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America's Fishing Equipment Ranks Last for Live Bait

An example of horrible performing bite indicators that America manufactures - mass quantity refuse - the live bait angler's enemy to catching fish (cheaply made bobbers)

 

Cheap, Clunky & Bad - American Live Bait Tackle Companies- Shame on You

 

Ok, the next time you are in a fishing store, look at the rack of bobbers if front of you. See all the bright colors some stripes and some contrast? Without any uncertainty, the people that make those products don't know what a bite indicator is capable of. Yes, I just wrote that - they don’t know what a bite indicator is or they wouldn’t make them like that. Many company owners don’t even use the products they sell, resulting in pathetic poor-performing products. But, highly profitable.

 

The next time you reach for your bobber- think, are they just trying to make money off me with the cheapest product?

 

As part of my Revolution series, I look at the horrible tackle available to live bait anglers in America. I have been tracking fishing equipment back in time - a bit of fishing archeology. 

 

Why has live bait tackle gone backwards in time and become worse here in the United States? Around the world, tackle continues to advance far ahead of ours. The gap is so tremendous, it is shocking how poorly we fish compared to the world. America has the world’s worst live bait fishing tackle. 

 

My findings are shocking. My theory that fishing tackle has become worse is proving to be true. Evidence is everywhere.

 

Where did all the fishing equipment go? Why do the shelves contain bobbers with so few features. Why could inventors of gimmick bobbers have missed the whole point? If they did their homework, they could easily see how bad their products were - that they are not rockets and they lack brains.

 

How is it that live bait anglers have been neglected and forgotten? The simple answer - racist & classist America. If you live bait fish, you are lumped into a lower class. You are not bright and you just fish the dumb way.  You are too cheap to buy expensive tackle (read profitable) and you are not worth the time to manufacture quality. You “don’t need it”, “won’t buy it”. 

 

Whites wrecked the tackle industry for live bait anglers. They didn’t want to sell to Chinese, Blacks or poor Irish. Turn-of-the Century, politics, class, racism and war are factors. You know these racist terms: “Garbage fish, bottom fish, trash fish” - those are the fish we poor fished for. We don’t need any special tackle for that - I guess.

 

Also - how is it that we have put up with this for so long?  I have theories on how some of our skills have eroded through time, and I am collecting my evidence. Vintage floats and hooks show where we were in fishing fifty and even one hundred years ago. It is a sad fact that American fishing equipment was BETTER back then! There are components no longer used by tackle companies because they want to save on cost and increase their profits.

 

Somewhere the focus shifted from having the coolest, best fish-catching product where a company owner could be proud, to a cheap widget. Now, some of the changes came because our cities grew and lake resources were used up. Even as far back as 1890 the US Fish & Game Service was trying to stock fish. 

 

People had caught fish before the 20th century. Cities like Chicago exploded with commerce and people going from 4,000 residents to over 2 million people. A few wars got in the way and items like wire and brass, performance components in early tackle were taken off everyday items to aid the troops. In many cases, these parts were never put back in.

 

Manufacturing and material needs during war changed the components that went into bobbers in the 40’s. Manufacturers took out wire components and brass components. 

 

Following the war, these components existed, but other products were on the market without these components - built for fast manufacturing made of plastics and sans the extra wire or brass. They could make these cheaper and faster to shop out to dime stores. Lures started to really dominate the scene and bass were distributed across the United states 40 years prior.

 

Float eyes or guides to hold your line and to keep the bite indicator taught - they were removed. Now, some who knew what a bite indicator was made their own or crafted their own bite indicators. The masses, we continued to buy tackle lacking it’s working parts. 

 

Wars ended, life returned but machines and manufacturing were the flavor-of-the day. More, faster, cheaper and lots of plastic. Cork went away, quills went away, wood went away - in favor of plastic with seams.

 

Generations grew up and maybe we focused too much on destination fishing. Resorts, trips, exotic wilderness- that is what was sold in the print magazines. On the brand new television set, we saw adventures in National parks. Curt Gowdy traveled to remote parks, pristine resorts and to destinations around the world. Americans still make the trip very far away in order to seek fishing. A lot of the fishing was fantasy based as good fishing couldn’t be found near home.

Or- Could it? I say there has always been good fishing, just the fishing got tougher and the equipment became horrible. Combine the two with the run-away favorite bass and you see a recipe for disaster.

 

Revolution Continues...

In my next article, I will talk about America’s fishing decline - the situation worsens...

 

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Comment by Johnny wilkins on April 16, 2011 at 9:46am
If you are interested in revolution - you can catch my :30 minute radio show on iTunes. I talk live bait fishing - catching fish. Look for Fishing School and download old episodes.

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