This Week's View

by Deanna Lee Birkholm

April 15th, 2002

Wanted Dead or Alive

We go through this every spring. Fly fisher's thoughts turn to things like 'float tubes' and other personal floatation devices. Wonderful! What isn't so wonderful is the fly shops, perhaps out of lack of knowledge, but more likely out of greed, try to sell the person who just bought their float tube a new rod.

A longer rod!

"Have you thought about getting a longer rod to keep your back cast up off the water?"

The unknowing angler now has a problem. He just spent bucks on his float tube and it looks like he won't be able to do very well because he doesn't have the right rod!

What's a person to do?

Here's exactly what to do. DON'T buy a longer rod for your float tube. It's a lie, it's an effort to separate you from your hard-earned money. It's unethical, and rotten - and it happens all the time. And I just hate it!

Let's start with some facts. A short rod is easier to 'stop' than a long rod. The longer the rod, the more tendency for the tip of the rod to recoil and unless your casting is up to speed, the longer rod will drive your backcast DOWN into the water.

What do I mean by a short or long rod. For float tubing (or other PFD's) the average rod is a 5 or 6wt, 9 ft rod. Quite standard. Why on earth would you want a longer rod? As in a 10 ft?

Hmmm . . .some will claim you can cast farther with a 10 foot rod than you can with the identical rod in 9 foot. Wrong. The truth is you can cast farther with the 9 foot.

So why do they make 10 foot rods?

The longer rod is wonderful on streams for mending line for dry flies or nymphing. Longer rods have also become popular for steelhead fishing. Same reasons. But most float tubing is done on still waters, lakes! Line mending and current aren't big problems.

Finally, there is the problem of landing the fish. You may not have considered this, but even with a 9 foot rod, sitting on the water and getting a fish to hand is not always easy. Now add another foot to the length of the rod. Wish I had a video camera to record that one!

But since I don't, you'll have to settle for this:

Mike Croft art

~ LadyFisher

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