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The Line, Tackle, and Equipment of an Angler page 2

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The Drag-hook and Cord (fig.) is suggestive of anything but pleasant ideas. It is about as awkward a piece of furniture as a man could carry about with him. I would rather lose a hook and line than be troubled for an hour with one.

The Clearing ring is, on the contrary, useful and easily carried. It is used in clearing the lino and hook when entangled amongst weeds, roots of trees, piles, or other encumbrances in the bed of a river. One weighing six or eight ounces, of the accompanying pattern, (fig.) can be made by any blacksmith. The iron in the thicker parts should be of a pear-shaped section, the thinner and sharper edge being in the interior. A piece of cord is knotted to the upper end; it is then slipped over the lino, which guides it to the obstruction, and then by pulling the cord the hook and tackle may be saved.

The Disgorger is a useful little article, made of wood, metal, or bone, of this shape, (fig.) It is used for releasing the hook from the throat of a fish. The fork enables the angler to force down the hook, and so release it without the disagreeable process of opening the. fish, which sometimes has to be adopted. It enables the fly-fisher to prevent his flies being mangled, ruffled, and damaged. The disgorger can be easily made by an ingenious boy out of the handle of an old spoon. A hole drilled in the handle enables it to be attached by a piece of twine to the button-hole.

The Gaff is a large, sharp, deeply-barbed hock, similar to a large fish-hook, screwed in or fastened to the end of a proper piece of wood, which may also be used for a landing net. It should be well tempered, and is indispensable in landing large fish where the bank is high, or where the landing-net cannot be easily used: There are several varieties sold.

The Landing Net. - This most useful article should be made of jointed brass, for the convenience of packing. Where the bank of the river is steep, or in fishing from a boat in a loch, it is indispensable. The handle should screw on, and if in two pieces, so much the better. It should be so arranged as to admit of a "fly retriever" (fig.) Mr Parker of Ravenscrag, near Penrith, has invented a modification of this apparatus, which shuts up like a knife. The inner edge should be sharp, so as to cut away the branches and twigs overhead in which the line or fly may become entangled. The net itself should be so fine as to enable the angler to secure minnows with it, and lo answer the double purpose of a landing and a minnow-net.

The Angler's Pocket-book or Wallet is a very useful article. The one I use is about seven inches long by about five wide, and it opens like a tailor's pattern-book; it has numerous pockets. When open it presents the above appearance, (fig.) The covers are made of thin millboard, and the divisions of card-board, glued to a section of oil-skin cloth, and lined with black linen, &c., fitted with elastic bands, and bound with military braid. A few parchment strips are stitched in the centre, as shown. When closed it all rolls up, and is fastened by a strap or tied band, at the option of the angler. It will contain scissors, knife, pliers, wax, floats, hooks, gut, hair, waxed silk, thread, barley, needles, fly materials, though it is better to keep these things separate in a similar case to surround the fly-box. If deluded into the idea of keeping flies in a book, you will regret it. An excellent substitute for the book above described may be made from one of Parkin & Gotto's prize writing-cases, refitted by placing a few strips of parchment where the blotting-paper is. It forms a handy waterproof book, and has the advantage to the young angler of being cheap. Our book was suggested by, and is a modification of, this book. Fig. shows a winder for six bottom lines in the centre.

The Minnow or Live-bait Kettle (fig.) should be of tin, and fitted with straps to go over the shoulder. A second lid, perforated, should be added, with a hand-net to take out the bait, which otherwise are not improved by the hand of the fisherman rubbing the scales off. The live bait kettle is used in trolling for trout and pike, and may be purchased at the tackle-shops, but see that it is fitted with straps.

A pair of waterproof stockings will be found useful; and if not comeatable, two pairs of stockings should be worn, and the boots made as waterproof as possible. The best antiseptic waterproof material I know as a dressing for fishing and shooting boots was given in the Mechanics' Magazine some thirty years ago. It is composed of three parts tallow, one oz. yellow resin, melted in a pipkin, and rubbed into the boots when just warm. The soles and uppers to be treated alike until they will soak no more. At first it will slightly stain the stockings. If a good colour and polish is desirable, a little bees-wax dissolved in turpentine, and mixed with a little lamp black, may be well rubbed in, and when the turpentine has evaporated the boots will be brilliant enough to charm the fishes, and be warm and comfortable, besides lasting twice as long as they otherwise would. Curriers' "dubbing," in which a little resin has been melted, will answer as a substitute, but it is not nearly so efficacious as the above invaluable mixture.

Bait boxes for gentles, flannel bags for worms, a small box for paste, or what is better for this purpose, a piece of oiled silk, pieces of thin lead, or a box of split shot, are adjuncts which the young angler will have to attend to. Extra lengths of gut, lines, a spare float, float caps, swivels, gimp, &c.

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