February 26th, 2001

Cheap Rods
By James Castwell

As most of you know, this web-site tries to bring you information. All kinds of it, about as many parts of fly fishing as we can. We are fortunate to have found many manufacturers who seem to agree with this idea and provide the necessary funds to continue to create FAOL.

To some it may look like we are going the wrong way. With many streams in trouble and many fish endangered, why should we bring information on how to catch the things? This is not a new question for us. We started hearing it many years ago when we taught this stuff on the AuSable river in Michigan. It's as good a question now as then.

The very direct and simple answer is this. If the limit is ten fish and you take ten, that may not be a good thing; especially if each of us does it. But, if we can teach you how to catch thirty, what then? You must put twenty back! That small introduction will make you wonder what happened to them; did they make it, where did they go, will you find them the next time, and "Hey, that guy over there just took home twelve!" A small step toward stewardship, of the fish, the stream, the environment.

With that all in mind I would like to continue with this. Hats off to the rod and reel companies who make, now and in the past, cheap stuff! I do not mean junk, just equipment which does not cost an 'arm and a leg.' Remember, many of the main manufacturers on the market these days started small, some literally in garages. It is to these we all owe a debt of gratitude. Sure they were and are in it to make a living, but they didn't always have high priced gear.

The point here is this. It is the low end stuff that gets the new guy into, or offers him a way to get into our sport. The companies who make this are the ones who keep the door open for those entering and learning. Without them, now and in the past, most of us would not be here now. Sure, many manufacturers now do have some darn high priced stuff, but most do have entry level gear too.

By now you have probably noticed we are not 'sponsor driven.' That is, we will write about and report on things even if the company is not a sponsor here. We ARE reader driven. By that I mean,YOU come first! (This startles some of our sponsors, it doesn't seem to be the norm in marketing these days.)

We have fly-fishers who will write for us, not writers who also happen to fly-fish. They may not be 'experts,' but I can tell you, they fully believe what they write. We have a wonderful group who consider this site 'their web-site.' It is their 'home.' Thanks, that is why we offer you all a place to come, and if inclined, offer to help out.

It is then, not really 'our' web-site. It belongs to all of us who believe that the message of FAOL is good for the sport. And so are cheap rods and reels, no matter who makes them. ~ James Castwell

Till next week, remember . . .

Keepest Thynne Baakast Upeth

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