they’re put in a sleeve, and they’re put on a rack, and you know, environmentally friendly room temperatures and all that wonderful stuff.
And then come the weekend when we’re going fishing, we grab all those wonderful rods and unsheathe them, and you know put them on a deck of a boat and then we go 70 miles per hour down a lake banging and crashing and those rods get all mangled up! But you don’t see this, the cracks and dings you put in them, but they manifest themselves. Later on: a week later, a day later, an hour later, when you go set a hook on a fish and that stress crack that developed from getting beat up on the deck of that boat, all of a sudden turns into a broken rod!
I used to have a retail store, as you know, years ago. This guy brought in a rod one time, a very expensive rod, albeit, and he was very upset. He came in and started, “I paid a hundred dollars for this rod and it’s a piece of shit. Went to set the hook and it broke!”
As he is saying this, I’m looking at the rod and it had a foam handle. The foam handle had tire tracks on it!! Didn’t even have the decency to wipe off the handle before bringing it back.
I’m just saying, we are probably to blame for 99 percent of the broken rods because we just don’t take care of them.
Yeah. Plain and simple. We crank those drags down to zero nowadays with braid and set the hook. Well, things are going to explode when you do that!!
Pete and Angelo shared some amusing yet cautionary tales about the mishaps and accidents that anglers can encounter on the water. From losing rods and reels to the depths of rivers and ponds to the wear and tear rods endure while bouncing around on a boat, they highlighted the importance of taking better care of fishing equipment. It’s a reminder that proper maintenance and handling of gear can go a long way in preventing unexpected breakdowns and costly mistakes out on the water. Ultimately, their stories serve as valuable lessons for all anglers to keep their equipment in top shape and avoid those “oh no” moments during their fishing adventures.