Nostalgia Trip

Nostalgia Trip
I was looking through some old photo albums the other day; pictures of Dad and me fishing a long time ago. The pictures reminded me of the fishing tackle that was "hot" for those times and I thought it would be fun to see if those old rods and reels will still catch fish.

So I've got my plan together and it goes like this. I'll blow the dust off of one of Dad's favorite old fishing rods from the late 1960s and I'll put on an Ambassadeur or Pflueger reel spooled up with some "fresh" squidding line. I'll dig into my collection of antique lures and tie on one of Earl Humphrey's M-5 Humps or maybe a red Plugging Shorty Shrimp. I'll head to some of my favorite wintertime haunts in Matagorda Bay and San Antonio Bay and see if this stuff still works.

I think you and I already know what the result will be, but here's some things I'll enjoy "rediscovering" on my nostalgia trip.

The rods of today are way advanced compared with those of a decade ago, not to mention 40 years. There is just no way to compare a rod made of heavy fiberglass, wood handles and plated guides to one of the sleek, almost weightless, graphite rods of today with the skeletonized cork handles and titanium recoil guides.

And what of our reels? Compare the Ambassadeur 5000 to say a Shimano 50MG or Shimano Core reelyou can't. There is just too much difference; too many improvements and we haven't even touched on the improvements in line and in lures. I can't compare a Mirrolure 83MR She Dog to any of the topwater lures that were made of wood way back then.

But having said all this, I'm going to step right out on this limb and tell you what I think is going to happen. I think that just the same way Dad's old Model 71 Winchester with .348 shells that looked like Coke bottles will still drop any deer or hog in its tracks, open sights and all, that the old fishing gear will still catch fish. I don't think the trout and redfish have evolved even a fraction as much as our tackle has.

I know that there will not be as much sensitivity in the line and I probably won't be setting the hook on many subtle taps when a fish picks up the lure on a chilly winter morning. But I don't think it's going to matter all that much. You see, that's not how Dad taught me to fish a Hump M-5 or Plugging Shorty. We didn't do the Corky Crawl as my buddy calls it. On the contrary, the lures that I'll be fishing require a constant retrieve and a rhythmic movement of the rod. The fish that hit the Humps or the old Plugging Shorty will slam into it; these are not subtle or finesse baits, they were made to imitate fleeing bait.

So how did they do it 40 and 50 years ago? They caught fish and they caught them on artificial bait too. How did they manage with the tools that they had then?

We'll see how it goes. I'll have a report and pictures for the next issue that will show how I did.

If anyone has any tips on lures, or other nostalgic tackle that I should be carrying, drop me an email and let me know. If I have it or can get it easily, I'll use it.

Just so nobody gets mad when they see the photos, I'll be wearing modern waders and my Shimano wading boots too. Oh and I'll have my high-tech Laguna Rods and my modern Shimano reels with me too.

Nostalgia only goes so far.

Be Safe.