Get kids started young

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'Lures Rule!!'
Jan 19, 2002
I think that in general, US parents start their kids fishing a little younger than is the rule in the UK.

I have a suggestion if you have children/grand children and want to get them going but are afraid they are too small to deal with the tackle.

You can buy a combination spincast reel/ultra light rod over here for not much money at all.

The reel is something like your closed face but the opening is much smaller and it mounts like a multiplier. Operated by a thumb button and you can get reels small enough for the littlest hands to operate.

The rods are in the 4ft to 4.5ft length range and very light.

If rigged with a slip float (not sure of the exact UK term but a float with a hole thru the center and a stop knot up the line to set the depth) it will cast nicely as you can reel it in to where just the float, weight(s) and hook are left out which can be as little as half a foot.

These things don't tangle up and are very forgiving.

If the youngster is up for it, you can also rig it with a small lure in the 1/32 to 1/8oz weight range. You can get these at less than $1 each (down to around $0.25 each if you shop) so no great problem if they lose a few.

I always figure any youngster of at least 5 years can do it easily and if they are coordinated & motivated, they can start much younger. Just ask Trogg.

For anyone interested, I can recommend several sources where you can get rod/reel/lures (around 10 or so) for less than $40 US which should work out to maybe 40 by the time you pay duty/VAT/etc.

These rigs aren't toys either as I've taken fish to over 5lbs with one. Spooled it up with 10lb PowerPro line which is limp and has a 2lb diameter so it handles nicely.

I got used to them since my wife has very small hands and cannot comfortably use any fixed spool rod/reel we've ever seen. I occasionally use one of her rigs when I want to toss really tiny lures. She uses some lures but a lot of the slip float rigs with little pieces of lobworm on the hook.

Newt Vail
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