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Best Fishing Accessories;
Mark D. Williams
Professional Fishing Expert
Whether you plan on tossing your fish back in the water or into the cooler, you need to know, for bragging rights, what that lunker of a fish weighed. Digital scales are much more accurate but there's something nostalgic about a good ol' mechanical hanging scale. Combine the two.
The Electro Samson scale is easy to read and accurate. The spring scale-like, T-bar simplicity can be suspended for heavier fish or handheld for lighter fish. The display is readable and you can switch from American standard to metric weight by just pushing a button.
Anglers can buy gourmet-level fish fillet knives to carve out fillets for dinner and these works of art will cost you an arm and a leg (and hopefully not a finger) but the solid classic Rapala Fish'n Fillet Board/Knife combo will do you just fine and save you money so you can spend your savings on more lures and flies.
The Rapala Fish'n Fillet Board/Knife Combo is made up of two things: a keen cutting board and a sharp six-inch fillet knife. The hardwood board has V-shaped grooves on the surface which makes cleaning up easy and a clamp to hold the tail of the fish. The birchwood-handled knife is darned sharp and can be re-sharpened with a built-in, ergonomic, no-slip ceramic sharpener.
I've tried cheap pliers and they don't hold up to cutting wire and monofilament or removing hooks. They don't weather the elements well, so you'll be replacing the rusty tool in a year or two. I recommend spending a little more and buying a reliable pair of pliers like the Ross Worldwide Pescador Aluminum Pliers that can be a workhorse tool for you for the next decade. Some anglers leave a pair on the dash, some slide their pliers into a sheath on their belt; wherever you stash yours, keep them handy. You'll need 'em.
Many factors go into why fish turn on, why they turn off. One of the predominant indicators in fishfeeding is the temperature of the water and surprisingly, even though most anglers know this, they don't carry a thermometer and they don't check the water temperature. The Fishpond Swift Current Thermometer is inexpensive, functional, accurate in fresh and saltwater and easy to carry. Carry a thermometer; know when the insects hatch and if the fish are ready to feed.
I go through one to two clippers (aka nippers, snippers, clips) a year. They break. They get dull. I lose them when they fall off the retractor. Here's a pair of durable clippers that are simple in design, heavy-duty in practice, and affordable. There are no sharp edges that can catch your skin or inadvertently cut your line.
The Fishpond Aussie clippers are light and cut monofilament up to 150-pound test guillotine-style. The clippers can be stuck in your shirt pocket, or attached to a retractor or lanyard.
So simple, you will buy them and think “I could have done this. I should've done that.” The Orvis Adhesive hook sharpener is such a ‘duh' and convenient accessory, you'll actually end up sharpening your hooks. In case you didn't know, the two biggest reasons why anglers lose fish are: 1) angler error and 2) dull hooks. A hook-sharpener is an essential tool for any angler but if you surveyed anglers on the water, asked your fishing buddies, you'd be surprised by how few own (or use) a hook sharpener.
Your hooks get rusty. They get dulled, banged around, clipped on rocks. Sharpen them and catch more fish, as simple as that. What makes this sharpener better than others? The sharpener adheres to the back of your snips, to your pliers, to the top of your tackle box or fly box, anywhere adhesive will stick.
Zingers are indispensable. They hold your nippers, your floatant, forceps and other important gadgets. Too many anglers I've talked to regret not being able to brag about the length or girth of their catch because they didn't have a tape on their zinger. The Streamworks Zinger Measuring Tape is the ideal combination to hold your tools and keep a tape handy for that catch of a lifetime.
Hope you never need a hook remover kit but if you fish enough days, you or a fishing buddy is going to get hooked. Make sure you're prepared with this inexpensive, vital accessory that has all you'll need to remove the hook and then treat it.
This kit contains everything you need to quickly and safely remove a barbed hook from an individual. The kit also includes instructions for the all-important “how” to remove the hook. Buy one and toss it in your vest or boat or tackle box and hopefully it never gets used.
Traveling to and from the water, your rods take a beating. You don't mean to bang them around but you will and eventually, if you don't protect your rods, you will break a rod tip or knock off a guide. The answer is a protective rod and reel case.
The market is overloaded with fancy cases but if you're budget-minded, the Frabill Pack-A-Pole Rod and Reel Case does the same job as the expensive models for a lot less money.
This case holds up to four rods with reels attached so it's a spacious carryall. The case is made of durable injection-molded plastic with foam padded reel compartments and interlocking ribs. To top it off, you can store stuff in the two large lure compartments.
If you wade, you need to consider a wading staff. It's not a matter of ‘if' you will fall, but ‘when' and a staff will help you avoid a good dunking. Crossing streams can be dangerous, so staff up. The Fishpond Slippery Rock Wading Staff is one of the best on the market, an adjustable, carbide-flex tipped staff with a carabiner attachment to attach to your belt and a useful nylon hand strap. A wading staff is also useful on the trail hiking to your angling destination.
Great Choices by the expert- I have most of this stuff. Does that make me an expert?
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