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Ice Combos Loaded and Ready

Having multiple rod combinations along makes it easy to test other rigs and eliminates the need for retying.

I have been criticized a time or two for taking along too many fishing rods when heading to the ice. Taunts like, “You can only fish with one at a time!” are common. I really don’t mind. It seems as though there are always critics in whatever a person does. However, I have often taught my critics the value of being loaded and ready when on the ice.

One thing I have learned over the years is the fact cold brings out the very worst in equipment. If a person is going to have trouble with a reel malfunctioning, it is going to happen on a day when it is too cold to do on the ice repairs or adjustments. A backup combo that is ready to go is pretty nice at a time like this.

There is also the issue of presentation. I really dislike retying jigs when my fingers are numb. I find it is much easier to utilize another rod that is rigged and ready than it is to continually retie.

Like everyone else, I have my favorite “go to” lures that seem to consistently catch fish. If I find lethargic fish when I am hole-hopping, it often pays off to be able to change the presentation. A classic example of this is the use of plastics.

There are times when plastics, like Bro’s Slug Bug, are all a person needs to trigger fish. And then you hit a hole where the plastic doesn’t seem to have the appeal it did earlier. Being able to drop a jig tipped with maggots to waiting fish will often do the trick.

Line weight is another matter. There are those days when I can double my catch by switching from two-pound-test Micro Ice to one-pound-test. Having rods rigged with each makes the transition fast and smooth.

The same can be said of spring bobbers. Although I usually prefer bouncing a jig with a tightline system, there are days when spring bobbers are clearly the way to go.

Spring bobbers aren’t all the same, either. There are different styles that have varied levels of sensitivity. Some spring bobbers do not work well on the open ice because they freeze up. Having a couple of different models to choose from helps.

Walleye rods are no different. On some of my rods, I utilize ultra thin FireLine Crystal while others are straight mono. Having a couple of rods rigged with floats and a couple set for jig fishing keeps me prepared for whatever I find.

It would be great if a person could predict exactly what the fish were going to do before we ever left home. That way, preparation would be simple and much of our equipment could be left behind. However, we all know that is not how it works. Every day of fishing is a different day with different moods and different preferences.

It is impossible to be totally prepared for every twist and turn we will encounter on a typical fishing day, but it doesn’t hurt to try. Having a variety of quality rod and reel combos that are loaded and ready for different situations does help.

February 21, 2011 - Posted by | Ice Fishing

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