Islander reels manufactured on Vancouver Island are in demand. Photo by Don Daniels

Islander reels manufactured on Vancouver Island are in demand. Photo by Don Daniels

Anglers will have to tackle higher prices on gear this year

By Don Daniels

Those of us who enjoy recreational sport fishing here in Campbell River and around Vancouver Island will always be on the lookout for special prices on buying salmon gear or trout gear to fish local lakes or rivers.

Buying new rods and reels is ideal, but for some it’s simply getting something to get out and enjoy fishing. There is used gear around that people have given up on, who simply don’t fish anymore because of health reasons or lack of interest.

Regular salmon anglers have a good knowledge of tackle that is used locally and purchasing top of the line rods or reels is worth it in the long run. A fishing guide friend of mine has enough tackle in the form of reels, rods and lures to outfit a small army. As a guide, he uses top-of-the-line tackle and since he fishes with non-experienced anglers, at times, his gear gets worked hard all year during the fishing season which can last up to 6 months.

Fishing tackle can get a workout and, at times, get abused by non-experienced anglers. Many anglers will decide to purchase top-notch equipment but also a big part of the tackle industry is getting a knock-off product at a cheaper price; it works but going the distance for quality rods and reels is ideal.

Fly-fishing gear can be purchased locally or online and the price tag can be very expensive but the quality is there. If you know the type of fish you are targeting, instead of buying the same high-priced rod or reel, thinking it will make you a better angler; that is not the case. I know a guy who was sold an $800 fly rod and he has never fly-fished in his life but he was sold an $800 rod to go fly fishing. He caught pink salmon in the Quinsam this year and went home happy and he learned how to find and hook fish.

If you are chasing fish in our local waters, a good pair of waders is highly recommended. Buying used waders, you have no way of knowing if they leak; there is only one way to find out.

A local angler had a selection of fly patterns and he simply asked me, why are these flys not catching fish? They were all silver tinseled dry patterns that were not for this area. He had simply gone to a store, looked at a bunch of flys and paid the bill and went fishing. Know what you are targeting and ask the store employee what is recommended to fish our local lakes and rivers!

The next fly-tying session for beginners will be at the library on Sunday, Jan. 29, in the activity room at the front entrance from 1 to 3 p.m. It is free to attend and materials are supplied but if you have a fly kit, bring it along. A number of newcomers to Campbell River have been attending and everyone learns at their own pace and has fun learning how to work with materials to create flys that catch fish.

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