LITTLE ROCK — No rod? No reel? No problem. The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission has more than 100 locations where people can check out fishing equipment just as though they were checking out a library book.
“Libraries actually make up a majority of our tackle loaner locations,” said J.J. Gladden, coordinator of the AGFC’s Aquatic Resources Education program. “We also have state parks, campgrounds, AGFC regional offices and other locations, but libraries make up the bulk of the program.”
Gladden says the tackle loaner program was created to remove as many barriers to fishing as possible.
“We hope people really take advantage of the free-to-use rods and reels available, and with Free Fishing Weekend coming up June 7-9, there really is no reason not to get out and go fishing,” Gladden said.
Most of the rod-and-reel combos available for loan are easy-to-use push-button or spincast reels, which are excellent for fishing for any fish with live or prepared bait.
“Hooks, skinkers, and bobbers are really all you need to supply on your own to get started with one of these rods,” Gladden said. “And you’ll need to buy your bait, dig your bait out of the ground like worms, or dig it out of the back of the refrigerator, like old hot dogs.”