I want to tell you about an old friend. This old friend has not been with me for too many years but when we are together after a long time apart we just fit right back into the groove. It is almost like we have never been apart for very long even though it may have been a few weeks or a few months between visits. This old friend is not some fishing buddy that I get together with a couple times per year to wet a line or have a cold one with, no it is my favorite fishing rod.
I had never really thought about my favorite fishing rod as an old friend until I was speaking with a co-worker who had fished with someone who said they fished a lot but when he opened his rod locker all the rods were new and in the tackle box was all pristine hooks and lures. What that made me think of is when someone (not clients because I don’t use my personal fishing rod with them) fishes with me what they will see is a rod that looks old and worn out.
I began thinking about my two favorite rods that I fish with almost exclusively. One is my Berkley Cherrywood catfish rod and the other is a Fenwick walleye rod. The Cherrywood is only about three years old but quickly became my go to rod when it comes to my catfish catching. The cork handles on this rod were once a nice tan color but now they are all black with dirt near the reel seat is a darker spot in the form of a handprint from me always holding onto it. There are scales from goldeyes used as bait that are worked into and dried to the cork that are stuck on so tight that it would take a knife to pry them off. It even has a sticky feeling, not a gross one like spilled kool aid but one that tells me the rod is meant to be in my hand.
I once heard an old outdoor writer say, “reels will come and go but a good rod only comes around once in a while.” At the time I heard that I really didn’t understand what it meant but now I understand this profound statement. My Cherrywood has its second reel right now as the first one was worn out from years of abuse but that rod keeps on going.
When a fishing rod becomes a friend you can’t help but think about how its life as my go to rod will end. I hope something sad like stepping on it in the bottom of the boat or kicking it out of the boat never happens. If I were to get my choice of how my fishing rod meets its maker, I want it to explode on a big fish. I have had a rod break on a fish before. It was a new prototype rod that didn’t make the cut. The feeling is startling to say the least so I have chose a good rod explosion if my rod has to break. A fish takes a run and BANG. When it happens there will be a moment of silence and respect I’m sure.
I hope my Cherrywood rod and my favorite Fenwick never break. My favorite rod is my friend, my companion when I’m on the water. Like I stated earlier whether we have been apart for a week or the entire winter, when we get together it feels like it is meant to be. Like an old pair of jeans, it just fits.
Until next time get outside and make some memories