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.







  1. Derek Young

    Just be glad he wasn’t using a bamboo pole with a leader tied to the end of it, with no reel. Imagine the uproar that would have caused.

    • Kirk Werner

      That would be outrageous. I mean, what would you even call such a travesty?

  2. Sam

    So, let’s get this straight. You have a longer spinning rod, a centerpin reel spooled with fly line, and a classis red and white round bobber. Gotta be one of the strangest concoctions I have ever witnessed. Maybe the company wanted to reach out to everyone. You know, the fly guy, the pinner, the worm dunker and the people who do not know what it is they are doing…

    • Kirk Werner

      I believe you may be right, Sam. Of course, I may be wrong. Thanks for the comment.

  3. David G

    I’m confused. Center pin fisherman fish for real fish? How can we tell the difference between real and fake ones? I guess I should study more…

    • Kirk Werner

      I think its safe to say the fish in the commercial, if it was real, was frozen, then thawed. And fresh or frozen, it wasn’t a steelhead or salmon. Nor was it much over a pound. Of course I’m just one of those fly fishermans that never catches a real fish anyway.

  4. Alex

    Honestly never seen anything like this…though I doubt that particular fishing set up occurs down here around the saltwater. How the hell do you cast that without slinging off the bait?

    • Kirk Werner

      I sure wouldn’t know, Alex.

  5. Owl Jones

    Particulars aside (right or wrong) if you need an 11 ft rod and bobbers in a small stream to get an absolute perfect drift…well, ….

    • Kirk Werner

      Just sayin, right? 😉

  6. Jay

    Still think you’re right.

    • Kirk Werner

      Me too, but it would be pompous of me to suggest that 😉

  7. Shawn

    This is the first I’ve heard of centerpin, goes to show that you true never know everything.

    • Kirk Werner

      There’s always something new to learn, or something new to avoid. Thanks for stopping by, Shawn.

  8. chuck atkins

    The center pin is really popular here in the Great Lakes tributaries. It is deadly when used to fish for winter steelhead. Setting the hook on a fish that is 30 yards or more down stream…… well, it looks a little awkward to me. And that reel has no drag as far as I know! It makes guys that care more about catching a fish than how they catch it very happy. Personally, I wouldn’t be caught dead using one.

    • Kirk Werner

      Yeah, I’ll stick to nymphing under an indicator from a drift boat for steelhead. Wait, isn’t that drift fishing? I’m so confused.

  9. Whatthekarp

    Gramps in the commercial looks like a genius compared to the group of guys I saw salmon fishing earlier this week, either that or I’m really out of the loop. None of these guys could cast. They were using the strangest baits I’ve ever seen used for salmon, gummy worms, canned corn, marshmallows. One guy looked like he knew what was going on a little more, he had nightcrawlers. They were all fishing with their bait suspended three to six inches under a bobber, and nobody had caught a single fish.

    • Kirk Werner

      Are you sure there wasn’t a video camera filming that which you observed? Might be it was a new Symbicort commercial being produced.

  10. Fontinalis Rising

    That’s actually kind of interesting. Center pin is popular among a small cadre of anglers here for steelhead. They tend to tick everyone else on the river off, as they will often let the rig float for a couple hundred feet downriver monopolizing the river, and it is a deadly method. I think I commented on your original post and hey, I sure didn’t recognize what it was. I guess we’re all wrong at least once.

    • Kirk Werner

      Perhaps, Mr. Fontinalis Rising, you did not recognize what it was because what it was was not centerpin fishing, but rather a hodge-podge collection of various fishing tackle, inaccurately combined due to the ignorance of the director? Nah, couldn’t be. We’ve already been through all that…

  11. Sanders

    I’m not sure Kirk…I think you’re right. This all might be splitting hairs. This centerpin fishing might be to fly fishing what commercial Tuna fishing was to Tenkara.

    Remember your broomstick at the trout pond?

  12. Pam

    Never heard of center pin fishing around here either. I can certainly understand those who are trying to fly fish would consider them an interference. Kind of like those guys that use surf fishing poles at a pay lake and try with all their might to launch their bate to the bank on the opposite side of the lake.

  13. Diddly Squatt

    Y’all need to also form another club: WATWDT (worried about the wrong dam. Lololololn thing) club. Lolololol

  14. stan

    Still looks like a stupid way to go fishing… I immediately turn off the commercial every time I see it.

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