Lake of the Woods 2009
You can’t fish properly without dependable gear. So for the Lake of the Woods Emmrod Adventure I’ve chosen stuff that works. This is the main list of gear that will accompany the Emmrods.
- Shimano Curado 300DSV. I’m bringing along two of these beauties. They represent the top of line in the Curado series now actually into it’s “E” lineup. The 300 size reels were introduced in the D series a couple of years back as heavy duty saltwater rated low profile reels. These are power house tools for pulling in big fish. I plan to use them on the Rugged Flex rods.
- Shimano Curado 200D. One of these old reliables is making the trip again this year. This reel was the one that launched the popularity of the Curado lineup back in the mid 90’s. It’s a match to the Rugged Flex Emmrods.
- ABU Garcia 5500C. This is an old warhorse of a reel. A multi-piece frame mid priced reel that has been the backbone of the ABU lineup for years. It fits perfectly on the Packer series of rods creating a small compact bait casting outfit.
- ABU Garcia 6500C UltraCast. This reel was ABU’s attempt at fighting off the market challenge from Shimano maybe 15 years ago. Recently the design was resurrected by ABU in what they now refer to as the Inshore Series. For the Packer with a two tip rod mounted it represents a big fish combo in a very small package.
- ABU Record 40. The finest multi-piece frame reel ever made by ABU. It can be used equally well on any of the Emmrod casting rods. It’s narrow frame and high speed retrieve make it a versatile and powerful reel for big fish.
- Diawa 1300SS Tournament. These reels will handle all my needs for spinning reels on the trip. They are light weight but for their size have superb drags and line capacity. Along with them will be extra spools already loaded with line for quick changes if required. With the new short handled Emmrod spinning rods these reels give the angler a quick handling outfit ideal for smaller lighter lures.
- Momoi High Catch Mono. A basic nylon monofilament saltwater rated line. It’s very thin for it’s break strength in each weight class and holds up under tough conditions. It will be used with the Curado 300s, ABU Record 40, and ABU UltraCast reels in either 16 or 20lb test.
- YoZuri Hybrid Soft. This line will be used with the Curado 200B in 12lb test. Another very thin for it’s break strength line but a copolymer product rather than the basic mono makeup of the Momoi.
- Berkley Fireline. This is a thermal fused superline I use extensively on my Daiwa Spinning reels. It’s ultra strong compared to any mono or copolymer while being much thinner and softer.
- P-Line CFX Fluorocarbon Leader. This is what will be used for the majority of the leaders I’ll be tying. I’m bringing 15 and 20lb test in this material.
- YoZuri H.D.Carbon Fluorocarbon Leader. I’ll be carrying this product in 40lb test. It’s to rig up for really big fish when we find them.
- RedFish Magic style spinner baits. These lures were designed as their name indicates for inshore saltwater use on redfish. They are sometimes referred to as a “Beetle Spin” on steroids. As a lure class they are jig spinners. The lure itself consists of a wire frame harness with a safety pin style clip to hold a jig head. The jig is then tipped with any manner of soft plastic trailer from paddle tails to jerk baits. In the last three years at Lake of the Woods these baits have caught every manner of fish we were after. They have been so successful other fishermen were seeking us out for a chance to buy some of “secret baits” we were using. I’m bringing a number of different size jig head, spinner blade, and trailer combinations to custom built these baits if I have to right on the water.
- DOA Bait Busters. A huge 5/8oz single hook soft plastic jerk bait. Another salt water lure that we have transitioned to freshwater. Northern pike especially will fall for this one. What’s odd is the way they take it. Rather than the slashing attack they use for most prey this one they simply swim up behind, open their mouth, and just take it then drop out of sight. The single hook normally hooks them right through the roof of the mouth.
- Custom Lures by Sam. This is very special group of baits for me created out of wood by “The Legend” Sam Griffin. He is a custom lure maker located in Moore Haven Florida known for his topwater baits. It is said armed with a pocket knife and a chunk of pine Mr Sam can build a bait then out fish anyone he might have to face in a fishing competition. On each and every one of our adventures over the last decade Mr Sam has built one for each member of the McGovern family. I love using and catching fish on his topwater creations. They run from prop baits to poppers and will be my first lure thrown and my final cast at the end of the trip.
- Spinner Baits. These are any number of bass style spinner baits we have brought over the years. Largely over shadowed by the Redfish Magic style baits lately they are still a part of the lure collection that will make the trip.
- Spoons. You can’t go to fish Canada without at least a few spoons. The best example of this type of lure is the classic red and white Dardevel from Eppinger lure company. Along with that color I’ll also have along the yellow five of diamond pattern. At times over deep weed beds nothing is quite as good as a spoon.
- Plugs. In this class of baits there are a few that make the cut for Lake of the Woods. I’ll have a few Rapalas from the classic floating models to some of the new “Sub Walks and “X-Rap” series baits. I’ll also pack a crank bait style plugs with the best example being the Model A Bombers.
- Rattle baits or what was termed “idiot baits” at one point. These lures are best represented by the Rattle Trap and the Rattlin Rapala. For sunny days over weed beds at noon nothing works quite as well as a long cast burned back to the boat as fast as you can reel.
- Walking baits. These are topwaters used for a walking the dog style retrieve. The best example being the spook series from Heddon.
- Soft plastic rigged baits. This is a fairly new category of lures. The ones I’ll have for this trip are from Storm and look just like a little plastic fish with a big sharp hook sticking out it’s back. They come in a variety of sizes to represent the bait fish found in Lake of the Woods.
- In-line spinners. The most recognized lure in this category is the Mepps Spinner. I’ll have these along in sizes up to the original Magnum Musky Killer line up. While they have been largely replaced with the Redfish Magic style lures you never know when you might have to switch back to an old reliable.
Those are the basic lures I’ll have. As I rig up for each day on the water I’ll have different baits rigged on a variety of rods so that when I need to throw an change up at the fish it’s only a matter of grabbing another outfit ready to go. All the lures will be carried in a water proof boat bag packed in the water proof series of flat tackle packs from Plano. Every pack is labeled so finding the type of lure I need is quick and easy. The nice thing is with the extra room inside the duffel I can carry spare Emmrods, my rain gear, camera gear and most everything else without having to make trip after trip to the boat each day with equipment.
- The rain suit. At Lake of the Woods it can storm very quickly There have been years we lived in our rain suits the whole time. Some of those years have been hot some have been temps with a high of 40 degrees the entire week. The best I’ve found that works under a variety of conditions is Frogg Toggs. Buy a set that is much bigger than you think you’ll need, in my case it’s 2XL. I can get it on over all my other clothing quickly and still move very comfortably. Buying too small a suit will have the angler feeling like a sausage the whole time and barely able to move.
- Foot wear. Have some type water proof footwear available at all times. Nothing is worse than wet uncomfortable feet all day long out fishing. In my case I use Seal Skin socks and wear a pair of Bite heavy duty sandals over them. I’m dry and can climb the rock banks with ease.
- Camera. For my own use I carry an Olympus 1030SW on a neck lanyard. No other camera is this tough and so handy. Mine had shot thousands of photos in saltwater and freshwater conditions and is going strong.
- Pocket knives and tools. I’ll have Spyderco and SOG knives then tools from Gerber and Leatherman with me. All are dependable products that work when I ask them too and backed by the best guarantees in the business.
- Flashlights. My one and only choice here is First Light. A fairly new firm they make the best handling flashlights in the world right now. Rarely is there a time when one is not within arms reach. I’ll have two models on the trip a Tomahawk and a Liberator. Both are powered by rechargeable 123A lithium batteries and as dependable as a flashlight can be.
So thats a basic list of the gear I’ll be taking. There are other items of course but these are the ones I wanted to highlight. The Emmrods will be in excellent company.