By Mark Hicks
Top-end specialty rods commonly fetch $100 or more. But you can get a hardworking bass stick for half that.
If you’ve balked at buying a flipping stick because it’s too technique-specific to justify the expense, it’s time to reconsider. We found four flipping rods that perform far better than their price tags might suggest. They may be the biggest bargains in bass fishing.
All four are 7-1⁄2 feet long and have a parabolic action, which is what you want for flipping. And the grip configuration on most lets you touch the blank with your fingers for increased sensitivity. Don’t let their extending handles put you off. Pricier models have one-piece blanks, but these are plenty sturdy for fighting big fish, and they shorten the rod a foot or so for easier transport. [ Read Full Post ]
By Will Brantley, Joe Cermele, Kirk Deeter, Mark Hicks, and Don Wirth
We reached out to 15 of the country’s top guides and pros—you know, the guys who get paid to reel in largemouths, smallmouths, trout, crappie, cats, walleyes, striped bass, and more—and asked them about what they rely on most to catch big fish come summer. Here are their answers. You’d better clear room in your tackle box. [ Read Full Post ]
By Slaton L. White
Do your dogs bark at the end of a long stalk? Here’s the perfect antidote—a shoe that resembles Crocs, but is designed on a last (like a real shoe) and contains an innovative shock-absorbing footbed that “massages” tired feet while in camp. The flexible, anti-microbial (no stink) shoe is made of silicon and cork and can actually double as a wet wader.
Avian-X Strutter Decoy [ Read Full Post ]
By Joe Cermele
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By Kirk Deeter
They're great. If you like the Boa lacing system.
BOA laces are wire, and they can be wound on a circular dial knob. Crank the dial and the laces come tight. Pull the knob out and the system loosens up, and you slide your feet right out. The lingo from everyone who markets boots with BOA laces is that the easy-on, easy-off advantages are especially valuable when it's muddy, or icy, and so forth. But let's be really honest. Boa laces work really great for people who have a spare tire around their middle, and don't like squishing themselves when they tie their laces. (I have a friend who told me this.) [ Read Full Post ]
By Mike Toth
The nine most interesting new products showcased at the Paddlesport 2013 Consumer Kayak Show. [ Read Full Post ]
By Nate Matthews
Fishing with a paddle saves you time and gas, but which method best fists your style and home water? We break down the pros and cons for four types, from electric kayaks to simple paddle boards.
Sit-On-Top Kayaks: Your Floating Tackle Box
While some traditional sit-in kayaks are still made for fishermen who venture into rough and cold water (such as the Wilderness Systems Pungo, $829), sit-on-tops far outnumber them today. Sit-on-top yaks let you change positions easily to rest sore parts. They’re also easier to get into and out of, are more stable, and are more customizable than most sit-in kayaks. All you need is a drill, a rivet gun and a tube of silicon to attach lights, anchor trolleys, extra rod holders, pontoon stabilizers, and a million other gadgets that let you tailor your boat to the places you fish. [ Read Full Post ]
By Nate Matthews
Drysuits, wetsuits, waders and dry tops: there are a few different ways to stay warm and safe when paddling in cold water. Here are some pros and cons for each. [ Read Full Post ]
By Phil Bourjaily
Of all the many things we can buy covered in camo that shouldn’t be camo-ed, flashlights rank near the top of the list, along with knives. Several years ago a big game guide showed me his knife. He had dipped the handle in some kind of rubberized bright orange paint. It was easy to hold onto, he said, and easy to find when he set it down somewhere.
Which brings us to the TerraLux Lightstar 80. I used one last season and found it to be in most ways a basic, serviceable light. It’s a fairly inexpensive ($30 list, sells for less) 80 lumen LED light that runs for five hours on a pair of AA batteries. It has a rubber ring around the end so you can hold it in your mouth comfortably, and the on-off switch can even be operated with tongue pressure. [ Read Full Post ]
By Joe Cermele
Here's an interesting entry into the vintage tackle contest from Joe Rudolph, who wrote: I dug up this spinner in the basement of my uncle's house at the Gatineau Fish & Game Club in Point Comfort, Quebec, underneath a workbench in a pile of sawdust. The house was built in 1924 and the club was founded in 1894 by my great-great grandfather, Franchot Jerome Tone. Per Dr. Todd Larson of The Whitefish Press and "Fishing For History" blog, this spinner is an example of a British design taking hold in the U.S., which ironically is happening again today as European-style carp fishing gets more and more popular on American soil.
Dr. Todd says:
"This is a great piece of British fishing tackle manufactured by Samuel Allcock & Co. of Redditch, England. The firm was founded around 1800 by Polycarp Allcock, and taken over around 1858 by his son Samuel. In the 1860s and 1870s it became one of the largest tackle makers in the world. What you have is an "Arrow" spinner, as it was called in America, or an "Otter" as it was sometimes called in Britain.
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