Eliminating failure

You can tell that this two piece rods, pro and con,  is bugging me because it keeps reappearing in my thoughts. No, it’s not the two piece rods per se. Instead it’s something I wrote about many times over the years, the inability or unwillingness to change.

Someone asked me what if my top section flies off on the cast while I am on the rock? Good point. But what if you snap your one piece stick on the adjoining rock? We are both screwed. Yes, I do have one more thing that  can fail….which brings me to the subject that I want to bring to your attention.

Should you eliminate all chance of equipment failure? Then you won’t have a choice but to tie directly to your running line. No leaders, no split rings, no swivels, no clips, no two piece rods. Hell, throw away your waders and buy a wetsuit because ,hey, you MIGHT get wet. Your knot might slip. Your leader might chafe.

Personally I think it’s silly to think in these terms. For me, I want the best equipment and tackle I can afford. I like the idea of Alberto’s knot but I also trust my Spro swivels. I would never tie directly to braid and try to land a fish. I like all TEN of my fingers equally. Tying a bucktail direct? No thanks. You can do it but with Tactical Angler clips there is no way the fish will crush it. And no, I don’t believe that lures swim better by tying direct. And no, I don’t think you gain anything by tying direct. As far as split right, I trust my Wolverines, unconditionally.

What I don’t trust? That my hook wont straighten out on some fixed hanger lures liker Yo-Zuri Surface Cruisers. It happened before. That one particular brand of jackets will keep me dry. I don’t trust inferior swivels, hooks on Storm Wild Eye if I hook into a big fish,…and many other things.

But my swivel, leader, clip, split rings and a two piece rods…those I take to the battle with me every time I hit the beach.

Now mind you, I am not saying that you should not eliminate some things that can fail. If one piece rods works for you, if tying direct works for you, if cutting all hooks works for you, stick with it. I admire people who stick to their convictions. But what I despise is pushy people who want to tell you how you should be doing things. Because that is how they do it. All I am saying is, never feel that you are doing something wrong if it works for you.

if I wanted to completely eliminate the possibility of my marriage failing, I shouldn’t have married. If I wanted to completely prevent my kids ending up on the wrong path in life, I guess I should have not made them. I think its reasonable to take a chance in life and fishing to fulfill the need, be that happiness, desire to catch a big fish, or just sitting on the beach in the chair watching your rods bounce up and down. I think stressing over what can fail is silly. If you use good equipment, tie your knots with care and fish a MODERATE drag (as you should be), your failure rate will be hovering around zero.

I don’t worry about these kinds of things on the beach. My only fear in life is that my daughter will marry a liberal. Losing fish, I can easily deal with.,. this other thing, I doubt it.

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48 comments on “Eliminating failure

  1. Bill H

    I’m with you Z. My 25 yr. old daughter was a liberal until she got a job and saw $ 35 out of every $ 100 she made went out the window. Guess what ??? I didn’t even have to say I told you so but man was it was hard to bite my tongue. Have a good weekend.

  2. CTMatt

    All I can say is I try things and go through a lot of on the water “laboratory” testing and putting my time into my decisions. I am not too proud to change my mind or to try new things but i saw instances this winter where thrimming the fat on my gear can possibly make a difference. Again, this isn’t a guaranteed cow catching solution..just for me.

    I love TA clips in the larger sizes and I was that guy who had in this order…PLUG, TA CLIP, WPRO SWIVEL,4 FEET OF FLOURO, SWIVEL, MAIN LINE.

    This year i am considering bumping down from 50lb braid to 30lb for a little more spool capacity and casting distance and I am cutting out the clip swivel. I am also planning on losing many bucktails learning the surf after Skinner’s inspiring latest book. Could this pay dividends? Who the hell knows but at least i am trying to change the way i look at myself and my efforts. If I fail miserably and cut off on the rocks I previously fought fish off of then I can say you know what…I tried I tried I tried.

    If someone eats bran flakes every morning, goes to the same coffee shop every morning, has the same boring life every single day without ever wanting to change…well they aren’t very open minded. I am not talking about routines which we all have to some degree but those of us who can’t think outside the box are condemned to live in their own miserable little hole. Nobody should care about my gear but me. If your gear is so great go beach a dozen 50’s and respect the decisions I made in my life with my gear. It is the things I have failed at miserably in surfcasting that have given me the bigger balls to come back the next tide and work my ass off even harder. If i didn’t lose an entire eel bag swimming out to a rock I would never get into my gear again. If you are afraid of taking chances in surfcasting, getting hit right in the balls with a stiff wave crest or not trying something new then you picked the worst sport/hobby/obsession for enjoyment. Take up shuffleboard and stamp collecting.

  3. Pete F

    I’ve been fishing for more than 50 years and have yet to lose the tip of a rod.
    I did lose a whole rod and reel out of a boat once, I cured that by not fishing in boats.

  4. mark downey

    All good stuff…especially liked the daughter remark…The only thing you truly must have to fish is a body of water and God gave us that for free.

  5. Irish

    Most fish of a lifetime that were lost were probably 20s anyway. And a straightened hook makes a great story. We used to say, ” you gotta dance with what ya brung”. So go out with what you got and give it hell.

  6. JohnP

    In designing a system (or choosing a system) you have to weigh the flexibility of interchangeable parts versus the peace of mind knowing that the connection or handoff will not fail.

    I spend a lot of time thinking about what can go wrong. That’s actually a big part of what I do in my day job. You think about what can fail, and what bad stuff will happen if that things fails. You ask how easy it is to detect the failure, and how easy is it to correct that failure in the middle of the game.

    Then you have to decide if a new product is worth introducing into that system.

    There is a certain braid line that I tried years ago that failed on several occasions with what I thought were really large fish. I finally switched to another brand and up-sized, and the next time I hooked a fish that felt like that it went 48 pounds. I heard all this “just a bad batch” talk. I don’t care, I’m not going to try it again, until the alternative I have now is not working for me.

    For me, I generally find what works for me and do not introduce new variables or new moving part – unless I really think I need that new product and it will offer a material improvement. For medium surface swimmer type plugs, I still fish $5 redfins, despite all the new styles snd colors of plugs today. I guess I just have not found that day yet when these redfins were not working, but some other $25 plug was.

    I must be getting old.

  7. bridgetroll64

    the key words being “stressing over what can fail is silly” is the all that matters to me. convincing my fishin pal to put some stock in that statement is a different story. i want to make fishing reports, not wait for them. and if i didnt trust my hardware, i wouldnt have bought it. oh yeah, im raising 3 young republican daughters. 19, 18, & 17. they know the value of what little money i have. and i teach them manners a viking would be proud of. great story z. troll.

  8. Calfarmli

    My opinion is,Long rods short rods,glass,graphite,carbon,1000 dollar reels 100 dollar reels,snaps ,swivels,tying direct,long cast, short cast,ells, 40 dollar plugs 10 dollar plugs,waders,wetsuit,skishing,standing in waders on the beach,It’s all BS just go fishing,hope the fish are there and have fun.God how in the world did this get soooooooo serious.Makes me LAUGH

  9. Greg Tucceri

    If you go out with that kind of attitude things will fail and so will you. Before every trip out I have a check list, leader, knots,hooks,split rings,rod guides and the line that I grab with the taped finger.If all pass the check I’m good to go, and am confident that nothing will fail. The are times through out the season I can stick every bump I get in the nite for week or two. And in the following ones drop every fish in sight. It’s just the law in averages.

  10. Richard aka Woodwker99

    Z it’s why it’s called fishing and not catching. There is always of even the best of things failing, so why sweat it(yeah I get the loss of $30. lures can make you sweat)?
    As for Daughters….I let mine marry a Republican, Conservative, Lawyer. (all I keep hearing is Tom Petty singing “My daughter got lucky married a yuppie and took him for all he was worth…”).

  11. Jason Colby

    ………Then there is the “care factor”. When I fish in places where I know there are “large” or water that has a lot of pull, I believe my tackle can be taxed and I’ll use only my “good stuff”. However, when I fish a little spot that spills into Narragansett Bay near my home and I don’t see fish over 35 pounds,..”I don’t care”. In those places I can comfortably use a smaller reel and a 2 piece rod.
    (Sorry Jason., only i get to crack political jokes and only when my boss Tommy aproves..there are other places for expressing your political views, this is not it…and this goes for all…zeno)

  12. Zeno Post author

    please refrain yourselves from making political comments of any kind here…they made facebook for that….carry on

  13. Dave S

    Jeeesh! Enough already….Let’s get back on track here…
    Z,good insight on tackle philosophy.
    I also sling 2 peice rods, albeit due to space constriants, not pure choice.
    With that said, attending ditch festivies 4 to 16 hours a week, spring to fall, my two 2-peice rods have been push to their limts in as many casts allowed in the aforemetioned time frame. Hasn’t failed yet with weight to 6oz.
    #40/#50 PP>swivel>#30 flouro>#50 Breakaways tied to a little T&A for our 7 stripe quest has yet fail. Along the RI coast swap out the PP for #20 mono>#25 flouro. Pre-rigged leaders are Yozuri pink for 25 & Seaguar 30 to easily distinquish the two.
    Oh yeah, swapped out most/all hooks/rings due to poor quality or size adjustment. Is my rigging politically correct? Should I put in on the ballot come November?
    Enough already, need a dose for seaspray, off to get a view of P.J. against the backdop of snow. Hmmm..I wonder if that 40′ peice of ‘driftwood’ is still there?

  14. John

    If you want to fish a two piece, fish it. It may not be any worse than a one piece (debatable) , but you can’t convince me it’s better, other than for transportation. And this whole debate didn’t even exist until St Croix stopped making one piece rods.

  15. Adam

    If my equipment fails….. it makes me better.
    we remember the losses longer than the victories.
    that’s why this is a sport.
    the best part is you improve every season
    & my season starts in 5 weeks

  16. Zeno Post author

    I dare you to find anything in one piece that compares to CTS,Century or St Croix..why is everyone missing the point on these two piece rods? Its like speaking to a wall? Its NOT about one or two piece rods ! Its about NOT being ABLE TO BUY the performace of these rods in one piece. Is this that hard to undestand? I would prefer to fish a one piece rods but I dont have a choice if I want this type of performance…having said that CTS just came out witha one piece Vapor rods so this will change the game somewhat but the point remains…I loved my GSB sticks…until i tried these other ones.

  17. CTMatt

    Who cares if it is a 1piece, 2 piece or a4 piece travel rod? Why does the amount of pieces, few or many, have ANY affect on what and how many a man can catch?

    You think fly guys care as much? I don’t even know how many pieces they use but I doubt they get as hung up on the stupid crap surfcasters seem to get hung up on.

    Bottom line

    People who get off bashing 2 piece rods have NEVER EVER TRIED ONE!

    Stop caring about how many pieces folks have and F’N FISH!

  18. Janet Messineo

    Hi Zeno, Ok I am busting at the seems..
    I married a liberal. He was born into a family that had plenty and yet when he was young in the 60’s he marched in the south for human equality.
    He has been in town politics for 25 years, Conservation Commission, Planning Board and has been one of three Selectman for 17years, and serves as Commissioner for the Police Department. All of these government seats are for NO pay except one pays a mere stipend. So for the last 25 years he has volunteered his service to the town and the county putting in an unbelievable amount of time and energy. Also he has supported his family working like a dog by mowing lawns and doing yard maintenance. Did I mention he is the BEST dad to an adopted special needs emotionally challenged Aspergers, Bi-polar, developmentally delayed, (to mention a few challenges), child of abuse and neglect, from the age of 2 1/2? Our son is now 22 years old and has held a job, has a driver’s license, did 2 years of Cape Cod Community College and if it wasn’t for this man he would probably have been institutionalized. A miracle.
    He’s the husband that is liberal enough to support his wife who at the age of 38 went back to school to become a taxidermist, supports her writing and holds down the fort (well, he doesn’t clean or cook, can’t have it ALL) while she roams the beaches from April through November each year. We may not have a bunch of money but we can sleep easy at night knowing we have both contributed to our community in a good way. Your daughter would be one lucky girl if she married a liberal like I did.
    Ps. I own a Century Stealth 10′ 2 piece and LOVE it.

  19. Bob

    I’ve been fishing a two piece St Croix Ben Doerr Surf System Rod for over 15 years and never had the tip come off during a cast. One time it felt a bit loose so I rubbbed some wax on the spline from a candle and it’s been fine. I’ve changed some of my terminal tackle and it had no effect at all and other changes decreased my catch ratio. Fishing is a lifetime of learning and making small changes to find what works for you then putting it all together to maximize your catch.

  20. TRisser

    Thanks for making us challang our conventional thinking as it relates to life, fishing, and politics.

    Now to my thought on takle failure. Eliminating clips and swivels on leaders actually increases the chanse of failure becuase it forces an angler to tie knots when their hands are cold and wet. That leads to poor tourqu, loose knots, and greater chance of failure. When I pretie leaders I put on leather gloves and use a hook fixed to a board to make sure knots are completely tight. Then I test them on a Boga at 30 pounds (max drag on most reels) before coiling and placing in my stock pile. I have tested pretied leaders against direct tie systems and pretied always wins. The biggest point of failure is the direct leader to braid connection. If I have to tie direct the only knot that holds up is a double uni.

    I’m always open to new ideas but I always test them before using them on the beach. Testing proves or disproved theory.

  21. captn bob

    Having two piece and one piece in my daily arsenal I love them both. My first two piece an 8′ fin chaser from Kmart. Beefed up the reel 20lb braid and off to the races. Caught more bass in the 6yrs with that rod than I have with my 9′ one piece Lami custom. I’ve had those occasions when you watch the bunker chunk, sinker, leader and all go flying off into the sunrise never to be seen again. I have been surfishing for over forty years, and an old timer once told me its all research and devolpment. LOok at your mistakes, adjust and try again. Our playground is a God given creation, we find and visit some of the most beautiful places known to man. Least we forget we are humans and make a ton of mistakes. As for the daughter comment, I have three boys who are learning real fast about the real world. As always Z agreat job. Thanks

  22. Pierre

    Good thinking.

    No matter how fancy the lure/gear you are using what matters most is the essentials:

    After loosing some big fish I know now how it feels to NOT check these fundamenetals.

    Now, if someone wants to go over the usual debates:
    – 2 pieces Vs 1 piece
    – Zeebaas Vs. VanStaal
    – White or yellow

    These are all but details, the truth about your gear is in the first 5 minutes of the fight… I know what works for me so I beefed my essentials and kept the “details” to a bare minimum and fish with confidence.

  23. John

    Ok, I see your point. So what you are saying then is, if say Lamiglas comes out with a one piece blank equal in performance to a St. Croix, CTS or Century 2 piece blank, that would be your preferred choice, given that 2 piece blanks still have their inherent downside. By the way, full disclosure, I just purchased a Century 2 piece parabolic 10 foot rod with fuji K-Series guides and can’t wait to try it out this spring.

  24. Zeno Post author

    the way I am looking at it is like this..give me the performance that I want, and two, give me the best warranty I can get. Whatever “brand ” is it, its irrelevant.
    However, I am partial to St Croix and I will tell you why. When we started this, they were the ONLY company that believed in us. When no one wanted to talk to me, the owner of St Croix got on the phone and told us “we believe in what you are trying to do”.
    I will never forget that. In my position, I must be fair to all companies and treat them all equally but on a personal; level, I will always be grateful to St Scroix

  25. CTMatt

    As a Rush fan I think Neil Peart fished in his late teens but no surfcasting.

    They had a tour back in 2002 named “Vapor Trail”. That is as close to anything surfcasting (the rod lol) they will ever get. Not many stripers in Ontario lol

  26. Keith

    I’ll stick to what’s been working for me . two pcs rod (my new legend thanks to Z and Saltwater edge ) my vs ,30 lb power pro , Tactical angler clips and 50 lb mono leader. I dont lose many fish and I fish 4-5 days a week

    Thanks again Z and Chris from Saltwater edge !!! Great Guys at saltwater edge

  27. Rich B.

    @CTMatt: The “Rush” post was referring to Rush Limbaugh, the fat hate-monger, largely responsible for the demise of a sensible political center in this country through his syndicated AM radio talk show, and subsequent copycats who saw a way to make an easy buck convincing the middle class to blame “liberals” and the poor for our problems, while the rich get away with it all.

    @Z: This brainwashed conservative vs. liberal crap is poison to this country. Disappointing to see it here, sir, with all due respect, even if it was a half-joke.

    @Everyone else: Check your leaders often and get a magnifying glass out when tying knots at home. 🙂

  28. CTMatt

    Yeah Rich B….I wasn’t exactly going for that. Next time clarify lolz…

    RUSH RULES ROCK! Hahaha.

    This poor post is toast but I hope folks stopping by understood the point of it all…sucks political crap somehow got mixed in to polute it.

    Unfortunatly even fo SJ…even some of the better tops blog posts get screwed up and off track. Some of you folks have posting ADD…


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