FIELD & STREAM 2005 BEST OF THE BEST AWARDS

This year, seven of our field editors looked through the thousands of new products offered by the outdoor industry, tested hundreds of them, and finally came up with a list of the 22 best. These are Field & Stream's Best of the Best.

Field & Stream Online Editors

[BRACKET "Trolling Motor"]
MINN KOTA'S LIFT-ASSIST
Heavy lifting to haul up a bow-mounted electric trolling motor is history with Minn Kota's new Lift-Assist mechanism. The trick: When you stow and deploy the company's powerful Maxxum Pro with the rope that comes with it, a gas-charged spring similar to that on a truck's tailgate cuts the motor's weight in half, reducing fatigue and saving potential missteps when you're on the bow in rough water. The Maxxum Pro comes in two sizes, with a selection of shaft lengths, for boats under 20 feet (24 volts, 80-pound thrust) and with more juice for heftier craft reaching the mid-20s (36 volts, 101-pound thrust). The new models go down-and up-easily and safely, with abundant power for positioning in wind and current. $900¿¿¿$1,080; 800-227-6433; minnkotamotors.com -D.S.