Category Archives: Products

Gifts for the Angler

Cool Last Minute Gifts for the Angler
By Frank Sargeant, Editor
from The Fishing Wire

Dromida FPV XL Drone

Commercial fishermen have long known the value of aerial surveillance in spotting fish–in clear, calm weather, it’s possible for an observer in a small plane to see masses of fish that are miles distant, and these are often fish that would be difficult or impossible to locate for fishermen on the surface.

While hiring spotter planes is still the realm of the commercial industry due to the cost, these days recreational anglers can readily take advantage of the aerial view of clear water with the ubiquitous camera drones now available, some for only a few hundred dollars.

The potential uses are endless, ranging for locating schools of bait likely to hold blackfins or wahoo offshore to nearshore masses of king and Spanish mackerel, to pods of tarpon or snook on the beaches. In the northeast, anglers might readily use drones to find schools of bunker that lure striped bass and blues.

A drone I’ve had the opportunity to play with of late is typical of the moderately-priced, easy-to-fly and useful crop available this Christmas; it’s the Dromida FPV XL, which captures both still photos and videos in real time and beams them to your smartphone clipped into the hand-held flying control. It’s Wi-Fi enabled, and the 1080p videos it makes are more than clear enough for fish-spotting, surveying underwater terrain and more. Images can be saved to the included micro-memory card or to your phone, so running out of space is not an issue. It’s also very easy to pick up the basics of flying because an auto take-off system handles those tricky first two meters from the ground. It stays up for about 10 minutes on a charge–long range surveys are not in the ballpark, but you can cover a lot of watery terrain in 10 minutes and then get the drone back to a safe landing. At about 15 inches wide, it’s small enough to stow in a boat compartment until you need it. Price is about $250, from www.dromida.com.

Sebago Cyphon Sea Boat Shoes

I go through a lot of boat shoes because I wear them not only for boating and fishing, but also for pretty much everything else when there’s not snow on the ground. One of the best new models I’ve seen in the past year for the way I use boat shoes is the Cyphon Sea from Sebago, one of the older names in the Maine shoe business; they’re celebrating their 70th year presently.

The Cyphon uppers are synthetic fabric rather than leather, which I like both because they dry more rapidly and because they don’t require occasional treatment to prevent deterioration as even the best leather boat shoes do when worn wet regularly. They have non-marking soles, a biggie with those who cruise aboard far finer boats than mine but not so much of a problem on the carpeted floor of a bass boat nor the pebbled fiberglass of a flats boat. And the most unique feature is that the soles are actually vented on the bottom as well as on the sides, getting rid of water fast when you step over the side to beach the boat–or get caught in a rain storm. The insoles are also vented, and are removable for quick drying.

They have plenty of arch support and cushioning, too, comfortable for long sessions of standing on the bow casting. They’re quick-on and quick-off thanks to the elastic laces and no-tie fasteners. Last but not least for someone who wears boat shoes for pretty much everything, the sole is a bit more durable than some of the extremely “tacky” siped-sole models that are aimed primarily at making sure no-one slips on a wet deck. Those shoes use very soft rubber on the outer soles, and though it works, they don’t last all that long in daily use.

It doesn’t hurt that the Cyphon’s look good–much like a quality running shoe–they’re very light at just 10 ounces per shoe, and that they won’t break the bank; MSRP is $80; www.sebago.com.

ThermaCELL ProFlex Heavy Duty

Also in the shoe department, the new Bluetooth enabled ThermaCELL ProFlex Heavy Duty heated insoles are a winner. I’ve been using these things for years for winter time fishing–you cut the insole to fit the shape of your boots and then turn them off and on as needed with your cell phone to keep the cold from ruining your day on the water. They’d also be great for sitting in a deer stand, for snowmobiling, anywhere you’ll be exposed to the cold for extended periods.

The batteries charge with the included USB charger in about two hours, and can last up to 8.5 hours, depending on how hot you set them and how long your run them between shutdowns. The temperature can be set as high as 115 degrees, which is too hot for me after 30 minutes or so, but each user will find his own comfort level.

The company says this particular model is 10 times more durable than their standard ProFlex model, good for 1 million steps or more–though in my experience, feet get cold when I’m standing or sitting still rather than when I’m making a lot of steps. They are water resistant–but not waterproof so don’t go in over your boot tops when wearing them. They’re about $199; www.heat.thermacell.com.

Why I Will Never Buy Walmart Batteries Again

For many years i have run Walmart Batteries in my bass boat, using from one to four depending on the boat. They were relatively inexpensive, you could trade them almost anywhere if you had problems, and I could get from two to two and one half years service from them.

My current boat, a Skeeter ZX 225, has a cranking battery, a batter for accessories like deptfinders and aerators, and two trolling motor batteries for the 24 volt Motor Guide trolling motor. I started using a different battery for accessories a few years ago when my boqt would not crank, the aerators had been running all day and I had stayed in one creek all day. I vowed that would never happen again.

In November my two Walmart Batteries were drained the first day of a Top Six tournament on a very windy day. That night a windstorm blew a tree down on the power lines going to my campsite so my batteries didn’t get fully charged. I was dead in the water by 9:00 the next morning. Since the batteries were about 30 months old, and I usually got from 24 to 30 months from Walmart batteries, I replaced them and the third battery too.

By the first tournament this year, only 13 months later, those two batteries would not hold a charge for more than half an eight hour tournament day. I took them in but they tested ok. They would hold a charge but were useless for a trolling motor used all day.

Even worse, last fall, less than a year after putting a new Walmart battery in for accessories, it started falling after about six hours. It was running an HDS 8 unit up front and an HDS 10 on the console and most of the day the console unit was on standby. Both aerators were also running. Again I took it in and it tested ok – and it will hold enough of a charge to use as a cranking battery in my Ford 1510 tractor.

I knew better but got another Walmart Battery for the accessories in November. In February it would not hold a charge for an eight hour tournament day running just two depthfinders and two areators. i had to use jumper cables to keep aerators running until the end of the day. Early in March I would fish all day in the wind at Eufaula. When I came in the two Exide Batteries I put in this January would be down to 90 percent charge. After a couple of hours they would be at 100 percent and still be at 100 percent the next morning.

The five month old Walmart battery would be down around 50 percent when I came in, the point where the depthfinders started failing. It would charge back to 100 percent overnight with my three bank on board charger and a stand alone charger hooked to it. But an hour later, after taking the stand alone charger off, it would drop to only 80 percent.

I put another Excide battery in today for accories! I will never buy another Walmart Battery.

Outdoor Equipment and Other Stuff I Use

Please excuse these pages – I I will post reviews of these items as soon as I get them and try them out.

Costa Galveston Sunglasses

Pickup Truck Crane

Camo Netting

Extension cord

Electric Leaf Blower

Sump Pump

This muffler for my Ford 1710 was more than $300 at the local Ford Tractor dealer!

I keep one in the fridge for frying fish filets!

i keep forgetting to turn the water hose off at the farm!

API Outdoors 16 Grandstand Skypod Tripod Stand

Self-Fusing Silicone Rescue Tape

Dog No-Bark Shocking Collar

Log Jack – Log Buck

I wish I had gotten one of these years ago! I cut wood and heat most of my house with a fireplace insert, and I am by myself when cutting wood. This log jack is amazing, making lifting a log off the ground to cut easy even if alone I have used it a few times and will never be without one again. I may get a second one so I can pick up the whole log, not just one end.

Electric Fence Charger


Electric Fence Wire

Electric Fence Insulators for Chain Link Fence

Electric Fence Corner Insulators


Campfire Reel roasters

These look cute and the reviews on the first one say kids love it. The second one only had one review and it showed a danger. I will order them and review them in detail. If you have kids, or kid-like adults, these would be fum!

Electronic Dog Training Collar

D-Con Rat and Mouse Poison
I have some rental houses so I buy in large quantities.

Flea Traps
I have had a major flea problem so I ordered these traps and refills – they work great, catching many fleas every day

CD Label Maker

CD Sleeves

Screwdriver Set

Ear Plugs

The Hook Depthfinders from Lowrance

Mew depthfinders

Mew depthfinders

Lowrance is announcing a new family of fish finders/chart plotters 式 the HOOKT series, featuring 9 , 7 , 5 , 4 and 3 inch models, and the End of Life for all models of the Elite CHIRP series.

The HOOK series features HOOK 9, HOOK 7, HOOK 5 and HOOK 4 standalone displays that combine CHIRP Sonar with DownScan ImagingT technology, a super bright, LED backlit display, built in GPS antenna and a wide range of high definition mapping opt ions. The HOOK family also includes the HOOK 3 series, featuring bright color displays with Broadband SounderT or DownScan ImagingT. CHIRP Sonar Advantage Easier to identify and distinguish bait and game fish targets • Better target identification at greater depths Mark fish clearly at faster boat speeds Exclusive HOOK CHIRP Advantages No other standalone fish finder has integrated CHIRP sonar No other standalone fish finder offers fish revealing DownScan Overlay Multiple CHIRP frequency options from a single transducer CHIRP sonar performance with the Lowrance HDI SkimmerY TrackBackT sonar history Simple to Use Intuitive page selection Simple menu selections On screen sonar adjustments Quick release, tilt swivel bracket with optional RAMY mount integration Best Mapping Insight GenesisT Insight PRO Navionics C MAP Elite CHIRP End of Life With the announcement of the new HOOK series all Elite CHIRP series models are being discontinued

Elite CHIRP inventory is available while supplies last, on a first come, first served basis, and must be delivered in 2015. If the Elite CHIRP model you want to order is not available, you can place an order for a new HOOK series unit with shipments beginning in December 2015

Lowrance is announcing a new family of fish finders/chart plotters 式 The Elite Ti series, featuring 7 and 5 inch touchscreen displays. The Elite Ti series combines high end features with powerful performance at an affordable price.

Hook depthfinders

Hook depthfinders


The Elite Ti series features 7 and 5 inch standalone displays that include a touchscreen, easy to use interface, CHIRP Sonar, StructureScanY HD SideScan and DownScan ImagingT, built in GPS antenna and a wide range of high definition mapping options. Elite Ti models support Low/Mid/High CHIRP and 50/83/200/455/800kHz frequencies.

Integrated wireless connectivity allows boaters to not only download software updates directly to the unit, but also gives them the capability to download Insight Genesis custom maps Directly to the chartplotter 式 for immediate use. The Elite Ti series is scheduled to start shipping in February 2016. Elite Ti Feature Summary: High resolution touch display LED backlit color display with touchscreen interface provides fast, fingertip access to all Elite Ti features CHIRP Sonar, StructureScanY HD and DownScan ImagingT CHIRP Sonar offers improved fish target separation and screen clarity, while the StructureScanY HD sonar imaging system with exclusive Lowrance DownScan ImagingT delivers photo like images of fish holding structure on both sides and directly beneath your boat. StructureScan HD requires optional TotalScanT transducer. TrackBackT Rewind your CHIRP sonar, SideScan or DownScan Imaging history to review structure or fish targets and mark the location with a waypoint. Internal GPS antenna Highly accurate, built in GPS antenna plus a detailed U.S. map Optional chart upgrades Optional Americas chart upgrades include Lake InsightT and Nautic InsightT PRO and HD, Navionics HotMapsY Premium and Fishing HotspotsY PRO. Global chart upgrade options include Navionics + and Jeppesen C MAP MAX N and MAX N+. Built in wireless connectivity Provides access to the GoFree Cloud where you can shop, purchase, download and immediately use Insight maps, and third party maps from GoFree partners MicroSD card slot Quick Release bracket

Electronic Fishing Equipment I Use and Like

The following electronic fishing equipment, from depthfinders to cameras, are things I use and like:
You can never have enough charging cables!


Audio System for GoPro Camera



SD Cards

GoPro Hero 3 Silver

GoPro Skeleton Case



Batteries and Charger for GoPro Camera

Mic Adapter for GoPro

Underwater Camera

Underwater Camera
Aqua-Vu AV710 Underwater Camera

Boat, Motor and Trolling Motor Equipment I Use

I like and use the following boat, motor, trolling motor and other related equipment

Steel Cable Trolling Motor Pull Cord

T-H Marine G-Force Trolling Motor Replacement Handle and Cable

T-H Marine G-Force Trolling Motor Replacement Handle and Cable

Endorsed by B.A.S.S. Elite Pro Gerald "G-Man" SwindleRugged nylon jacketed stainless steel cableLarge comfortable cushioned grip handleThe G-Force Trolling Motor Replacement Handle and Cable from T-H Marine is a giant step forward in trolling motor replacement release and lift systems. Endorsed by B.A.S.S. Elite Pro Gerald "G-Man" Swindle, the G-Force Handle is a rugged, nylon jacketed stainless steel cable with a large comfortable cushioned grip handle. The last thing a tournament angler or any angler needs is a broken rope and handle. And as trolling motors become more powerful, complex and heavy, this is a real concern. The G-Force handle eliminates this potential problem. Fits most trolling motor models and makes. Comes with a hook-n-loop strap to secure to the motor shaft while underway.







yamaha Water/Gas filter separator

Crankbaits and Jerkbaits I Like and Use

These crankbaits and jerkbaits work well for me:

Rapala DT Series Crankbaits

Rapala DT Dives-To Series Crankbaits

Bomber Deep Fat Free Shad Crankbaits

Bomber Deep Fat Free Shad Crankbaits

Dives up to 19Tourney-proven actionSlim baitfish profileRsonant rattleBrilliant, fish-attracting finishesA 19 dive on one cast? That’s right. The Deep Fat Free Shad gets down to where the biggest bass lurk, and its tourney-proven action and slim baitfish profile draws the strike every time! And with a resonant rattle and brilliant, fish-attracting finishes, your cranking success is assured. Length: 3. Weight: 3/4 oz.







Strike King KVD 1.5 Flat Side

SPRO McStick 110 Jerkbaits

Fishing Line I Use and Like

I use the following lines when fishing. Sometimes Bass Pro is cheaper, sometimes Amazon is – check both!

Berkley Trilene XL Smooth Casting Line - Filler Spools

Sunline Reaction FC Fluorocarbon Fishing Line - 200 Yards

Sunline Reaction FC Fluorocarbon Fishing Line – 200 Yards

100% Fluorocarbon developed specifically for reaction lures10% More stretch than FC Sniper Utilizes an FC material formulated for easy handling and reel performanceDouble resin processing for a slicker surface Dyed stealth gray colorHigh specific gravity allows crankbaits to reach max. depthsSunlines Reaction FC Fluorocarbon Fishing Line is designed specifically for reaction baits, such as spinnerbaits, crankbaits, rattle baits, and vibrating jigs. Made from a softer, high-strength fluorocarbon material, Reaction FC Fluorocarbon line is very flexible and stress free. Therefore, it handles better on a reel and casts farther than traditional fluorocarbon lines. Formulated to have more stretch than other Sunline fluorocarbons, Reaction FC is double-resin processed for outstanding slickness that delivers improved castability. Its stealth gray color increases its invisibility in water of any color. A high specific gravity allows crankbaits to reach maximum depths.







Sunline Super FC Sniper Fluorocarbon Line

Sunline Super FC Sniper Fluorocarbon Line

Proven reputation from whipping-up on big bass Thin, strong and highly sensitive Outstanding durability High specific gravity is ideal for fishing deep waters 200 yardsLow water absorption for minimal weakening underwaterSunline Super FC Sniper FC Fluorocarbon Line was born in Japan, but earned its reputation as an outstanding line by whipping-up on big bass stateside. Formulated with the stealthyness of a sniper, Super FC Sniper Fluorocarbon Line is nearly invisible and offers a high specific gravity which makes it ideal for picking off bass in deep water. Super FC Sniper Fluorocarbon Line offers outstanding durability, high strength to diameter ratio and low water absorption which minimizes line weakening underwater.







What Are Some Last Minute Fishing Christmas Gifts?

Last Minute Gifting Ideas for Fishing
from The Fishing Wire

Some great ideas for the fisherman, fisherwoman or fisher-kid on your gift list.

We’ve all been there. The final days of shopping before the Christmas mêlée have arrived, and here we sit with no gifts purchased. It is time to act. Is it possible that the angler in your life could live without a new rod or accessory, perhaps. Doesn’t your fishing buddy deserve something nice? After all the fish he’s boated and the stories he’s heard you tell over and over again, I think he has earned it, and that angler needs some new gear.

Here are a few selections to take the guesswork out of your next purchase.

Fishing Buddy Gift Idea

Spooling line can be an arduous task, but it doesn’t have to be. The new, compact design, the Berkley® Portable Line Spooling Station takes the pain out of spooling fishing reels. This is one of those gifts that can benefit you in the end. When your buddy gets really good at using the Portable Spooling Station slide over a few of your reels for a quick spool.

Holding up to a 300-yard spool, the spring-loaded spool arm provides spool tension for ease of use. The spinning reel spool attachment eliminates annoying line twist experienced while spooling using conventional methods.

Anglers can manually spool spinning reels or speed up the process using the integrated hex shaft with a drill. The compact design with hang tab makes storage easy for later use. MSRP for the Berkley Portable Line Spooling Station is $29.99.

Ladies Gift Idea

For those of us that have forgotten our female anglers this Christmas, rush out and grab one of the Shakespeare® Ladyfish combos. Purchasing one of these also benefits the American Breast Cancer Foundation (ABCF.) So really, you’ve purchased a great gift and donated a portion of your money to a great cause.

Each rod in the refreshed lineup features tapered, more comfortable grips with ladies’ smaller hands in mind. The expanded assortment also includes a variety of lengths and actions with EVA, Cork, and Hybrid-Tech Grips (HTG™). The Ladyfish lineup offers solutions for female anglers with varying skill levels and is available in a variety of price points starting at $19.99 to $39.99.

Youth Gift Idea

This is perhaps the most difficult purchase. Youth want to be indoors playing on a video game or rummaging through the mountain of toys in their closet. This Christmas ignite the outdoor adventure with one of the Shakespeare® Wild Series rods or combos.
The Shakespeare® Wild Series includes 16 specifically tailored combos for walleye, trout, panfish, salmon/steelhead, catfish and flyfishing.

Adding to the adventure-packed Wild Series’ lightweight, functional features, the reel has a durable aluminum spool and handle with soft-touch knob that performs under the most rigorous conditions.

Salmon/steelhead and catfish models offer a carbon-fiber drag system while other models have the reliable multi-disc drag system. Fly reels are prespooled with backing and weight-forward line.

If anglers aren’t in need of a combo, Shakespeare is offering 16 Wild Series rods that match what is offered with the combos. These one- and two-piece rods give anglers a wide range of sizes and actions. The Wild Series’ MSRP is $39.99 to $69.99.

Don’t get left behind this Christmas season. Give the gift of angling and the outdoors to those around you. It’s crunch time so get out there and finish the year strong.