Surf Rod disaster

Late last year I think I mentioned that I had just picked up a new surf rod which completed the combination for a perfect setup. The rod was a 12′ Daiwa and the thing that set it apart was the weight. It was a slender, light, fast tip rod – perfect for casting large lures into the surf for blues. Being so light, you could cast for quite a while before it wore you out. I could consistently lay out a 1 oz spoon 100 yds. In contrast, after 3 or 4 casts with my other rods, my tongue is hanging out and my arms are limp. Well tragedy struck last week when the rod broke right at the ferrule. It broke in the middle of a cast at the maximum power point. My heart broke at the same instant because I knew this was going to be a hard rod to replace. I took it right back to the place I’d bought it, the Fishin Hole, in Daytona Beach and they said they’d do what they could. Two weeks later they called with a replacement rod. Heart started again. Nancy was in Daytona and went by to pick it up. As soon as I saw it I knew it was not the same rod. This one was the traditional moosey rod for dealing with giant stripers or sharks, double the thickness, double the weight. I have two other rods just like this and they’re great for fishing with bait in a rough surf but worthless for casting a 1 oz nickel spoon.
Here’s the interesting part – I called the Tackle Box and the owner asked me to read off the model number on the new rod which, as it turns out, matches the model number of the old rod. I said no way is this the same rod, no matter what the model number says. He said that Daiwa had obviously changed the design and kept the same model number which is something they do from time to time. No surprise to him at all. Bottom line is that he said to bring the rod back and we’ll see if we can find one that suits me. I am a little boxed here because I know there are a couple rods over there that will suit me just fine but they are $200 rods compared to the $100 I paid for the Daiwa. I had never paid even that much for a rod in the past but had never seen a long, light rod like that for $100 which is why I jumped on it as soon as I picked it up in the first place. Think I’ll go over by myself when I’m looking just in case I have to cough up another $100. Don’t need any witnesses to that.

The Fishin Hole is a great place to do business. I’ve been a customer for years and they’ve never steered me wrong or not totally satisfied my needs. Daiwa, on the other hand, has given me grief in the past. I have a Daiwa surf reel with a broken bail return for which Daiwa has no spare parts. The reel is only a couple years old but no spare parts. I’m done with Daiwa.

I officially started the last piece of the garden expansion, a 12′ x 12′ piece on the SW corner of the existing garden. Doesn’t sound like much but it will take two days to complete, 3-4 hours per day which is the limit in this unforgiving heat. I mentioned one reason for wanting a larger garden was to be able to time space more varieties during the season but I thought of another good reason and decided to jump ahead and complete the expansion a couple of months before I had planned. With more space, you can grow items that take up lots of garden space. I had seeds for butternut squash and spaghetti squash but had not planted any since the very first season. That’s when I learned that these particular varieties put out vines on the order of 15′ and totally consumed everything in their path. The squash we got was great but it took up far more space than could be justified. With this new addition, I have plenty of space for both butternut and Spaghetti squash this season and maybe watermelons next summer.

Good thing for the garden that I didn’t get the iPad. A few months back it looked like an iPad with ATT 3G wireless network was the way for us to get back on the internet. I was justifying the cost by considering switching my WSJ subscription and Nancy’s News Journal subscription to online versions via the iPad. We found out that we couldn’t get 3G connectivity out here in the woods which at the time seemed a big setback. What I failed to fully take into account was how much newspaper I use as mulch liner in the garden. We get the two papers mentioned plus a small Deland paper that comes a couple times a week and use 100% of that in batches from time to time. Right now it’s a matter of minutes from when I finish reading a paper to when it’s installed in it’s new home, the garden. So in hindsight, not having the iPad has worked out just fine for the gardening.

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