Thursday, April 19, 2007

Boys Toys - I

Rocket Fishing Rod

I don’t believe I have ever seen a toy that so takes advantage of the vulnerability of the Y-chromosome-challenged as the Rocket Fishing Rod, a gadget that combines a fishing rod with a shotgun. Blast and cast. As the saying goes, more stuff in tackle shops is designed to catch fishermen, not fish, and the idea behind this item is irresistible. Unfortunately, I have to say, take a deep breath, avert your eyes and pass along. This is one toy not worth the $30 – the price of a pretty good combo.

The idea is to hide a lure in a cigar sized tube, insert it down the barrel, pull back on a pump action, press the top and the safety simultaneously, and off it shoots 30 feet in the air, plopping the cartridge/bobber and dropping its cargo. It is possible it might actually do just that, but don’t count on it. First, the cartridge is supposed to hold a hook or lure, a weight, and probably 12-18” of leader, which has to be rolled up and stuffed inside. Problem #1 is don’t count on being able to cram all that into the cartridge; problem #2 is that the cartridge is supposed to open and is pretty useless if it doesn’t. In trying to figure out how to fix problem #2, you discover problem #3, that the line doesn’t reel in unless you hold the line taut at the front, while resting the rod on your gut and reeling. Strikes me as a pretty awkward way to fish. The line is spooled on a spincast-like reel with a small nipple on the side that supposedly turns to reel the line back in. With good old monofilament, coming off like a slinky, the line slips off the nipple. With all that slack line, while I am trying to get the line to catch on the reel, I could never have brought a fish in – even if the cartridge had opened and actually dropped its payload.

I really tried two days to get this item to work, due to the other Y-chromosome problem of not wanting to take anything back. When the pump action refused to lock, I just had to bite my lip and say enough, back to the store.

I still miss the idea behind the rod. Maybe if the cartridge were bigger, like a grapefruit, and didn’t need to be pushed down a barrel. Maybe it could be adapted to launching carp bait. As it is, this could be the most frustrating and disappointing birthday present one could give a fisherman.

(Other names are: Fogo Rocket Rod Jet Cast Safe Fishing System, Spin Master Toys Rocket Fishing Rod – all As Seen on TV!)

No comments: