Tools of the trade

Tools — Literally

Every angler relies on basic tools, such as pliers and scissors. They're considered essential equipment. But finding them when you need them can be a problem.

Rapala helps out again with their Magnetic Tool Holder Combo Kit. With a trio of practical fishing tools, the kit securely holds each tool inside a magnetic sleeve. The kit includes side cutters, scissors and needle-nose pliers — all made of high grade stainless steel.

The scissors will cut everything from fine fluorocarbon to heavy braid and are guaranteed to hold an edge. I rely on the side cutters for snipping wire or those times when a fish is hooked deep. The needle-nose pliers have special grooving which enable you to crimp and shape wire, and they also cut. As for the magnetic holder, this pays for itself anytime there's a chop on the water. I know my tools will be in place regardless of how rough it gets.

Rapala offers a full line of angling tools, many of which will fit in the magnetic sleeve. Mount the tool holder against any surface externally or inside a compartment, and find your tools when you need them.

Electronic Tools

Electronics are so advanced these days, they pretty much eliminate the guesswork in finding structure fish — particularly when it comes to side scanning. When set up correctly, it's incredible how much detailed information these units can deliver.

Humminbird started the ball rolling with its Side Imaging series, then Lowrance followed suit with Structure Scan. Both work extremely well at reading subsurface features or interpreting fish from the objects they relate to. What was once detected only through vertical observation has now become a 360 degree field of recordable imaging.

Add to that the capability of integrating custom mapping with satellite imagery, and finding targets like submerged bridges or old fence rows becomes almost routine. And don’t forget the optional app for up to the minute weather reports.

It's no wonder why so many competitors have embraced this continually improving technology.