A major factor that contributed to the slow development of fishing tackle was a lack of public demand and interest in sportfishing. It was not until a decade later that sportfishing gained any significant popularity. Outdoor TV shows, fishing clubs, fishing tournaments and organizations like Bass Pro, Trout Unlimited and others all gave sportfishing a boost in status that it enjoys today.
Sometimes during the late 1950’s is when I first learned about spin fishing. The spin outfit consisted of a tubular glass rod and the legendary Mitchell 300 reel, imported from France. Right from the beginning when the spinning outfits hit the market, sportswriters everywhere lauded the spinning system with adulations that were beyond reason. Maybe it was something new to write about. Maybe there was a little truth in their high praise. The claims were that with a spinout outfit, one could cast further than with a bait casting outfit, there were no backlashes and one could cast much smaller lures which fish preferred. Some of the arguments were valid, but not for the reasons the writers were purporting. In the beginning, probably more fish were caught with the spinning outfits simply because the lures presented were something the fish had never seen before, like the tiny plugs and inline spinners. What the sportswriters failed to mention were the many flaws. They either choose to ignore or were completely ignorant of the problems associated with the spin systems. The biggest problem with a spinning reel was the line would get caught between the spool and frame and wind itself around the shaft. There were other problems as well; line would slip off the spool causing nightmare tangles. If the reel had a bail, some did not, the bail springs would either bend or break. The gear tolerances were not all that close. Regardless of the problems, the spinning system caught on and has become a major part of our fishing legacy.
It should be noted that about the same time, significant advances were made with casting reels. Free spooling, anti-reverse handles, disk and washer type drags
had replaced the leather patches and your thumb.
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Good luck and keep the lines tight. Paul