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fishing lessons with dad

Fishing Lessons Of Life | 5 Things I Learned From Fishing With Dad

By the time I was old enough to say the word “fish,” my Dad was taking me fishing with him (yes, that’s us in the picture above).

And, those trips with Dad turned out to be much more than fishing lessons.

Fishing lessons = life lessons

Fishing was always something I considered fun. I loved the challenge of casting in just the right spot. I loved the feel of that first tug on the line. And, of course, who doesn’t love reeling in fish?

As I’ve gotten older, those memories of going fishing as a kid with my Dad have become even more special. That time with Dad doing a fun activity has impacted me in profound ways.

You see, he was teaching me about fish, different fish species, how to catch them, and how to tie fishing knots. But, I ended up learning principles that have become foundational in how I try to live my life, conduct business and relate with my own family.

two people fishing at dusk on shoreline

Memories of fishing with Dad have become even more special as the years have gone by. Those times have impacted me in profound ways.

Lesson #1: Good things don’t always come to those who wait

It’s no secret that fishing is a great way of learning patience. As a kid, if that bobber didn’t go under soon after I casted, I wanted to throw to another spot! Dad would tell me to be patient and just wait.

Of course, many times, my patience paid off and the fish would bite. But, I learned something else that was maybe even more important than patience.

Sometimes, it didn’t matter that we had a great fishing spot (no, I’m not telling you where). It didn’t matter what bait we were using. And it didn’t matter how long I waited. The fish just weren’t going to bite.

There’s more than just a fishing lesson here.

person holding a spinning reel

When you know things don’t go your way, will you do the right thing anyway?

Sometimes you can give your best effort. You can do all the right things. You can even be extremely patient… and still not get the result you wanted.

That’s called life.

The question is, when you know you won’t get the result you were hoping for, will you do the right things anyway?

It’s a difficult question to answer and it’s even tougher to do. I’m thankful that there were times when the fish didn’t bite, so I could learn that lesson.



Lesson #2: You don’t drift back where you started

I loved going to the spot my Dad and I used to fish (no, I’m still not telling you where). There were just so many places along that creek bank to catch fish.

As I got older and graduated from the red and white round bobber (I still love it though), I would cast my lure to what looked like the perfect spot. Sometimes I’d catch fish, and of course, sometimes I wouldn’t.

But, there just always seemed like a better place ahead to try.

man fly fishing in the river

Fishing with Dad has taught me to be intentional about making sure I don’t drift too far from where I should be.

So, I walked a few steps and casted. Then I walked a few more and casted. Before long, I’d look back and realize that I had wandered far from where I first started. I was lost in the moment and couldn’t believe how far I’d gone.

I have learned that life provides you with many opportunities to “drift” in a similar way. Something catches your attention and you chase it. After all, it seems like such a great opportunity.

Now, let me say here that I’m all about dreaming big and giving things your all. But, sometimes we are prone to chasing dreams at all costs. We sacrifice precious time with family and friends for the sake things that leave us empty in the end.

I’m learning that I don’t want to be that guy.



I’ve learned you have to be intentional about making sure you don’t drift too far from where you should be. You have to surround yourself with people who will tell you the truth about yourself, good or bad.

And, you have to be willing to heed wise advice, even when it’s what you don’t want to hear. In doing so, you can prevent yourself from drifting too far from where you should be and save yourself a lot of heartache and from hurting those you love.

Going fishing with Dad is still helping me learn these lessons many years later.

Lesson #3: When you catch a big one… celebrate!

Catching fish is fun, no matter what size the fish. But, I’d be lying if I said catching a big fish isn’t just a little more fun! It’s amazing how just about anyone can muster up a big smile after they reel in a heavyweight. It makes the fun just a little more fun to celebrate.

Life gives us many reasons to be sad or upset. After all, bad things happen to good people. But, good things also happen to good people. So, just like when you catch a big fish, be sure to celebrate the good times in life!

man looking into mouth of largemouth bass

Good times, like good fish, should be celebrated.

Lessson #4: Always be prepared

Call me a neat freak or obsessive compulsive, but I hate a messy tackle box. The fishing supplies have to be organized.

The night before I knew we were going fishing, I would always be certain that all my fish hooks, fishing lures and supplies were neatly tucked away in their designated compartment. (Of course, after a day of fishing, they were right back to being unorganized!)

But, as orderly as I wanted things, I learned there’s one thing a neat tackle box can’t help you with… and that’s not having enough of the lure you need for that fishing trip.



Sometimes on a particular day, the fish just like what they like and nothing else. Hopefully, they like what you have in your tackle box. And, hopefully you have enough of it!

Don’t get me wrong, this is not about neat people being better than messy people. But, I’ve learned that doing your due diligence ahead of time is better than being unprepared.

This applies to just about anything. Of course, you can’t predict the future, and sometimes unexpected things can happen no matter how much you prepare.

But, just like with fishing, be as prepared as you can possibly be in all situations. Something BIG just might happen!

Lesson #5: Control what you can control

When I was first learning to fish with Dad, I started with live bait and a fishing bobber. I would watch the bobber intently, hoping to see just the slightest movement or ripple in the water.

But, I am a competitor at heart, and sometimes I would sneak a peek over at my Dad’s bobber. It seemed that every time I did that, I would look back and mine would be nowhere to be found, with a fish on the line! (I guess if the fish aren’t biting, this is a viable strategy. But, I digress).

fishing float bobber in the water

I have learned to focus on things that I can control, and not on those I can’t.

It’s easy for us to get distracted sometimes. We worry about what others are doing. We worry what they think of us. And, we try to fix others and make them who we think they should be.

The problem is that when we do that, we put our focus on things we can’t control.

As I get older, I am learning that I can do very little to change other people. I can’t become exactly like someone else. God made one of me (and one of you).



And, while it’s great to have role models and aspire to be strong in areas that others are, we must understand that we are uniquely made. We are custom designed. There will never be another one exactly like us.

So, don’t excuse your weaknesses. Work on them. But, also work to become better at your strengths. You will make much more progress on you than you ever will by trying to change others. And, who knows, you might inspire someone else to be a better them!

man paddling fishing kayak at dusk

The life lessons learned fishing with Dad, I want to share with others.

Don’t let the lessons end

With all the life lessons I’ve learned from fishing lessons with my Dad, it would be a shame to keep them all to myself. I am inspired to use teachable moments like these in the outdoors to impact the lives of my kids as well. I hope you do the same.

So, whether you hunt, fish, or just love being in the outdoors, there are so many great lessons to be learned in the simplicity and wonder of the outdoors.

Oh, and Dad… thanks for taking me fishing.



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Bow Anatomy 101 | Parts Of A Compound Bow

You might be new to the sport of bowhunting and be looking to learn all you can about it.

Or, maybe you are a seasoned bowhunter wanting to test your knowledge of the parts of a compound bow.

Either, way this one’s for you!

Parts of A Compound Bow | Interactive Diagram

In the interactive diagram below, you can click/touch the NUMBER of the parts in the chart below to reveal the names of the parts. You can read more about what each part is and does in the sections below the diagram. See how many you can get right!

CamsLimb DampenerLimbsLimb PivotLimb PocketLimb BoltRiserSight MountsCable GuardRest MountsArrow ShelfStabilizer MountAxleString SplitterCablesStringServingNocking PointGripString StopCable SplitterAxle To Axle LengthBrace Height

Compound Bow Parts | Piece-By-Piece

In the above diagram of the Nexus2 by Prime Archery, you can view the parts of a compound bow. Find out more about what each part does by clicking the words below:

  1. Cams
  2. Limb Dampeners
  3. Limbs
  4. Limb Pivot
  5. Limb Pocket
  6. Limb Bolt
  7. Riser
  8. Sight Mounts
  9. Cable Guard
  10. Rest Mounts
  11. Arrow Shelf
  12. Stabilizer Mount
  13. Axle
  14. String Splitter
  15. Cables
  16. String
  17. Serving
  18. Nocking Point
  19. Grip
  20. String Stop
  21. Cable Splitter
  22. Axle-To-Axle Length
  23. Brace Height

1. Cams

cam of a compound bow

On a compound bow, the cams are the round, or oval-shaped discs that work much like a block-and-tackle pulley system. The cams are connected to the axles of the bow.

The cams act as the “multiplier” of the energy of the person pulling the bow string. This allows the bow to store more energy than the person pulling the bow string is actually exerting.

The bow has a “back wall” where the cams will not turn any more. This is where the archer is at “full draw.” At this point, there is a percentage of “letoff” that allows the archer or hunter to hold the force of the bow at a fraction of the actual pounds of pull being exerted.

For example, a bow that is set to a 70-lb draw weight with a 70% letoff will only take 21 lbs of force to hold at full draw. The energy is stored in the bow’s limbs until the archer releases, which unleashes the multiplied energery, propelling the arrow toward its target.

So, the cams of the bow are what change the bow in essence from a traditional bow to a compound bow.



2. Limb Dampeners

limb dampener

Limb dampeners reduce the noise and vibration throughout the limbs and riser of the bow.

When the hunter or archer releases the arrow the sudden and powerful uncoiling of the string on the cams produces vibration, which causes noise. The limb dampeners help to absorb that vibration, resulting in a quieting of the bow.

This absorption by the limb dampeners is especially helpful in reducing noise when hunting deer or other wild game and also reduces the amount of vibration that is transferred to the archer.

3. Limbs

limbs of compound bow

A compound bow’s limbs are connected to the riser and store the energy that is collected when the string is pulled and the cams turn. When the string is released, the energy from the limbs is transferred to the arrow, which propels it through the air.

Most compound bow limbs are made up of fiberglass or composite material. Some bow limbs are solid, one-piece limbs. Others are “split,” having a gap between both sides of the upper and lower limbs.

4. Limb Pivot

limb pivot

Where the limbs pivot and flex on the riser.

5. Limb Pocket

limb pocket

The limbs of the bow rest in the limb pocket. These can be made of machined aluminum, ABS plastic or other composite materials. The limbs of the bow are secured in the limb pocket by the limb bolts.

6. Limb Bolt

limb bolt of compound bow

The limb bolt is the crucial piece in connecting the limb pockets, which hold the limbs of the bow, to the riser.

Limb bolts are typically allen wrenc adjustable. Tightening the limb bolts increases the draw weight poundage of the bow. Loosening the limb bolts will decrease the draw weight poundage.

It’s very important that any adjustment to the limb bolts be made in the same increments. If the adjustments are uneven, the bow’s cams could get out of time, causing an improper tune.

If you need to adjust your bow’s draw weight, it’s a good idea to back the limb bolts all the way down and then start moving them both up the same amount.

7. Riser

riser of compound bow

The riser is the vertical portion and foundation of a compound bow. The limbs attach to it and it also serves as the fastening point for accessories such as the sight, arrow rest, grip, stabilizer, quiver, etc.

8. Sight Mounts

sight mounts on compound bow

Sight mounts are holes in the riser that serve as the attaching point for the bow’s sight. The archer will look through the peep on the bow string and at the pin(s) of the sight to aim at the target or game animal.

9. Cable Guard

cable guard on compound bow

The Cable guard runs perpendicular to the bow’s riser. It keeps the bow’s cable out of the way of the arrow’s line of fire. It typically has rollers and/or slides attached to it to aid in keeping the cable on track.

10. Rest Mounts

rest mounts on compound bow

Rest mounts are holes in the riser that serve as the attaching point for the bow’s rest. The rest is what holds the arrow in place while the archer is drawing and releasing the arrow.

There are many different types of rests. Some use prongs that the arrow will rest on, while others hold the arrow up and then fall out of the way when the arrow is released. Others, called containment rests, completely surround the arrow until it is fired and typically have no moving parts.

11. Arrow Shelf

arrow shelf on compound bow

The arrow shelf is the area of the riser where the arrow sits on the rest. While the rest typically holds the arrow off the shelf on compound bows, traditional bows (non-compound) usually have the arrow resting directly on the arrow shelf.

12. Stabilizer Mount

The stabilizer mount is a universal size threaded hole in the riser that is used to attach a stabilizer to.

The stabilizer helps balance and thus “stabilize” the bow when drawing and shooting, and also typically has vibration dampening properties. In essence, it helps the bow resist movement during the draw cycle and when shooting.

The back of the stabilizer also typically serves as the fastening point for the wrist sling.

13. Axle

axle of a compound bow

The Axle is what holds the cams, in the same way a car axle holds its wheels. The cams have a hole in the center. The axle goes through the center of the axle and attach to the limbs.

14. String Splitter

string splitter on compound bow

Bows with parallel limbs (which eliminate cam lean) will have a string splitter. On these types of bows, the main part of the string that the archer attaches the release to “splits” just before the cams.

The splitter is what essential turns the single string into two strings, each going around its respective cam.



15. Cables

cables on compound bow

The cable(s) runs between the bow’s cams. They assist in moving the cams of the bow when the string is pulled back by the archer. It’s important to replace your cable(s) as well as your string as recommended per the bow manufacturer’s instructions or on the advice of your local bow shop.

16. String

string on compound bow

The string of compound bow serves several functions. It is where the archer will connect their release. It is what the archer pulls (or draws) back and releases to launch the arrow.

Many archers will utilize a “D loop,” which attaches to the bow string and serves as a way to quickly attach the release to the string and also improves accuracy.

You should always inspect your string before and after shooting and hunting. A damaged string could end up being a broken string, which could result in serious injury to the shooter or others.

Any cuts or fraying should be addressed immediately and it is recommended that you take to your local bow shop for an assessment.

17. Serving

serving on a compound bow

The “center serving” is coiled thread wrapped around the center portion of your string where you would nock an arrow and attach a D-loop. The center serving protect the center section of the string from wear and tear that results from nocking arrows as well as drawing and shooting the bow.

There is also serving material on parts of your bow string that go around the cams or through rollers that are attached to the cable guards. This helps the bow string stay together, especially in places that are likely to received the most friction.

18. Nocking Point

nocking point on a compound bow

The nocking point is where the arrow, by way of the arrow nock, attaches to the bow string. The D-loop attaches above and below the nocking point.



19. Grip

grip on a compound bow

The grip is the part of the bow that you hold while shooting. Grips are made of various materials such as wood, rubber, plastic, metal, etc.

The grip can also be a source of inaccuracy. For example, if you hold the grip too tightly, or twist the grip while shooting, you can cause your arrow to go off-course from where you were aiming.

20. String Stop

string stop on compound bow

String vibration is a large cause for noise when a bow fires. A string stop helps dampen that vibration and thus reduces unwanted noise. The string stop is a rubber part that is often mounted on a post that is directly opposite of the front stabilizer.

The string stop not only helps dampen vibration, but also aids in better accuracy for the shooter, often resulting in tighter arrow groups at the target.

21. Cable Splitter

cable splitter on compound bow

On some bows, the cable splitter is a ring that connects the cable to two separate cables, thus dampening vibration and noise of the cable during shooting.



22. Axle-To-Axle Length

“Axle-to-axle” is not a part of a compound bow, but rather a reference to measurement. Axle-to-axle is the measurement from the center of one cam to the other. The axles go through the center of the cams.

This axle-to-axle measurement is often used to determine how forgiving the bow will be in regards to arrow flight accuracy when taking farther shots.

A bow with a longer axle-to-axle height may be more forgiving that a shorter one, but may also be difficult to maneuver in tight-quarter hunting scenarios.

23. Brace Height

The “brace height” is not a part of the bow, but rather a measurement, in inches, of the distance between the “throat” of the grip to the center of the bow’s string.

A shorter brace height means a longer “power stroke,” which is the distance from the grip to the center of the string when the archer is at full draw. A longer power stroke typically means a faster bow, as it increases the amount of time that the arrow is attached to the string.

Conclusion



Whether you are just a beginner bowhunter or looking to brush up on your bow component knowledge, we hope this has been a helpful tool for you!

hand hold a baitcasting rod

How To Cast Light Lures With A Baitcaster | The Inside Information

Baitcasters are beloved my many in the fishing community, but many have trouble casting light lures with them.

So, how do you get any distance on those light lure casts and keep from getting a bird’s nest?

Well, it’s obviously a challenge, because the lure is very lightweight. So, challenge, guys, because there’s very light weight. You have to really get the spool on your baitcaster turning in order to get momentum so that you can get distance on your cast.

So, I’m going to show you a few tips that are really going to help you cast little bitty light lures with a baitcaster!

First things first… the proper fishing rod

Before we get into the actual reel itself, one of the most important aspects of casting lighter lures with a baitcaster is to make sure you have the proper rod.

For a longer cast with lighter lures, you ideally want a 7’4″ rod with a very fast tilt.

joshua taylor holding a st croix baitcaster fishing rod
To cast lighter lures with a baitcaster, you should aim to have a 7’4″ rod with a fast tilt. This is the St. Croix Legend Xtreme, which is only a 7-foot rod, but it has a very, very fast tilt. I can still cast a light lures a good distance by making a few small adjustments. I’m also using the Concept TX reel, from 13 Fishing. It’s one of the smoothest baitcaster reels I’ve used.

Reel adjustments for casting light lures with a baitcaster

Once you have an appropriate rod for baitcasting smaller lures, you’ll need to make some adjustments to your reel.

Adjust the magnetic brake

One thing that you have to do is adjust your magnetic break control. Now, this is going to be different for each reel, so you really need to get to know your baitcaster reel very well.

Now, ideally, you’re going to want to reduce the amount of breaking when you’re casting light lures. There will be a sweet spot and you’re going to have to play with the reel breaking to find where that is. I typically turn the breaking down to the 2 setting (on a reel with a 0-6 range). I find that setting works best for me. But you are going to want to adjust that to see where that sweet spot is for you.

making magnetic brake adjustment on baitcaster reel
On the Concept TX reel from 13 Fishing, the side panel has a small wing that you press and it will open up so you can adjust the magnetic brake.




Adjust knob tension

Now, the other thing you need to adjust on your baitcaster reel is the tension knob. (If you want to learn more about how to tune your Baitcaster, I go into complete detail).

Adjust the tension knob on your reel so that when you press the button to release the line, the lure will be able to hit the ground and not cause a massive bird’s nest.

adjusting tension knob on baitcaster
You need to adjust the tension knob so that your lighter lure can fall to the ground freely without causing a large bird’s nest in your line.
man holding baitcaster after adjusting tension knob
The key to adjusting your tension knob is to be sure you are not getting a bird’s nest when the lure hits the ground.

Proper light lure casting techniques

Once you have everything dialed in on your reel, you need to be sure you have the proper mechanics and technique to be able to maximize the distance on your light lure casts.



Longer leader length

One of the important factors when you’re trying to do a light cast or cast lighter lures is line leader length. You want to make sure that when you cast, your leader is actually hanging down a little longer than normal.

Typically, 8 to 10-inches from lure to the rod tip works well with a baitcaster. However, when casting a really light lure, you can let out 2 to 2-1/2 feet of line, so that you can get more momentum on your cast, resulting in a great cast distance.

I can absolutely guarantee you that longer linger leader length will work and help give you that leverage you’ll need to cast farther.

Try a wider spool

In addition to longer leader length, you should try to find a reel that has a larger spool. There a many on the market, and I have found that larger spools will allow you to increase your distance because the spool has to turn fewer revolutions to disperse the line.

So, if you have a smaller, skinnier spool, you’re not going to get as far of a cast as you would with spool that has a larger diameter.

Casting mechanics

When you’re casting lighter lures with your baitcaster, you’re going to make sure that you’re not over powering the throw or you’re going to have overruns resulting in a bird’s nest.

You have to use not only your wrist and your arms, but you want use the full momentum of all of your body. This includes your legs, back and torso.

man casting light lure with baitcaster
When casting the baitcaster, use both your wrist and your arms.
man casting bait caster and following through
I’m using not only wrist and my arms but also my legs, back, and torso. If you use your entire body, in sync, you can cast very light lures. Then, you can adjust to drop-shots and other weighted baits. The key is not to overpower it, but to finesse cast using your entire body.

Conclusion

I hope you enjoyed this tutorial on how to cast light lures on a Baitcaster.

Remember, it’s not very complicated. It just really boils down to making sure that you’re practicing and that you understand the mechanics of your reel and your rod.

Fine tuning your baitcaster is one of the most important things in getting the the range out of your light lure casts.

joshua taylor of salty scales
Joshua Taylor

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