Can backcountry fishing save carried food weight?
Sep 21, 2023 at 1:50 pm #3789520
I am working on a (very long) writeup covering relatively unknown Spinning rods and reels in the the 5.5-7oz range combined. They should allow for a complete Spinning kit in the 7-9oz range.Sep 21, 2023 at 2:01 pm #3789521
That should be interesting, Piney, I’m looking forward to seeing that. I bought a new spinning reel a couple years ago and had a lot of trouble finding a small, lightweight reel that had switchable anti-reverse. Almost all of them have the anti-reverse permanently on and I really need to be able to switch mine off because I like to be completely in control when I’m fighting large fish. I bought a Quantum which was, like every Quantum reel I’ve purchased over the years, garbage. I ended up with one from a company I hadn’t heard of called Lew’s. It has been a good reel.
I’m a bit weird and fish my spinning reel off a fly rod.Sep 21, 2023 at 2:23 pm #3789525
Mitchel 308, made in France, my favorite.Sep 21, 2023 at 2:25 pm #3789526
Brian, that’s definitely an issue – anti-reverse switches have been phased out with the new generation of sub-5oz 1000 size reels. It is still a feature on the 22 Shimano Soare XR 500spg, its’ predecessors, and the US market Vanford 500. Also on a variety of cheaper Aliexpress reels built on a specific body. The Lews Laser Lite 50 (and previous Wally Marshall Signature) are by far the best reels built on that body – Lews refined them considerably.Sep 21, 2023 at 2:47 pm #3789528
That Shimano looks very nice. I’m pretty sure I automatically filtered $250 reels right out of any consideration when I was looking. But that reel is very tempting. You might cost me some money.
I used to have a reel with a folding bail. There was a catch that could be pressed in so the bail would fold flat down to the body of the reel. I really wish someone would bring that feature back.Sep 21, 2023 at 3:31 pm #3789531
Dan-Y, I learned to fish with a Mitchell 300 so I have fond memories of those reels.Sep 21, 2023 at 4:21 pm #3789535
Same here, started with the 300.Sep 22, 2023 at 4:10 am #3789581
I’ve lived off of trout in Big Sur and catfish in Lake Tahoe. More so a matter of economics. When I lived on the central coast, the day would involve digging clams at dusk, catching snapper off of the pier in the morning while dropping a crab net. I’ve found trout in the headwaters of Whitewater in southern cal where there should have been none. A friend did catch one on a string and dug up worms. They were tiny though. I wouldn’t count on fish in the backcountry unless I knew the spots. Chances are if you do find fish, like in whitewater, they’re struggling.Sep 22, 2023 at 8:05 am #3789589Paul WagnerBPL Member
@balzaccomLocale: Wine Country
Brian made some excellent points here. I tend to catch and release when backpacking, but occasionally I will keep a fish or two to eat. That’s happened twice in past six or seven years.
But one point missing from this discussion is the actual food value of the fish. Most fish in the high country are not fat, nor are they large. By the time you clean a 12 inch trout (which is pretty good sized for the High Sierra) you’re not going to get more than a couple hundred calories.
There used to be a survival test back in the 1970’s that asked if it made more sense to stay a few days catching fish and “beefing up” or whether it would be better to hike out on a relatively empty stomach. The correct answer, due to the low fat content of the trout, was to start hiking.Sep 22, 2023 at 8:33 am #3789591David DBPL Member
That 308 brings back fond memories. My first reel over 50 years ago was a Mitchell 300 and it had many hundreds of hours of use before it finally expired. My father’s 300 was from the 60’s and it never stopped working. They were tanks though, very heavy and hard on the wrist when casting buzz or crank baits for long periods, but very fine for trolling. Smooth drag for the era.
Piney, looking forward to your list, thanks for taking the time to put that together. For me, a 6:1 retrieve, folding handle, strong water repellency and ability to confidently handle 15lb fish are must haves & it’ll be interesting to see what else is out there in smaller brands.Sep 22, 2023 at 1:35 pm #3789640
David, there is only one sub-5oz reel I’m aware of that fits that criteria – the KastKing Kestrel. Fortunately it happens to be one of the best reels I’ve had in-hand, and one I will be personally carrying on trips. Weight on that reel can range between 130.8 grams and 135.4 grams depending on where you purchase it and how you set up. Feel free to PM me for those details if you would like them in advance of my full list/post.Sep 22, 2023 at 2:30 pm #3789648
This has been a good reel. Around 7 ounces though for 6.2:1
Daiwa Ballistic LT Spinning ReelSep 22, 2023 at 6:35 pm #3789660David DBPL Member
Piney, PM sent but the PM messaging is acting haunted, stuff is disappearing and reappearing. Please PM if you don’t see my message.Sep 27, 2023 at 11:08 am #3790044
Daiwa 6106 MF baitcaster. 4.6 oz.
Spooled up. Lou’s Tournament pro 11.7 oz.
With case 15.5 oz.Sep 27, 2023 at 4:17 pm #3790070
All you need is a 12 foot rod with 24 feet of line……easy peasy. No reel needed. Make your favorite fish soup, use your favorite seasoning, water cooked in your favorite titanium pot.Sep 27, 2023 at 4:54 pm #3790074
It’s hard to cook water. I usually burn it. It doesn’t work at all on the grill.Sep 27, 2023 at 5:03 pm #3790075
It’s hard to cook water. I usually burn it. It doesn’t work at all on the grill.
Stay outta the back country.Sep 27, 2023 at 5:33 pm #3790077
Why? I just bring instant, then I cold soak.
Anyway, you’re getting silly .Sep 28, 2023 at 6:12 am #3790099William KerberBPL Member
@wkerberLocale: South East US
My thoughts on a couple of points made above.
I was annoyed to find out that they are starting to discontinue the ant-reverse selector. Proponents claim there is no reason for them now that drags are so improved and you don’t need to back-reel. I always turned anti-reverse off while I was fishing and re-engaged it when I hooked the lure/hook to the keeper. I have had times when I needed to back reel when a larger than anticipated fish hit and made hard run.
Mitchell 300 & 308. I have 2 of each. Both my Dad and I had one of each from back in the day. Cleaned them all up about a year ago. They’re just not the quality of today’s reels. Handle is too short and at an odd angle, reel is too heavy for today’s non-fiberglass rods and the catch that Brian misses to fold the bail down also prevents you from manually closing the bail by hand.
Even though I’m going to lose the anti-reverse selection capabilities, I’ll take today’s reels (spinning or bait casting) over any reels from the 70s-90s. I did find a previous year model Pflueger at academy with anti-reverse.Sep 28, 2023 at 9:13 am #3790109
I’ve had good luck on eBay buying used. You can find models a couple years old on the Japanese market as well.Sep 28, 2023 at 10:53 am #3790116
William, as far as I recall from my old Mitchell 300s their bails wouldn’t fold. The reel with the folding bail was a Shakespeare Sigma that I probably used in the 80s. Its bail could be manually closed.
Like you, I prefer to back-reel with a big fish and not cede control to the reel.
Dan-Y, the simplicity and light weight of a tenkara set up certainly has appeal, but in most of the backcountry fishing I do, which is almost all lakes, it is not the best setup to catch fish.Sep 29, 2023 at 6:46 am #3790157
Do you have more control with a spinning reel or a bait caster? I do have my preferences. A question to the more experienced . Why would I choose one over the other?Sep 29, 2023 at 7:55 am #3790159George WBPL Member
You can in some situations have more control with a bait caster. But with the very light offerings used in most backcountry fishing opportunities, spinning typically works better as a one size fits all system.Sep 29, 2023 at 8:34 am #3790162George WBPL Member
I used to do a great deal of backpacking that was only done to get to high mountain lakes. It’s not that I didn’t like backpacking, but fishing was the primary objective. This changed when they started managing the lakes differently. Instead of planting fish in many high lakes by carrying them in on volunteers backs, they switched to managing them for native species. So amphibians became the priority, resulting in not planting trout, and I understand this completely.
So I went back to mainly targeting salmon, trout and steelhead, somewhat obsessively.
Now I fish far less, but hike and backpack as often as possible. I don’t think I’ve purposely backpacked in to fish a high mountain lake in 30 years.Sep 29, 2023 at 10:07 am #3790166
Some good points. I’ve only seen fingerlings in the backcountry. Even then I think somebody planted them for their own use or a few wild fish made their way up after a wet season.
I do use a spinning rod on a ML setup. 11.5 ounces.
Fishing is my excuse to sit and stare at the water.
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