Broken Rod, New Gaff
Here’s a way to breathe new life into broken fishing rods you might have lying around. Roughen up the last 6 inches of the rod blank with a piece of coarse sandpaper. 1 Lay a large hook, such as a 10/0 siwash, next to the broken end of the fishing rod so the bend of the hook overhangs the blank by about a half-inch. 2 Using adhesive-linedheat-shrink tape, start wrapping in an overlapping fashion from the hook eye to the end of the blank and then back up. 3 When finished, use a lighter to heat the shrink tape until the adhesive melts and the tape contracts.
Warwick, Rhode Island
I figured out this simple, cheap way of storing and organizing reels vertically on a wall or in a cabinet. Start with a 1/2-inch PVC pipe (the length of this piece depends on how many reels you want to store). Then cut a second, 3/4-inch PVC pipe into 2 1/2-inch long sections that will form the “reel seat.” Take one of the sections, place it on the 1/2-inch pipe, and secure it at the top end of the pipe by drilling a hole and inserting a bolt or cotter pin. Take another section of 3/4-inch PVC and place it on the 1/2-inch pipe, followed by a third section. Measure the distance needed for the reel seat and secure the third piece to the 1/2-inch pipe. Multiple stations can be made, and the whole unit may be fastened to a wall using screws. When ready to store your reels, place the bottom of the reel seat on the fixed section of pipe, then slide the moving piece over it to secure it in place.
It’s often tough to extend the life of soft plastics. After a couple of bites, they’re hard to keep on the hook. I’ve tried toothpicks, super glue - you name it. I learned this simple tip from a fishing guide in my area, Bobby Abruscato: Remove the lure from its existing head or hook and insert an Old Bayside Heavy Hook (lindyfishingtackle.com). The large-diameter ribbed lead running down the shank of the hook keeps the bait in place and prevents it from slipping. This works with plastic shrimp, jerkbaits or paddle-tails.