Quetico and the Boundary Waters Fishing
Rods, Reels and Line:
First, let's talk about equipment. I use all sorts of different rods
and reels in my day-to-day fishing but when I am canoe tripping I want
to keep it very simple. When I assemble gear for a trip,
I do not select my best most expensive rods and reels. Fishing gear
on a canoe trip is often subjected to a fair amount of abuse on portages
and around camp. It is not unusual to break rods and reels or even to
lose them overboard during a careless moment of inattentiveness. The
rods and reels I use cost about $70-$80 each and are more than a few
years old. I take 2 complete rods/reels for myself and one for each
additional person who will be regularly fishing. Spool some of your
reels with 15lb. spiderwire (or equivalent) and some of your reels with 8 lb.
monofilament (Stren or Trilene are good choices). There are basic spooling
instructions that come packaged with new line-make sure you follow them.
Some reels come with a spare spool. If you have one, it may be wise
to spool it with one of the above lines or choose something different.
Once you have your rods and reels set up, learn and practice the Palomar knot. It will be the only knot you will need to know
in order to tie many kinds of line to different kinds of hardware and
lures. It's a strong simple knot that's easy to tie under all sorts
of conditions. I'm serious about practicing. Learn to tie it in the
comfort of a steady chair, in good light because it will be much more
difficult in a canoe that's bobbing in the waves or current. Test the
knots that you tie for strength to make sure you get it right. Practice
it with different line on a few different kinds of hooks, lures and
sinkers until you get a feel for it.
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