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lookincalifornia

kiddie poles

14 posts in this topic

i just got a rapala kiddie rod for my three year old girl. can't wait to give it to her next week. my question to all is how long till i upgrade it to a zebco 33 or something. i have a 1 year old son i'm hoping things will work out so we can just pass the rod. i would love to hear any and all personal "first time fishing stories as well. cool.gif

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My daughter got her new pole last year, (my old openface ultralight) and she mastered that no problem, one or two hours after giving it to her. She was six last year, and was ready to move on from the closed face; she wanted on like dad.

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The secret to making it easy for the little ones to cast is to keep plenty of weight on the end of the line. Not only does it make the reel function more easily for them but the weight gives them more feedback so they catch on faster. A bobber with several feet of line under it is a desaster. I like to use a weighted slip bobber. That way they can wind it up close to the end of the pole but the extra weight is on the bobber so they only need a split shot or two.

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I did all the casting for my kids when they were first starting. All they had to do was reel the fish in. I'd pick up the fish and show them their prize. They seemed most delighted with that arrangement. My daughter doesn't like fishing, but at least she knows what it's about. My son likes to fish, but he has never taken any initiative to learn anything new on his own about it. I guess I'm a failed parent.

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Questor, I would not get down on yourself. I just had a lil boy last June and fully plan to be teaching him how for next summer. I have helped teach quite a few kids and some not so small kids (buddies) how to fish. I think one of the keys to doing it is making it intersting for them. Get a hula hoop and a plug and set it up in the back yard, and have them cast the little plug at the hula hoop. It really helps with the aim and getting casting down. Keep telling them that the best way to catch the big ones it to cast it to them. Start them off close and work away from it. Then when you take them out on the water, at least you know they will be able to cast, which will help keep you from getting tangled up. And we all know that getting tangled up is the most frustrating thing for a little one, and it can turn them off in a hurry. When I was little, I was fortunate to have a grandpa that took me fishing every day, I know a lot of kids don't get that opportunity but take them as often as possible to keep their intrest in it. My grandpa has passed on now, but every time I ever go on the water it makes me think back and remember those days, therapeutic kinda.

Tom

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grin.gif You may be able to pass on her rod, my daughter is easy on equipment. My son is not.

Give her the opportunity to cast on her own, help her out of course, but keep her involved in all of the activity. Without casting my daughter would have become bored much quicker. Granted she's 15 now, and has more interests to fish with me much, but understands it's important to me and goes with on occasion.

Kids in general will catch on to whatever rod reel combo you give them. With a little coaching, they're good to go. They are all a little different and will soon find what works best for them.

Hope you get out to try out the pole with your partner!

"catch a big one"! Brent

As for upgrading, I find it as fun to upgrade the kids stuff as often as mine!!

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As for equipment, when they started casting on their own, I used Johnson spincasting outfits. I fell for all of their advertising but really had bad luck with them. They were pretty troublesome in terms of line tangling inside of them. I can't remember the vast number of times I had to open the reel and fix the line. I don't think I ever used a Zebco. Maybe they are better. On balance, though, I think the closed face reels are good to start with because they make casting as easy as it can be.

When they got a little older I got them spinning reels, and that was a big improvement for everyone.

One of the things I always drilled into them for panfishing is the importance of dropping the bait to the bottom, then adjusting the bobber so it rides just above the bottom. I always made a lesson of it. Hopefully it sticks.

I was talking to my son the other day about fishing and tried to be diplomatic about it. I told him that he would probably find knowledge of fishing to be useful for recreation after he leaves home (he's 14) and that I wanted him to get the most out of it. I told him that up to now I've been his fishing guide, taking him to the fish and showing him what techniques to use. But when he's on his own, he'll need to know how to do it himself. I told him there are two options:

1) We could leave it up to him to learn on his own so he gets the sense of discovery that self teaching brings, or

2) We could change the way we go fishing and I could teach him what I know so he doesn't have to go up the learning curve by himself.

He picked option 2. I will make a sincere attempt to give him the best know-how I can.

Even today, after the kids have caught some really fine sport fish, they still say that perch and bluegill are their favorites to eat. Even my daughter, who is going through her 12 year old quasi-vegetarian animal loving stage likes fish dinner of fish I have caught.

Bottom line, and one thing I really think I did right, was that fun was the main priority of each trip out. That meant being very sensitive to the short attention spans of children. I never took them out for long, arduous fishing experinces. There was always an aspect of sight seeing, and play, and exploration. One thing we like to do is to take some truck innertubes and swimsuits with us. After a bit of fishing the kids will hop in the water and float on the tubes. I'll pull them at slow speeds around the lake for a while that way too, using rope. They like that. We also take our dog, who is always fun to have on a boat.

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hey questor,

my dad doesn't fish but i do. perhaps i failed as a son cool.gif my older brother has not fished for at least 20 years. yet he is an avid hiker and camper who lives in duluth. how do you not fish in duluth?

my litle girl loves to watch me play fishing games on the computer and look at fish pictures in books and this site. i'm not really sure about her patience though. i don't really have a good bluegill hole. i guess i'll have to do some scouting.

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I also was lucky enough to have a (blind) Grandpa who taught and took me fishing at his cabin a TON, and my Dad also did as well. Now I am the "Fishing Grandpa" with 5 grandkids coming up at the cabin, oldest one 9. I agree keep it fun and active. Here are some tips, for what its worth:

Starting rods - you can't beat those little short "spiderman" or "barbie" or "snoopy" poles, with the reel built right in, and they FLOAT wink.gif Don't put much line on, and be ready to change it. They always keep reeling against the drag, no matter what you tell them wink.gif

If you are going to use hooks (they will want to catch fish, not just cast) please do yourself and thema favor and get them into the habits of wearing sunglasses. Especially when more than one is on the dock or in the boat.

The best stuff ever invented for kids is Berkley Gulp maggots smile.gif Pink for girls, of course! ha! I even got the girls some pink sparkley Gulp for their Christmas stocking and they loved it smile.gif

Like Questor, when my grandson graduated to his first spinning rod it was great. He was really proud, and so was I. Made life easier.

If you can keep the line twist to a minimum, it helps the kids out a ton. If you see it starting to curl up, cut the lure off, and drag it behind the boat, all the way out, then reel it in and it will be perfect.

Bring old bread or crushed chips to the dock/boat and let them feed the sunfish and try netting them, they love that, and then that helps them want to catch them even more. Nothing like 50 sunfish swarming to get them excited.

Once they catch their first bigger pike or bass, then they will be hooked for life smile.gif Have fun!

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Ahhhh, the memories. I actually started my kids out on spinning reels, compared it to throwing a ball. Yes, we had tangles, but if Dad stayed calm in was no big deal. The big thing I learned is the fishing was for them not me,I now have 2 fishing partners for life. And always know where their lines are, getting their lines untangled from the trolling motor is no fun. If you really want the kids to enjoy the day, always bring a cooler filled with stuff Mom says they can't eat or drink. cool.gif I am now patiently waiting for grandkids, to take them out fishing.

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I just bought my son the Gander Kids pole and underspin reel with the longer lever for his upcoming 6th. The shorter the pole the better and this reel retrieves a lot faster. He had the Zeb 33 and it was ok,got tired casting and reeling, time to move up and try to catch the big ones! My 3 year old daughter uses the Scooby pole,last year she still fished with the plastic fish on it and had a blast just casting it allover. Time to actually put a hook and bait on and catch some real ones like her brother. I agree with the guy above gulp and plastics are great. No more changing worms every fish. They also have the berkley micros in bags that work awesome for the sunnies and crappies. Can catch 15-20 pannies before changing bait.

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g anoka-

I love your tip on bringing a cooler full of stuff they can't eat or drink. That is a great idea, not only is it a treat to go fishing, but also a treat to eat all day. One thing to be careful of though, if it is really hot, don't give them soda, but water or a sports drink instead. I have suffered heat exhaustion and it would be no fun to watch a little one go through that.

Tom

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I bought all three my boys a Zebco 33. When they were little, I recall trying to help them fish off a dock with their cousin's stubby kiddie pole, I had a hard time getting a good hookset with it. So beware of wimpy kiddie poles. Kids don't set hooks well.

Beware of the dangers of kids casting, they crowd together and don't look behind them. I had an adult neighbor who hooked his springer spaniel in the eye, it was nasty.

Also, in this age of big boats with big motors, we need to expose are kids to smaller motors that kids can operate if we want them hooked on fishing.

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As long as we're venturing into "fun" aspects of fishing for kids;

If you've got a dock to fish off of, let them find a willow branch or similar, tie some line (short) a sinker and hook on, you can go with anything that sunnies bite on, It'll give them hours of fun.

If you are fishing out of an anchored boat for sunnies on a hot day, droplines can be great tools for them to catch those sunnies hanging out in the shade of the boat. I remember many trips sunnie fishing where we would use droplines. (especially useful in a crowded boat of kids learning to cast) Fun Too

Rowboats or boats with small motors they can drive safely is also fun. Check state regs for motor size restrictions, make sure you can reach the controls (wheel or tiller) while learning. My son 10 has been driving a tiller since he was 5. Very useful when he is sick of fishing, he can drive and I fish. Gets me more time out.

Let them be experimental, I've seen sunnies and bass caught by kids with everything from worms to grasshoppers to crickets to playdough to gummi worms....

Lots of ways to make it more fun for them and get you more time. Also, make sure you can tell when it's time to leave, so they don't get to the point they don't want to go back.

Sometimes the "Best" rod is not the most fun.

Brent

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