My grandfather served as an infantry NCO in the Pacific Theater during WW2. He fought on Guadalcanal (when the Army moved in to relieve the Marines), and on other Pacific islands, culminating in taking part in the liberation of the
Philippines. One of the articles of gear that he often spoke highly of was a survival fishing kit that he had traded for from a pilot.
As a boy, he'd often remark how he wished that he had something like it, as fresh fish was apparently much tastier than the issued field rations. As my grandfather described it, this was a small plastic "flask" like case containing line, hooks, and other basic fishing gear along with instructions. Meant to be carried only by aviators, it proved to be useful for outdoors usage and general food gathering.
Some years later, when I became interested in aviation survival kits and gear, a gentleman gave me his father's old survival fishing kit. This was probably much like what my grandfather had been remembering. It was indeed tape sealed into a plastic container and had all of the things that my grandfather spoke of - hooks, lines, sinkers, a spoon, jigs, floater and so on - in one convenient package. The story I was told was that this gentleman's father had been a bomber pilot during the war, afterwards going to Alaska where he was employed as a bush pilot for a number of years. He'd kept his old issued fishing kit and always carried it in a pocket when flying in the remote areas of Alaska.
Around that same time I was able to obtain an early 1990s USAF issued survival kit, still new in its package. This same type of kit was apparently recycled and used for at least a time by the Marines for their recon units. Among the included gear was a very nice survival fishing kit, now enclosed in a tin rather than plastic. Other than omitting the fly fishing equipment and enclosing basic sewing
materials, it was much the same as the early generation of kits. What I found particularly interesting was a notation in the enclosed instructions to effect of reminding the user that native peoples lived outdoors for generations, and that this kit provided a means of indefinite survival. I was reminded of the old axiom regarding "teaching a man to fish".
While I liked this military issue kit, the container was quite bulky and the tape seal not the best. While it would fit well in military gear pouches or pockets, it was a bit too large to be conveniently slipped into a hiking jacket or normal pants pocket. Thus I was quite pleased when I
purchased my first basic Best Glide Survival Fishing kit.
Here at last was an easily managed container that provided all of the basics, and then some, for fishing. Here at last were all the components from those military kits of the past, along with a very concise and practical fishing guide. Best of all, this kit was readily available and affordably priced for all.
I soon began to tote one around with me regularly, and found that it would come in handy at unexpected times. If nothing else, it proved to be a pleasant way to pass the time. The first time I used it was at a house party in Iowa where there was little else to do, so I soon found myself outside near the private stocked lake and invited to fish. Rather than use a hand me down pole of questionable utility, I pressed my Best Glide kit into use and soon had a pleasant means of passing the day.
I can also attest from a later experience along a similar vein, that the fishing instructions are sufficient for even a novice, as the nine year old little brother of a friend was able to figure out how to catch a fish using only the kit and the supplied instructions. Soon, I presented one of these kits to a friend as a Christmas gift "for the man that you don't know what to buy for". He didn't know quite what to make of it, but happened to take it out with his father during a one day boating excursion. After finding that they only had one operable set of fishing equipment, he remembered his kit that was in his glove box. After retrieving it, they were able to use it along with their extant pole to still have a pleasant afternoon.
This serves to illustrate the basic versatility of the Best Glide Kit, and why it has a place in any outdoorsman's "just in case" supplies. In addition to being an emergency means of food collection, it is also possible to use it for entertainment or for basic recreation at unexpected times. Taking up little space, this kit is a worthy successor to several generations of kits that have served past military personnel and sportsmen/adventurers well.