Estate planning


Triploid, Humpy & Seaplane Hater....Know Grizzler
My instructions to my family are to plan a party..... one I won't be attending. :)
Invitees will be the people I most often fish with, which is 5-6 people.
I want all my stuff laid out and they can take turns picking what they want. Rods first, then reels etc until it is gone.
Anything left gets donated to charity. Once it is theirs, I hope they continue to fish with them but they will be free to do with it as they please.
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wadin' boot

Donny, you're out of your element...
This thread is depressing. :(
What makes it worse is a lot of times folks have thought more about what happens to their gear vs what happens to them when they are otherwise unable to make decisions for themselves. Spare your families the agony, let them know how aggressive you want your Docs to be...including specifics about fluids, food and antibiotics.


Active Member
Pare it down now.

I was in accumulation mode for a lot of years. Had several dozen rods and reels, boots, tying stuff, the whole lot. A while back, I took a look and went, this is ridiculous. Had a big garage sale (some of you guys might have come) and moved the nicer stuff on the classifieds here. Settled on an inventory of 8-10 rods and reels, couple of vises, couple of boots... Hasn't stopped me from making interesting purchases, but if anything comes in, something goes out. And when I go, if my wife just wants to give the rest away, it doesn't have so much value that she'd worry about it.

Sadly, I speak from recent experience. My dad passed a couple of months ago. It's going to take a year for my sister and I to clean out all his shit. We're going through it 3 feet at a time. I'm a lot like my dad in a lot of ways, and that family trait of accumulating crap is a character flaw I'm going to try to address before I hand it off to my survivors.

Teach yourself how to appraise and sell used gear. The WFF classifieds is a wonderful resource.


Triploid, Humpy & Seaplane Hater....Know Grizzler
What makes it worse is a lot of times folks have thought more about what happens to their gear vs what happens to them when they are otherwise unable to make decisions for themselves. Spare your families the agony, let them know how aggressive you want your Docs to be...including specifics about fluids, food and antibiotics.
I would hope that people have wills, health care directives, etc.
Getting older and having experienced it first hand more then I'd like, I do agree that having those things I order when the time comes makes things much easier on your loved ones.

But since this thread is more about gear then those things, I find it interesting rather then depressing what people intend to do with their gear.
You certainly can't take it with you in most cases, but I'm sure folks have been buried with a favorite rod etc......
My wishes are to be cremated, so maybe I'll have my family throw in a chartreuse and pink stinger clouser.

wadin' boot

Donny, you're out of your element...
But since this thread is more about gear then those things, I find it interesting rather then depressing what people intend to do with their gear.
I got very little to "give." Most of my flyrods are probably useful to others as either kite parts or tomato stakes, it's like a quiver of broken arrows. Now and then I reward myself with another $150-ish Redington 5 or 6 weight to renew the cycle.

Though something along these lines could be read at the eulogy, should anyone show up that is.

He was known for being a mediocre fly-fisherman whose sorta-loving family was just as capable of smashing his utilitarian and/or cheap gear as he was...part of it was genetic, part simply incompetence, part of it was probably karmic payback. Examples?

That time his brother cast the top 1/4 of his 6/7 weight rod into the clackamas and the fly knot failing, the top piece vanishes forever... probably intentionally, given the insufferable number of spots he dragged his brother and jetlagged family to that- incidentally- had "really good fishing"...

Wife crushed the 5 weight in a rental minivan crowded with inflatable pool toys... probably intentionally...can you imagine that humiliating demise...snapped by the combined pressures of a minivan door on a large, 4-foot inflatable donut-themed float that barely contained/made bouyant his mother in law the hour prior?

Son snapping 4, 5 and 6 weight tips of by aggressively reeling tangles into the top guides despite shouts of "don't reel it any No. NO!..." Ohh... SNAPPPP

Boot sticking top of 6 weight into brackish high current no-vis water to dislodge a stubborn snagged fly which then snagged top of flyrod as well, top piece lost, his facial expression one of complete betrayal by the water gods

Boot returns to parking lot where 5 weight was last seen to pick up same rod now with tire crush injury, down on knees, holding broken pieces towards the rising moon...saying repeatedly"Why this Cedar River gods? Why ?"

Boot enters garage to find top three inches of 7 weight missing like some scene from a lowbrow CSI episode that might somehow be linked with his good wading boots getting stolen out of same garage a year prior..."the hell happened here?"

Multiple scenes of Boot hacksawing busted top 6 inches of flyrod and melting out top guide and supergluing same guide into the remaining 8 foot six piece...or better yet 8 foot rod... and then saying- with confidence- "it casts just as good as it used to..." despite it blatantly being untrue...or "these are my boat rods..."

Amazingly bad restorative work on yardsale bamboo rod that results in an uncastable, warped POS insult to cane rod craftsmanship that somehow only reaffirms strongly held notions that no flyrod is worth more than $150 in effort or retail price...
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Chuck was the first member of our fly club to leave horizontally. Divorced and retired, he had thrown himself into fly fishing with energy, gusto, and disposable income. He'd acquired a lot of choice tackle, books, and a boat, all of which he bequeathed to the club. One Saturday, it was auctioned among us members in a church basement. Lots of us got choice items at bargains, and the club treasury got a major infusion. I've made arrangements to have the same thing done with my fishing gear. (My non-fishing family wouldn't know how to handle it, and would probably give everything away at a yard sale for chump change.)
We are presently embroiled in a similar situation. I've been accumulating/trading nice fly gear for 50+ years. My wife and I recently had "the talk" about what to do should I expire before her. It was decided that I should downsize in a major way so, I started about 2 years ago to unencumber myself of the tackle and books I use least frequently. I've sold off all but 5 rods and about 15 reels. I'm OK with the remaining gear, but now my tying materials and references are on the line. What remains, I will donate to a few local high school flyfishing clubs, and when I pass, what remains will go to the Canadian "Wounded Warriors" program.


Active Member
As it relates to all of my fishing gear.

A friend of mine who repairs fishing rods and does custom rod building, received all the rods from an estate. They were a pretty interesting collection, ranging from bamboo to fiberglass to graphite. One of the rods had old fashioned wire wraps to hold guides on instead of thread and epoxy.

I helped my friend test cast several of them.

Such a person may be able to refurbish and sell, salvage parts, obtain blank stock to cut and use in repairs, give away, or estimate value the rods.

That said, I don't know final fate of all those rods other than that I got a few fiberglass to rebuild myself.

I have a rather substantial collection of fly fishing gear as many of you do and, as things stand now, it appears that I might be lucky enough to have a couple grandchildren with enough interest in fishing to pass these things on to. For example, a 12 year old grandson spent 5 weeks with us in Montana earlier this summer, and wanted to go fishing with me every day. A couple other grandchildren also appear to have interests in fishing and the outdoors. We'll see if these interests remain as they grow older.

My most prized fishing related possession is a wood carving of a fisherman made by my great grandfather, a Swiss immigrant, over 100 years ago.

He died years before I was born and, unfortunately, there was not a lot of information about him passed down in our family. I would dearly love to have been told more about him. Did he fish? If so, where and how? I assume he was a fisherman, but that's just a guess, and there is no one still living in our family that would know. I really don't know much about him at all.

With that in mind, for me it's not the material things that I'm most concerned with in passing down, but it's the family stories and history behind these items that I want to share.

Last evening I got a telephone call from my 7 year old granddaughter who's in PA. After talking with her for a couple minutes she said "Tell me a story, Papa. Tell me a story."

I can easily decide how to dispose of my physical possessions, but if my children and grandchildren (or other friends) are like me, it will be the stories behind these items that they will value the most as the years go by. And I, for one, do not intend to wait to tell them.


Steve Call

Active Member
Passing along stories and family background is important. Several members of my mothers family wrote little biographies or life stories when they were in their eighties. They are great personal histories of life in the early 20th century. I wish my dads family had done the same. I recently wrote down what I know about my fathers WWII service in Europe and passed it along to my sons. Some day they'll inherit the medals, photos, etc.

I may try writing up some short stories of fishing and hunting trips with my boys when they were children. They only remember bits and pieces, but I think would enjoy hearing about it from my perspective. They'll get my "stuff".


Active Member
After Deb passed, I wrote down a brief history of all the dogs and cats we had over the 40 plus years for the kids. It's also a time line of where we lived the wonderfull experiences together.

This way they can remind me when my mind goes if it hasn't already.

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