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New "River Monsters" Tackle: Oh, The Irony

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March 28, 2012

New "River Monsters" Tackle: Oh, The Irony

By Joe Cermele

I have never been the biggest fan of Jeremy Wade's show "River Monsters." It's not that it isn't entertaining, but I'm sorry, I largely find a lot of the stories that go along with his epic hunts to be hogwash. Most of the fish he catches are not really monsters in my opinion, and some of the claims he makes about the sizes certain species are known to reach would be shot down by reputable guides in an instant. I heard these shoot-downs in person during a trip last year to the Columbia River, where Wade claimed sturgeon frequently hit the 20-foot mark. Regardless, Wade takes himself pretty seriously and travels the globe with some serious tackle. So pardon me if I snicker a bit at the new "River Monsters" line of gear from South Bend. 

I know what you're thinking: "Don't be a jerk, Joe. This stuff is geared toward kids." Some of it is, and if it gets kids interested in fishing, that's totally rad. But not all of it will be shelved next to the Spiderman rods at the Wally World. Take, for example, the MonsterCatfish Spin Combo, featuring a heavy-action glass rod and reel with over-sized rollers, or the Monster Catfish Spincast Combo, featuring a reel with a "dual-power handle." That stuff sounds advanced for 8-year-old Timmy up the street.

So here's what would make me watch more "River Monsters" this season: Instead of Jeremy Wade loading dugout canoes with Shimano Tiagras and top-shelf Mustad hooks, let's see what kind of damage he can do with the gear that has his name on it. I want to see him yank a three-eyed, four-fanged, Goliath monkey-goat fish out of some Egyptian backwater with one of his Adventure Gear Combos (which come pre-spooled with mono, by the way) and only use whatever lures come in the Deluxe Adventure Kit. Wouldn't that be fun to watch?

Comments (21)

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from themadflyfisher wrote 2 years 2 weeks ago

Agreed! He's kinda the Bear grylls of tv fishing.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from nuclear_fisher wrote 2 years 2 weeks ago

You should hold a contest to see who can catch the largest fish on that gear.

As for river monsters, I generally like the show, but it is like 10-15 minutes of material. It would be a stretch for a 30 minute show but then they go all the way and stretch it out for an hour.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from boof wrote 2 years 2 weeks ago

Doesnt seem like something Jeremy would put his name on.

When it comes to the show, though, I love it. I agree that there should be more fishing and less fables and legends that go with it. I look forward to the new season on April 1.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from FeMGB wrote 2 years 2 weeks ago

It's all about the money. Quality programming and quality equipment have nothing to do with it. You've been challenged Jeremy, "You endorse it, you use it!"

-1 Good Comment? | | Report
from buckhunter wrote 2 years 2 weeks ago

It is a shame that the once great Natgeo channel stoops so low to air this stuff.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from tkbone wrote 2 years 2 weeks ago

Lighten up, Joe! Sounds like Jeremy isn't the only one who "takes himself pretty seriously!" If you want to watch a serious fishing show, there are plenty of other options. River Monsters is primarily for entertainment purposes but I don't think even the most serious anglers would dispute that they've learned a few things about river fishing and species in other parts of the world, that the show has gotten more people interested in fishing and conservation, and that it's hopefully promoted some needed and responsible tourism in some of the areas he's fished.

I would have eaten this stuff up when I was a kid - there's no doubt about the target age group. Whether something is a river "monster" is in the eye of the beholder - it might be a 10lb blue cat to an 8 year old. I do agree that it would be cool to see Jeremy land a respectable fish on the officially licensed gear.

+4 Good Comment? | | Report
from Steve Johnson wrote 2 years 2 weeks ago

Ya, this stuff is lame. If the idea is to get kids into fishing, lets do it with water clean-up efforts and such. It all seems to self serving to be considered an effort to lure people towards fishing.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from weedless97 wrote 2 years 2 weeks ago

Goliath Monkey-Goat fish, I'll have to use that one some time! Personally I like the show, he may exaggerate, but it's fun to watch, and if it gets non-fisherman interested in protecting species that's great!

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from FL Hunter wrote 2 years 2 weeks ago

If you want to get your kid or a kid really into fishing spend the money and get them some high quality gear that will not break down and will last them. As a kid I can remember how bad it feels when your line breaks when you hook a big fish and the feeling is even worse when your rod or reel breaks. My first major purchase was a Shimano Calcutta 150 and a G Loomis rod. They are both now over 15 years old and are still like new. You get what you pay for.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from bruisedsausage wrote 2 years 2 weeks ago

Holy smokes Cermele, your post sounds about like my rant the other day about the new Ruger "American". Absolutely 100% spot on!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Captjim wrote 2 years 2 weeks ago

The program is what it is. I enjoy seeing the locations and the different cultures more than the fishing aspect of it but hey it's drama TV. What do you expect a pbs documentary? All those shows have a "hook" just before the commercial break so you will stay tuned. Standard tv production 101. I checked out the South Bend website and I'm not 100% sure they are in bed with the actual show. It was "inspired" by the show and I didn't see anything with Jeremy's name on it or a trademark symbol on the package. I think this might be Madison Ave. gone amuck and Jeremy's probably pretty embarrassed about it. They all could be lawyering up, who knows.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from dtbc333 wrote 2 years 2 weeks ago

I have to point out the fact that the tackle has the show's name on it, not his(at least from what I can tell in the picture). Wouldn't be surprised if it's something that the network is pushing that Jeremy Wade has nothing to do with.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Koldkut wrote 2 years 2 weeks ago

You guys need to take a closer look at the reels, his name is on the reel faces.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from dtbc333 wrote 2 years 2 weeks ago

A trip to the website of South Bend, the company that makes the River Monster Gear, confirmed that they have a licensing deal with Discovery Communications, not Jeremy Wade. Their only mentions of Jeremy Wade at all were that he hosts the show, and "Wade promotes efforts by indigenous people to support their way of life through fishing, an effort supported by South Bend Sporting goods." Of course, I don't know for sure if that means that he has absolutely nothing to do with it, or just that he's not the one who gets the money for it. It also says: "South Bend Sporting Goods will be promoting conservation efforts to protect and ensure sustainable levels of fish for future generations through the sale of River Monster branded products." Maybe seeing if this claim is true or not is where the real story in all this is? That said, I still agree with Cermele that it would be fun to see Wade try to catch some of the fish he goes after on this "River Monsters" gear.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Captjim wrote 2 years 2 weeks ago

Well there you go, detective Koldkut and dtbc333 cracked this nut. Looks like all bets are off and let the fun begin. After I see the performance tests and field tests on this bad boy, my 5 year old daughter might be upgrading her "Dora" rod/reel combo. If we have any Nile Perch down in the pond she'll be ready to go. I'll send photos.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from jzs702 wrote 2 years 2 weeks ago

This is one reality fishing show that I actually enjoy. It's informative and entertaining and more importantly it doesn't highlight a bunch of hand chosen idiots specifically picked for their entertainment value and, most importantly it doesn't highlight commercial fishing. That being said, I am sick and tired of seeing ads for "Wicked Tuna" plastered all over OL and F&S, this is glamorizing the commercial fishing of a fishery that has been fished to the brink of, if not already past, the point of no return. This is not responsible programming and I'm disappointed in F&S and OL for supporting it. I wont even go into "Swords" and everything wrong with that show.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from shane wrote 2 years 2 weeks ago

"I largely find a lot of the stories that go along with his epic hunts to be hogwash"

Well no kidding. Go anywhere, especially away from "civilization" and you'll hear endless hogwash. One of the natives thought the sturgeon was a 20 foot pike. It's worse in Africa. Can't blame Wade or the show.

"Most of the fish he catches are not really monsters in my opinion"

This is rich. I'd like to see the largest examples of species from the show that you've personally landed. What's your biggest tiger fish?

Seriously. Let's go down the list of species and see who wins.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from shane wrote 2 years 2 weeks ago

And of course, we have another example of zero foresight for the future of the sport and the resource.

He didn't put his name on these products because they are the gear he thinks is up to the task of his angling adventures. He didn't put his name on it at all. The show and whoever runs that media production company did.

The show's name is on it because it will sell it. Which is a good thing. The excise tax goes to conservation, remember? His show has probably sparked an interest in fishing in a lot of people that probably never gave it a second thought before.

They can see the show, then see the gear that goes with it. They will have to buy a license too. Again, conservation.

The more we have this kinda thing going on, the better. Interest = conservation. Interest = money = conservation. All of this adds up to more hope for the future of the sport and the resource.

Kinda disappointed in this post.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from GladeRaid wrote 2 years 2 weeks ago

Shane, I kinda don't think JC means monster as in size. Wade makes tigerfish and pirannas out to be "monsters" like Jaws or the evil or something and they are not. It makes people think these fish are horrible animals when they ar not at all

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from dtbc333 wrote 2 years 2 weeks ago

Gladeraid...That isn't true at all. If you actually watch the show Wade is usually recounting tribal legends and stories from the area he is in, and makes that quite clear.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from emansfie wrote 2 years 2 weeks ago

I honestly like watching the show. I understand that the majority of the show is about "building up suspense" about some monster looming just inches under the water, but really the guy gives you something to watch. I'm not saying he is the greatest angler or is a hero to any, but compared to 90% of what is labeled as "REAL" on TV I'd say he is near the top. I don't recall seeing anything that appeared staged...yet.

As for the tackle...this did not help his angling credibility.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report

Post a Comment

from tkbone wrote 2 years 2 weeks ago

Lighten up, Joe! Sounds like Jeremy isn't the only one who "takes himself pretty seriously!" If you want to watch a serious fishing show, there are plenty of other options. River Monsters is primarily for entertainment purposes but I don't think even the most serious anglers would dispute that they've learned a few things about river fishing and species in other parts of the world, that the show has gotten more people interested in fishing and conservation, and that it's hopefully promoted some needed and responsible tourism in some of the areas he's fished.

I would have eaten this stuff up when I was a kid - there's no doubt about the target age group. Whether something is a river "monster" is in the eye of the beholder - it might be a 10lb blue cat to an 8 year old. I do agree that it would be cool to see Jeremy land a respectable fish on the officially licensed gear.

+4 Good Comment? | | Report
from boof wrote 2 years 2 weeks ago

Doesnt seem like something Jeremy would put his name on.

When it comes to the show, though, I love it. I agree that there should be more fishing and less fables and legends that go with it. I look forward to the new season on April 1.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from buckhunter wrote 2 years 2 weeks ago

It is a shame that the once great Natgeo channel stoops so low to air this stuff.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from weedless97 wrote 2 years 2 weeks ago

Goliath Monkey-Goat fish, I'll have to use that one some time! Personally I like the show, he may exaggerate, but it's fun to watch, and if it gets non-fisherman interested in protecting species that's great!

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from shane wrote 2 years 2 weeks ago

"I largely find a lot of the stories that go along with his epic hunts to be hogwash"

Well no kidding. Go anywhere, especially away from "civilization" and you'll hear endless hogwash. One of the natives thought the sturgeon was a 20 foot pike. It's worse in Africa. Can't blame Wade or the show.

"Most of the fish he catches are not really monsters in my opinion"

This is rich. I'd like to see the largest examples of species from the show that you've personally landed. What's your biggest tiger fish?

Seriously. Let's go down the list of species and see who wins.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from themadflyfisher wrote 2 years 2 weeks ago

Agreed! He's kinda the Bear grylls of tv fishing.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Steve Johnson wrote 2 years 2 weeks ago

Ya, this stuff is lame. If the idea is to get kids into fishing, lets do it with water clean-up efforts and such. It all seems to self serving to be considered an effort to lure people towards fishing.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Captjim wrote 2 years 2 weeks ago

The program is what it is. I enjoy seeing the locations and the different cultures more than the fishing aspect of it but hey it's drama TV. What do you expect a pbs documentary? All those shows have a "hook" just before the commercial break so you will stay tuned. Standard tv production 101. I checked out the South Bend website and I'm not 100% sure they are in bed with the actual show. It was "inspired" by the show and I didn't see anything with Jeremy's name on it or a trademark symbol on the package. I think this might be Madison Ave. gone amuck and Jeremy's probably pretty embarrassed about it. They all could be lawyering up, who knows.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from dtbc333 wrote 2 years 2 weeks ago

I have to point out the fact that the tackle has the show's name on it, not his(at least from what I can tell in the picture). Wouldn't be surprised if it's something that the network is pushing that Jeremy Wade has nothing to do with.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Koldkut wrote 2 years 2 weeks ago

You guys need to take a closer look at the reels, his name is on the reel faces.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from dtbc333 wrote 2 years 2 weeks ago

A trip to the website of South Bend, the company that makes the River Monster Gear, confirmed that they have a licensing deal with Discovery Communications, not Jeremy Wade. Their only mentions of Jeremy Wade at all were that he hosts the show, and "Wade promotes efforts by indigenous people to support their way of life through fishing, an effort supported by South Bend Sporting goods." Of course, I don't know for sure if that means that he has absolutely nothing to do with it, or just that he's not the one who gets the money for it. It also says: "South Bend Sporting Goods will be promoting conservation efforts to protect and ensure sustainable levels of fish for future generations through the sale of River Monster branded products." Maybe seeing if this claim is true or not is where the real story in all this is? That said, I still agree with Cermele that it would be fun to see Wade try to catch some of the fish he goes after on this "River Monsters" gear.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Captjim wrote 2 years 2 weeks ago

Well there you go, detective Koldkut and dtbc333 cracked this nut. Looks like all bets are off and let the fun begin. After I see the performance tests and field tests on this bad boy, my 5 year old daughter might be upgrading her "Dora" rod/reel combo. If we have any Nile Perch down in the pond she'll be ready to go. I'll send photos.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from jzs702 wrote 2 years 2 weeks ago

This is one reality fishing show that I actually enjoy. It's informative and entertaining and more importantly it doesn't highlight a bunch of hand chosen idiots specifically picked for their entertainment value and, most importantly it doesn't highlight commercial fishing. That being said, I am sick and tired of seeing ads for "Wicked Tuna" plastered all over OL and F&S, this is glamorizing the commercial fishing of a fishery that has been fished to the brink of, if not already past, the point of no return. This is not responsible programming and I'm disappointed in F&S and OL for supporting it. I wont even go into "Swords" and everything wrong with that show.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from shane wrote 2 years 2 weeks ago

And of course, we have another example of zero foresight for the future of the sport and the resource.

He didn't put his name on these products because they are the gear he thinks is up to the task of his angling adventures. He didn't put his name on it at all. The show and whoever runs that media production company did.

The show's name is on it because it will sell it. Which is a good thing. The excise tax goes to conservation, remember? His show has probably sparked an interest in fishing in a lot of people that probably never gave it a second thought before.

They can see the show, then see the gear that goes with it. They will have to buy a license too. Again, conservation.

The more we have this kinda thing going on, the better. Interest = conservation. Interest = money = conservation. All of this adds up to more hope for the future of the sport and the resource.

Kinda disappointed in this post.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from dtbc333 wrote 2 years 2 weeks ago

Gladeraid...That isn't true at all. If you actually watch the show Wade is usually recounting tribal legends and stories from the area he is in, and makes that quite clear.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from emansfie wrote 2 years 2 weeks ago

I honestly like watching the show. I understand that the majority of the show is about "building up suspense" about some monster looming just inches under the water, but really the guy gives you something to watch. I'm not saying he is the greatest angler or is a hero to any, but compared to 90% of what is labeled as "REAL" on TV I'd say he is near the top. I don't recall seeing anything that appeared staged...yet.

As for the tackle...this did not help his angling credibility.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from nuclear_fisher wrote 2 years 2 weeks ago

You should hold a contest to see who can catch the largest fish on that gear.

As for river monsters, I generally like the show, but it is like 10-15 minutes of material. It would be a stretch for a 30 minute show but then they go all the way and stretch it out for an hour.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from FL Hunter wrote 2 years 2 weeks ago

If you want to get your kid or a kid really into fishing spend the money and get them some high quality gear that will not break down and will last them. As a kid I can remember how bad it feels when your line breaks when you hook a big fish and the feeling is even worse when your rod or reel breaks. My first major purchase was a Shimano Calcutta 150 and a G Loomis rod. They are both now over 15 years old and are still like new. You get what you pay for.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from bruisedsausage wrote 2 years 2 weeks ago

Holy smokes Cermele, your post sounds about like my rant the other day about the new Ruger "American". Absolutely 100% spot on!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from GladeRaid wrote 2 years 2 weeks ago

Shane, I kinda don't think JC means monster as in size. Wade makes tigerfish and pirannas out to be "monsters" like Jaws or the evil or something and they are not. It makes people think these fish are horrible animals when they ar not at all

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from FeMGB wrote 2 years 2 weeks ago

It's all about the money. Quality programming and quality equipment have nothing to do with it. You've been challenged Jeremy, "You endorse it, you use it!"

-1 Good Comment? | | Report

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