Tuesday, 3 August 2010
Fishing Tackle, The Stool
Yesterday, my mind drifted back to my early fishing days and how easy it was to carry my fishing tackle. It was easier for two reasons; firstly I was a lot younger then and could bend over faster than a leapfrogger's mate, and secondly, because I was a poor country boy I didn't have much tackle to carry.
It's this second point that is the purpose of this post because I'm wondering if the number of times I go fishing every year is related to the amount of tackle I have to carry. Sometimes the thought of humping (This is good old-fashioned humping I'm talking about) all my tackle into the car and up the river bank is a bit too much for my worn out body to take.
Fishing in the olden days used to be a lot simpler because the amount of tackle taken was just enough for a day's fishing. Nowadays you will see some anglers with enough tackle and other luggage to see them through a week's self-catering in Lanzarote.
In the sixties my fishing tackle consisted of just a rod and a knapsack that I also used to take my sandwiches to work. I am sure some of you will remember these bags, every workman had one slung over his shoulder as he cycled to work for another day at the grindstone. In my father's case this was actually true because he toiled away for years at the Universal Grinding Wheel Co in Stafford. That was until he came home one night and announced that we were emigrating to Australia, but that as they say, is another story.
The knapsack contained: my reel, a couple of floats, lead weights, hooks, a jar of worms and some bread paste that I'd made the night before. The only other item it contained was a small folding stool that was made from metal and canvas. The stool was an interesting bit of the tackle, because if you didn't have one the only option was to stand all day or sit on the bank. The latter was non-preferred because even in those days we were always worried about getting a dose of the farmer's. Piles were associated with sitting on cold surfaces and damp grass certainly was cold even in July.
It's funny now when I think about the size of that stool, and how I'd manage to perch on it now that I weigh over 13 stone. The passing of the fishing stool will probably go unnoticed by most people and that's a shame because it did have two good points. Not only did it manage to put a six inch gap between the damp grass and your bum, but in the winter such was your sitting position, you could keep your ears warm with the insides of your knees. With that vision placed firmly in you mind I'll leave you to wonder at how much discomfort we endured for our sport.
Here's just a reminder that you can get a free download of an excerpt of my fishing book "Fishing: Learn from the Tips & Laugh at the Tales" from my website.
In my next fishing post I'll examine how much tackle I carried in the seventies and eighties and what replaced the fishing stool.