Musky America Magazine February 2024 Edition Thank you for visiting Musky America Magazine! The Musky show season is in full swing. If you plan to attend any of the Musky shows, it may be time to take a look at your arsenal of tackle, as well as lures and electronics. In this edition, we have included articles to help with those off-season considerations. Craig Sandell Owner and Fellow Musky Angler The Icons shown here are at the bottom of the Magazine pages. *All Rights Preserved©*
John Dettloff has created an impressive chronicle of the history of the Chippewa Flowage. This 304 page book brings to light the life and times of the earliest native people and settlers from the 1600s through modern times. Using pictures taken from old photo albums, John gives the reader a valuable perspective of why and how the Chippewa Flowage was created. Click Here
Tools For Survival Craig Sandell © 2019 Every Muskie angler has tools that he brings with him. Having the right tools when you are out on the water is just as important as having the right tackle. Tools come in two categories, the tools for the boat and the tools for the Muskie you catch. Some tools fall into both categories. Boat Tools Remember that when you are on the water, you are essentially alone. For that reason, your tool selection should provide you with some measure of self-reliance. The tools pictured here are what I consider to be the bare minimum. These tools are channel lock pliers, long nose pliers, regular pliers and a screwdriver/wrench set. Why do you need these tools? Sometimes mechanical things have a bad habit of coming loose when they are subjected to continuous vibrations like those from an outboard motor. You may find yourself changing a shear pin or removing a cotter pin or tightening trolling motor mounts or adjusting depth finder transducers. All of these things have happened to others while on the water and they will, eventually, happen to you too. Be prepared by having some tools to help you make some on-the-spot repairs until you can get to shore.
Tools For Muskie As a Muskie angler you should always have a landing net, so we will not dwell on the obvious. The tools shown here are what we consider essential for safety for the Muskie as well as the Muskie angler. You will need a hook out tool, a good set of channel lock pliers, long nose pliers, a landing glove and most importantly compound bolt cutters. You should NEVER leave the dock without compound bolt cutters. The picture here shows the handheld compound bolt cutters that I use. It is a lightweight tool that can be operated with one hand. It has an anodized finish to minimize rusting and it allows you to be able to apply the required leverage to a double strength treble hook to cut it without having to shake it or twist it as you have to do with heavy duty side cutters or wire cutters. This ability to cleanly and quickly cut through a hook is very important when the hook you are trying to cut is in your hand or your arm or your thumb. It is even more important if that hook or another hook on the lure is also attached to a thrashing 15 or 20 pound Muskie. It has happened to others and the odds are that it may eventually happen to you.
Compound bolt cutters like the one shown here are between $18 and $30. That may seem like a lot to spend on some bolt cutters, however, when you are alone in the middle of 10,000 acres of water attached to a lure that is also attached to a Muskie, you will come to see how inexpensive they really are. Compound bolt cutters protect not only the angler but also the Musky. A badly hooked fish needs to have hooks removed as safely as possible...the compound bolt cutter makes that possible...More If you have not yet added split rings to all of your Muskie lures, then you should consider doing so. Adding a split ring to your lures will reduce the leverage that a Muskie can apply during your next Muskie tug-of-war. It will also make it easy for you to replace hooks that have been straightened, blunted or disfigured in some way as the result of the "mechanics" of Muskie fishing. You will need to get yourself a split ring pliers. The one pictured here at the left is not very expensive (under $5.00), has a nickel plated finish to prevent rust and is relatively easy to use. There are more expensive version, however their increased cost is no assurance of any better performance.
You will also need a file for the purpose of sharpening the hooks on your lures. You have choices when it comes to files. The yellow handled file shown here at the right is probably the most common hook file. It is usually under $4.00 and will allow you to put an edge on your hooks. The black handled dual element rounded file is also readily available. It performs very well and can put an edge on your hooks very quickly. It usually costs under $12.00. One Last Little Piece of Advice For the Muskie angler that fishes alone, make sure that you can easily get to the tools that you have brought with you. Do Not put them in your tackle box; they will only get embrangled with your tackle. Try using a small shaving kit bag. These bags have nylon zippers that will not rust and come in sizes large enough for hand tools. They also usually have a carrying strap that you can use to tie a tether between it and the boat.
Making Your Musky Own Leaders Craig Sandell © 2020 As most of you have read in printed periodicals and books, you should always use a solid wire steel leaders when you fish for our Musky friend. With the advent of Spectra line, some anglers are foregoing leaders. Leaders can be bought over the counter in all sizes with and without swivels and with a variety of snaps. There is nothing worse than to be in some remote location fishing for Musky only to discover that you are short on leaders or that the leaders that you have are not quite what the conditions dictate. In this article, I will show you the tools you need to be able to make good quality leaders anywhere. You can't make leaders without wire. Wire that is 174 pound test (.029 gauge) is a very good choice. It will not weigh down your lures and will provide that strength needed during a Musky encounter. Some folks like a leader that is beefier. To me, it makes no sense to have a 200 pound test leader when you are using line tested at 35, 40, 50 or 80 pounds. The heavier leader will also impede the action of your lure in the water. You can pick up a package of 30 feet of this type of wire (shown here) for around $3.00. This amount of wire is usually enough for most Musky anglers for a season, however, it is cheap enough so you might want to get a couple of 30 ft. coils.
You will need snaps and swivels. A #5 snap is a pretty good choice since it has good strength and will not add a lot of weight to the leader. You can get #5 snaps from almost any fishing catalog. Swivels are an item that deserve a little thought. A swivel is not a solid piece of metal and represents the potential to be a "weak link" in you tackle. If you are convinced that you need a swivel, buy a good one. A good one will cost about $1.50 each, however they are made very well and worth the price. Tools are the next order of business. In addition to round nose pliers and wire cutters, you will need a method to wrap the wire evenly to close each end of the leader. You will also need a good tool to twist the tag ends of your wire like the one pictured here. Why should you make your own leader? You can always buy a couple if you need them. Well, that is not always true. Sometimes the local resort does not have leaders available, sometimes the local tackle shop may be out of stock or may not have the exact configuration that you have come to regard with high confidence. There is no substitute for being able to make a
leader on the spot that is exactly what you want to meet a specific angling situation. Leader Board You use a leader board to make it easy for you to make leaders that are consistent in size and configuration, but it is not necessary. Leader boards are very simple to make. You need only have a length of 2 x 4, four 2½ 8 penny nails, three 1 inch finishing nails, a hammer and a compound bolt cutter. The leader board that we will make can be used to make a leader that is 7 inches, 9 inches or 11 inches. The length of 2 x 4 that you will need will be 31 inches. You don't have to have a leader board to make a leader; the board just makes it a little easier. Take an 8 penny nail and hammer it into the 2 x 4 approximately 2 inches from one end of the 2 x 4 so that about 2 inches of the nail remains above the board. Measure 7 inches from that nail and hammer in another 8 penny nail in line with the other. Using your compound bolt cutter, remove the head of the nails that you have just hammered into
the board. (NOTE: You may want to file the cut head of the nails to remove irregular edges.) Now, cut a 10 inch length of leader wire. Using your round nose pliers, make a loop about 1½ inches from the end of the wire. Slip the loop over the first nail that you installed and place the non-loop end of the wire next to the second nail that you installed. Holding the non-looped end of the wire against the left side of the nail, position one of the finishing nails as shown here. (Note: This finishing nail will stabilize the wire when the second leader loop is made.) [I have placed a piece of white paper under the wire so it can be seen better.] Now, take your round nose pliers and form the tag end of the wire around the nail as shown at the right.
Remove the wire from the leader board. Using your round nose pliers, make a loop in the tag end to match the loop that you made previously. Your leader should now look like the leader shown below: You now have a leader that is 7 inches from eyelet to eyelet and you are now ready to finish it up before we finish the leader board and make the 9 inch and the 11 inch leaders.
Placing the # 5 clasp onto one of the eyelets, hold the eyelet and clasp with the round nose pliers. Position the DuBro tool per the tool instructions and close the loop by twisting the end of the wire. Do the same with the other eyelet installing the swivel rather than a clasp. Trim any excess tag wire and you now have a finished 7 inch leader (See Below). You have now made your first leader using the 7 inch section of your leader board. The rest is easy. Just measure 9 inches from the last large nail you put in the leader board and then add the finishing nail just as with the 7 inch section of the leader board. Do the same for the 11 inch leader section of the leader board.
Remember that you MUST add 3 inches to the desired leader length to be sure that you have enough tag wire with which to work. (For 7 inch leader cut 10 inches of wire, for 9 inch leader cut 12 inches of wire, for 11 inch leader cut 14 inches of wire.) A word of encouragement. Most people mess up the first couple of leaders so don't get discouraged. In reality, the only thing that you are wasting is a little very inexpensive wire and some of your time.
Tackle Management... Keeping It Simple By Rob Meusec © 2016 All these lures! Bucktails, jerk baits, crank baits, surface baits, spinnerbaits, jigs, soft plastics, sucker rigs, leaders, rain gear, tools...How do I organize all this stuff? If you are like me, I’ve asked myself that same question about a thousand times. Quite frankly, it’s a very difficult situation. If you have your own boat with an unlimited number of cubbies to stow away your stuff, this might not seem to be a problem. I have had the opportunity to fish with a lot of folks that have big rigs with storage cavities just about everywhere in their boat. They carry every lure they own. They have big boxes, small boxes, buckets, bags, lure tubes, hanging racks and just about every possible combination imaginable. If you own a boat and have the convenience of space, consider yourself lucky. You can go out on the water with everything you own and be prepared for any situation that may come up, assuming you can remember where everything is. Not all of us fall into that category. What about the guy who rents a boat for a week from a resort and wants to fish seriously for his beloved Musky? How does he go about storing what he needs to
get the job done? A 14 foot resort boat doesn’t have cubbies, hanging racks or any built-ins at all! We definitely have a problem here. At this point, I would like to make an assumption here. We can’t use all our baits at the same time. You know what I mean. You’re a Musky fisherman. You’re intelligent. You know that certain baits are used at certain times. You have a plan for the day. You know that fishing weed beds in the early morning is a good call on the particular lake you are on. As the day progresses if the sun is high you move to the weed line. My point is, you only need the baits that fit your plan on a given part of the day. Since you can’t take it all with you, what do you do? The best method of organizing is breaking your gear down to manageable numbers with a specific goal in mind. Let me illustrate this point. About six years ago I fished with a guy named Ben. We rented a 12 foot resort boat and went Musky fishing for about 4 hours. I lugged my big bait box into the boat along with a couple of small duffels just loaded with all my baits. I was ready for anything. Ben got into the boat with a small mini-box and two rods. I thought to myself that this guy isn’t prepared. Getting to our first spot, he opened his mini-box, and this is what I saw. 2-bucktails, 2-surface baits, 2-crank baits and 2-jerk baits. He had a light and dark color of each. I want you to know that he out fished me that day and the reason was his system was simple. He took what he needed for the amount of time and conditions he was fishing. His baits were in the water. When we got back to the landing, he opened the back of his pickup and there I saw two huge boxes crammed with Musky baits of every size, color and style. This little adventure taught me a valuable lesson.
For those of us that don’t have the luxury of having a boat that will hold everything we own, we need to keep it simple. Take what you need to fish the conditions you are faced with. We can’t use all our baits at the same time ! I have experimented this year with a new tackle management system that was quite effective for the type of fishing I do. The sytem begins with every bait you own. That’s righteverything. Keep these baits in any type of container you care to. I call this my Master Stash. For this I have been using 4 double sided old Plano boxes. I keep these in my trunk whenever I head out to my lake of choice. Now to simplify the system. I picked up a Plano upright and took out all the vertical dividers. Then I add 4Plano 3700 boxes or a similar box and a small leader box all in the upright postion and label each box. I now have 5 boxes with adequate storage for the lures I am going to use for a certain day or part of day plus enough space for the mandatory tool kit, raingear, leaders and other essentials. If conditions change, I go back to my master stash and exchange baits as needed. Everything I need for a given situation in one box that also doubles as a seat or footrest or whatever. It’s clean, neat and only one piece to carry. By the way, I’m not endorsing any particular product. Any good commercial product will serve the same purpose.If you are the
type of fisherman that travels a lot and doesn’t have the luxury of your own fancy rig, this system can help you be more effective in your pursuits. So far this year it has worked well for me. I demand a clean boat and this management system allows me to keep things that way. If you have any questions or suggestions, please let me know. I’m always searching for a better system.The picture below shows the tackle and boat bag boxes for two anglers in an 18 foot Tuffy.
What Price Muskie??? Craig Sandell © 2015 So you want to fish Muskie. Are you ready to pay the price? What price? The price to re-outfit your tackle to handle the most tenacious freshwater sport fish. That bass tackle you’ve got just doesn’t have the guts…so you will need to invest in some new tackle. Rods Lets start with rods. You are going to need at least two rods. One should have medium action for casting bucktails and crank baits. The other should have some good back bone to allow you to cast the heavier surface lures and jerk baits that are commonly used for Muskie fishing. Both rods should be at least 6½ feet with fore grip and an 18 inch handle. I have my rods made for me. I have always been disappointed by rods "Off-The-Rack". My custom made rods cost me $195.00 each and I will use this figure as part of the ‘cost-to-Muskie-fish’ calculation…you may find something you like for less. (Two rods times $195.00 = $390.00) Two Rods = $390.00 Reels You are going to need bait casting reels. The reason for this is because of the tactics associated with Muskie fishing as much as with the Muskie itself. Part of the formula for good Muskie fishing is being able to cast with reasonable precision. You will want to
place a lure precisely along weed lines and in heavy wood. In order to do that consistently, you will discover the need to control the line as your lure strips it from the reel. This is accomplished by a method called thumbing. That is…using your thumb to apply pressure to the line as your eye gauges the trajectory of the lure in relationship to the casting target. Also, Muskie have a habit of following a lure up to the boat and striking as a figure eight is executed. Once again, thumbing is a required tactic. When a fish hits short (by the boat) you will need to give it some line so that it can’t use the boat as a banging stake to dislodge the lure. You will also need line to play the fish in order to be able to land it safely. Hitting the ‘free spool’ as you apply thumb pressure to the line will accomplish that goal. You can’t do that with a spinning reel. The main staple of the average Muskie angler is the Abu Garcia 5500, 5600, 6500 or 6600 models of reels. There are other reels from other manufacturers that will also do the job. You will need one for each of your two rods and you will need a backup reel just in case. The average price for these is around $140.00 each. (Three reels times $140.00 = $420.00) Our running total is $810.00 Line You are going to need some Muskie line. I am partial to 80 or 100 LB. TUF Line Spectra. You may have a different choice, however, consider that the line should be reasonably fray resistant, with low stretch, reasonably water proof, while possessing good casting characteristics. For the purposes of this discussion, 600 yards of 80 lb. TUF Line is around $120.00. Our running total is $930.00
Tackle/Tools You are going to need a different tackle box to hold the larger lures. Typically, you can figure on a nominal cost of $30.00. You will need solid wire steel leaders. Figure $10.00 for a good assortment of quality leaders. You will need to get some tools for Muskie fishing as well. Foremost is a handheld compound bolt cutter…about $52.00. You will also need a hookout, hook sharpening file, long nose pliers, spilt ring pliers, long handled channel lock pliers, mouth spreaders, waterproof flashlight, heavy duty nail clippers for your line, and a small tool kit in which to keep them so that they don’t get mixed up with your lures in your tackle box. All together this will likely run you another $135.00. Our running total is $1157.00 Lures You are going to need a reasonable assortment of lures. Figure at least 5 bucktails, 5 variations of crank bait, 4 types of surface lure and 4 types of jerk bait. Around $400.00 ought to do it. Our running total is $1557.00
Miscellaneous Stuff How to put a price tag on this? Everyone will end up with a different amount. Consider, however, the cost for extra hooks, split rings, impulse items you buy on a whim, some better rain gear, some better polarized sunglasses, a net large enough for Muskie, etc…As a budgetary number let’s use $350.00. Our running total is $1,907.00 There you are…outfitted and ready and $1,907.00 poorer. Of course, you still have to pay for food, lodging, gas, oil, maybe boat rental, license and of course there is always the bar bill over and above your initial investment in equipment. Everyone says that Muskie fishing isn’t easy. You will spend long hours on the water. You will spend many hours casting. You will spend countless hours preparing your tackle and researching the Muskie. The operative word here is SPEND. As a Muskie angler, you will pay a high price in time, frustration and money to be able to successfully match yourself against this fresh water denizen of the deep. If this article has caused you to think twice about getting involved in Muskie angling…GOOD. It is only the angler that is dedicated enough to be willing to pay the price who will eventually succeed. Oh, yes. There is one other thing. LUCK!!!…For that there is no price tag.
Putting A Hook Hanger To Work!!! By: Craig Sandell © 2019 The hooks hanger is typically used as a method to suspend a hook from the body of your lure. The draw back to the hook hanger is the possibility that the screws will, over time, back out (When was the last time you checked them for snugness). The alternate method for suspending a hook from your lure is through the use of a screweye; the screweye too has the potential to loosen over time. Enter the hook hanger again. You can easily modify a hook hanger and use it to prevent a screweye from backing out. This procedure is not complicated, but it will require a few tools. You will need the following implements of construction: Bench Vise Tri-angular File & Side Cutters You probably have these tools out in the garage. If you don't, you can get them, relatively inexpensively, at your local hardware store.
You will need to get yourself a hook hanger. The one pictured here is a standard catalog item. They are not expensive and cost about 40 cents for a bag of 10. The Step By Step Place the hook hanger in the jaws of the bench vise and secure it snugly so that about ¼ of an inch of the body of the hook hanger is above the jaws of the vise. Using your side cutters, remove the stem of the hook hanger and file down any remaining stem so that it is flush with the body of the hook hanger. Using the angled edge of the triangular file, cut a groove in the center of the body of the hook hanger.
Your Hook Hanger should now look like the modified one shown here at the left. Lure Installation Now it is a simple matter to install the modified hook hanger on your lure's screweye to prevent it from backing out. Place the modified hook hanger on the lure so that the groove that you cut in the hook hanger brackets the screw eye. (Make sure that the hook hanger groove is tight up against the screw eye.) Secure the hook hanger to the lure body using a #2 by ½" brass screw and you are ready to fish. [See the Hawg Wobbler below.]
It's A Simple Modification But can it make a difference? Craig Sandell © 2010 There seems to have emerged some additional interest in the practice of heat shrinking the tail hook on Musky lures. Supposedly, this will position the hook for a higher hookup percentage but there are no facts to support the "marketing hype". What we do know is that Musky will seek to attack their prey in mid-body. A mid-body attack makes a 'fixed position' tail hook less likely to be part of a 'hook-up'. This article gives you a step by step to try it for yourself. The Top Raider and the Rumbler use a neat modification to the tail hook. It is a little trick borrowed from other lure manufacturers and many of the older Musky anglers. I thought that you might find this simple lure modification of some interest. The Problem Whenever you throw a lure such as a bucktail, spinner or almost any surface lure, the hook at the tail end of the lure is NOT in the position for optimum hooking. If you look at the lure shown here, you can see that the tail hook is at a 90 degree angle to the ‘retrieve plane’ of the lure. Regardless of how fast you retrieve your lure, the tail hook will never be in-line with the body of the lure.
The Solution By adding a piece of heat shrink tubing over the split ring and the shaft end of the lure, to which the split ring is attached, the tail hook will be placed in an in-line position.This is a simple procedure but you will need some tools. The split ring pliers and side cutters shown at the left are probably in your tool kit already. You will have to buy some heat shrink tubing. You can get it at your local hardware store or Radio Shack. You are looking for ¼ diameter tubing. Unfortunately, it is usually packaged with tubing of other sizes but it is cheap and having some different sizes may spark an idea or two.Preparing The Hook Get your treble hook and cut a length of heat shrink tubing that is the length of the shaft of the hook. Make sure that the tubing DOES NOT cover the eye of the treble hook. Slip the heat shrink tubing over the treble hook shaft as shown in the illustration at the left. You can now install the split ring onto the hook. You now have the basic assembly for the modification to any lure in your tackle box. For this procedure, you will need one additional piece of equipment...a heat gun. Once again, your local hardware
store or Radio Shack will usually have what you need. I would NOT recommend that you try a hair dryer. It doesn't get hot enough to completely shrink the tubing. Install the hook, tubing and split ring assembly onto the lure you plan to modify. Once installed, you will have to coax the heat shrink tubing up from the treble hook shaft and over the split ring and on to the 'through wire' or screw eye of the lure you are modifying. Once that is done, simply use your heat gun on the heat shrink tubing to shrink it snugly over the entire assembly as shown on the Tally Wacker.CAUTION: If you are doing this on a lure dressed with hair or feathers, make sure that the dressing is NOT directly in the flow of the hot air from the heat gun. This will work for any lure where there is a trailing hook except on tail wagging surface lures like the Hawg Wobbler. Try it on your Bucktails, spinner baits and almost any of your surface lures. If you don't like it, simply cut the heat shrink tubing off.
Making Sure Your Drag Works By Craig Sandell © 2014 Probably the most important tool of Musky fishing is your reel and the most important function of your reel is the drag system. When you are in the heat of a confrontation with a Musky, you must be able to “play” the fish. That means that you must be able to give it line to prevent straightening a hook and keep pressure on the Musky to prevent it from throwing a hook. Your reel’s drag system is an indispensible element to successfully boating a Musky. Musky anglers all have their own approach to using their reel to help them “play” a Musky. After a hook set, some anglers will back off the drag to allow the fish to take line while using the drag to keep pressure on the fish. Of course, using the reel in this manner requires that the reel drag system is “predictable”. The other approach to playing a Musky is to depress the free spool bar or button and thumb the reel to give the Musky line and keep the pressure on the fish Each approach has its benefits and draw backs. It should be noted that many Musky anglers use both approaches while fighting a Musky. A simple trick to assuring that your line does not slip on the reel arbor during a battle is to wrap the arbor with a backing material. I have seen folks use first aid adhesive tape and electrical tape. Either seems to do the job.
For those of you who are “old hands” at Musky fishing, you probably already know this. For those of you who are new to Musky angling, this is something that you may wish to incorporate when next you spool your reel with new line. Of course, if the drag on your reel is inconsistent or unreliable, no amount tape backing with help. Make sure that your reel is in good working order before you head out on the water.
Tackle Management: Inventory Time By Rob Meusec © 2020 Soon the dust will clear from all the musky shows, your taxes are done and you learned all those new techniques and spent a ton of money, it’s time to look at what we have in our arsenal. It’s time to inventory all the baits that we have in order to make our time on the water productive. You are probably thinking that this is almost an impossible task. I thought that at first too. If you are like the average musky fisherman (If there is such a creature), you have many weapons, some call them tools, in your cherished collection. As a retired teacher, I’ve learned to chunk down larger tasks into more manageable pieces, in order to accomplish what needs to be done. Here is a system that I use every year to inventory what I have and it works pretty well. It begins with, of course, all your baits. Bring all the boxes, bags or whatever you store them in into a room where you will not be disturbed for a while. Yes, all your baits! Next, pick up some cheap plastic crates (they look like milk crates) at a building supply store. I happened to use 6 this year. Next, I drill 3/16 holes along the outside lip spaced one inch apart all around the perimeter of each crate. So now you have 4-5 crates on one side of the room, and all your baits on the other side.
Now it is time to divide and hopefully conquer. Designate one crate for example, Jerk baits. Go through you tackle and pick out all your jerk baits. Begin hanging them on the inside and outside of the crate, putting one barb of the treble into the holes you drilled. When all your jerk baits are accounted for, then do the same with Topwaters and so on and so on. The number of crates depends on how many baits you have. As you look at what you have accomplished, here are few things you can do with this visual inventory:
• You can see what you have, what you don’t, what you need and what to get rid of. • What baits need maintenance, hooks, split rings, paint etc. • A great opportunity to take some photos for insurance purposes. • Determine tackle box and storage options. • These crates can be used as permanent storage or an extra bait hanger in your boat.
Losing Reel Perspective? Craig Sandell © 2014 In this modern Musky era, it is easy to lose perspective regarding the extent of advancements in today’s tackle and techniques over the tackle and techniques of the past. At the top of the list are the enhancements to modern Musky reels. Taking A Look Back In the old days, reels did not have the drag mechanisms that we are using today. The only drag system that you had back then was your thumb. Hand in hand with no drag, was the lack of an anti-reverse mechanism…henceforth the reputation of older reels as knuckle busters. There was no thumb bar for free spool activation. There was no such thing as a 4.7:1 gear ratio…it was 1:1. Using the reels of the past to fish for and fight Musky, required a completely different set of skills. Because there was no anti-reverse or drag system, you could not palm the reel or hold the rod in front of the reel as many of us do with today’s reels. You needed to keep your thumb at the ready to supply drag and to prevent the mother of all backlashes.
Fighting The Fish If you were accomplished and lucky enough to tie into a Musky back then, the whole experience demanded your complete attention, as you can see from the photo below. The hook set demanded the use of both hands; one holding the reel handle and the other keeping a firm thumb on the spool and grasp upon the rod. Just think about that for a second…today we just reef back on the rod to set the hook and pay no attention to the reel…Musky fishing has gotten much easier. Once the fish was on, you had to have your thumb on the spool at all times and a firm grip upon the reel handle. If you think about how you fight a musky using today’s tackle, you realize that your attention is not focused upon the reel at all…Sure, it is a tool that is part of the process but your attention is not consumed by it. A New Respect When I took this look back at how Musky were caught using the old style tackle, I gained a new respect for the anglers of the past. These anglers set out on big water in small boats that were
powered by anemic outboard motors. They did not have fishfinders or electric trolling motors. They did not have nets that could hold a small child. Landing the Musky was a two man job usually done using a gaff. It is my hope that you too will have gained a new perspective from this short article. As modern Musky anglers, we have been blessed with a flood of technology that has made our time on the water quite a bit more productive and to some extent easier than those Musky anglers of the past had it. Thanks to the Cal Johnson Website for the use of the photo of Cal fighting a Musky.
Keep That Abu Garcia Reel Working By Craig Sandell © 2010 General Maintenance As with any piece of precision equipment, your Abu Garcia reels require routine maintenance to keep them working at peak performance. Note: The tips in this article are applicable to any bait casting reel. The following tips will extend the useable life of your reels and prevent fishing disappointments. Keep the outside of your reel clean. Never lay your rod and reel on the ground. Wipe down your reels after every fishing trip. Keep the worm gear clean and lubricated. Lubricate the handle knobs regularly. If the reel doesn't sound or feel right, don't use it until you get it checked out. Don't store your reel in a wet or damp environment. Before storage, be sure to clean and lubricate your reels, then store your reels in a dry place.
loosen tile star drag. When storing your reel, keep it in a case or bag. or wrap it loosely in an absorbent, lint-free cloth. Change your line regularly and use only high quality lines like Cortland or TUF-Line. Annual Maintenance You've made a major Investment in your fishing equipment. To keep your Abu Garcia reels performing at their very best, it's important to maintain them properly. Good maintenance can add years to the life to your reels. For best results, use good quality tools plus the Abu Garcia Oil and Reel Lube. These instructions will walk you through the annual maintenance process. If you do not feel comfortable performing this procedure yourself, simply send your reel to an Abu Garcia Authorized Service Center. NOTE: There will likely be charge for this service. Remember, when servicing your reel, don't over lubricate.
ANNUAL LUBRICATION INSTRUCTIONS Use the screwdriver included to remove the handle nut cover (A) and place one drop of oil on the center shaft. Use the wrench to remove the handle nut (B). Remove the handle and star wheel (C). Place one drop of oil onto the roller bearing inside the handle hub (D). NOTE: It may be necessary to remove the "C" clip in order to remove the handle. If you must remove the "C" clip, do so slowly and carefully to prevent the loss of the clip. Loosen the three thumb screws to remove the entire handle side assembly. Firmly pull the spool shaft (E) out and place one drop of oil on the shorter side of the spool shaft. When reinstalling the spool shaft, push the shaft into the side plate until you hear it click. Place one drop of oil on each spool bearing (F) located inside the end of the spool; on the side opposite the handle, you must remove the spool pinion (G) to access the bearing. While the spool is out, place a small amount of grease on the cog gear (H) and on the smaller gear of the spool pinion (G). Place one or two drops of oil on the worm gear (I). When reassembling your reel, it is important that the brake blocks (J) are pushed toward the center of the spool.
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