For starters I don't know alot about fishing gear. Heck I don't honestly know how to filet a darn salmon! I fished a bunch as a kid but as they "fixed" more streams around the valley, adding handi-capped ramps, RV parking and roads right to the waters edge we got tired of the combat and stopped altogether. Dad never did teach me how to filette as I was too young when we quit fishing for salmon and we never filet grayling or trout. Fast forward 15 years and I am now the "dad". I got a wild hare to take the family down to jim's creek but I don't have any fishing gear.
Here is the part where I explain the title of the thread. I went to work today at 5am and while I was grabbing a morning snack I noted the Jim creek thread and that got the wheels turning. I called the wife and let her know we were going fishing, she was actually pretty excited and had the kids all packed up and a cooler ready to go when I got home at 5pm. Given the aformentioned lack of salmon gear we decided the fastest thing to do would be to run to Sportsmans and pick up a couple decent silver setups for the wife and I. If you have followed any of my threads then you know I try not to by cheap gear. I have found that it is the nickels that you pinch that end up making your entire experiance miserable. I decided to skip the combo's and get a little bit nicer shimano reel. I had a budget of 100-110 each for the wife and I. It has been almost 20 years since I last looked at salmon gear so I just went to the counter talked to the guy and had him give me a hand picking out some decent gear. He pulled out a $40 shimano reel from the case and a $65 graphite rod that he said should give me a little better feel. I asked for a recommendation on which line to use and he pointed me back to the "shop" where they could spool my new reels for me. Being in a time crunch I thought wow that is a great service and went on back. I talked to the guy just telling him that I need something for silvers and that I didn't mind spending a little more for some line that wasn't going to have tons of memory and want to unspool especially because I wanted my wife to enjoy her first salmon fishing trip. He responded "I'll give ya the best I got".
10 minutes later I have a bunch of #4 vibrax selected and my reels are ready to go. I am thinking this is pretty sweet all I got left is to checkout and head straight to the creek. Well I get to the checkout and I am about $40 over budget. I pay the guy and immediately review the reciept to figure out where I missed the 40. It turns out my $40 reels are actually $60 reels. I head over to the service desk and figure this is easy enough I'll get my $40 back and be on my way. Well they call the fishing dept manager and we go back to discuss the situation. He goes to the display case where he points to the reel sitting behind the bright orange $40 tag and says oh thats in the wrong spot. I tell the guy that I asked the associat to help me and he grabbed the reel and said "this is a 40 dollar reel" then he took me over and got me the $60 rod to fit the $100 budget I had. The guy says "well the tag (which has the price in bold and is physically touching the reel model I bought) does not have the same model number as the reel you purchased so you are SOL!!" I explained again that the associate pulled it out and said "this is a $40 reel"! At this point I was pretty pissed so I said something about regretting not going to Boonies instead. I actually have a pretty good repore with the store manager so I went back to the service desk and asked to see him. He was not there but I do have the Fishing dept managers name and the store managers card so we will see if he makes it right.
I wish that the $40 was the end of it buuuuuuttttt... We get to the water and I pull the reels out of their boxes and start assembling everything. Well further review of the line and it looked kind of cheap and the spools were very full (they chage by the foot)... Well I rig up the gear and the crummy line cinches just awefull knots but they seem strong enough so it's off to join the frey! The wife and I slog out to the channels edge and get to buisness. Perhaps the second cast my wifes line explodes from the reel and my worst nightmare is coming to fruition... She is hoplessly tangles so I trade her rods and proceed to strip off a mile of excess junk line to clear the tangle and hopfully have the remainder actually stay on the reel. Well I get everything rigged back up and figure the wife has a good spot with my rod (my spot next to her is long gone) so I move on down the line and start flinging my hardware. Well on the first retrieve I feel the rod kind of vibrates on the retrieve. It is annoying but I am not sure what is causeing it. Eventually I start to notice that the cheap line is beginning to frey... At this point I head to shore to inspect the setup better. I found that the brand new straight from the store rod has a broken eye at the rod tip! Well we battled through and spent about 4 hours without catching anything. Luckily my brother in law had better luck and landed one that he gave to us. I butchered the filet job but I did get the meat off of it. It should be ok though since it is all going in the smoker.
I will be going back tomorrw to try and rectify the issues with Sportsmans, I don't want to hang them out to dry on the web because I honestly like having at least one big box store in town though I prefer to shop at local owned stores. The truly sad thing is had I just bought the cheapo ugly stick silver combo I am sure I would have had absolutly zero problems and likely would have had a better experiance over all. Once again I am bitten by the hastily tossed together outing one of these days I will learn to stop rushing things and expect them to turn out ok... sorry about the rant I will read it tomorrow and laugh at all the mispelling and rabbit trail thoughts but at least after writing it all down I have calmed down enough to go to sleep.