The Gear on Your Back

You’ve packed your rod and reel for that fishing trip, but do you have apparel engineered for a day on the water?
 
Fishing is a great way to get outdoors and spend quality time with the family. But if you’re brand new to the sport, where do you begin? What kind of rod or reel is best for me? What kind of lures should I look for? What kind of safety concerns should I be aware of?
 
To make things a little easier, let’s start with the basics: the rod and reel. As the sport of fishing progresses, so do the advances in equipment, and that means a plethora of choices. To make things easy, fishing tackle companies make combo kits, which include a rod and reel sold together. This means you can match your child’s age with a set instead of having to match separate pieces.
 
“Combos take the guesswork out and pair the correct rod and reel for you,” explained Ken Staudinger of Pure Fishing. “For example, Shakespeare Crusader combo comes with a rod, reel and line, making it less stressful to get the family geared up and enjoy more time fishing.”
 
With the rod and reel out of the way, next it might be a good idea to find the right lures and hooks. Are you fishing off a dock or pier in shallower water? Then keep your eyes peeled for some floating or shallow-water lures. The package will tell you what type of water it’s best for. Fishing on Lake Michigan in some deeper water? Then a diver might be best for you.
 
For the little ones who might not make it a full day of fishing but still want to pull some lunkers out of the water, artificial bait products can be incredibly effective. While they don’t quite replace live baits, they’re another option that kids like.
 
“Artificial bait alternatives such as Berkley Gulp! Alive small jars can be intriguing to kids,” Staudinger explained. “However, live bait like worms, minnows and crickets might be the most exciting thing to a child until they can reel in their first fish.”
 
The most important consideration when getting the family out on the lake is safety. Fishing requires a lot of sharp objects, so mom or dad needs to be extra careful when their children are handling hooks and lures.
 
“It is very easy to hook someone during a cast if you are not paying attention,” Staudinger said. “The Shakespeare Hide-A-Hook system is an excellent and safe setup for children as it hides the hook point in the bobber when casting.”
 
Having the right essentials is key in making sure you and your family make the most of what the lake has to offer. With combo kit options and lures from Pure Fishing, it’s never been easier to get outdoors with the entire family.
 
-Hook, Line & Sinker
 
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Get Hooked on Fishing

With the right gear, you can seek, catch and enjoy the rewards of your day’s work.
 
Fishing can be a great way to make memories with family this summer. And it doesn’t take a lot of gear to get started. You just need some basic pieces of equipment and a body of water!
 
If you’re interested in getting a little bit closer to the sport, try one of many kinds of watercraft that’s perfect for fishing, from motorboats to canoes to kayaks (see “No Motor, No Problem” article on page 10). No matter your vesicle of choice, fishing is a great time for all.
 
Get the Basics
 
A basic tool of any fisherman is the hook. If you’re looking for the perfect hook for your expedition, try Eagle Claw. With the Eagle Claw brand hooks, you can get a high quality for a competitive price.
 
“Eagle Claw hooks are the only hooks Made in the USA, and are built with integrity, honesty and 85+ years of hook-making experience and heritage,” said John Vander Sloot of Eagle Claw.
 
To get all your equipment out on the water, try a Plano tackle bag. The Weekend Series comes in two sizes. The smaller 3600 model is great for fishermen using a kayak or smaller boat. Both the 3600 and larger 3700 models will come with two stowaways and three exterior zippered pockets. They also have shoulder straps for easy transportation.
 
If you have more equipment to carry, you could try the Plano M-Series tackle bags, which also come in a smaller 3600 model and a larger 3700 model. These bags come with four stowaways and room for eight total. They also have several exterior pockets to keep your favorite tools close at hand. They also have an impact-resistant, waterproof base to keep your equipment dry.
 
“These bags will make a great storage option for any hardcore angler,” said Nate Rice of Plano. “Dunhams offers a large selection of Plano Stowaways in many sizes to accommodate every angler’s needs. If an angler is looking for large size stowaways for big jerkbaits or small stowaways for hooks, split shot and flies, Dunham’s and Plano have you covered.
 
At Dunham’s you’ll find a variety of South Bend combos, such as the Ready2Fish Multispecies Spinning Combo. This combo comes with a reusable tackle kit. There’s also the Ready2Fish Multispecies Spincast Combo. Both models come with line prespooled, ball bearing drives and a graphite reel seat.
 
Eagle Claw doesn’t just have hooks. They also offer a rod that works perfectly for the kayaking fishermen. The Packit rod and reel combo has a spinning reel with a 5’6” rod.
 
“This combo is favored by kayak fishermen because of the telescoping ability of the rod,” said Vander Sloot. “Instead of maneuvering to one’s next fishing spot with a rod dangling in the kayak, the Packit rod telescopes down to 18 inches. This makes it much more convenient for the kayaker to move to their next fishing spot.”
 
You could also try the Ugly Stik GX2 combo. Jim Burrows of Pure Fishing said this combo is designed to be extra durable. Pure Fishing offers several products for all kinds of fishermen, including the Abu Garcia Max Series.
 
“Pure Fishing is constantly redesigning and redeveloping our products on a continuing basis,” Burrows said. “We do this so that our products represent and afford the best possible product one should consider.”
 
A Growing Trend: Kayak Fishing
 
There is another fishing tool gaining popularity in recent years: the kayak. Fishing from a kayak can offer a different kind of experience from wading or using a boat with a motor, which is why it’s growing in popularity.
 
“It is much quicker and easier to throw a kayak in the back of your truck or SUV,” said Mike Reis of South Bend. “It also enables you to go fishing in places where launching a boat is impossible. And as every angler knows, if you fish where there’s not a lot of pressure – the fishing is usually amazing!”
 
Reis’ piece of advice for kayak fishermen is to make sure all your tools are secured to the boat. Try attaching some fishing rod floaters or rod leashes to your combos so you won’t lose them in the water. Reis also suggests a lip gripper if you’re fishing for larger game. This will make it easy to grab the fish from the water without ending up in the water yourself. And as always, remember your life jacket!
 
“There’s an old joke about kayak fishermen. There are two kinds: those who have rolled their kayak, and those who will roll their kayak,” Reis said.
 
We have everything you need, whether you’re a wader, kayaker or any other kind of fisherman. Get everything you need for a successful and fun fishing season and Dunham’s Sports!
 
-Hook, Line & Sinker
 
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Hooked on Fishing

This summer activity puts the entire family in touch with nature and each other.
 
My dad was a great parent in every way, but he was an immigrant, and some of the things most dads and sons shared — like baseball and football — were unknown to him. But there was one activity that we enjoyed together, and that was fishing, a sport practiced worldwide and one he had shared with his father many years ago on Sweden’s Lake Mälaren, Dad taught me to fish when I was about 8 years old on Wisconsin’s Lake Puckaway, helped me land my first fish, a plump lake perch of about 8 inches, and then taught me to clean it and cook it. We fished together for many summers thereafter on lakes throughout Wisconsin, Minnesota and Michigan. A passion for fishing was something we embraced, and it kept us close and communicating well into my teen years.
 
Kids and fishing are meant for each other. And there’s no better way for an adult and a child — or an entire family — to bond than on the water, away from distractions. You don’t need a lot of gear, but having the right equipment helps ensure success. When I was a wee one, a fishing kit had to be purchased piece-by-piece. Today, rod and reel combos provide everything one needs to land that first fish in one inexpensive package. And Dunham’s has a range of choices in stock, right now.
 
Rod and Reel Combos
 
The Shakespeare Ugly Stik GX2 Combo is a great choice for your sons and daughters. With a tough rod, your choice of spinning or spincast reel, spooled line and a 7-year warranty, it’s perfect for the up and coming angler.
 
For the young ladies, Dunham’s offers a Shakespeare combo that pays homage to the Disney “Frozen” movie. The fully spooled reel is a spincast design that is easily mastered. A practice casting plug is included so basic skills can be taught in the backyard.
 
Consider also the range of Abu Garcia Max series bait-cast combos and reels. Meant for serious fishing, they are as tough as the biggest fish in the pond.
 
South Bend Ready2Fish combos are engineered and designed to provide everything you or your youngster needs to start fishing today. In addition to a spooled reel and split grip 5 ½-foot rod, each spincast combo comes with floats, brass snap swivels, a hook assortment, jig heads, a 1.4-ounce red and white spoon, 3-inch grubs, a shad dart, and easy-to-read instructions. Various other Ready2Fish models, including some with spinning reels and a pink set for the ladies, are also available at Dunham’s.
 
Dunham’s carries South Bend’s Microlite S Class Combos as well. Great looking and ultra sensitive, a Microlite spin or spincast combo is perfect for mom, dad and junior. With a handsome cork-handled rod, a Microlite outfit delivers performance and value.
 
Essential Gear
 
Augment your youngster’s fishing kit with a South Bend Worm Gear tackle box. Available in various colorful hues, the durable box comes with a removable tray and 88 gear essentials, including a hook remover, stringer, sinkers, swivels, floats and hooks.
 
Speaking of tackle, the Mepps Aglia spinner, available at Dunham’s, is a critical piece of equipment. This type of spinner doesn’t imitate minnows, worms or any of the other critters game fish like to eat. What it does is call attention to itself and prompt a fish to think something is invading its territory. Mepps spokesman, Jim Martinson, says spinners and trout go together like peanut butter and jelly. Jim recommends matching the size of the spinner to the size of the trout. The #00, #0 and #1 Aglias are perfect for small brook, rainbow or brown trout. Large trout may strike more often on a #2 or #3 Aglia.
 
Basic Skills
 
Before taking your youngster out to the water, have them practice casting in the backyard. If your combo outfit came with a hookless practice plug, attach that to the end of the line. If not, use a metal washer or nut.
 
Demonstrate the correct technique, guide your child’s arm on the first few attempts, and keep encouraging. My five-year-old granddaughter got the hang of it in five minutes or so.
 
Another important skill you can teach is knot tying. If your offspring can’t tie a hook onto a line, they won’t be able to manage on their own. And it’s important that they quickly learn to handle the basic gear prep chores. Too much reliance on dad or mom will take the fun out of fishing and diminish the sense of accomplishment that youngsters so enjoy.
 
The improved clinch knot is probably a slip-proof knot that can be mastered in minutes. To tie it, simply pass the line through the eye of the hook. Then leaving a small loop at the eye, wrap the line around itself four or five times, pass it through the loop you left at the eye, pull tight and trim the end. Simple and effective.
 
Nothing beats fishing for family fun. Strength and athletic skills aren’t really a factor, so everyone can do it. Success breeds togetherness and happiness, and few things in life are more pleasing than smiles all around.
 
-Hook, Line & Sinker
 
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