Veterans Day: A time for reflection

Our family just returned from a week’s vacation. It was great. We relaxed after a very stressful season and kind of put things into perspective. It’s interesting that we did that just before Veterans Day.

A lot of what we hear and read about has to do with the recent wars and conflicts we’ve been involved in, but there’s a lot more to our veterans and our military than that. They’ve kept us free and safe for decades.

What would our lives be like if we had lost World War II to Nazi Germany or Imperial Japan? Germany and Japan (two very different countries today) are our friends now. There’s no doubt about that. That wasn’t the case back then.

More recently, we might want to think about North Korea. If we hadn’t drawn a line they couldn’t cross during the Korean War, we might be living like they live now. I guarantee you they don’t fish for fun over there. They fish to eat, if they fish at all.  

And really, much of what we enjoy is because of our military strength as a nation. Mostly, people leave us alone, and that’s not because they like us. It’s because they know the price for trying to take our freedoms away.

I know there are exceptions. This is not the time or place to detail them. Nevertheless, what I’ve said is absolutely true. Can you imagine how things would be if our enemies didn’t respect — fear — our military might?   

So, Veterans Day is about more than hailing our men and women in uniform right now. It’s about all those who served throughout our history. Becky and I try to keep that in mind — every day, not just once a year. For us, it’s about more than a holiday.

I had a question or two about last week’s column. Several guys wanted to know specifically what I did to help design the new Abu Garcia rods, and they also wanted to know how it all works. I’ll start telling you about it now and then finish next week.

What the pro angler brings to the table when it comes to new tackle and equipment is experience on the water. We spend countless hours fishing every sort of bait you can imagine. We know what works and what doesn’t. Maybe more importantly, we know what we’d like to have that we don’t have.

One of the best examples I can think of is our new treble hook rod. We made one that’s designed specifically for twitch and cadence baits like topwater plugs and jerkbaits. We started from scratch to put it together.

I worked on a new length and a new action. The engineers worked on materials as well as the technical design. The graphics people made it look pretty. When we were done we have a serious rod for serious anglers.

Next time I’ll give you the details of what we did to make it, and why we did what we did. I think you’ll find it interesting. There’s a lot more to it than you might think.

Mike Iaconelli's column appears weekly on You can also find him on Facebook and Twitter or visit his website,

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