FISHING TACKLE, the equipment rod, line, hooks, flies, etc., with which the angler provides himself for the sport of fish ing. So much of the success and enjoyment of this sport depends upon the tackle that the selection of an appropnate and adequate out fit is a matter of considerable moment, es pecially to a beginner. If possible, the per sonal advice of an enthusiastic angler should be obtained. Failing this the tyro will have to gain from reading such knowledge as he can, and, in addition, bring into play his coolest judgment. For the prodigious variety of every essential in an outfit, as offered in the shops, is more than enough to bewilder even an ex perienced devotee of the sport. A few gen eral suggestions may be offered as fundamental guides.
Rods are of two classes: The solid wood rods, and the built-up rods. Of rods made from the solid wood, lancewood and green heart are the usual materials, and for many i purposes, and in the hands of many fishermen, have given satisfaction. One advantage is their comparative cheapness that is, a good lance wood rod can be bought for the price of an indifferent built-up rod, and of the two is much to be preferred. The built-up rods are made from the outer siliceous layers of the bamboo. These are carefully worked out in strips of triangular section, and six of these are glued together, forming a rod of hexagonal outline. There is a grade of rod made up of eight strips of bamboo. Their one advantage is that the rod so made is almost round, but they lack other qualities of more importance. A well-made six-strip bamboo rod is the best there is for fly-fishing and for most bait-cast ing. It has a certain springy flexibility which is wanting in the lancewood, although the lat ter has its place, and the comprehensive sports man will have both. Steel rods may be noted in passing: in the hands of a few they have found favor, but to the many they lack the qualities which all fishermen have valued most in the bamboo rod. For fly-fishing the favorite rod is from 9 to 10 feet long, weighing from 5% to 6 ounces. For bait casting, it is 6 feet long, weighing about 6 ounces if of bam boo, and about 7 ounces if of solid wood. The fly rods come generally in three sections, with an extra tip, or in four or five sections for convenient packing in a trunk. The bait casting rods are usually in two sections, but may be had in shorter lengths.
Lines. The line universally recommended by practical anglers as the only perfectly satis factory line is that known as the enameled, waterproof silk line in its several varieties.
The highest grade of this type is the vacuum process line; most expensive of all, but by no means indispensable. Two models are pro duced: the "level" line, which is of the same diameter throughout; and the "tapered" line, which is fine at both ends and of larger diameter in the middle section. The tapered lines are favored for long casts. These silk lines test from 14 pounds up to 28 pounds breaking point. The two sizes most in use are F for fly-rods, and E for bait-rods.
Reels are of many patterns, and either single action or multiplying. For trout fishing the single action reel ispreferred by a vast majority of experienced fishermen. The pat tern most in favor is the narrow spool, as light as may be to have substantial strength, and not too stiff in action of the click. It should hold without crowding 30 yards of double tapered line.
Leaders are of plain gut, or stained to ren der them less visible as a connection between the line and the fly. They are offered in lengths of three, six and nine feet. The six foot length is commonly used, but for long casting the nine-foot length is favored.
Hooks. It goes without saying that the hook must be adapted to the size of the fish expected to be caught as well as to the variety, and these considerations are of far greater importance than the specific design. There is this to be said, however, that the eyed hooks are in all cases to be preferred to snelled hooks, unless the latter have been newly snelled and this cannot be depended upon in the case of purchased flies, which are ready dressed on the hooks. The eyed hooks are of two models, those with the eyes turned up, and those with the eyes turned down. That the difference is not a serious matter is proved by the fact that there are just about as many advocates of one style as of the other. For trout-fishing the size most in use is No. 10. Occasionally some No. 12 will make all the difference between a full creel and an empty one. For bass, the hooks will range consider ably larger. Other fish, other hooks: if a definite advance knowledge cannot be had as to the catch to be expected, the only rational pro cedure is to provide a variety. It is to be noted, however, that the sizes of hooks, as indicated by the numbers, differ with different makers, so that no advice in this respect is to be taken literally.