Thompson Center Classic .22 Rifle
The Thompson/Center Classic would be notable for its sleek, distinctive lines, if for nothing else. But there is a lot else: accuracy that is equaled (never mind surpassed) by few other .22 sporters, an excellent trigger, a built-in locking system, fine iron sights, and a list price of only $335. This is the best new rimfire auto in a long, long time, and truly a .22 as they used to make ’em-except it’s much more accurate. Thompson/Center Arms Co., Dept. FS, P.O. Box 5002, Rochester, NH 03866; 603-332-2333; www.tcarms.com.
Fishin’ Buddy Model 1200 Fishfinder
This new addition to the Fishin’ Buddy lineup from Bottom Line represents the best possible solution for small-boat owners needing a portable sonar device. As with other Fishin’ Buddy portables, this unit is totally self-contained: screen, gunwale clamp, telescoping shaft, and transducer all in one. This model includes both side-scanning and depth-scanning features and will run for about 40 hours on only three C-size batteries. (Almost all other portables use cumbersome 12-volt systems and suction-cup-style transducers, which don’t work worth a darn.) The transducer shaft has too much water resistance for high boat speeds, but for slow-moving skiffs, canoes, and even kayaks, it’s unbeatable. There’s even an accessory mounting bracket available for float tubes. The unit is also ideal for ice fishing. About $170 from most major tackle retailers. Bottom Line/Computrol, Inc., Dept. FS, 499 E. Corporate Dr., Meridian, ID 83642; 208-887-1000; www.bottomlinefishfinders.com.
Lindy Fish Handling Glove
The Lindy Fish Handling Glove is made from flexible, cut-resistant SuperFabric, which was invented for use in the medical field to prevent cuts from surgical instruments. For fishermen, the material offers great protection against cuts and punctures from knives, fish teeth, gill plates, and hooks. The Lindy glove is said to be eight times more puncture-proof and cut-resistant than other popular fish-handling gloves. It provides an excellent grip and does not absorb fish odors. Fish slime and smell easily rinse off the fast-drying glove, which is machine washable. It also has UV protection against fading and is resistant to chemicals, including gasoline and oil. A left- or right-hand glove costs about $22. Lindy-Little Joe, Inc., 218-829-1714; www.lindylittlejoe.com.