Page 70

Boat Buying, 2012


orget what the economists say. Pay no heed to the politicians. And most importantly, ignore your wife’s protestations—or at the very least, buy her a diamond necklace to blunt the offensive—because this very moment in time is probably one of the best times of your life to buy a brand-new boat. Sales are off, dealers want to make deals, and most of the

2008 to 2010 hold-over inventory has been cleared out, so no one’s trying to sell dusty old boats as new. While this may be a great time to sign on the dotted line, naturally, you’ll want to sign smart. And buying a boat can become an emotional affair, even for a guy who thrives on logic and level-headedness. So make sure you shop with a keen eye, and a cold heart—and make good use of these five all-important boat-buying tactics, which will save you big bucks. You’ll need ‘em, to afford that necklace! 1. Slow Down – Sure, more power is more better. But, do you really need 250 horses on the back of a small bay or lake boat? In many cases, the answer will be no. And while opting for max power does tend

to make it easier to resell your boat later on down the line, getting a mid-range or base power plant will save you hundreds or thousands up-front, as well as cutting your fuel and maintenance bills. How much power is enough? Beyond getting the boat on plane, that’s a personal call. Forget about top-end speed, because it’s rare you’ll actually run for more than a moment or two with the engine cranked all the way. Instead, you need to decide what you feel is a reasonable cruising speed, and make sure the package you choose can go that fast with the engine set to 4500 RPM or less. Cruising with the RPM much higher usually causes a huge boost in fuel consumption, as well as wear and tear. 2. Ignore the Floor – Why should

COVER STORY: TROUT ROD BASICS t CONTINUED FROM PAGE 66 5000 had a free spool feature for much easier casting once a fisherman’s thumb was educated, and could chunk lures and bait rigs a considerable distance with less danger of backlash. This reel model has probably accounted for millions of pounds of fish

landed on the Texas coast alone – and it is still a good choice for a bay fisherman. In coastal waters, the popping rod type is used for not just trout, but also redfish, flounder, drum and panfish, so calling it a bay rod might be more accurate; except that it is just as much at home tossing bait or lures in the surf. The two-hand grip rod

photo: mike holmes

Rods used for trout fishing on Texas Coast might be asked to cast (L-R) hard plastic lures, jigs or natural baits under weighted popping corks, midweight lures as this spin-jig, or a much lighter jig head and plastic tail. While some anglers will use a single rod, or maybe a pair to cover all these situations, there are rods designed specifically for each one.

68 |


2 0 1 2

T e x a S

F i s h


G a m e ®

T F & G

concept has been tweaked for casting both heavy lures and light jig heads, and it has been morphed from fiberglass construction to graphite. When the rod itself extends through the grip to the butt in a one-piece configuration the rod is stronger in both casting and fish fighting modes. And, of course, the longer butt section allows for resting the rod in a holder on boat or beach. Although a good popping type rod might be a single piece of fiberglass, graphite, or some composite of the two, it can still be considered to have a butt section, a mid section, and a tip section. To simplify things, a rod used mostly for pushing live shrimp pinned to a small treble hook under a popping cork must have enough backbone to handle the rather bulky payload, yet still carry a light enough tip with whip to allow a gentle cast that does not tear loose the bait or tangle the leader around the cork. It must also pull the cork under and make it pop and gurgle to attract fish, without yanking it free of the water. A rod meant to cast hard plugs and spoons into a brisk onshore wind


March 2012  

THE Authority on Texas Fishing & Hunting Texas Fish & Game is the largest, oldest, and best outdoors resource of its kind in the nation. No...