|So here's the deal, in my opinion, when it comes to tackle: the gear enriches the experience, it make the memory--the catch, even--that much sweeter. You know your fishing has reached a different level when it's not just about the catch, it's about all the elements that went into getting there.
The alarm didn't even get to go off at 2:15 this morning before I woke up, super excited to get out in the skiff. Hey, a day off, the best weather of the week, and a local halibut population that is just waiting to humble and conspire to help me figure out new ways to use expletives in incomplete sentences awaits. They'll even be some squid searching and seabass trying to really stack the deck against me.
The best part of these mornings when I have yet to pack a stitch of gear is picking out the rods. In about 10 minutes I can go into the garage, expresso strong coffee in hand and dog trailing behind, and pick out the day's rods. And for whatever reason, I woke up wanting to go old school. I've been fishing the hell out of the new carbon fiber Arribe rods this winter, and loving it, but today will be a glass day. A really old glass day. An I-have-no-idea-who-fished-these-rods-in-the-60s-and-70s glass rod day.
So it will be Harnells and Trulines on the little boat from 3 a.m. until darkness falls. Which brings me to the best place to get super old, super clean, super worthy tackle that enriches the fishing experience: Vintage Offshore Tackle.
It's my favorite stop at the Fred Hall Show. Always has been, probably always will be unless Russian River Brewing sets up a booth and pours free Pliny. The old rods to pull on, the old jigs to run the fingers up and down, the classic reels like the Newell 300C I picked up one year, Randy Pauly has so much classic stuff packed into his little booth in the exposition hall that the $15 bucks or whatever it is to get into the show is worth it to get a piece of history for anyone into the oldies but goodies.
I just kind of woke up this morning and the vintage blog popped into the head. It's been a while since I talked to Pauly, so I'm not sure what he's hoarded up this year for the show. But I do know that a friend of friends looked him up and scored a Harnell 724 blank and a couple handfuls of original Candy Bars. Early bird always seems to get the worm, that's why first thing Wednesday is the time to get over to the booth and score the best jigs and the all time rods. (Warning: Blatant abuse of exhibitor passes has been known to go on.)
Okay, now I'm getting excited about the Fred Hall Show. Or maybe it's just that it's time to go pick out the day's rods with Fritz.