If you’re looking for something big, or maybe just a stocking stuffer for your favorite angler, I have some great suggestions for you that will fit any budget! This has been a tremendous year for new product development and I’m really excited to be able to tell you about some of the exciting new stuff I’ve been using this year!
Price: Under $10.00
I met these guys at ICAST and immediately started looking at all the places I could use Gear Keepers on my boat. Fly Fishermen have been using retractors like this for years on their vests. But there are endless possibilities beyond the shore of a creek. They come in different sizes to accommodate different accessories, but the bottom line is they’re just rugged as hell and eliminate the “where did I put my (blank)” that we all experience at some point, which will save you time and keep you fishing more. Here’s a short list of what I’m using them for on my boat.
1. Pliers. This has been crucial for me. My retractor is able to extend over 3 feet. Rather than use the waist clip attached at the top, I’ve secured the GK to the side of my console with double sided 3m sticky tape, which allows me to reach to nearly both ends of my boat freely. If I need to go further or put them away, the quick detach releases my pliers from the unit with just a snap.
2. Culling System. This might not seem like a big deal, but I hate finding my culling system tangled up at the bottom of my livewell. Like my pliers, I also keep this secured to console, but on the inside by my legs so they’re out of the way until I need them. The 30 inch cable easily reaches my livewell area.
3. Cell Phone. When I’m driving the last thing I want to worry about it is my phone falling off the boat. Not because I’m afraid it’ll get wet, I just don’t want to have to go back and recover it and lose precious time running from place to place or to weigh in. Plus my SLXtreme case has the perfect place for me to attach a GK that makes it readily accessible to me while I’m driving, should I find myself needing a weather update or to check the tides or current depending on where I’m fishing.
4. GoPro Safety Attachment. In case you haven’t heard, I lost a GoPro Hero 3+ Silver edition this year on the Susquehanna river, when I caught my first smallmouth of the day just five minutes into my trip and walked from one side of the boat to the other, creating a tiny shift in weight that sent my camera and suction cup mount tumbling over the side. Ironically, I was able to watch this on video when I got home with my other remaining camera. Not only was that an expensive day on the water, but I could have very easily prevented that had I done what I do now, which is secure it with a GK every time. I’ll never have to worry about watching another camera fall off my boat, and I bought that kind of piece of mind for less than $10.00. I know there are thousands of people who have had similar experiences happen to them. How can you NOT make that tiny investment to protect yourself?
I have seen a lot of smart phone/tablet cases that claim to be the best, but I have only seen one that is waterproof up to six feet, can float, has built in battery power to provide you with enough power to fully recharge your unit TWICE, is rugged enough to withstand drops of 6 feet, AND has a solar panel that will charge your device. Oh, and to remove your phone you just undo one latch at the top and you’re on your way. Sound extreme? It is. Why in the world would anyone want all that in a case? Because you need it if you live for the outdoors. Last summer at Champlain I lost both graphs and my outboard, it was probably the roughest experience I have ever had on the water. This case allowed me to keep catching fish and track the storm. The floating device attaches to the bottom of the case, insuring if it goes overboard that you can retrieve it quickly and easily, but it also acts as a neck protector, allowing me to wear the phone around my neck and not feel any weight whatsoever. This put my phone at my fingertips while I was fishing, keeping my coangler and I on my best spots that I had marked on my Fishidy app. I have been raving about this case for months on my blog at Weather Underground. I don’t see how anyone who considers themselves to be an avid hunter/angler could use any other case.
New Pro Products
V-T2 Livewell System
This is that one unit I’ve found that I can honestly say I will never again go without. Sure, it’s not gonna save my life. But it might save my fish, and the investment is so reasonably priced at $44.99 that it’s probably just a matter of time before the V-T2 becomes standard on all boats with livewells. By using airflow technology, the V-T2 infuses oxygen into your livewell and simultaneously expels unwanted CO2. It doesn’t require batteries or run off of any power source, keeps your livewells cooler, and will air them out while driving home. If you use this system, you won’t need to bring ice to keep your fish alive, a practice which has been proven to do more harm than good anyhow being that ice typically contains chlorine and other chemicals used in drinking water that can be harmful to fish. Think of it this way, if this product prevents just ONE fish from dying, that one fish could mean the difference between a First Place check and (potentially) thousands of dollars, or tenth place, and a few hundred. If you’ve done the work, and caught the winning fish, you deserve the win. And more than that, the fish deserve to be taken care of to protect the future of the sport.
BONUS Order now and save 20% off your entire order with checkout code JimRoot!!
Whip Em Baits
$25(Reg) or $35(Lrg)
Back by popular demand for the 2014 Holiday Season! Featuring handmade baits built proudly in the USA in Washington, Pennsylvania. Each tin contains a unique assortment of soft plastics, spinnerbaits, and jigs to deliver powerful fish-catching lures that will lead to the success of anglers all over the globe.
Small Holiday Tin- Includes 3 packs of plastics, 2 spinnerbaits and 1 jig. PRODUCTS MAY VARY FROM EACH TIN $25.00
Large Holiday Tin – Includes 3 packs of plastics, 2 spinnerbaits, 2 jigs and 1 buzzbait. $35.00
Champion 703SF Spinning Rod
In my opinion this is the greatest spinning rod ever made. This rod is sensitive enough to feel the softest bite on a dropshot, or every little pebble when dragging a shakyhead rig; but also strong enough to wrestle largemouth over 7 pounds, as you can see in the picture below. I even use this to throw little jerkbaits like the Lucky Craft Bevy Shad when I need a little more distance and slower/more finesse-type retrieve. You will absolutely LOVE this rod.
Strykr Series Jacket and Bibs
MSRP: Jacket $325, Bibs $299
There’s no way to put a price tag on being warm and dry in the outdoors, and during last season’s Deadliest Catch on Discovery I actually saw a guy on the NV Timebandit wearing this suit. I’ve worn it in temps as high as 65 degrees, and as low as 25. At my last tournament I wore only shorts and a tshirt under my Strykr, and it was 38 degrees at takeoff. It’s a huge advantage to not have to wear countless layers under your rain gear; it increases your mobility and reduces fatigue. This is the suit of the ages, that will ultimately redefine the way rain gear is made; it’s that good. More and more anglers are making the switch to Stormr. You should too.
Onix 10CI Combo
The ONIX system from Humminbird will revolutionize the industry of marine electronics. With features that are cutting edge and unique only to the Onix platform, anglers will have options available to them that were previously considered unattainable. Super responsive touch screens in electric high definition also come standard with a joystick to allow users to toggle with gloves or while battling the rain. Not sure what you missed while you were reeling in that fish? Simply scroll backward and relive the structure and data that you passed over. Many anglers have already discovered the benefits of this new system and have made the switch. You’ll be so glad you did.
So there you go. That’s a full list of gear, and any angler would be thrilled to find any (or even ALL) of that gear under the tree.