Sitting on the bank with a cane pole, string, weight, hook, bobber and worm is about as uncomplicated as it gets. I've used one so many times I can tell you what kind of fish it is just by the way the bobber reacts. If it dances a lot before a quick dash - bluegill. A really fast dive and dash - bass. Or just a very steady pulling away - catfish. I've come a very long way since those fond early memories. Llyod's blog took me back to those days and some incredible memories and what on the surface seems like a simpler time in terms of both the era and the technology.
At first, I found myself in complete agreement of his musings. Then ever so slowly started arriving at perhaps a different conclusion. There is no debate the era itself was less complicated and you can even say the equipment too. But is it really? I have rods and reels in my dark dense man cave that are older than I. Let that sink in a little, I turned 58 yesterday. Looking at these antiques and comparing them to what is in my arsenal today, it dawned on me, that perhaps these complicated technologies have actually uncomplicated some things for us anglers.
No? How about circle hooks? Does anyone know a catfish angler that doesn't use them? From the research conducted it seems these hooks have not only increased hookups but also reduced mortality and damage to the fish! If you've never used them, let me explain. The hook is designed so that when the fish takes it and swims away, the hook literally positions itself so the hook will penetrate the corner of their mouth of it's own accord. That's a long way from the invention of the very first known fish hooks that were made from shell fish.
In Lloyds blog he stated that there really isn't much you can do with a fly rod. Hmmm, take a look at the pic below, that's a bamboo fly rod with an automatic reel! That rod has been in my family for a very long time and best I can tell it was created sometime in the early 50's. In this area alone technology has improved the fly rod dramatically in terms of complications, weight and ease of use.
Here's a better example of what technology has done for us. The good ole bait cast reel. The early model reels were and are incredibly clunky, not to mention insanely heavy compared to modern day bait cast setups. Have you ever cast a 1970's model bait cast reel? Talk about backlash, oh my goodness. It took real skill to use those things. Modern day bait cast reels produced in the last 5 years are vastly superior to those of yesteryear. Incredibly light weight, fast, low profiles and exponentially easier to use. Don't even get started on casting distance, light years better today.
So, while it's true, technology can be very complicated, in my opinion it has uncomplicated many aspects of our pastime. In turn this gives us anglers more opportunity to relax and sincerely enjoy what we do. Think about the circle hooks again. A hook designed for a better hookset on top of being safer for the fish. Rods and reels that are so light that casting them all day is not a major concern. Weight translates to more casts which equal more water covered which equals the opportunity to catch more fish. That's pretty simple.
Electronics? LOL That's a different subject altogether.
Pic 1: Circle Hooks
Pic 2: Bamboo Fly Rod
Pic 3: Heavy 5'6" Ugly stick with Abu Garcia Ambassadeur 4500 C (from 1979)
HF 7'4" St Croix Legend Tourny with Steez SV 103 XSL (less than 12 oz)