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Patched-up fishing rod works just fine for Wellington man

  • The Wichita Eagle
  • Published Saturday, July 21, 2012, at 9:59 p.m.
  • Updated Saturday, July 21, 2012, at 10:33 p.m.

Father and son Kenny and Todd Barker can be opposites when it comes to the quality of their fishing gear.

“They’re always giving me a hard time about fixing everything with gray tape or baling wire,” said Kenny Barker, of Wellington, who admits he never brings more than he thinks he might need, too.

His son, however…

“I’m always getting made fun of because I bring too much stuff,” said Todd Barker, Gander Mountain manager and an angler who totes plenty of good gear.

Both Barkers love their bi-annual fishing trips to Ontario with several from the family.

Last month Kenny Barker proved his frugal ways work fine.

Their first day on the water, he broke his lone spinning rod on a snag.

Rather than reaching for the spare rod his son offered, Barker reached into his tackle box.

“I had some gray tape in the tackle box so I decided I’d try it,” he said. After overlapping the pieces about six inches, he wrapped them tightly with tape.

The bandaged rod saw little use the next few days, as Barker used his heavier casting rod for things like pike and musky.

On the last day he rigged the injured rod with a jig and a small minnow and lowered it over the boat. It wasn’t long before the bandaged rod was into a heavy fish.

Taking his time on six-pound-test line, Barker eventually got the gorgeous walleye to a net.

The fat fish measured 30 3/4 inches and weighed about 11 pounds. That’s almost three inches bigger than any Todd Barker has ever landed on his fancy gear.

So, what of the patched rod?

“Oh, I left it up in the cabin,” Kenny Barker said. “I figured maybe one of the maids could give it to one of their kids. It works fine.”

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