Archive for the ‘Barracuda’ Category

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.