symbicort fishing commercial

I was wrong: Symbicort was right

Truth in advertising.

Back in June I posted my bewilderment over a particular Symbicort commercial that appeared to portray fly fishing, albeit very poorly. Myself and many others saw countless flaws in the content of the commercial in which fly fishing gear was apparently merged ignorantly with a mish-mash of gear rods and bobbers. My original post is HERE.

Others also took note of the apparent inaccuracies of the commercial. Why, over at the Ozark Anglers discussion forum they were all in an uproar as well. Check out that discusssion HERE.

The comments posted on the UA confirmed my findings as many of you noted the same twisted depictions that I did. However, in the months since my original blog entry on the matter, a few comments have been posted, setting me straight. Apparently the method of fishing being shown in the commercial is not a rag-tag assembly of gear rods with fly reels and bobbers, as I so alleged, but rather centerpin setups. I’ve heard of centerpin fishing, though I’ve never tried it nor have I ever seen it done first hand. From videos it doesn’t look like that much fun. I could be wrong (I’ve been wrong before).

So let’s give credit where credit is due; to those in the peanut gallery who shown light on the matter:

First up was Sean, who on July 5th said:

“That is actually a center pin reel. You use them with floats (aka bobbers). The rods are typically very long (like 11ft or more). They are VERY effective at drifting your bait or fly in streams and rivers.”

Thanks, Sean, for the clarification.

Then, on September 7th RK chimed in:

“Not a fly reel guys, its a centerpin reel, and they were float fishing..”

RK, thanks for corroborating that which Sean pointed out.

And then the very next day, Mike offered his two cents on the matter:

“This is a center-pin set up (a free running reel with no drag) and yes they do use bobber’s and is a very sucessful way of catching trout”

Thanks, Mike. Sean and RK mentioned the same thing.

One might think that 3 comments would suffice, but wait—there’s more!

On September 22nd Jack wrote:

“Yup, centerpin float fishing…. if you guys had ever fished for a real fish over 1lb… say in the 15-30lb range, like a steelhead or salmon you would understand. Oh and yes, when these fish run upriver they find their way into small streams and creeks to spawn. You use a centerpin set up and float so that you can get an absolutely natural drift on a fish without them seeing your main line. I think the director may have known what he wanted, but obviously the general public has no clue.”

Jack be nimble, Jack be quick…except that Sean, RK and Mike were quicker. Jack, you said, “if you guys had ever fished for a real fish over 1lb…”  There’s no need to get surly, Jack—we’re all friends here in the back room of the Unaccomplished Angler. Centerpin fishing is fairly obscure, as evidenced by the fact that so many who left comments on the original post were in the same position as myself: innocently ignorant. And among those who commented are some very experienced fly anglers, some of them very accustomed to fly fishing for large anadromous fish that find their way upriver to span in small streams and creeks. If it was centerpin fishing, so be it. But why did they have a fly line on the centerpin reel?  Isn’t mono what is typically used in centerpinning? Honestly, I don’t know.

Water under the bridge.

I will say one thing: perhaps the director of the commercial was a genius, because by portraying an obscure method of fishing they sure got a lot of people talking about it…

Comments welcome.






Somethin’s fishy in AdPharmville

I was staring blankly at the TV the other night when something caught my attention: a commercial. Specifically, a commercial for Symbicort. Symbicort is a drug.  No, not a drug for erectile dysfunction (I had to defuse that before the peanut gallery chimed in). Here, according to Wikipedia, is the definition of the drug:

Budesonide/formoterol is a combination formulation containing budesonide and formoterol used in the management of asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) in the EU. It is marketed by AstraZeneca under the trade name Symbicort.

Now that we’ve cleared that up, let’s look at the ad in question, which is posted on a site called

(I’ll pause while you watch the video, HERE)

Now that you’ve seen the commercial, I’m sure you noticed that something’s amiss. Let’s examine more closely, shall we?


Exhibit A (insert added to show closeup of fly fishing hat)

1. (Exhibit A) The main character is clearly a fly fisherman, as evidenced by his vest and lucky fishing hat which is covered with fishing flies. Nothing wrong with that.

Exhibit B

2. (Exhibit B) To further convince the viewer that the main character is clearly a fly fisherman, we even see a couple rods with fly reels mounted. We know without a shadow of doubt that those are fly reels, spooled with yellow fly line. However, something’s not quite right here, but the commercial moved too quickly for me to put my finger on it right away.

Exhibit C

3. (Exhibit C) A close-up of a fly reel eased my trepidation momentarily. I did wonder why the reel was spinning so fast when the rods weren’t even strung up yet, but I chalked it up to dynamic cinematic effect. I was willing to overlook that creative liberty, but from here on out things began to go awry rather quickly. Look at the grip on the green rod in this screen capture. Where is the telltale foreward grip of the fly rod that you know? But that’s only a problem I noticed with the one rod….

Exhibit D.1

Exhibit D.2

4. (Exhibits D.1 and D.2) Just as I suspected earlier on (Exhibit B), the other rod looked a bit out of place. Like the green rod in Exhibit C, this rod is also missing the telltale, long fore-grip of a fly rod. But check out the lower grip section on this rod: that’s more than a fighting butt on a typical fly fishing rod. Hell, it’s more than the underhand grip on any Spey rod I’ve ever seen!  Could it be…perhaps, a saltwater big game rod?  I’ve used salmon rods like that. Seems a bit overkill for the skinny stream we see in the background of Exhibit D.2. At this point I’m also noting that the vest he’s wearing is not a fly fishing vest–it’s more like something one would purchase for an overland safari. This isn’t going so well for Symbicort…

Exhibit E

5. (Exhibit E) And what of that first line guide you see there on the rod? Does that look like a standard stripping guide to you? Hardly. In fact, it looks like definitely the bottom guide on a gear rod…and yet there’s evidence of the fly line, so once again I began to doubt myself…

I began to think that maybe it’s some sort of specialized fly rod, the likes of which I’ve simply never seen. After all, I am no expert nor do I claim on any given day to be one.  I mean, who is the Unaccomplished Angler to assume a position of authority anyway, right?

But then came the final straw…

Exhibit F.1

Exhibit F.2

6. (Exhibits F.1 and F.2) They’re using bobbers.  No, not nymphing with Thingamabobbers, but lobbing actual bobbers as would one lob a bobber with a spin casting setup. Only they’re using fly reels and fly line. And at least one salmon gear rod.

Exhibit G

Thankfully they released the fish, assuming it was a wild trout (Exhibit G). And you have to respect the wholesome background message in commercial: getting out for some quality time with the family, passing down traditions from one generation to the next, and seeing the thrill in a youngster when they catch their first fish. That’s all good and righteous stuff.

I don’t mean to poke fun at the product, which undoubtedly helps many fly fishermen like the one in the commercial enjoy time with their families. But I would like to go on record as suggesting that the agency, who produced the ad, hire a consultant the next time they want to shoot a fly fishing-themed commercial. I am an expert and I’m available for a very reasonable fee. And clearly I have time available.

You may contact me at: unaccomplishedangler (at) gmail (dot) com.