Field & Stream Online Editors
The Rocket Fishing Rod The Gist: Part Nerf gun, part fishing rod, the Rocket Fishing Rod lets you launch lures more than 30 feet. According to the commercial, it’s for kids ages 8 and up – which apparently includes dads in purple shirts and, um, Roland Martin. Gimmick Factor (1-10) – 9.8: Any time a commercial has to use a line like, “It really works,” is a clear red flag that it probably really doesn’t work. Also, that patented Hook Hiding Bobber thing looks like it’d spook every fish in the lake. All that’s keeping the Rocket Fishing Rod from scoring a perfect 10 is that, well, the thing looks sort of fun to shoot. Commerical Highlight: Said dad in purple shirt deserves an Oscar for his convincing shriek as his son attempts a cast with a real fishing rod. Field & Stream Online Editors
The Fishpen The Gist: What looks like a pen is actually (drum roll, please) a telescoping fishing rod. Save room for it inside your pocket protector and you can “fish anytime, anywhere!” Gimmick Factor – 9.9: Super-strong alloy or not, I doubt the Fishpen would do well against anything bigger than a goldfish. And casting distance has to be an issue. Plus, the “second kit free” is telltale sign of desperation to get this thing off the shelves. Commerical Highlight: The homage to “The Andy Griffith Show” at the start of the commercial. Come to think of it, Barney Fife would’ve been a good spokesman for the Fishpen. Field & Stream Online Editors
The German Sneller (we made up that name) The Gist: Beyond the phrase “Team Reel Fishing,” I didn’t understand a word in this clip. What I was able to figure out is that this gadget ties a snell knot at the push of a button. Gimmick Factor – 8.1: There are two serious problems with this device: 1. You’d be laughed off the lake (and deservedly so) if you ever whipped this thing out. 2. You don’t get the satisfaction of tying a stronger knot with your own hands. Also, I performed my own test and tied a snell knot faster than the German dude in the video. However, if you can’t tie a snell knot, and you fish alone, this thing does appear to tie a decent knot. Commerical Highlight: The uber-catchy techno music. Field & Stream Online Editors
Micky’s Smarrt Bobrr The Gist: This new take on the bobber attaches to your rod and pops off whenever a fish strikes. It’s supposed to help you detect bites earlier and reduce eyestrain. Gimmick Factor – 6.5: This one might work if a big fish strikes, but not necessarily with small panfish. Also, expect snags. Commerical Highlight: It’s a tie: 1. The red-and-white bobber at the beginning of the clip is rigged upside down. (Apparently Micky’s trouble with bobbers goes beyond the spelling of “bobber.”) 2. The actor in the vest makes the worst cast in infomercial history. Field & Stream Online Editors
The Instant Fisherman The Gist: Another collapsible fishing rod, only this one appears to have a bit more backbone than the wimpy Fishpen. Also, this is apparently the preferred compact fishing rod of golfers and construction workers. Gimmick Factor – 7: Unlike the Fishpen, we actually get to see some real fishing in this clip, which gives it some credibility. However, the endless parade of buy-now-and-we’ll-also-give-you freebies (waterproof fishing-secrets cards…seriously?) is just another way of saying, “Look, we know this thing is a piece of junk, but by giving you more free junk, we’re hoping you’ll eventually cave in and give us your money.” Commerical Hightlight: Said construction worker fighting a big one with his Instant Fisherman. And you thought these guys only wasted time by whistling at attractive women. Field & Stream Online Editors
The Line Dancer The Gist: Attach this device to your rod, hook your line to it, then reel to impart a ton of action to your lure or bait. Gimmick Factor – 4: This gadget actually looks like it could work. Of course, it also looks like it eliminates any skill necessary to work a lure. Plus, to claim that most anglers will never master the art of making a lure work on their own…c’mon now. Commercial Highlight: “Your son’s gonna catch fish. Your daughter’s gonna catch fish. We’ll all catch fish!” Amen, brother. Field & Stream Online Editors
The Bobber With A Brain The Gist: This bobber lands on the water horizontally and drops your bait to the appropriate depth. Once your bait hits the bottom, the lower half of the bobber fills with water, locking the bobber in place so it floats vertically. Gimmick Factor – 2: Uh oh. It’s starting to get late, and I’ve been watching these commercials for a long time now. The brainwashing effect is starting to take effect on me, because I think this bobber is pretty cool. Let me just get my credit card… Commercial Highlight: Because it’s not enough to say that the Bobber With a Brain is made in the U.S.A., our host, Frank, lets us know exactly which state every single part of the bobber comes from. Field & Stream Online Editors
The Color-C-Lector The Gist: Drop this device in the water to gauge which lure color to use. Gimmick Factor – 10: He’s baaaack – Roland Martin that is. First the Rocket Fishing Rod and now the Color-C-Lector? His endorsement alone raises the gimmick status of practically any item of fishing gear. And as if the Wayne’s World-esque production value, the pinup spokes model, and the Martin guarantee weren’t bad enough, the fact that they never actually fish after using the gizmo doesn’t bode well for its accuracy. Commercial Highlight: At 9 minutes and 33 seconds long, I’d say the end is the best part of this one – although Bruce does have his moments. Field & Stream Online Editors