May 10, 2013

A Brief History of Forks and Reels

It's been well over a year since I moved to China and shuttered the windows at Lunkerhunt world headquarters. You're probably excited about finally reading something witty, but I'm sorry to say this is a history lesson. Something to remember until next week's trivia night at Marge's Cue 'n Brew.

Fishing here is still nothing to write home about, so I won't. This post is about fishing history, with a side of silverware.

Recently someone told me the Chinese people invented the fork. For reasons known only to Buddha, Confucius and Mao, they decided to use chopsticks instead. So I spent today's lunch hour doing some internet research to confirm the statement. Results are mixed, it was either the Chinese or the Egyptians, maybe both - but I digress.

While researching I stumbled upon this page about Chinese inventions, which is extremely interesting for a guy like me. Before China started copying things, they were hard at work inventing things. Legitimate world changing inventions. Stuff like printing, cast iron, steel, gun powder, paper and the compass. In the list something piqued my interest:

Image courtesy of Wikipedia, who no doubt stole it from someone else.

The above image is of Ma Yuan's Angler on a Wintry Lake, circa 1195 AD. The painting is significant because it is the earliest known depiction of a fishing reel. Chinese people invented the fishing reel. Interesting, no?

It reminds me of a picture I uploaded to Facebook last year. I don't remember the caption, I'm sure it was priceless...something like "Screw Tenkara, this is the new old way to break off a fish."

In comparing the two specimens, I find not much changed in 800 years.

"Short and stout wears 'em out"


12 comments:

  1. Those give a new meaning to "large" arbor reel.

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  2. Very interesting. Glad to see something from you here.

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  3. Perhaps they invented the reel for their kites before the fishing pole.

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  4. Welcome back to the blog wars Clif!

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  5. They sure are keeping it healthy with that bowl of salad in the background.

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  6. Welcome back Clif. And where do I go about getting one of those sweet rod/reel setups??

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    1. If I ever see them for sale, I'll buy a dozen. Until then you're on your own.

      Make one for me while you make yours.

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  7. Good to see you're back blogging.Whenever ya get back,look me up and we'll do some fishin.
    Troy

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    1. Latest estimate is December. I call that an estimate because it's changed once already.

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  8. Fishing in China is still not worth writing about? What do you mean? What's absent? Can you even fish there or are there just no places that will allow it? I would think you would have access to a lot but, maybe I'm just a naive North American. Are you noticing any of those snakehead fish? They're supposed to be everywhere! Again, I show my naive side but, my guess is there are a lot of fish like that there.

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  9. I'm curious if there are less issues with this type of setup all around. It seems like there would be less parts to foul up. I don't think this would be the best for say a buzz bait, but it would probably pretty good for carp fishing. Speaking of, isn't carp fishing supposed to be good out that way?

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    1. Yes, few moving parts in that set up...but it's got more than the telescoping cane poles everyone uses around here for catching carps.

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