While some may reminisce about the “good old days,” the past two decades have meant significant improvements in the world of fishing and boating. You now have the resources to be safer, to find the best fishing spots faster, to learn new fishing or boating skills easier, to be more conservation-minded, and to be more comfortable while on the water.
There’s certainly something to be said about smart advancements and gear refinements that have resulted from anglers and boaters who have asked the question, “How can we make our days on the water even better?” Here’s your chance to take a virtual paddle down memory lane so that you can explore the evolution of recreational fishing and boating experiences over the past 20 years.
Drag systems have improved to become much more sensitive, even to the point that they automatically adjust to the amount of resistance that is suitable for the amount of tension being applied. Today’s reels are also generally made from more lightweight materials such as graphite or aluminum and have higher line capacities.
While circle hooks were adopted in the late 1970’s for use by longline commercial fishing boats, J-hooks were widely used until relatively recently. The past decade has brought a surge in circle hook use and awareness. When practicing catch and release fishing with live bait, circle hooks are more likely to hook a fish in the mouth versus being swallowed, making them easier to remove and reducing harm to the fish.
Today, rubber and silicone landing nets are much easier to find at your local tackle shop or online. These types of nets help to keep the slime coat, scales, and fins on your catches intact while also helping to protect the fish from disease and injury. 20 years ago, most landing nets were constructed from nylon. Nylon nets are much more abrasive and prone to causing damage.
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