Tools of the trade

About the author

Bernie Schultz

Bernie Schultz

Bernie Schultz is an Elite Series pro and eight-time Classic qualifier. Connect with Bernie on Facebook and his website

It's no secret that the fishing industry relies on professional anglers for input on product development. Manufacturers have been tapping the tour, so to speak, for decades.

Whether it's fishing lures, foul weather gear or outboard motors, these companies know pro anglers are the best test for the products they're trying to bring to market.

From an angler's perspective, the opportunity to test new product is always a plus. Having something new and different can often lead to a competitive edge, like when a new lure is introduced — something neither the fish nor the competition has seen. Who wouldn't want that advantage?

The same goes for the equipment we rely on. Whether you're a touring pro or a weekend warrior, having the right tool for the job is important. And with that in mind, here's a quick list of what's hot on the water.

Shallow-Water Anchoring Systems

Since the advent of the trolling motor, few marine products have been received like the shallow-water anchoring system. First to market was the Power-Pole. And though the skeptics initially dismissed this product's radical design, nowadays it's considered standard equipment on most tournament boats.

Developed by John Oliverio of JL Marine Systems in Tampa, Fla., his ingenious anchoring device has made all who use it better anglers. In fact, Elite Series pros have become so reliant on the Power-Pole, more often than not you'll find tandem poles mounted to each competitor's boat.

Numerous colors and models are available, and they come in lengths of 4, 6, 8 and 10 feet. With wireless remote switching and customized mounting brackets included, installation is made simple.

And if that isn't enough, the company has now delivered a viable option for open water drift fishing. Instead of using a traditional sea anchor, anglers can now attach JL's new Drift Paddles to their Power-Poles. These adjustable paddles can be stationed in seven different positions to control drift speed and/or direction. And they can be attached or removed easily.

So instead of spending time and energy retrieving a 400-pound bag of lake water, simply retract the poles and the paddles are lifted out of the water for you. That translates to more time fishing and a lot less fatigue. Find out more at