Merwin: Camo Rods?

Do we really need camo-pattern fishing rods? I was wondering that this morning while noting that the "best new rod" category at the recent ICAST fishing-trade show was won by a new rod series decked out in a variety of camouflage finishes. It just struck me that making a rod less visible is going to make me more likely to step on it or to shut the rod tip in a car door.

A new rod company out of Texas called USA Custom Rods has produced a series of baitcasting and spinning rods in various camo finishes under license from Mossy Oak. You can choose Break Up, Duck Blind (pictured), or even hot-pink versions intended, I guess, for the ladies on board. The rods are listed at about $140 each.

I know that for many sportsmen, camo-pattern everything is almost a way of life. So there's camo-pattern underwear, flashlights, cameras, socks and probably even toilet paper. All in addition to more normally camouflaged items such as jackets and hunting pants and waders. Some of this makes sense. Some of it doesn't.

I suppose a camo-pattern fishing rod might be seen--or not seen, actually--as the ultimate in stealth angling. The rods were at least enough of a novel gimmick to pull lots of votes among ICAST attendees, hence the "best rod" award. But the whole idea still seems--to me, at least--more than a little over the top.