The recent columns on the site about downsizing tackle have been interesting to me. What they say is right. There’s no reason to carry things you know you’re not going to use. All that does is create needless clutter. At the same time, though, it’s important to be prepared. I’m probably a little extreme in that regard. Nevertheless, here’s what I do and why.
I never leave home to fish without at least two of everything I think there’s any chance at all that I’ll need. And, in most cases I have three. When I say everything that’s exactly what I mean.
We’ll start with my boat equipment. I have spare electronics, transducers and whatever connectors I need to replace them. Sure, if something goes bad I can usually get it fixed back at the ramp or have parts overnighted to my location. But that’s not fast enough. If one of my front units goes on the blink, I want it replaced in minutes, not hours.
It’s the same thing with my trolling motor, props and all the connecting equipment. I even go so far as to carry spare switches along with fuses and fuse holders.
When I get a new boat I go all over it and make sure I have every wrench and screwdriver I need for every bolt, nut and screw. If I need a deep socket and an ordinary socket to adjust my bunks, I have them with me along with two ratchets and a spare.
It’s the same with my rods and reels. I have two spares for every one I might use on my trips. Obviously, I have plenty of replacement lures and terminal tackle, too.
This might sound crazy to some of you. Fishing to earn a living isn’t like fishing as a hobby, but it isn’t totally different either.
I’d suggest that when you think about downsizing you do it in a reasonable manner. If you’re headed to Florida for your annual fishing trip, why not carry a spare prop for your trolling motor and another one for your big motor? You know you’re going to be fishing shallow so you know there’s a chance you’ll destroy one or maybe both. Why lose a day’s fishing?
You should have two tool boxes with you. One that has a tool in it that fits everything on your boat and trailer and the other with small tools for your reels and other tackle. Why spend half a day getting something fixed when you can do it yourself in a few minutes?
Being prepared like this doesn’t have to be expensive. You can buy used props fairly cheap and your tools don’t have to be the best with a lifetime guarantee. They just need to get the job done once or twice in a pinch.
Electronics are another matter. Sometimes it’s not financially realistic to carry a spare. I understand that. But, if you have old equipment that was on your last boat you might think about keeping it instead of selling it. You probably won’t get much of anything for it anyway, and it might come in handy sometime.
I’m not against downsizing, but I am against doing it haphazardly. It’s not a question of if somethings going to break. It’s a question of when.