The Three Rs of Fishing
March 26th, 2017 by Curtis Condon

If there were a fourth R of fishing, it would be recycling. For example, unwanted fishing line should be recycled, not thrown away. If it ends up in a landfill, it is hazardous to birds and other animals in the area. It should be discarded in designated receptacles found at many fishing shops, parks, boat ramps and piers. Metal pieces also can be recycled, such as lead weights, spoons, hooks and blades.
© istock/mokee81

I’ve mentioned Pop a time or two before. He was a fishing legend where I grew up.

He is worth reintroducing here because he was a firm believer in the three Rs of fishing gear: repair, repurpose and reuse.

Pop accumulated a trove of fishing gear in his 80-some years. It was as if he never threw anything away. Despite how that may sound, nearly all of it was in perfect working condition. That’s because he always followed these three principles when challenged by broken, aging or worn out gear.

Restore it. It’s easy—and satisfying—to repair a broken rod tip, grip or guide. A reel restoration is more challenging, but it is well worth the trouble if the reel is one of your old favorites. Manuals with exploded parts views for many brands and models of reels are available online. You also can sharpen hooks, polish spinner blades and restore suppleness to plastic baits with a few drops of glycerin.

Repurpose it. I’ve seen earrings created from old spinners, back scratchers made from broken rods, and keyrings assembled from crankbait and diver plugs. The uses for old and broken fishing gear are endless. But, perhaps, the best use is to repurpose it as loaner gear for children or other novice anglers.

Reuse it. A piece of fishing gear may not work properly, but that doesn’t mean it has to be discarded. Reuse any parts that do work still—such as the body, spoons and treble hook of a lure—and discard the rest. Often you can take the working parts of two broken items and combine them to make one that works.

The Outdoor Workout
Ever wonder how many calories you burn outdoors? The actual burn rate depends on the activity. For example, hiking and biking burn more calories—410 and 574 calories, respectively, for a person weighing 180 pounds—than fishing and hunting, which burn 164 and 328 calories, respectively.
Duration and intensity of the activity, body weight, age, gender and metabolism also play a role. The good news is almost every outdoor activity burns more calories than sitting or puttering around the house. So the next time you go fishing, if anyone asks, it’s OK to tell people you are going to work out.

To get a better idea of how many calories you burn, check out the calorie-burn calculator at

A Hiker’s Delight
Do you want to find trails near home or when exploring new areas? There are many trail directory apps and websites, but one of the most comprehensive is You can browse the site by location and activity type. The site also is interactive, and you can post your comments and photos, or see those posted by others.

What Makes April Special
Keep America Beautiful Month.
April 8: Draw a Picture of a Bird Day.
April 28: Arbor Day.
April 28: International Astronomy Day.

Show-and-Tell Time
Send us your favorite outdoor tip, photo or story. If selected for publication, we will send you $25 for one-time use of the item. When sending a photo, identify people and pets, and tell us the story behind the picture. Email your submission to gro.etilarurnull@ofni.