TIPS  'N'  TRICKS FOR THE GREAT OUTDOORS
How to prevent large birds nests in level wind reels
 How to reduce the size of birds nests in your level wind reels. Make your first cast the longest of the day, and pull out a little extra line. Then place some tape (about 1 inch of masking tape or one of the small round or square stickers) across the line on your reel and then wind line in over the tape. If you get a birds nest it will be a small one because the line can not un-wrap any further than the tape you place across the line. If a large fish pulls line pass tape, it will harmlessly tear away. If you generally fish with 60 feet of line then you could have a piece of tape at 75 feet. A small piece is all it requires to do the job.
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What is the must dangerous thing on a boat?
  Your Anchor! Some things to avoid. Never stand on anchor rope at anytime and especially when dropping anchor. Never tie anchor rope to back of boat when you are in a possible high flow water release area like in the middle of a river or downstream of a dam. Always keep an eye peeled for logs or other debris coming downstream that could present a serious problem if it hits or becomes entangled in your anchor rope.Your boat could be pulled under or suddenly flipped by fast moving logs. Always tie anchor rope at the bow (front) of boat in these conditions. Don't store a sharp river-type anchor so that you could fall on it and jab yourself. Wear or keep handy some type of rope cutting tool like a knife or cutters so you can cut yourself free if you become entangled in a anchor rope in a fast current situation. Don't allow children or novices to drop anchor for you, especially in a fast current flow or tide movement. Don't drop anchor while your boat is still moving fast or moving fast with current. The rope can be pulled out of your hand and you will loose your anchor. Don't wait untill you are at the end of rope before bringing the rope under tension with anchor. Last but not least, treat your anchor and anchor rope like it was a loaded gun especially if youhave children on board. The anchor is the (gun), the rope is the (bullet) and the current is the (cold-blooded killer with no mercy). Teach children about the potential danger with anchors and ropes.
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How to tell if you have a flat when towing trailer with motorhome
  How to tell if you have a flat or some type of mechanical problem when towing a boat that you can not see behind a truck or motorhome. In most cases a flat will cause swaying of your trailer that you can feel or it may cause your trailer to run to one side. In some cases you need other techniques. If you can see out of your back window of your motorhome with your rearview mirror. Mount something to your boat that sticks up so you can see it through the rearview mirror. In no time you will get accustomed to where it tracks in your mirror. If you check your mirror and the object has shifted from its normal tracking spot, (if the road is heavily sloped then wait till you get on level ground and recheck) then pull over and check for problems. You should check for a flat, broken spring, loose lug nuts or spring shift. If you do not have a back window. Mount something flexible on boat trailer that sticks out to the side (safely) so that you can see it through your side mirror. I use a old sawed-off CB antenna with a tennis ball on the end. These things will be extremely valuable to you when backing up your boat trailer. By observing these objects in its normal position you will know that your boat is backing straight or moving off to the side. This is very useful also when backing an empty trailer. The key to backing a trailer straight is knowing the instant you stray off course so you can react quickly in deliberate amounts before your trailer takes off on you. Never over-react! These tricks work for any type vehicle. If you place your hand at the bottom of your steering wheel, then you simply move your hand in the direction you want the boat to go too without having to think about it. On motorhomes you have a lot of overhang from the rear tires to the trailer hitch and when backing such a vehicle, very little movement in your steering wheel is required to do the job. Take your boat to the middle of a large parking area and practice back it into lined parking spaces. =======================================
Why you should always carry a spare plug
 
Always carry a spare drain plug that fits your boat. If your plug gets sucked out while travelling and you stop (or you forget to put it in while launching) in a couple of minutes you will have inches of water in your boat Most boats will suck the water out (self bail) when you get up to speed. So first thing (if you have the horsepower with all the additional water weight) get planed out to pull the water out of your boat while you get your spare drain plug ready. If you don't have the power to plane out, then plug the hole fast and start bailing. Stop very close to shore in shallow water so you can beach your boat if necessary. If you can't reach to plug hole from within the boat, jump out to place the plug in the drain hole from the outside. Be quick, the boat will fill rapidly.
Plug care
  Don't place your plug into the drain hole if its greasy. Don't allow a slimy buildup to occur on plug or drain plug hole. Make sure your plug is in good condition and fits very tight. When you are up speed, swirling water at the boat's stern creates a lot of vacuum that can suck a loose drain plug out.
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Always carry a spare boat trailer tire and jack
  Ruining a good fishing trip because of a flat is easily done while you spend half a day scouring the countryside trying to locate a spare tire. Your fishing buddy may not forgive you either while he/she is sitting in the boat on the side of the road, looking and feeling like a dummy. If you hit a object in road causing a blow out, slow down and pull over quickly and safely as possible. A blown tire at high speed can come apart fast and cause you to loose control or can rip your trailer fender apart.
  I always carry a small 12-volt electric air compressor in my truck in case a tire suddenly develops a slow leak. It has saved more than one fishing trip for myself and others. =====================================
Falling out of boat in cold water while fishing alone can be deadly
Can you get back in your boat if you fall out while fishing alone? For safety reasons, try it with a buddy during the summer and see if you need some type of flip down ladder on your boat. If you fall overboard in the middle of a cold river, a big lake or the ocean while fishing alone and you can't get back in the boat, you will be in big trouble in no time. Make sure that you can get back aboard your vessel without assistance. Always have a set of dry clothes and a large towel packed onboard for such an emergency.
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--Ken Kristian (Coordinating Editor)

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