Friday, January 10, 2014

Simpler Times

I was recently reading a fly fishing forum in which someone asked why they no longer made the Pflueger Medalist reel.  I think the honest answer is because there is no longer a significant demand for that type of reel in today’s market.

The Medalist has always been one of my favorite reels.  When I first started fishing, my folks bought me a cheap Medalist copy as my first fly reel for my 12th birthday.  It worked fine for catching bluegills, but even at that young age, I lusted to get a genuine real deal Medalist.  Over the course of the next 50 so years, my wish came true, I did get a Medalist.  Actually truth be told, many Medalists reels.  Over the course of the years I’ve caught countless tens of thousands of fish with a Medalist reel hanging off my rod.

Other than the few Hardy reels I own, the Medalists are still my favorite reel.  They look ad feel the way a fly reel is supposed to look and feel, at least to me. Maybe the reason I like Medalist reels so much is that they seem to have become an old relic, just like me.

Harsh reality tells me I think the reason they are no longer made, is because there was no longer a demand for them. It seems like unless a reel is large arbor, with a disk drag and a $300 price tag, it just isn't what is what folks want to buy or use. I actually don't have a problem with that; folks should buy and use what they enjoy.

When I was a kid, I use to love to shoot a bow and arrow. I had a Fred Bear recurve bow, I thought it was state of the art with its laminated fiberglass limbs. For whatever reason, I got out of archery. A while back I looked into getting back into shooting arrows. As I started looking at equipment, everything had changed. Bows no longer were more or less a stick and a string, now they had wheels , cams, cables  and a bunch of other space aged looking gizmos. 

Fly fishing has seemed to undergone a similar progression. I guess that is just the nature of things.  I am convinced that fly fisherman say they enjoy the simplicity, yet they are drawn to complexity like a moth to a flame.  And again I’ll state there is absolutely nothing wrong with that if that is what floats one’s boat.  It just isn’t for me. I am glad in my younger days I bought alot more stuff than I really had a need for, I have more than enough of the stuff I like to last the rest of my lifetime.

Over the years, maybe subconsciously I felt the world was passing me by, taste and styles change.  I think that was the major appeal of tenkara to me.  it took me back to my roots.  I provided the simplicity that first attracted me to fly fishing.

Of course, as an aside, I’m not sure how long the simplicity will stay in tenkara trends. 

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