Too Much Of a Good Thing? Big Rock

Too Much Of a Good Thing?

By Russell “BigRock” Paoline

Last year I bought a used pick up truck from a close friend, an excellent fisherman and all around good guy. He had this truck outfitted for beach fishing better than most I have seen. It’s a 1999 Dodge Ram 1500 with an 8’ bed, a cap, a custom tackle locker, and a raised padded sleeping platform. As I use this vehicle over last spring I slowly migrated my tackle into it, I mean almost all my tackle. If you even thought of it I had it.

The truck ran quite well and was mechanically sound but just didn’t have the get up and go I felt it should, so I did a full tune up, cleaned the fuel system, full oil and filter change, air filter, etc. until any potential performance robbing problem was removed. Still the truck had little power, at least not enough to convince me there wasn’t something wrong. I had to get to the bottom of this!


I was at a friends auto salvage yard looking for a few light fixtures when my buddy commented on how big the truck was. He asked what it weighed, and suggested that I put it on the scale to see. I don’t remember the actual weight but it was really heavy! Heading back home after not finding the fixtures I began to wonder if there were any other problems I could remedy before they started or got worse. I wanted to check the bed of the truck for rust so I decided to remove the contents and prevent any further damage if there was any.

When I arrived home I emptied the tackle locker, which took enough time for me to work up a sweat, pulled out the raised platform, pulled out the tackle locker, then realized I would have to remove the cap to get the bed liner out without destroying it. I climbed up into the bed of the truck and unbolted the cap and tried pushing it up to release the seal, which was not happening. After 10 minutes of pushing and cursing, I stood up bent over at the waist and pressed my back against the roof of the cap. Squaring up my body and pushing with my legs all the while sounding like a pressure cooker blowing steam the seal broke and the cap lifted.

I walked with the cap on my shoulders down the street and through my gates, as though my neighbors didn’t already think I was a lunatic. I finally pulled the bed liner and saw a scratched up but good bed with only a little rust, so I sanded it out, primed and painted it. I couldn’t believe the pile of stuff I took out of that truck! The amount of fishing tackle was disturbing to say the least. My wife came out, surveyed the situation, shook her head as she handed me a glass of iced tea, and wandered back into the house mumbling something under her breath.

I took a ride to show my friend at the salvage yard my work, and he said it looked like a different truck. The truck sat at least 2” higher and the ride was so much smoother, but most amazing it had excellent pick up and felt like a new truck. Somehow I found my horsepower!! We weighed the truck and to our disbelief it was 990 lbs lighter!! The truck is rated for a 1000lb load and I was running it every day at a full load rating!!

Now my point to all this is why was I carrying all that stuff? I carry my basic fishing tackle appropriate for the day’s activities and permit gear with tools and a few rods and reels, rounded out with waders and accessories and a cooler if I’m going to keep a fish for dinner, all in all probably less than 100lbs of stuff. How much stuff do you haul with you and out of it how much do you really need? What do you carry that you have never used and probably never will but carry it anyway? I refine my selection and try to pare down my load with each passing trip, and it has made my fishing much simpler and eased the stress of worrying that I forgot something. I strongly suggest to anyone reading this to carefully and honestly go through what you carry and reconsider the need for some of it!


7 comments on “Too Much Of a Good Thing? Big Rock

  1. Jim J.

    Now don’t everyone laugh, I am a big guy 6’1″ 290lbs and I drive a PT Cruiser it’s a great little car and when I take the back seats out there is a ton of room. I call it my little covered truck now just like bigrock I have figured out that I can’t take everything with me every where I go so when the mood strikes and I go fishing I don’t load up the house. I do have a 9ft one piece rod and it fits inside the car along with just my surf bag and waders and bigrock is right if you carry alot of stuff I’m sure most of it can stay home

  2. CTMatt

    I thought Big Rock liked some junk in the trunk hahaha!

    On a smaller scale I bike with a kiddie trailer on Block for some commando trips and realized the reason I was so winded getting around is the 80,000 plugs I brought that I never actually toss was holding me back. Now I feel like Lance Armstrong getting around…but I will have both my nuts.

    I also sold my huge double row Hunter Elite and now even with the single row I feel I only focus on a few plugs….I feel a bit silly for going crazy with one of those things for so long.

    We all get caught in the more is more syndrome but when it comes down to it the all stars of your bag are all you need.

  3. Adam

    I carry a 2 tube bag with day stuff, a duplicate with night stuff & a bucktail pouch. VS pliers & dive knife.
    2 wet suits & or just waders.
    In the truck is a shovel ,a piece of plywood to use as a base for a jack on sand, 2 tire gauges, & manley pliers.
    A 3 day assault pack has dry gear, gatoraid, protein bars & energy gel. PFD, fins & back up knives & headlights .
    Less is more.
    the more ya know the less you need.

  4. Dennis Zambrotta

    Funny story – thanks for sharing. So basically you were towing your entire basement to wherever you fished.
    As we get older (and hopefully wiser) we pare down things to what we really need. Thanks for bringing back memories of how I use to pack my buggy.


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