Nobody appreciates nifty gadgets more than the bass angler. Here is a mixed bag look at some of the new accessories that could make fishing more enjoyable this season:
1. ALBACKORE (www.albackcore.com; 818-704-5731) — The Drop Shot Stopper is a simple accessory for securing drop shot sinkers to the rod, preventing the line and weight from tangling while the rod is not being used. It consists of a plastic clip that snaps onto the rod blank. Fishing line is wedged under one flap of the Stopper and can be slid off freely when ready to use again. There are two sizes to fit most rods and either spinning or baitcast gear.
2. AMERICAN FISHING DEVICES (www.afdturboset.com; 651-457-3236) — The Turboset fastens to the butt of a rod and provides a swiveling arm support cradle that adds hook setting power and reduces wrist and arm fatigue. It is fully adjustable.
3. AQUAPAC (www.aquapacusa.com) — You can protect your cell phones, cameras and other valuables with these unique cases that not only protect electronics from wind, water and dirt, but they float and can be submersed in water down to 15 feet. Special polymers allow sound and signals to pass through the shell, therefore electronics can still be used while cased. The clear "Lenzflex" material makes it possible to use cameras under water. There are models for phones, both small and large cameras and miscellaneous items.
4. BAG-EM (www.bag-em.com; 810-694-0189) — The Buoy Marker is a different concept for marking structure while fishing from a boat. It consists of a highly visible round, orange Styrofoam top with a crank that allows anglers to reel in the weight when ready to retrieve the buoy. The top of the buoy accommodates glow sticks to make it more visible at night while the bottom is hollow, providing a storage area for the triangular shaped weight. There's a tension adjustment for the line on the buoy so that the marker won't drift away from the target in wind or waves. It is packaged with 50 yards of 50-pound braided line.
5. BERKLEY (www.berkley-fishing.com; 877-777-3850) — The High Speed Line Stripper was designed for saltwater use, but BASSers who change line often will appreciate the extra speed. It operates on four D-cell batteries and strips 331 yards in 51 seconds. It can handle lines over 400-pound test.
6. BLACK MARINE (www.blackmarineproducts.com; 239-417-0244) — The Spool Stripper makes line removal from a fishing reel fast and easy. It attaches to any cordless drill and has the capacity to strip up to 400 yards of 30-pound test. Because of the way the line fastens to the Stripper, compact line coils are removed easily for disposal or recycling.
7. CAT'S EYES (www.importmerchandisers.com; 715-275-5132) — Tying knots or searching a tacklebox after dark is made easier with Cat's Eyes G2 Cap Light, a gadget that clips to the bill of a fishing cap and shines wherever you're looking. It has three LED bulbs, is powered by two lithium coin cell batteries that last 75 hours and weighs only 1 ounce. It's water resistant.
8. RAPALA (www.rapala.com; 952-933-7060) — Several angler tools have been added to the accessory lineup, including Super Line Scissors with a serrated cutting edge, Mini-Pliers and Mini Side Cutters, and a Double-Sided Hook Sharpener.
Also, the Lock'n Hold Rod Rack can be mounted in a boat or the garage. It secures six rods of various sizes without damaging the rod.
9. REEL EXPRESSIONS (www.reelexpressions.com; 800-204-4185) — The Fishing Rod Antenna dresses up your tow vehicle with a replacement antenna that looks like a fishin' rod, complete with a miniature reel. The stainless steel antenna is designed to withstand harsh weather and is offered in fly, spinning, or baitcast configurations and in either black or silver.
10. SAVE PHACE (www.fishhedz.net; 866-783-3223) — The Fish Hedz face mask, designed to protect eyes and face while boating at high speeds, has undergone improvements. New foam inserts are ventilated to improve circulation and dissipate heat inside the mask, while the lens has been upgraded to improve anti-fogging and anti-scratching characteristics. Also, masks are now available in nine Real Tree Camo patterns.
11. SHORELINE (www.shorelinepro.com; 812-934-2016) — Add-a-Seat gives sit-down anglers a place for a buddy to sit. The simple bracket uses existing post-mount holes and can be used on the front or back deck. Add-a-Seat pivots 360 degrees and allows both anglers to change seat positions without disturbing the other fisherman.
12. SNAGPROOF (www.snagproof.com; 800-762-4773) — Several tool kits designed to assist anglers with reel and lure repairs are offered. The Save-The-Day Reel and Lure Repair Kit includes a variety of small screwdrivers and specialty pliers. Harry's Floating Deluxe Tool Tote features a variety of all-purpose tools while the Deluxe Combo Tool Kit has pliers with serrated jaws and cutting accessories, a pair of forceps, and nine-tool pliers.
13. STREAMWORKS (www.streamworks.com; 650-843-1190) — Night anglers will be able to see what they're doing with the Lighted Stainless Steel Pliers that feature a bright, replaceable LED that illuminates the pliers' jaws. The pliers have Tungsten carbide cutting blades, rubberized handles and come with a leather holster.
14. VILCO (www.vilcofishing.com; 763-221-4012) — If you can't cast a lure into tough-to-reach areas, the ProwlerCat will put it there for you. The remote control UFV (unmanned fishing vessel) attaches to the line coming off your rod and will motor over water and vegetation to the place you want to deposit the lure. It's powered by two electric turbine motors and controlled by a hand-held remote that allows you to steer the UFV and release the line. It operates on built-in rechargeable batteries and has a range of 1,000 feet.
15. X-TOOLS (www.xtools.us; 877-4XTOOLS) — You won't lose your pliers if you drop the Floating Metal Pliers overboard. In addition to floating, benefits of the soft-grip tool include its ability to cut heavy braid, steel leaders and mono with its replaceable Tungsten carbide blades. The stainless steel jaws are corrosion resistant and heat treated. The Floating Metal Pliers were named the Best Fishing Accessory at the ICAST tackle trade show.
Other new items include a 10-inch floating fillet knife and a 10-inch EZ Release De-Hooker for removing hooks buried deep in the throat of big fish.