Angler's Notebook

by Jon Farley

Propeller Check for a bent prop shaft first by shutting off your outboard and disconnecting the kill switch or spark plugs. Hold a screwdriver or pen up to the prop shaft at the nut as a frame of reference, and with your hand, twirl the prop. The stationary pointed object lets you see the slightest wobble.
Though crankbaits often come with two treble hooks, one is sufficient for most situations. In fact, the second hook can actually do more harm than good because it causes more hang-ups, does more harm to your catch and increases your chances of impaling your fingers when trying to unhook a fish. You can eliminate some of these headaches simply by removing the leading treble hook, leaving just the one at the lure's rear.

As most novice fly fishermen progress, they want to upgrade to a better rod. And it's common knowledge that one thing to look at in a good rod is the overall weight, because lighter rods provide better casting action. However, many anglers overlook the heft of the reel when purchasing a new setup. Matching a lightweight reel to a lightweight rod is important because a heavy reel can hamper the action of a lightweight rod.

Got a big old aluminum soup ladle? If you're an ice fisherman, you can use it as an ice scoop simply by drilling a few holes in the bottom. This homemade version will actually work better than the shallow store-bought kind, which don't hold very much ice. You can always use a small kitchen strainer to remove slush from your ice fishing holes, too.

Spinning reels can give anglers fits when they produce tangles of line that ultimately lead to snarled "bird's nests" of monofilament. You can avoid this by constantly glancing down at your reel while fishing to see if a loop of line has come off the spool. If you see this occur, do not try to "cast it out." This just leads to bigger problems. Instead, remove the spool and unwind the line by hand until the loop comes out.

September/October 2000 Angler & Boater

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