Fishing is one of the most enjoyable sports on the planet. Many anglers fish with a competitive edge, but for most recreational anglers, fishing is an enjoyable activity that can allow one to get away from it all and relax while they experience the thrill of landing a trophy. However, for many fishermen, chronic aches and pain can cut short an otherwise amazing time on the water, which can be highly frustrating. Thus, we would like to outline a couple tips that you can consider in order to feel as good as possible when heading out for a day of fishing, especially if you want to maximize your time on the water.
Insoles or orthotics
If you find that a day of casting leads to a lot of leg pain or lower back pain, try getting set up with a pair of insoles or custom orthotics. Lots of places around town will be able to do this, you just need to do a quick search on Google to find the most convenient spot for you to go. When you go in for a fitting, bring your typical fishing boots or shoes that you often wear when fishing, or something fairly representative of that. This will help ensure you are attaining the most comfortable sole/boot that you can get.
Are these really a big deal? Many anglers can get away without them, and you may think to yourself that you will be spending most of your time in a seated position, but realistically, we spend a lot of our time standing when we’re fishing, whether or not we’re in a boat. It’s easy to overlook this, only to realize there’s an issue once the pain starts to settle in. By enhancing your footwear, you can delay the onset of pain, hopefully allowing you to enjoy your multi-day fishing trips more than ever!
Arm Bands for Casting
What do tennis, golf, and fishing have in common? Among other things, they all involve repetitive movements of the arm, and specifically, the forearm. These movements can feel like nothing at first, but the more you cast and the shorter the time you have to rest between fishing outings, the more the tendons in your arm begin to rub and wear down. In tennis, this can lead to “tennis elbow”, which you may have heard of before, which is just that – the tendons that originate just above the elbow rub over other anatomical structures and gradually become damaged to the point that they become inflamed. This in turn leads to significant pain with those types of movement. This can also happen in fishing as well from repeated casting over really long periods of time. Aside from standard pain remedies and taking a long time off to recover, the best way to actively minimize the pain is to wear a tennis elbow brace, which is just a simple band that compresses the tendons and redistributes the forces acting on them. They are really small and cheap and work just fine for fishing or golf as well, so don’t hesitate to try one out. For other similar solutions, check out Brace Access for tons of information.
Chair with Proper Back Rest
This can still apply when fishing on a boat, but is especially applicable to fishing from the shore when you’re almost always in a standing position. To be clear, we don’t recommend a chair to be used 100% of the time, but rather, a simple fold-up chair with good back support is great for taking breaks. Every so often, have a seat when you’re eating, rigging up new tackle, or re-spooling line on a reel. This will give your legs and back a break, and as long as you continue to stand intermittently, your leg and back muscles will still get a good level of activity to keep them strong. For a boat, you might not need a chair, but make sure to find somewhere you can sit momentarily that has good back support.
Advil and Tylenol
We don’t recommend using Advil and Tylenol on a regular basis, as Advil is hard on your stomach and Tylenol can damage your liver, but when you’re in a pinch they can certainly be effective pain remedies. If you know some aches and pains will be creeping up on you, try taking Advil just before you get on the water. Closer to the end of the day, take a second round of Advil. If the pain is becoming quite noticeable, you can also take some Tylenol. They won’t affect each other, and in fact they are usually quite effective when taken together, but just make sure to follow the guidelines on the bottle. These are also great when you’re in a pinch and are experiencing some unexpected pain. Try keeping a small bottle of each packed in a travel bag or tackle box.
We’re half joking here. Many anglers will gladly enjoy a cold one while fishing on a nice summer day, and it can be a great way to offset some aches and pains. Just don’t try and totally kill the pain with alcohol, as you eventually won’t know what direction you’re casting! Always be safe when near the water, follow the laws, and use proper judgement.
That’s all for now! We hope you found some of these tips helpful, or can pass these along to someone who may be able to benefit from some of them. Good luck out there, and don’t over-do it!