My search for the perfect rod to match my new reel is over. I wanted a lighter, shorter rod for casting larger spoons and plugs into the surf but one still strong enough to handle a major bluefish. The rods I have been using are up to the job but are longer and heavier than needed and tend to wear me to a frazzle after 15 minutes of steady casting or big time catching like I got into in November. I knew that my favorite tackle shop in Daytona would have it and I also knew it was going to be more money than I really wanted to spend. I also knew that to fill the new reel with Power Pro, my line of choice, was going to cost $$$. But you can’t mount a Fin Nor on a piece of crap rod or load it with wimpy line so I bit the bullet and went for the gold. The new rod is an 8′, one piece Shimano Teramar with super alloy Fuji guides. The sales guy there knows me fairly well and when I explained exactly what I was looking for I could see him licking his chops. We went over to the rod rack and I picked up one or two and just shook my head no. He slipped off and went into the back room and came out with one and said, this is the one you’re looking for. I made the mistake of picking it up. I asked how much it was and he mumbled grumphrumprump or something like that. I said, just ring it up and I’ll figure out how much it was later. It does have a lifetime, over the counter replacement warranty which is important for me.
Being a one piece rod, it wouldn’t fit into the trunk of the Marquis so it had to ride inside with the reel up near the back window and the tip up on the dash board. We were going to meet a friend for dinner at Carrabas and there was no way I was going to leave that outfit in the car sitting out in the open like that so we decided to take it into the restaurant with us. They seated us at the table farthest from the front door so the hundreds of patrons inside were oogling the rig the whole way. Lots of comments about â€œfresh fishâ€. About halfway through the meal one of the waitresses came over and said she just had to see the rod. She told us that she had bought an outfit for her husband and he had bought her one too for Christmas but nothing as nice as mine. A few others came over as we ate so it turned out to be a real chick magnet. I guess that was the first time anybody had brought a rod and reel to dinner with them so I just may make it part of my dinner garb. And I’ll probably get tired of sleeping with it in a while.
The next big event will be it’s beach debut.
Let me get this right – the SEC has won 5 straight BCS championships and are 7-0 in BCS championship games. That’s more wins than all other conferences combined. The other interesting factoid is that those wins involved 5 different SEC teams. That last fact is, in my humble opinion, the reason behind the overall conference dominance – intra conference competition. There are no easy conference games in the SEC so the winner of that conference has survived the toughest schedule and has been tempered by pressure, week in and week out. Very little slack in the schedules; no breathers after the season openers. I don’t think there’s any reason to think that the talent pool is any deeper in the South than in the Midwest, mid Atlantic, or West Coast; or that the coaching is any better. It has to be the high level that’s played across the total conference where almost every game can be a season breaker.