Archive for November, 2009

The Nine Dollar Sting Ray

Tuesday, November 24th, 2009

Back in late 1975, I was stationed at Ft. Bragg, North Carolina.  This was a pretty good assignment for a regular military job.  I was lucky and spent most of my 26 years with Uncle Samuel in off the wall jobs out of the mainstream of routine military life.  I did not really enjoy the 5 am Physical Torture (PT) sessions and spending 12 hours a day doing a job that could be done in much less time.  Never-the-less, for a regular military job, it was pretty good with a number of out of the ordinary jobs to keep it fun.  One of these was a three month trip to Panama.  This was before President Carter did the unthinkable and gave up the Canal Zone.  So many stories to tell about such a short period of time.

There was Rock Hunting because of the candy store nature of rocks in this area.  Agates, amethyst crystals, quartz crystals, petrified wood, petrified coral.  The list is really endless.  As a rock hound, I was in heaven!  Also my good friend PSLW and his family were there so that was good.  He and I were in the same unit in Vietnam, then Thailand so it was great to reunite.  The work was really fun and interesting too.  But, the FISHING!!!  We were on the Pacific side of the Ismuths which means we were on the side with great fish.  I fished off the shore and caught some nice fish.  Considering I did not know what I was doing that was great.  I also broke a tip on a borrowed rod.  Very embarrassing.  (You can save yourself some embarrassment by getting an Emmrod fishing system where you are just not going to break the rod tips!  Check them out at )

The crowning joy of the trip was a weekend fishing excursion.  First day was a total bust.  I probably chummed a good part of the journey by giving up what I had eaten the previous couple days.  The fish did not like it either.  But, that night, we hove to at some island getaway.  We had a collective bet.  Whoever caught the biggest fish won all the bucks in the pot.  Frankly the fishing was pretty crummy but about 1030 pm, I got a big strong hit.  For about an hour, I fought this monster fish without having any idea what it was.  Finally, I pulled it into the boat.  It was a beautiful sting ray!  No wonder it was so hard to pull in.  All that wing work!

I called the guy who held the pot.  He grumbled something about it not really being a fish.  It should not count.  Moan, moan moan, grumble, grumble, grumble.  But, finally, he paid me the pot.  With joy I counted it out. NINE BUCKS!  Retirement was near!

Well, 34 years later I still remember that experience with joy.  My only regret was not just letting the ray go.  It was a lot of fun but we had no use for it.  So, that is the moral of the story.  If you ain’t gonna eat it, your buddy ain’t gonna eat it and the poor family down the street ain’t gonna eat it, let it go.

PS.  The next day, we hit a school of “Whahoo.”  For about 2 hours we drove around in circles until we were sated with bringing in these big barracuda like fish.   I think we caught about 20 or so.  These guys were delicious!  Great nice round steaks of white meat that hardly had any fish smell at all. How fun!

If you ever get offered a Central American fishing trip, take it!

How can I make Emmrod Work for Me?

Monday, November 23rd, 2009

One of the joys of the Emmrod system is the ability of each user to adapt it to their special need.  Over my trip to Salt Lake with Jim Markley, we talked about Mel L. and his exploits fishing from the dock in Florida.  Mel, if I misrepresent anything here, shoot me a note and I will make the appropriate change.

Mel’s goal is to catch the biggest shark with the smallest pole!  He has done a pretty good job so far catching sharks in the five foot long range.  But, I am getting ahead of myself.  Mel’s basic gear is the Emmrod Packer Pole (You can see all the products Emmrod sells at ) with the Rugged Flex Rod.  Emmrod says the Rugged Flex Rod is warranted for fish up to 50 pounds.  Mel’s argument is you can catch any fish with any rod if you take enough time and use the drag in conjunction with the pole you are using.  It sure seems to work for him!

Check out his Emmrod Packer Pole!

Check out his Emmrod Packer Pole!

You can see the Emmrod Packer Pole w/ the green handle no less!  Mel is using the double tipped Rugged Flex Rod ($49.95).  Here in lies the joy of the Emmrod system.  Typically, we would sell this pole with a 4 or 6 coil Rod for those fishing for larger fish.  We would use the 7 or 8 coil rod for those fishing for smaller fish.  But not for Mel!  NO!  He is not content with puny 25 or 30 pound fish, he wants some of those big guys!  So, he just steps up to the double tip rod.  Imagine pulling in these 50+ inch fish with your Emmrod Packer!  Or, for that matter, with ANY pole.  I recall landing some “Portegee Marlin” off the Waianae coast, Oahu, Hi.  I am not sure if they were barracuda, but they sure looked like it.  I think the ones we got were about 2 feet long–it has been about 17 years so the memory is somewhat hazy.  Even the 18 inch scar on my leg where one of the fish bit me when I brought him into the boat has faded away into nothing.   IF you ever help someone land one of these guys, DON’T grab them by the tail and swing them into the boat.  They really do not appreciate that.  Their teeth are like razors and I found that out right away!

Another one of Mel's conquests!

Another one of Mel's conquests!

I am having a hard time staying on point tonight folks.  Sorry.  So, back to Mel’s tackle.  If you look closely, you will see he is using a large bait casting reel similar to what the trolling boats that go out after big fish use.  He has the harness that wraps around his shoulder to his waist so he can use his body strength to help wear out the fish and ultimately land them.   This is what is so cool about Emmrod.  Do you have something you want to fish for in particular?  If we do not make a specific product for that use, I bet you can mix and match the different Emmrod poles and rods to create the perfect tool for your target fish.  (You hold the poles and the Rods are the stainless steel tips you insert into the poles.)

Another great catch!

Another great catch!

So folks. Figure out what you want to catch and we will help you do it.  Fishing is all about fun and if you check the New Funky Waggers dictionary, you will see this definition:  Fun.  Emmrod!  Check us out and see lots of photos and some videos at

Some of the Emmrod Products are:  The Packer, The Packrod Casting and The Packrod Spin Casting, The Mountaineer, The Kayak King, The Rugged Flex, The Gulfmaster and Gulfaster II, The Stream Master Fly Rod.  New innovations are coming on line all the time.  Some of the website names I use are:, and  The will all take you to the same location so type in anyone and check out the products and the blogs.

What I learned selling Emmrod Fishing Poles in Salt Lake City

Wednesday, November 18th, 2009

Wow, what a weekend.  My knee is still killing me from standing up for so many hours.  I just got back from helping a friend as an indentured servant for the past week as he went to sell the Emmrod Fishing System in Salt Lake City.  It really was, on many levels, a great vacation away from my Real Estate Business.  It also was a great training trip for me.  I do not have a lot of recent fishing experience so listening to Jim talk about his expoits for the past week filled my head with many ideas.

I really just want to talk about three things I learned on this trip.

First, Fishing is for just about everybody! The old, the young, men, women and children.  Black, White, Indian, Hispanic and even a German loved our system.  We engaged the already raving enthusiasts, the skeptical and the intrigued.  Virtually anyone who fished stopped to chat with us.

Second, Lots of times, it is the women who are the fisher”men.” I do not recall how many times women stopped to chat and said how much they missed fishing and how much they would love to buy one of these neat poles but there husbands did not like fishing so they did not go any more.  This led to the explanation that the Emmrod Packer Combo breaks down into such a small package it would fit in their medium sized purses.  They could tell their husbands “Honey, I am going to the Mall!” and their husbands would never know they actually were going fishing!

Finally, kids really learn fast! I could not believe how quickly kids picked up on how easy it was to cast the Emmrod system either by shooting it or just regular casting.  Some of the older folks had more difficulty than did the younger ones!

So, it was a great trip! Jim and I sold some poles, talked to a lot of folks and came away with sore knees and feet and some great memories.  Check out the Emmrod Fishing System on my web site or email me at  Don’t forget, we love to have photos of you to post on the site where you can bragg about the fish you caught with your Emmrod!

Dave Atherton

Some of the Emmrod Products are:  The Packer, The Packrod Casting and The Packrod Spin Casting, The Mountaineer, The Kayak King, The Rugged Flex, The Gulfmaster and Gulfaster II, The Stream Master Fly Rod.  New innovations are coming on line all the time.  Some of the website names I use are:, and  The will all take you to the same location so type in anyone and check out the products and the blogs.

Hooking that Big Rainbow Trout

Thursday, November 5th, 2009
In 1997, I quit my job working at the US Embassy in Bangkok because it was time to slow down and relax a bit. Time to spend more time gardening and I did. Time to spend more time fishing and I DIDN’T! My real estate business just kept me way to busy to do much of any relaxing. Well, this years economy encouraged me to slow down a bit. I did that by starting a new business, The EMMROD Distributor for Eastern Washington and Northern Idaho. Great! I had not even bought a license in the past 4 or 5 years. What did I know about fishing?  Not Much! I ran out and bought license. Another day and I may tell about that adventure. But, this past Sunday was nice, so I decided to try out my Emmrod Packer pole.
My Friend Randy has a couple of ponds where he lets me learn how to fish. I took advantage of his kindness for this trip. I started out in the ‘Whopper” pond. These fish are probably about 4 years or so old, maybe older. They start at close to 18 ” in length and are about 10 or more pounds. They are Rainbow trout and no longer really edible, but, boy are they fun to catch. I started out with the Emmrod Packer. (Check out at I was using a Shakespere closed spin reel and 8 coils on the pole. 8 coils would normally be used when targeting pan sized fish. For bait, I used some bright orange marshmallows and a half a night crawler. I think the biggest trouble I had was the tame white duck that was in love with my bobber. Maybe it thought it was its long lost egg. Could not tell if it was saying “My Son, My Son,” or ” “AFLAC, AFLAC.”
About 20 minutes in, I got my first bite.  Down went the bobber. I pulled back on the line and had it hooked! I was using 10 pound test line and an 8 coil Emmrod tip designed for pan sized fish.  In this pond, by definition, the fish are going to be ten or more pounds.  Considering these facts, I had to be careful managing the drag on the line. Part of what I wanted to check was the pressure a large fish put on my “weakest” rod. Did not seem to phase it at all! About 20 minutes later, I had it up to the dock. I was trying to control it, get my camera out of my pocket, turn it on, get the fish to lay still on the top of the water and take a photo. I am sure God was watching and laughing acknowledging he should have made man with three arms, then, thinking, “But then, I would not have so much fun watching them try to do three hands worth of work with two hands!”  To make that long story short, the leviathon managed to get a bit of slack and spit out the hook and sunk back into the murky depths. Be still my pounding heart!
I had one more hit at that pond but was distracted trying to call Randy’s dog so it would not follow him as he drove out of his driveway. That one got away. No doubt, it was even bigger!
This next photo was snapped while the trout was running away as fast as possible.  Compare it and the one above to see a tad of tension and a lot of tension.
After that fun, I went across the driveway to the other pond. I stuck with the same rig and bait but got no action. I could see the fish swimming around the bait, shrugging their fins and asking “You expect me to eat deyed marshmallows and worms?” So, I went to the spinner. Boy that really turned them on. I caught two before dark. One I landed and one dropped off at the edge of the pond. I let it slither back into the water. The one I landed was a nice speckled Brook Trout about ten to 12 inches long and maybe 3/4 of a pound? That 8 coil rod really made catching it fun. Seemed as big as its rainbow trout brother.   You can see the Rainbow in the picture below, unfortunately, that was the best photo I was able to get.
What a fun three hours! Randy and I are going to start a bit earlier one day and see what we can get when there is a little sun. But, for tonight, I am sated.
Here is the brook trout I caught.  It is swimming around waiting for me to come another day.
The moral of the story is: “Take it easy earlier in life while you still have more time to take it easier!”

Some of the Emmrod Products are:  The Packer, The Packrod Casting and The Packrod Spin Casting, The Mountaineer, The Kayak King, The Rugged Flex, The Gulfmaster and Gulfaster II, The Stream Master Fly Rod.  New innovations are coming on line all the time.  Some of the website names I use are:, and  The will all take you to the same location so type in anyone and check out the products and the blogs.

Landing a Five Pound Sunfish!

Thursday, November 5th, 2009
I moved to the Inland Northwest (Spokane) about 13 years ago.  Part of the plan was to relax.  I have not done much of that since getting here.  When I made the decision to sell the Emmrod Fishing System, I said, “Well, I better figure out how to use it.” I have always been the type who could sell something I believed in but could not sell something I did not believe in. Boy did I have a hard time as a door to door shoe salesman at 18 years old in Birmingham Alabama! (Knapp shoes? Good shoes, but I did not understand the measuring system) Even in my Real Estate business, I do not sell, I educate. It is pretty hard to educate if you have never used a product. An old communist I worked with in Vietnam in the late 1980’s and I used to discuss the difference between theory and practice. I understood the Emmrod theory, but did not have a clue about the practice.
On a beautiful Sunday afternoon, I prostrated myself before my bride of 30 some years and requested her concurrence with a short pass to go liberate the denizens of the deep. I spent the 50 bucks or so to buy a license, a parking permit, some weights, leaders, orange marshmallows and some other stuff and headed on to Eloika Lake.
Eloika Lake is a great 2 mile long, 800 acre, if I recall correctly, lake. It is one of several lakes filled and drained by the Little Spokane River as it wends its weary way south to its confluence with the Spokane River which then joins the Columbia River. It is open year round to fishing, is one of the top four bass lakes in the NW and is convenient to my home. It also has Jerry’s landing where you can rent a boat and get whatever supplies you forgot to bring as well as a nice assortment of fat pills. Unfortunately, I got there the last day of the season and they were out of worms and out of Jerry who had gone firewood hunting. I got a great big ice cream sandwich and that made up for some of my disappointment. I did pick up a couple little 1/4 inch long lures. I think they were called poppers but would not bet on it. I went out to the end of the dock and threw out the lures I had from a yard sale and the poppers I had bought, but no cigar. I enjoyed relaxing in the sun for about an hour and headed up to Miller’s One Stop and bought some night crawlers, drove down to the public boat launch and put a line w/ a big fat crawler into the water.
About ten minutes later my bobber dove for the bottom. I pulled back on my Rod which was the standard Emmrod Packer handle with an Emmrod eight coil fly rod tip. OOOH was that fun. Five minutes later I pulled in what I knew would be at least a five pound fish. So much luck on my first day in 7 years of fishing! I was elated and prancing around like a six year old girl.
I eagerly rushed to the edge of the water and lifted the fish out of the lake. FIVE INCHES! How can a five inch fish weigh 5 pounds? Then, I weighed the weeds—4 pounds 12 ounces.
What a disappointment! No world record! Well, not really. I had a great time, talked to some nice folks coming to bass fish for supper and had