~Just for Fun~
A LITTLE PIDDLY STIK HISTORY... Where it came from and what it's for!
The first thing I did when I graduated from College in 1977 was head for the hills. Literally. While preparing for a backpacking trip into Oregon's Eagle Cap Wilderness, I realized I didn't have any fishing gear handy. In desperation, I scoured my small apartment in search of something, anything, that I could throw together. I found a spool of nylon thread, a broken #2 pencil, and a popsicle stick. After a little scraping and gluing, the Piddly Stik--barely four inches long and less than one ounce heavy--was born!
On the way out of town I bought a few flies, and for the next three days, I feasted on pan-sized trout plucked piddly-style from the cold, clear streams that drain the rugged landscape of the Wallowa Mountains. Catching those brookies surprised me; I hadn't expected my piddly little creation to work!
The Mother of Invention
I needed to fish! Consequently--accidentally, really--I invented a compact, ultra-light, handline fishing system that turned out to be a backpacker's dream! Actually, modified might be more accurate than invented. Thing is, at the time I didn't know there was such a thing as handline fishing! That was over 37 years ago...
I risked boring you with a history lesson for three reasons: First, I love the story! (Sorry... can't help it.) Second, the Piddly Stik shines when fished in the high-mountain streams of our wilderness areas; it was made for such places. Third, I've caught hundreds of fish with traditional equipment, but hooking, fighting, and landing a fish with a P. Stik is one of the most satisfying, coolest, and most fun things I've ever done in the woods!
Credit Is Due
Without some gentle, albeit persistent, encouragement from my lovely, Hapa wife (she is from Hawaii), the original Piddly Stik would still be floating around in my top desk drawer where it spent the last few decades dreaming blissfully of riffles and splashing fish.
Michaela found it there not long ago. She didn't know what it was, but she wanted one. (She thought it was 'cute,' OK?) Anyway, she gave me no peace until I agreed to try to market the thing. At first, I resisted her efforts, but in the end, I caved. If you are blessed with someone in your life who believes in you, then you will understand what I was up against.
All I can say now is: You were right all along, Sweetheart! Thank you!
CHOOSING AND ATTACHING LINE...Ambidextrous is a good thing, right? Or, is it left?
We recommend initially applying at least 100 yards of high quality fishing line that is rated between 2 lb. and 10 lb. test in strength.* Securely attach the line to the spool using the knot of your choice.** SPECIAL TIP: For peace of mind, consider tying a half-hitch in the end of the line before tying the main knot! Doing this will reduce the likelihood of having a fish pull the line off the spool if your main knot slips. When I was a kid, my father taught me to do this on all my fishing reels. It's a just-in-case precaution.
*We find that 2 to 4 lb. test is ideal for most applications but that heavier line/leader combinations might be preferable when going after large fish or fishing in the vicinity of underwater structures, such as submerged logs or other potentially troublesome obstacles. 50 to 100 yards of line will allow you to stay with the occasional lunker, should you tie into one, or to get hung-up and lose line without having to immediately replace it. That said, it is still a good idea to have spare line available.
**I specifically mention using 'a knot' when attaching the line to the spool because my dear wife just asked, "Why not just use super glue?" Hmm...
Filling the Spool
Piddly Stiks are designed to be used ambidextrously; however, how you initially wind the line onto the spool will vary, depending on whether you are right or left-handed, as follows*:
*This process should be intuitive and fairly straight-forward.
Thank you to those of you who have asked for videos demonstrating how to set-up and use a Piddly Stik. Please bear with us as we respond.
Once completed, these demo's should provide valuable insight into the tackle and techniques that can optimize your Piddly Stick's performance. In addition, we will address how to THINK when fishing with a P. Stik--or with any gear, for that matter--which is very important.
Based on your requests, we have identified the following topics on which to focus:
TYING ONE ON...Sobering thoughts on knots!
CASTING AND LURE PRESENTATION... Strip, twirl, and hurl!
THE MOMENT OF TRUTH...Fish on!
MAKING IT LAST...Someone might want your Piddly Stik
when you're done with it!
BEING PREPARED...NOT naked and NOT afraid--how to STAY FAT in the woods!
AN OLD SAYING..."Give a man a fish, and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish,
and you feed him for a lifetime!"
Handline Fishing System
Bottom: The Piddly Stik still in diapers (1977)
Top: The Piddly Stik all grown up (2014)