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18 Apr

Visiting An Offshore Fishing Legend….Captain Rod Bierstedt

I met Captain Rod Bierstedt about 10 years ago. I had just started my new Saltwater Fishing online magazine then called “Coastal Carolina Fisherman” which as you know is now “Saltwater Angler & Sportsman”. Rod was an older guy with tons of energy, and I quickly (within minutes) learned he was what seemed to be an unlimited source of fishing knowledge. A trait that even today continues to astound me. As a member of the Saltwater Angler & Sportsman magazine’s “Legends of Saltwater Fishing” society, Rod has played a key role in the magazine’s success with his contributions around fishing instructional articles and videos. With that said, we wanted to take you to the home of Captain Rod Bierstedt in Wilmington, NC, to see and learn more about this interesting and unique saltwater fishing legend.

When I rolled up to Captain Rod’s home he came out and met me with a warm greeting and sense of excitement. No worthless small talk. We went straight into his garage where the fishing talk started right away, which didn’t surprise me knowing Rod like I do. Inside his garage I assumed would be his tackle room, but instead, we went into a small room just off the garage. I assumed that Rod had a large amount of fishing gear, and the small room took me by surprise. That is until I went into this…small room. Ceiling to floor and on all 4 walls was covered with neatly organized fishing gear along with a small work bench and chair. The room and its contents would make any angler’s mouth water and envy. I have an entire garage storing my 6 rods and reels and my large tackle bag holding every lure I own. Seeing Rod’s fishing get-a-way was embarrassing. It was really a memorable sight to see.

47 Year Old Reel

His in-home tackle shop included over 80 rods and reels of all types and sizes. This inventory took over 40 years to culminate and could only be achieved by Rod’s detailed and relentless care. The most interesting thing was the age of the reels. Thanks to his focus on care and maintenance, he had rods that were many years old. One being a PENN Jig Master that was produced in 1977 making it over 47 years old. The condition was incredible, and it took me back in time to see the simpler and sturdy construction of reels from those days.

Probably the biggest thing I noticed was Rod’s knowledge of his gear and most importantly how to care for and extend the life of it. It was clear that he placed priority and determination on his equipment and his customer’s fishing success over the years.

Even though I’ve been in the saltwater fishing community for over 40 years, listening to Captain Rod Bierstedt I felt like a rookie angler. His in-depth discussions came from his many years of fishing experience and mostly from his passion for the sport. Another thing I learned about Rob Bierstedt was not only his passion for fishing, but his love of sharing it other anglers. Today, he offers that knowledge to new saltwater fishermen by making himself available as an on-the-water teacher to those new to saltwater fishing. By taking the new anglers fishing on their own boat and using their gear, Rob advises them on the hows and whys. He starts with the basics and moves them forward which allows them to become successful fishermen quicker and with less costly mistakes. His concept is growing rapidly. My visit with Captain Rod Bierstedt is one I truly appreciate. I’ll always remember the countless fishing tips he gave me in the short time I was there. If I knew 5% of what he knows I would be a GREAT fisherman.

Thanks for making us better anglers!

Here’s a few things that I learned that day:

· A dull color on the fishing line can mean it’s aging and needs to be replaced.

· Rod’s out of season prep time and getting ready for the coming season is approximately 120 hours.

· Placing your rods and reels in the gunwale rod holders while underway can result in erosion from the constant spray that must be washed off with fresh water.

· When lubricating your reels make sure to avoid lubricant coming in contact with the fishing line. It will erode the line and shorten its life.

· Clean and sharpen your fishing hooks frequently. When you do, they will penetrate the fish’s mouth more effectively and lengthen the life of the hooks significantly.

· Cutty cabins are a great place to store rods and reels, outbound and inbound. It reduces the exposure to saltwater and less UV rays on the fishing line.

· Clean your rods and reels at the dock rather than waiting till you get home and remove the salt from them as soon as possible.

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