Monday, July 20, 2015

Smart Rod by Tackobox Gear Review

Smart Rod
 Every once and a while I see a product online that makes me curious enough to give it a shot.  This I exactly what happened with the Smart Rod by TackoBox! 

This fishing pole is unlike any other fishing pole on the market today.  What sets this rod apart from all of the others is it’s advanced technology built into the rod which senses the bite of the fish and sounds an alarm!  I know some of you are already wondering why in the world would you need/want a rod that sounds an alarm when the fish bites… Let me give you my take on this rod to help you understand why I think the Smart Rod is a great addition to any fisherman’s arsenal!!!

First let me tell you a little about the rod itself:
The Smart Rod comes in either 6’6” or 7’ length and in two different styles: Spinning rod, or Spin cast rod.  The technology in the Smart Rod is referred to as Poletap which is a “Computer Controlled Accelerometer Technology."  The rod has three different sensitivity levels: High, Medium, and Low which allows you to adjust it to your conditions according to the weather, as well as for the fish you are after.  The alarm on the rod is not obnoxiously loud and also has three LED lights that go off when the fish bites!  The rod only cost $39.44 from and can be shipped to your local Walmart for free.  At that price the Smart Rod is not too expensive to give it a shot and see how you like it.  I will even say that I have used the Smart Rod as just a regular fishing pole while spinner fishing and I love the way it casts.  I would much rather buy a rod like this than some of the other rods at Walmart for the same price, which fail to perform as well.

Now I’ll get into why I feel you should give this rod a try.

Here in Idaho you can use two fishing rods if you purchase the “Two Pole Permit” which is only $13.75.  That is worth it to me to double my chances of catching fish.  So… When using two rods, the Smart Rod is an awesome second rod that you can cast out and let sit while either throwing a lure or some other type of spin cast bait.  Using the Smart Rod allows you to completely focus on your lure fishing until you hear the alarm of the Smart Rod letting you know you have a bite on your other pole!  I also love being able to bait up the Smart Rod, cast it out, and then spend time rigging up my other rod without having to worry about a fish pulling my rod in while I’m not looking!

The first time I used the Smart Rod, I was fishing by a local bridge and the fish weren’t really biting very well.  I fished for about 45 minutes and had one bite on my other rod but the fish didn’t take the bait… I decided to spread my rods out to cover more water so I took the Smart Rod to the other side of the bridge, cast it out, activated the alarm, and then re-baited my other rod.  Just as I was finishing re-baiting my other rod, I heard the Smart Rod alarm going off!!! I hurried and set my other pole down and ran over to the Smart Rod to see that I had a fish on! If it wasn’t for the Smart Rod, the fish could have swam around and gotten off or it could have even pulled my pole in before I got around to checking on it!

Smart Rod
Smart Rod

After that experience, I knew the Smart Rod worked well on some decent sized trout. The second time I used it, I sought out to catch a few small brookies out of a local stream.  I loved how sensitive the rod is, especially on a nice calm day.  The rod worked exactly as expected and sensed even the lightest bite from a small brook trout.  I will say though, for creek fishing like this, I rarely ever use a second pole so my justification for using the smart rod in a situation like creek fishing is if the fishing is slow, you can cast out your bait and let it sit rather than losing patience and giving up. 

Smart Rod
I kept trying to get the Smart Rod on camera in action but every time I had a camera going, the fish wouldn’t cooperate.  Luckily, I went out one morning with my wife and got lucky enough to get one on camera.  I was fishing on Henry’s Lake in my canoe.  If you look close enough you can see the tip of my rod bounce just a tiny bit when the alarm sounds.  This fish bit very softly, taking a dead minnow I had on it for bait.  In the video, ignore me talking about how the rod shuts off while reeling in… It does shut off when you reel in but I wasn’t reeling in consistently and long enough to have it shut off.  :)  I reel a couple cranks, rest, then start again…

I went out another time to keep testing the rod, this time I was intentionally fishing in some “less than perfect” weather conditions to give the rod a good review.  As I predicted, on the high sensitivity level the rod kept moving just enough to set off the alarm.  The solution to this problem is simple--All I had to do was push a button to adjust the sensitivity to medium, and the alarm stopped giving me false hope.  As any fisherman knows, fishing in windy conditions for finicky or light biting fish can be frustrating.  Likewise, when using the Smart Rod set on a less sensitive setting, it will not always catch the light bite of a fish.  The difference in the sensitivity levels allowed me to also test out the rod while trolling in my canoe. I was able to troll while on the medium or low setting without false alarms, but never got a bite during that time.

Sooo.... Here it is!
Yes, the rod works as described.  Yes, it is simple to use and simple to understand.  Yes, not every fisherman wants/needs this rod.  Yes, I believe that it brings some extra excitement to catching fish.  Yes, I feel this rod would be great for a second rod, a kids first rod, a grandpa’s fishing rod, or for anyone who just enjoys the idea.  I know my nephews LOVE my "fishing pole that has the alarm."  This brings such a fun dynamic to fishing with kids!!! I am not saying that every fisherman needs this rod, but I am saying that it is a fun rod that any fisherman would enjoy having in their arsenal.  I enjoyed using this one so much, I even went out and bought my dad one for Father’s Day because I knew he would love it! 

When talking to TackoBox, they informed me that they are in the process of building crappie rods, kids rods, as well as ice fishing rod!  The last one makes me SUPER EXCITED!!!

Smart Rod
I am very excited and anticipating when they are able to market the ice fishing rods because here in Idaho you can fish with 5 rods, use tip up (JawJackers of course!), as well as fish both day and night! This will take my ice fishing game to a whole new level, I can’t wait to have my five JawJackers set up with a Smart Rod ice rod and sit back and wait for the alarm to get my heart pumping! Also fishing for ling (burbot) at night with the LED’s on the smart rod will allow me to locate which JawJacker has a fish more easily!  The Smart Rod really is the first step in blending technology with fishing rods.  I am definitely excited to use the Smart Rod this summer as well as while ice fishing this winter!  I can confidently say that if you at least give the Smart Rod a shot, you won’t be disappointed.  I know some of you still feel that this isn’t for you or isn’t necessary, but when you get it and catch a fish on it, you won’t be disappointed!

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Great Archery Shoot, Even Greater Cause!

This is the most recent newsletter sent out by the Upper Snake River Bowmen, I thought I would pass it on to help spread the word about a great shoot for a great cause!
Upper Snake River Bowmen

Annual Patriot Shoot
June 27-28, 2015

Proceeds go to Randy Palmer Family Benefit

2 Ranges 3D ANIMALS
Veterans/Active military shoot free


MEMBERSHIP FEES: Family $45 Single $30


Workday set for Friday June 26 10:00 to completion

President Report
I want to first start off by thanking everyone who attended the Hog shoot. Thank you to those who helped set up and those who helped clean up. It was a nice change to have barbecued pulled pork sandwiches for lunch as well. With the Patriot Shoot just around the corner, I want to let you all know how things will run. This is by far one of my favorite shoots. It’s still a new location and I have heard from a lot of you that are excited to get back up there. The shoot will take place on the Ashton Hill, off of the Anderson Mill Road. The dates are the 27th and 28th. Bring your campers; there are several locations to set up on your own or with a large group of friends.
This is our Patriot Shoot so all Veterans and active military shoot free! They will also be placed in a special drawing for Veterans only. This is just a small way of saying THANK YOU to those who have made so many sacrifices for our freedoms.
Remember that this shoot is also tied to our Randy Palmer Benefit. All proceeds from this shoot will go to the Palmer family. With that being said, the first evening of the shoot (Saturday 27th), at 6:00, we will have the Dinner/Benefit in Ashton. It will be held at the Ashton Stake Center’s outdoor pavilion. We have a combination of drawings, silent and live auctions. Some of the prizes include two large gun safes, with a combined value of over $4,200, guided fishing trips, a Cabelas outfitter tent, Utah Jazz tickets, four half pigs cut and wrapped, an AR-15, several bows, GoPro’s and MUCH, MUCH MORE! Please bring the whole family, invite your friends, enjoy the chicken dinner ($10), have several chances to win prizes and support an amazing cause in the meantime. Remember to check the website for maps to the shoot. For questions or information on how you can help donate to this event, please call me at 705-0708. See you all there!
Vice President Report
I would like to say thank you to all that came out to the Hog Shoot! We had a good turn out and fun times there at the range. I would also like to give a big hand to our Board members and all the hard work that has gone into this year so far. I have an opportunity to work with a great group of people who truly care about the future of the sport and club.
I hope that everyone will join us for the Patriot Shoot. This year’s shoot will be held June 27-28 on the Anderson Mill Rd. on top of Ashton Hill. This year all the shoot proceeds will go to the Palmer family. Please don’t forget the benefit dinner that is being held in Ashton Saturday night.
I am pleased to see that there are a few people using the range. Remember that the range is a big asset to you as you ready yourself and your shooting skills for the upcoming hunting season. NO broadheads allowed on the range! The range is also a good place to teach the younger generation about the sport that we love so much. Please take a minute and explore the range if you have not yet had a chance to make it up there. Remember to shut and lock the gate when you leave the range to help cut down on the vandalism.
Secretary Report
Hello again fellow archers. I would like to thank everybody that was able to attend the Hog Shoot this year at the range. Many of us have been to the range before but, this was my first time shooting with a large group at the range. I have to say: It was a blast! We set up all the usual favorite targets AND even had some of the new targets the club just purchased, including (my personal favorite) the Cobra! With the way the course was set up, shooters had the chance to start on either the upper or the lower range first, and eat lunch first, last, or in between. However, my favorite part was to hear some of the memories and history of the range. The pulled pork sandwiches were a nice change. Our numbers were a little lower at this shoot; with about 100 shooters. The total income from the shoot was: $1,807 and total expenses $1,205 amounting to a profit of $602. See you at the Patriot Shoot!
Counting Coup (coo)
In early Indian civilizations, the highest honor a warrior could receive was earned by “counting coup” on his opponent. It was an exhibition of extreme bravery. This most prestigious act included touching an enemy with the hand, bow, or with a coup stick then escaping unharmed, while leaving the enemy alive. “Counting coup”, then, was the epitome of a type of warfare that pitted the skill and daring of one man against another. You may remember the trials of Jeremiah Johnson continually being challenged by the Indians attempting to kill him or better yet count coup on him. Counting coup ranked much higher than killing the opponent.
Years ago our club decided to allow the act of counting coup in our Bowhunting Awards program. A fair number of our members don’t know this opportunity exists so we are mentioning it here in the newsletter. Members can receive point credit for animals that are touched vital with an arrow, thus leaving them alive for another day. For example, how many snakes or porcupines does a person need to kill. When you count coup, you obviously could have killed it, but elected not to. An animal can only die once, so only one person can count coup on it. Your partner must find his own specimen. Counting coup not only provides opportunity to use your hunting skills without harvest, it also looks better to the non-hunting public.

is not about how far,
it is about how close!