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Period fishing.... a BLAST!
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nopaosak
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Real Name: Anonymous

PostPosted: Thu May 17, 2007 9:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah, I think a hand line would be the most common on the march, but I imagine that a homesteader would take the time to make the job easier.

I am guessing you have documentation on that creel, can you forward that to my e-mail address? I have one just like it in the basement and it may need to see life again.
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Yaquina143
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Real Name: Anonymous

PostPosted: Thu May 17, 2007 9:50 am    Post subject: Re: Period Fishing/Rod, Dubbing Bag, and Other Reply with quote

Walton45 wrote:
1. Is the "grip" the wood knob on the butt of the rod or is it the line wrapped portion on the darker rod where the hand would rest?


The grip is anywhere you hold the rod. I find that when I am angling my hands end up gripping it anywhere that is convenient in order to reach the area I intend to drop a line into. However the end of the rod would of course serve as a "handle".

Quote:
2. Can you refer us to a reference for including such a knob on a rod? I do not recall seeing any similar knobs on any of the rods in Reinard's book, but perhaps am mistaken.


Reinard's book is not the only show in town. I suggest you pick up The History of Angling, by Charles C. Trench. There are at least two illustrations in there that clearly show some type of knob or cap at the end of an angling rod. I can tell you from experience that a knob such as the ones I install on my rods come in handy and can mean the difference between keeping it in your hands or watching it float downstream.

Quote:
3. Wasn't the dubbing-bag originally primarily for fly-tying materials and also used, for want of another storage area, for other tackle ("everything in the world")?


You have to carry your tackle in something, the term "dubbing bag" is simply the anglers version of a hunting pouch. I doubt that everyone used only flys when fishing, especially the lower class. Bait was no doubt far more common and one would need a bag to carry the bait, the tackle and anything else you would need streamside.


Quote:
4.. What is the line material on the whitish wood stick with the hook on the end? Is it a natural material?


That line in the photo is waxed linen line.

Quote:
5. Is the line on the cast carrier silk?


Yes.

Quote:
6. You suggest a "debate" over the use of cork floats. Can you reference any literary works or other sources that relate to this debate or that discuss their use or lack of use during the Colonial period?


Okay, it is not the UN debating over sanctions... ;) it is just a simple question among people who enjoy studying the history of angling, which btw is usually NOT reenactors but simply people who collect antique fishing gear. The question as to when exactly cork began to be used as a anglers float seems to be a unanswered debate among people who collect, that's all. Since cork (for use as a bottle stop) was not even in use in Europe until the 18th century I guess one could argue that it's use as a float on a fishing line on the frontier could be questionable. Who knows.


Quote:
7. And with regard to floats, if cork floats are not period correct, would wood floats or quill floats be more period correct?


Simple answer... yes.


Quote:
8. And last, but not least, what is the range of prices you intend to charge for your rods, and when will you begin selling them?


The "gentleman's" pole would run about $125 (give or take, depending on the details of the finish, etc)

The midgrade would probably go for about $95.

The "poor man's" for about $75.

I won't be building these to order, I get backlogged with custom work and it ends up taking forever for me to get stuff out. I will just be making a variety and then placing them up for sale. That way when someone sees an angling rod they like, they can just buy it and get it right away.

Quote:
Yaquina, you efforts, discussions, and now the photographs, are very helpful and much appreciated.


No worries. ;)
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Yaquina143
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Real Name: Anonymous

PostPosted: Thu May 17, 2007 10:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Susan wrote:
However, I can't help but think the most common fishing for 18th c would be a simple hand line. That could be carried easily by the farmer taking a few minutes by the pond, the soldier, the kids or anyone.


Ever tried fishing a pond or stream with a handline? There is a reason why angling rods have been around for thousands of years. I don't believe that handlining was ever common. One has only to try it to realize why rods were invented. A good modern example is this... when was the last time you saw someone using a Popeil's Pocket Fisherman? Ever have one? I know I did. How often did you use it...?

Nuff said. ;)

Quote:
Next step up would be to cut a switch by the water's edge. In the south most likely some river cane, Elsewhere something else. Then attach the line and all to the pole. And going up one more, have some something to wind line on, much like a simple shuttle.


Anyone who enjoys angling, regardless of social ranking, would attempt to acquire the best tools possible for the pastime they enjoy, no different than today. A switch cut by the bank of some pond or river is alright in a pinch, but speaking as someone who has many times attempted such impromptu rod making I can tell you that it sounds easier than it is. A branch cut green lacks the temper of a prepared angling rod. They break easily, they are never long enough for what you need and you will spend a lot of valuable fishing time walking up and down the bank looking for a suitable branch to cut.

If some want to do the "Huck Finn" approach that is cool, but I would think that anyone in the 18th century who enjoyed an afternoon of angling would have very likely had their own dedicated angling rod.
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Stinky Mike
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Joined: 15 May 2007
Posts: 142
Location: Spanish East Florida
Real Name: Mike Harper

PostPosted: Thu May 17, 2007 10:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hand lines are ok if you are on a boat. I have never had much luck with them on the bank or shore.

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Mike
"Well, it [the bible] seems to be a good book-strange that the white people are not better, after having had it so long" Chief Yonaguska (Drowning Bear)
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Jeff Ortner
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Real Name: Anonymous

PostPosted: Thu May 17, 2007 10:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I just want you to know that this forum subject is one of the best I have seen/read. I have really enjoyed this subject and I am a overseer on another forum and this subject came up. So I sent them over here to read your replys. This would be a good persona to follow too.
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Yaquina143
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Real Name: Anonymous

PostPosted: Thu May 17, 2007 10:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

nopaosak wrote:
I am guessing you have documentation on that creel, can you forward that to my e-mail address? I have one just like it in the basement and it may need to see life again.


One has only to look at the many woodcuts, many going back to before the 16th century to see that creels are the same today as they were back then. It is almost creepy how they have remained the same this whole time.

An example..?

Here is a 16th century woodcut showing a creel.



There are many other similiar woodcuts from the 17th and 18th century showing basically the same thing, time and time again. Many of these illustrations can be found in the books previously mentioned here.
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Tim Richards
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Joined: 15 May 2007
Posts: 21

Real Name: Tim Richards

PostPosted: Thu May 17, 2007 10:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Ever tried fishing a pond or stream with a handline? There is a reason why angling rods have been around for thousands of years. I don't believe that handlining was ever common. One has only to try it to realize why rods were invented. A good modern example is this... when was the last time you saw someone using a Popeil's Pocket Fisherman? Ever have one? I know I did. How often did you use it...?

Nuff said. ;)


Not arguing, but, shoot, yes! Handline or cut pole along the stream, did it all the time until I "graduated" to steel road and Zebco 33. In fact, one of my favorite memories was when I was about 10. My grandmother and I were on a small creek on public land. I had our usual bank-cut sapling and tin can of worms. I had just finished off a limit of brookies in the 10-12" range when two fellows with nice, new spinning rigs came from upstream. Not a bite between them, except for mosquitos. Gram used to tell that story all the time, she had quite a laugh over the "city boys" being outfished by a kid with cut sapling. So, yeah, it can and is still being done.

Personal experience, 'nuff said ;-)
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Yaquina143
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Real Name: Anonymous

PostPosted: Thu May 17, 2007 1:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, warm and squishy memories aside; cutting a pole on the side of the stream is always going to be a hit or miss. I have tried it myself as well and found that I spent valuable bank time just walking around the woods trying to find a decently straight piece of wood. Even then it wasn't long enough for what I needed and broke easily.

In all of the historical literature I have read so far on this subject I have seen little or no mention of bank cutting a branch for fishing. It seems that dedicated angling rods have been the standard practice globally for the last 4000 years or more. I have no doubt that people now and again simply cut off a branch and fished with it for the day, but most anyone who truly enjoyed angling would have had a angling rod.

Just my opinion.
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nopaosak
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Real Name: Anonymous

PostPosted: Thu May 17, 2007 1:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The creel is coming out then. Thanks for the response.

**EDIT can you talk about attaching line to the rod tip? Was there any evidence of line guides during that period of any kind or was fly fishing basically a flop and drop endeavor?
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Yaquina143
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Real Name: Anonymous

PostPosted: Thu May 17, 2007 1:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

nopaosak wrote:
**EDIT can you talk about attaching line to the rod tip? Was there any evidence of line guides during that period of any kind or was fly fishing basically a flop and drop endeavor?


Line guides didn't seem to come into play until later on in the 19th century when reels became more common (although reels have been around since at least the mid 18th century).

The practice of tying a line to the tip of the pole was the standard for many centuries. Generally the angler used a line about the equal length of the rod and simply dipped the lure, fly or bait into the water. This is the reason why angling rods were sometimes of such long lengths, in order to reach the fish in deeper water. Casting reels had simply not yet been invented.

The most common way the line was attached to the tip of the rod was simple wrapping silk thread or cord around the line and tip, securing it in place. However there seems to be some indication that some rods could have had some kind of small metal or cord loop permanently fixed to the rod tip to tie the line to.
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Capt Mike
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Real Name: Anonymous

PostPosted: Thu May 17, 2007 2:54 pm    Post subject: Fishing Reply with quote

Ill 'cast' out a comment here,,'Good 'thread' with great 'lines' folks.' (thats a TRIPLE-pun!)

Dana, most interesting. And I agree,,,iv tried every type of 'gathering' tenique known to man on game and fish,,and I have to say,,,hand hauling' sucks...just SUCKS.

The smaller the fish the worse it is...you can feel so much more with a rod. The better rod as im sure you know,,the better feel....I believe,,just a persoanl belief,,,that a farmer 'might' have had a fishing rod,,or at least a favorite 'stick rod'.....just wacking one off in the woods is pretty much and miss....anyone that fishes,,,for food or otherwise,,,,surely has the desire to have 'equipment',,,no matter how humble...as long as its the best option he can afford.

Just 'treading the waters here'.....ANOTHER ONE ! ::))
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Tim Richards
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Joined: 15 May 2007
Posts: 21

Real Name: Tim Richards

PostPosted: Thu May 17, 2007 5:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
surely has the desire to have 'equipment',,,no matter how humble...as long as its the best option he can afford.


There you go, Cap'n...that's my belief: the desire, maybe not the means.
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Lloyd Moler
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Joined: 16 May 2007
Posts: 297
Location: Priest River, Idaho
Real Name: Lloyd Moler

PostPosted: Thu May 17, 2007 6:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have to agree with Dana and Mike,
I remember as a kid, my Grandpa always had a bunch of cane poles cut and bundled and hung up near the rafters down at the barn. Nothing fancy, just old wild river cane, but much stiffer and better to catch fish with than a fresh cut cane pole.

We didn't have any ferrules at the tip of the pole, however we did tie off back where the pole was larger and throw a couple of half hitches over the tip to keep the line out there. (Catching small perch and blue gill you need the feel that this gives you)

I hate the taste of fish for the most part, so it is just a sport. Most of the time, I will release most of the fish I catch.

Talking about cane poles, unless all of the old guys who wrote the early history of the country were lying, the "Cane Brakes" were all over the place. You don't see a lot of them any more, but I do know where there are a few down in Texas. If you consider Ohio and Northern Kentucky to be the south, then yes cane may have been more available in the south.

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Lloyd Moler
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Rod L
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Joined: 16 May 2007
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Location: the Forks of the Yellowstone and Missouri
Real Name: Rod Lassey

PostPosted: Fri May 18, 2007 8:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The pole debate depends on who, where, and doing what. For a settler back east, it may be quite correct. As I'm more concerned with post-1800 western fur trade, I've seen nothing to convince me that they were available. Fur trade fort inventories and trader's manifests list plenty of hooks---sent west literally in the thousands--but nothing else. I'd suspect the line was stout linen thread, suitable for fishing or sewing pack covers on, but nary a mention of any sort of pole. Some one may have carried one 2000 miles upriver, for instance Prince Max or Audabon, but I haven't found a referance for the average Joe yet.

As an aside, fishing at an established post was more often done with a net, plenty of references to these,especially in Canada. And fish was heavily on the menu at some western fur posts, the large numbers of fish bones excavated at Ft. Union are exceeded only by the buffalo bones.
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nopaosak
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Real Name: Anonymous

PostPosted: Fri May 18, 2007 8:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nets are certainly more easy to pack, but most of the references to net fishing are at particular times of the year, salmon and shad runs etc. I don't think a net would do much for the other times really unless you were semi permanent and could construct a weir or other trap.
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