Technique vs technology

(Gressak) #22

I agree with you 100%.
It is not worth anyone’s time to use junky tools.

I am referring to the intermediate anglers obsession with technology. Full Flex rods, ultra light lines, etc…etc…etc… Whatever random buzz or trending tech talk.

I have been pleased with every rod I have purchased. Most of which were from tenkara bum.

That is more of my note. The nuances between a quality 150 - 450 dollar rod that you sell will not be the tipping point on becoming a better angler. As in traditional fly fishing, marketing has us thinking and discussing otherwise. I am not saying there isnt enjoyment in experimenting and buying different rods and lines. I do partake in that for sure…but what I am trying to say is the indulgence is far from making me a better angler.

I often think its funny how in any angling discipline, the first questions a student may ask a master angler…what equipment do you use? Where most of the master angler’s success has little to nothing to do with equipment, but rather the 4-6 decades they have spent on the water.

Its funny, sometimes the master angler will often use legacy technology…which often is confusing to the student.

I do not have the skill to properly leverage off of the high end tools. I also know there is more to angling than just technology, and sometimes the most current of technologies are not always the best.

Because of my skill level, I lean to the economy of versatility and durability over precision. I do feel that there are folks who can capitalize on a precision rod. I suspect that most of us are like me…and cannot.

The lesson on the water the other day is proof. My buddy and I were both fishing rods we bought from tenkara bum. Mine was about 100 dollars more expensive. We both caught fish, but the more talented caught more fish on a less “refined” product. The two rods do not cast the same, but they are within the ballpark. Our lines and our flies were identical. What was different was the operator.


(Peder) #23

Just to play the devil’s advocate, per se. I don’t think that because one item or tool or fishing rod costs more than another, makes it more refined or better. It could be marketing, or paying for the brand name or a host of other things. Does something that costs more have a higher probability of being better engineered and made with higher quality materials? Yes indeed, but that’s not guaranteed.

A question to ask is, how much better would a master angler be if they were using better gear? I completely agree that skill comes with practice, but even the best person in any discipline will be limited by the tools they use. Just because a master angler is using antiquated tools (legacy technology), doesn’t mean they wouldn’t improve with something better. In my opinion, I think that’s too often used to justify leaving things the way they are and not changing. Even masters can learn and improve (or at least I believe such), it’s just that their margin for growth is much narrower than mine.

Here’s a more concrete example. A friend of mine (we actually had this conversation a couple of weeks ago) is a professional classical guitarist and has been for almost 40 years. One of his first mentors told him to buy the best guitar that he could find, even if it was beyond his budget, if he expected to get anywhere with his career. He had a decent guitar at the time (cost around $5000) and didn’t really believe his mentor. My friend thought that it was more about practice and experience. For him that meant time playing classical music in NYC, for us that’s out on the water fishing.

About 20 years ago, he said “what the hell” and bought one of the best custom guitars at the time (which incidentally cost more than my 4 year old car) and he still plays today. He told me that besides having 20 years experience at the time of buying the guitar, that was one of the best things he did to improve his music. His mentor, while since passed, was correct.


(Gressak) #24

Agreed. I did not want to get into the complexities of my statement, but just wanted to note that once you get beyond a threshold, relative quality is high and usable. I think all of us have been burned by high price … high quality materials…poor design. I really feel that all the rods Chris sells are excellent as he filters the products for us. Each one has its own pros and cons, but to use them for their intention they operate very well.

There is also something to be said about knowing ones tools and not being affected by trend. Dont fix what isn’t broken, or typically there is a trade for one attribute. Like improve X and loose Y.

Most of us will never be talented enough to make our fishing rods sing like a master guitarist. Like in any artistic venture of 1000 it would be lucky to find one that has any real talent. Saying that might be cruel, but it is true. I know that I am not a 1 in 1000. Call me by my number…543.

It is like parents thinking their child is a genius, yet the child is just learning at the same pace as every child of his/her age.

I feel most of us will not achieve the levels of those we consider our mentors. Rotating equipment is not a fast track. I see a lot of guys buying and selling, seemingly being affected by trend. In itself, there is nothing to criticize, as it is indeed fun trying stuff and learning what we like the best. I am just noting that technology and following the buzz is not necessarily an improvement. Some of it may be just the piper playing a tune. There is a groundhog day/sky is falling aspect to trends in technology…where it seems like we are being manipulated.

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(Adam Rieger) #25

this is a great topic! thank you @Gressak for posting it. I think one needs good equipment, but maybe more importantly you need to interact with experienced anglers with more skill than your own to help you understand that equipment and set you up to build up skill to maximize it. I have been guilty of in the past wanting to buy and try more and more things…I am coming now to a point in my fishing where I want to hold the “gear” I use steady and focus on building skill and expertise with the gear I have. So yes technology can help up to a point…but at some point you need to work with experienced anglers and hold the technology “steady” to get your skill to that level before moving if at all.