Other Random GEAR


These are my top picks for other fishing gear and related equipment.

BoatSeats DriftSocks Lure- Retrievers Sunscreen
Boots Get unhooked Nets  
Bolt Cutters Hooks Raingear  
Camera / Video Knots Sunglasses Waders













RainGear :       

I'm sorry to say, you get what you pay for. No cost cutting tips here...

Bass Pro's HPR GORE-TEX parka and pants. Cabela's Guide Wear is also top notch. Quality without spending $400.

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Hooks :       

X-Point, OWNER and Gamakatsu all make excellent, EXTREMELY sharp hooks. For bass bigger is better. A 12 inch bass has no problem sucking in a 3/0 offset, and when that lunker hits, you'll feel a lot more confident.



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Waders :       

Get the "breathable" ones, like GORE-TEX or one of the GORE-TEX knock-offs. The Neoprene waders will boil you in warm weather, and you can always put on extra long underwear with the others.         Tip: Don't throw out those Old leaky waders, they make great rain pants, just cut off the foot/boot.



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Boots :       

If you're stalking bass in the Forest Preserves, you have to get some 18" rubber boots. They last forever, hose off in seconds, and nothing is better for sloshing through those bogs to get to the bass. Spend the extra money and get an "ankle-fit" pair, laces just hold the mud, not your foot.

I like the LaCrosse 18" Grange Boots, (Bass Pro $60) for fishing in the rain, sloshing through deep weeds, or walking muddy shorelines.



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Nets :       

Beckman.  www.BeckmanNet.com

Muskie cradles look good on TV, but aren't made for the real world. Other brands may land that 15 pounder, but you'll be crying when that 30 pounder swims through your net and back to the bottom of the lake (been there, done that). They may cost a lot more, but when that bruiser is at the boat, your net is all that matters. I have two Beckman nets, and love them both. GET A HUGE NET. BIGGER IS ALWAYS BETTER.



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Video :       

Sony , Nikon and Canon are top notch. Years of service and abuse, and never had a problem.

Cameras: Olympus makes a water-proof, everything proof model, Stylus 770 SW. It is one sweet camera, new for 2007.



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If you fish lakes with rental boats, you've got to get a clamp-on boatseat. I got a pair out of Cabelas 10 years ago for $49 bucks. They're padded and tough, just like a regular permanent seat on a bass boat, but just clamp on a bench-type seat in a row boat. They take 2 seconds to install, turning that rental rowboat into a floating LazyBoy. In the long run, they'll save you money, (Advil and BenGay get expensive after a few years!!)



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A must for fishing a lake like Shabbona. Some lakes just always seem windy, and nothing lets you cast the weedbeds more efficiently. I like the ones with weights on one side of the mouth and floats on the other, they open nice and easy. Attach it to the boat with a big spring clip, so you can unhook it fast if you get a big muskie on. (Put a big float on your rope so it doesn't sink to the bottom while you're fighting the fish)



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Lure Retrievers :       

The best trick I've come across is using a paint-roller handle on an extension pole. You'll get some odd looks at the dock, but you'll go home with a lot more of your muskie lures. Muskie Guide Ron Fulk showed me this trick. You'll still need a regular "clip on your line" leadhead for the really deep snags, but it works 90% of the time, and REALLY FAST.



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Bolt Cutters :      

Don't go muskie fishing without them. Sears makes a good pair of miniature compound bolt cutters. If that fish is really hooked bad, or worse, if you're hooked to the fish, nothing will get the problem solved faster than a pair of spring loaded compound bolt cutters. Don't fish for muskie without them, it's just not safe.




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Knots :       

The Palomar Knot; hands down the best. It's fast and easy, and the strongest knot you can tie. Teach your kids this one. Click here to learn to tie one.




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Sunglasses :

Wear Polarized fishing glasses. Don't even think about hitting the water without your polarized sunglasses.

Polarized lenses eliminate horizontal glare off the surface of the water. This lets you SEE IN THE WATER. It's easier to catch a fish if you can see him. It's easier to make your lure run next to the sunken stump with the bass laying next to it, if you can see the stump. Being able to see rocks, stumps, logs, weeds and fish under the surface is a huge advantage that many fishermen just ignore.

Make sure they say Polarized, they are very different than ordinary sunglasses.  They are about $10 to $15  for a basic pair. Fancy designer brands can cost up to $250, I stick with the cheap ones. Polarized is Polarized, Style doesn't matter to me....



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Sunscreen :

Wear your sunscreen. Trust me, skin cancer is not as much fun as it sounds.

Put it on when you get dressed to go fishing. That's what I do. That way you can't forget, and get burned.



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