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Mena Arkansas News covering Polk County and the surrounding area

Free rod and reel loaner program available in Polk Co., across Arkansas

Submitted by AGFC

With spring break on the horizon, the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission
reminds new and occasional anglers that there is a location in Polk County and nearly 100
other locations in the state where people can borrow rods and reels to get out on the water
and enjoy a day of fishing.
The AGFC’s Tackle Loaner network, which is administered by the agency’s Fishing
Education program, delivers rods, reels and various basic fishing gear to many locations
throughout the state so that people can enjoy a day on the water, even if they can’t afford
to purchase the gear.
One of those locations is Heath Valley Campgrounds. Those interested can call the
campground at (479) 394-1177 for more information.
The equipment is checked out just as though the person were were checking out a library
“We have focused our locations around public fishing hot spots,” J.J. Gladden, Fishing
Education coordinator for the AGFC, said. “We have state parks, campgrounds, AGFC
offices, libraries, city parks and other locations partnering in 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,”
Gladden said. “Once this last chill has passed, spring should be in full swing, and fishing is
a great way to spend a day with kids who are out of school for spring break.”
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.”

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