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Démarrez votre saison de pêche du bon pied!

Start your fishing season on the right foot!

The days are getting longer every day... The sun is getting out more often and warming our skin... The trees are budding... the birds are singing in the wee hours of the morning.... It sure does smell like fishing!  It's part of the fun of fishing to go over our gear. We want to make sure that nothing is missing and that all our gear is in tip-top condition.  Here's a quick overview to ensure that your first outings of the year are filled with pleasure.... and not regret!

 

Lures

Have a look at your range of lures. Are any of your favorites models missing?  If you only have one, consider stocking up on one or a few more. Losing our winning lure while catching fish one behind the other without having any spares in our possession is practically... a nightmare!  We want to avoid this. Pay attention to the hooks on your lures. Are some of them crooked? Rusty?  Buy quality hooks and have them replaced. When you visit your Pronature dealer, take this opportunity to take a look at what's new. Lure manufacturers go to great lengths to innovate, and keeping on top of what's new often puts us ahead of other anglers.
 
Do you own a multi-tier tackle box?  This type of box is fine when you have a minimal amount of fishing gear. I find fabric boxes much more practical, as they allow us to put several plastic cases inside. At the start of a fishing trip, you can choose just the cases you're interested in and slip them in. It's very convenient to do it this way, and you avoid carrying around things you're sure you won't use. Last year, I used the Pronature Magnet fishing bag.  I really enjoyed the magnetic top. So you can put a hook, a lure or your scissors there while doing something else, without anything falling to the ground. It's extremely useful. What's more, if you're a wader or a portage angler, the fact that it's slung over your shoulder frees up one hand to carry something else.

 

 

Reels

Get familiar with them. Does the brake work as expected?  In the case of a spinning reel, does the reel handle snap back into its place? If not, a visit to a reel repair shop will be necessary. Some retailers offer this service. If you've invested in a high-quality reel, consider lubricating it with a specially formulated lubricant. This will increase the lifespan of your reel.
 
Take a look at the line inside. If it's monofilament, this type of thread can split quite easily. We recommend changing it every year. A split line can break at any time and cause you to lose lures or even worse... your nicest fish of the day! A worn monofilament will also tend to twist and tangle more easily. It's an inconvenience we want to avoid.
 
In the case of super lines (braided, fused or Nano), you can do more than one season without any problems. Nevertheless, take the time to examine your line by pulling out a good quantity. Worn lines can be recognized visually by flaking or a discoloration. If it's a small part of the wire, you can simply cut off the worn part. If the problem extends over a larger section of line, it needs to be replaced.
 
And if I may say so, fishing line is not where you should be looking to save money by using cheap fishing line. I strongly advise against it. It's really shopping for problems: line that tangles at nothing, line that wears out too quickly, line that breaks at the first snag on the bottom (losing lures at the bottom is not what I'd call saving money), line that breaks at the first big fish you have on the end of the line. Choose a good quality line, even if it means spending a few extra dollars.
 
Another recommendation is to avoid the trap of using a line with too much resistance for the species you're fishing. Your lures will sink less, won't cast out as far, will have less underwater action and will be more visible to fish if your line is unnecessarily big!  For the most popular species, here are my recommendations.
 
  • Speckled trout, yellow perch: 4 to 8 lb of resistance.
  • Rainbow and brown trout, landlocked salmon: 8 to 10 lb of resistance.
  • Walleye and smallmouth bass for most techniques: 8 to 12 lb of resistance.
  • Lake trout, pike: 12 to 15 lb of resistance.

 

Rods

The world of fishing rods has come a long way in recent decades. Far are the days of having just one rod, often made with fiberglass, to fish all species. Anglers now have rods tailored to the different species they catch. An analogy could be made with golf. You can play your golf round with just one club (except on the greens), but the results are often mediocre. It's exactly the same with fishing. You can do all your fishing with just one rod, but the results will often be unremarkable. When buying a rod, it's important to find out the strength, action and length of the rod for the type of fishing you intend to do. These days, manufacturers have even developed specific rods for certain fishing techniques. If you fish the majority of the time with the same technique, consider such a purchase. Your performance could greatly benefit.
 
Examine your rod(s) thoroughly. The crucial point to watch is the eyelets. Is a small ceramic ring missing from one of them?  Is an eyelet missing altogether?  Is the ceramic damaged? This could cause abnormal wear on the line, causing easy breakage. If you need to change an eyelet, they are readily available and you can change them yourself. Otherwise, take your rod to your local dealer - again, many offer this repair service.
 
Generally speaking, today's rods are lighter, more sensitive and, unfortunately, often more fragile too. If the rod is knocked during transport, it often won't break immediately. A point of weakness has been formed, and when sufficient pressure is put on the rod (by hooking on the bottom, striking or catching a big fish), it will snap. It's worth protecting your investment and avoiding this kind of situation as much as possible. Consider buying a carrying case for your rod(s). Here's a model for a single rod, available in pink or blue.

 

 

There's also a double case model that I'm particularly fond of. It can hold two two-piece rods already assembled with the reel. I find it perfect for portaging.

 

 

Another type of protection exists and is known as a “rod glove”. It covers most of the rod, excluding the reel. It's handy when you need to carry several premounted rods together. It protects them and prevents tangles. For anglers with larger boats, this protection can be used for rods stored in the boat's stowage lockers. It's available in three sizes, including a much smaller one for ice fishing rods. You can find them at your local Pronature dealer.

 

 

This little review of all my fishing gear is something I inevitably do every spring. I invite you to do the same. It ensures pleasant fishing outings. Happy fishing and have fun!

 

 

Translation by Myriam Gagné.
Original author Daniel Robitaille, Leurre Juste.
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