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Be sure to buy from a reliable source, not just the cheapest lithium battery. I made the mistake of buying a ECO-WORTHY battery and charger and had constant problems – never worked right. They are sitting on the floor in my garage now.

Why Lithium Batteries Should Be In Your Boat

New Hope, Minn. – Many early adopters of lithium marine batteries have strong opinions. It’s true—a lot of the first products to hit the market were prone to failure, offered questionable performance, and were very expensive compared to lead acid, AGM, and gel cell alternatives.

Despite these growing pains, it seems the entire world has gone the way of lithium battery power. It’s all around us, from inside the computers and phones we rely on every day to medical devices implanted in the human body. Power tools, lawnmowers, snowblowers, generators, and anything you might have in the garage that once took fuel or AC/DC can now be efficiently and safely powered by lithium batteries.

With chemistries changing for the better over the past couple years, lithium batteries are not only being used in our homes, they are the backbone to many mission-critical industries—from medical devices to aerospace. And it looks like the marine electronics/boating markets are next…

If lithium batteries are so great, then why aren’t more anglers and boaters using them?

Many anglers—even guides and pros—have only a limited understanding of how lithium battery technology works and its many benefits. First, potential customers shy away from the price tag, having no idea that it’s actually more cost-effective to operate lithium in the long-run. Amortized over 10 to 12 years, the cost of running lithium is actually less than having to replace a boat’s lead acid battery banks every two to three years.

Another issue? A lot of anglers are still living in the past, and rigging their boats each season like they did ten years ago.

Problem is, power consumption on your typical fishing boat has drastically increased as fish-finder screens have grown larger, brighter, and like technological leaps in personal computing, now operate with faster but power-consuming processors.

Same goes for the progression we’ve experienced with trolling motors, electronic shallow-water anchors, forward-facing sonar, and other imaging technologies and their requisite power requirements. Not only do these technologies require a lot of power—they need a clean source of power with steady voltage for optimum screen resolution, brightness, and on-screen fish/structure imaging. Compare the imaging on a graph being powered with lithium versus lead acid; the difference in picture quality is very noticeable.

Yes, running today’s fishing electronics requires a lot of juice—and you better have it or you’re destined for compromised performance, short days on the water, and sad songs back at the dock.

Battery Types Explained

First, let’s walk through the three major types of marine batteries so we can compare the benefits of lithium to what’s traditionally been used for onboard, marine power.

12-volt marine batteries fall into three main categories: Starting (aka “cranking”) batteries, deep-cycle batteries, and dual-purpose batteries.

Hence the name, starting batteries are designed to start the main boat outboard; deep-cycle batteries are intended to power accessories, electronics, and trolling motors; and lastly, dual-purpose batteries will power both outboard engines and accessories/fishing electronics.

Marine starting batteries allow quick bursts of power via cold-cranking amps (CCA) to turn over an outboard; then, when the engine is running, they provide power for accessories, with battery power constantly replenished by the outboard’s alternator.

A starting battery does not work well in a deep cycle application because of the internal arrangement of the plates and its inherent design.

Deep-cycle batteries—as opposed to starting or “cranking” batteries—are designed to provide lower amp draws over a longer period of time to marine accessories like fishing electronics, trolling motors, livewell and bilge pumps, radios, etc.

*Note: Your outboard does not need to be running for deep-cycle batteries to do their job. They are not replenished in any way by an outboard’s alternator.

In terms of construction, a deep cycle battery has fewer bulky and thick lead plates than a lead acid starting battery. A starting battery has thinner plates but more of them. Operation-wise, starting batteries require ample surface area through which to release more current in a short amount of time—what is required when starting an outboard.

A dual-purpose battery has a mixture of both starter and deep cycle battery plates, and, as is true with most products intended to serve double-duty, the dual purpose battery makes a serviceable starting or deep cycle battery in a pinch but isn’t perfectly designed for either application. The attraction to some anglers to the dual-purpose battery is thinking that, if they need to start their outboard in a pinch, they could start their big motor with a dual-purpose battery that is primarily used to power accessories.

Lead Acid Batteries

Lead acid batteries are the marine standard and have been used by anglers for countless decades. Design-wise, lead acid batteries are composed of big, heavy lead plates that are surrounded by acid which is the medium through which the charge travels from one plate to the next.

Prior to AGM, gel cell, and lithium, lead acid was the only game in town. The drawbacks? Limited longevity/charge-discharge cycles, weight, and outdated technology for producing DC current. But the major drawback with your average lead acid battery is you can’t use it to its full capacity, something most anglers and boaters are completely unaware of.

While big, heavy lead acid batteries may give a boater or angler the impression they have a significant power supply, the reality is you can only utilize about 50% of the capacity before you start damaging a lead acid battery. Frequently discharge your lead acid battery beyond 50% of the capacity and the damage occurs rapidly–and the damage is permanent.

The result? Before long, if you’re fishing long and hard, you’ve got a battery that needs replacement. The average life of a lead acid battery for an angler who fishes long days is just under two years. Toward the end of its life, a lead acid battery is apt to only provide 5 or 6 hours of on-the-water runtime, which is unacceptable to most serious anglers.

Lead acid batteries’ power curve – how they discharge current – exhibits a huge voltage drop when you apply a load. The voltage will go from 13 volts into the low 12s, even with small loads, in a very short amount of time. Thus, the battery you started with at the beginning of the day is not the battery you end up utilizing in your boat by lunchtime.

Depending on how you use the lead acid battery—like if you’re powering lights—you’ll notice that the lights dim and aren’t as bright over time. You also see that a lot with trolling motors. As that voltage curve drops, the trolling motor power head and prop will start to slow down so the user experience—even fairly early in the day—is already starting to suffer. Fish-finder screen brightness and image clarity also diminishes as lead acid voltages drop.

Of course, the other big drawback to lead acid batteries is weight. Average marine lead acid batteries weigh between 50 and 65 pounds, while a comparable lithium battery weighs between 22 or 25 pounds.

Absorbed Glass Mat Battery (AGM) Batteries

AGM batteries are an improvement over standard lead acid batteries. They are non-spillable, maintenance-free, and feature separators made of fine fiber Boron-Silicate glass mats between the internal plates. Most AGMs are pretty hardy and will not leak acid if broken and feature a much longer lifespan. However, the lifespan is still only measured in hundreds of discharge cycles, much like a lead acid battery.

AGM batteries also feature low internal resistance so the battery doesn’t overheat even under heavy charge and discharge currents. An improvement over standard lead-acid batteries, AGMs offer a low self-discharge rate, which allows for storing the batteries without a maintainer or charger.

On the downside, AGM batteries are heavy—and they’re not “smart”—so if you’re not careful you can over-discharge and destroy an AGM battery and essentially discharge it to the point that it will not accept a charge of any kind no matter the charger used. It is simply dead and beyond resurrection and you’re off to the battery store to spend good money to replace another AGM battery rendered useless after being accidentally over-discharged.

Gel Cell Batteries

In terms of construction, gel cell batteries are an improvement over both standard lead acid and AGM batteries. Like it sounds, gel cell batteries feature an internal gel within the electrolyte that reduces movement inside the battery case, making its non-spillable design more suitable for vibrations-prone environments.

On the downside, gel cell batteries must be charged at a lower voltage than standard lead acid and AGM batteries. Many gel cells have been destroyed through charging at too high of a voltage with typical automotive-style garage chargers.

While AGM and gel cell marine batteries offer slight improvements over lead acid, there’s a jump in cost. An AGM of similar voltage and amperage of a comparable lead acid is double to triple the cost—and you still haven’t really solved many of the problems with lead acid batteries.

When you then compare the cost of AGM or gel cell to lithium the answer is pretty simple. Don’t make incremental steps in solving problems. Solve it right when you buy the boat. Start with a set of lithium batteries and you’ll find they probably outlast the life of your boat.

Why Lithium Batteries Make Sense

While trolling motors, fishing electronics, and outboards get all the press, it’s the quality and reliability of your boat’s batteries that make all the fun stuff happen on the water. Think that’s an exaggeration? How much fun is that shiny 250 horsepower outboard when you turn the key and, instead of being greeted by the growl of an outboard roaring to life, you are left with nothing but the disappointing “click” of a starter starved of the amps it needs to bring those 250 ponies to life? In that moment, the boat ramp or tournament weigh in has never felt further away, while your boat has never felt smaller due to those uncomfortable stares coming from your fishing partner.

And what role do quality, reliable lithium batteries play in making all the advancements in sonar technology possible? As all too many anglers have experienced after they’ve made the investment to upgrade their boat’s electronics, if you overlook how they’ll be powered on the water, you’re in for a very disappointing first trip putting all that fancy sonar to use.

Fact is: You cannot power three big graphs at full brightness all day with a lead acid battery and avoid the dreaded low-voltage alarms popping up time and time again on your sonar screens. Sorry, ain’t gonna work. Collectively, those big screens simply draw too many amps for even the largest lead acid battery to handle and, if you add in MEGA Live, LiveScope, or Active Target, you can tell your wife when you leave in the morning that you’ll be home for lunch and actually keep that promise, albeit reluctantly.

NORSK Lithium CMO, James Holst, remarks: “With our LifePO4 chemistry, we guarantee 80% percent capacity will remain after 4000 discharge cycles. You’d have to be a retired person who fishes every hour of every day for over a decade to get to those numbers. To get that out of lead acid batteries you’d be looking at replacing your batteries 8 to 10 times.”

“Who wants to spend that much money on a boat and fish-finders so you can fish for half a day? Personally, I want to control my experience completely on the water. Cutting yourself short by choosing subpar batteries as foundational power is ridiculous. After a lot of bad experiences on the water, a lot of anglers are waking up to that and moving to lithium.”

Holst continues: “I’ve used the same set of NORSK lithium batteries in my past four boats: two Skeeters, a Lowe jet boat, and now a Warrior 238, and they still pull like a tractor. I have not seen any reduction in capacity over this time. I fish long and hard days, deeply discharge my batteries, and there’s no chance I’d be able to say the same thing about a set of lead acid, AGM, or gel-cell batteries. I would have plowed through numerous sets in that span of time and had multiple days on the water ruined due to batteries that were no longer up to the task at hand.”

An additional and often overlooked advantage of lithium is the voltage discharge curve of a lithium battery is very flat, ensuring that your first 10% of discharge will be almost the same as the last 10% of the discharge cycle.

Why does this matter? A flat voltage discharge curve means the trolling motor head and blades will turn at the same speed at the end of the day that they did at the start of it, giving you the control and speed you expect from your expensive bow-mount trolling motor.

NORSK Lithium founder and Engineering Director, Derek A., interjects: “With lead acid batteries, as soon as the second and third year of operation you aren’t getting full utility out of your boat because your batteries are only running half as long as they did the year before.”

Derek continues: “It’s amazing how disabling but predictable lead acid batteries are. If you’re fishing like I do and constantly discharging them below 50% and recharging them back up, you probably need to change them annually. That adds up year after year. That’s precisely why I founded NORSK Lithium. As an angler, I knew there had to be something better. So I—along with a very knowledgeable team of other engineers and anglers—designed it.”

Gain Boat Speed

Given the decrease in weight from lead acid or AGM, anglers/boaters who have switched over to lithium batteries report an average boat speed increase in the neighborhood of 2 to 5 mph. Do we recommend you buy lithium batteries for a couple more MPH?  We conceded that likely shouldn’t be your primary motivation. But going fast is fun and, given all the other foundational benefits lithium batteries provide, who’s going to turn up their nose at being able to walk away from the competition at the next shotgun start?

Lithium: Lighter and More Compact

Lithium is also very light in comparison to lead acid, AGM, and gel cell batteries—what typically amounts to about 45% less weight than the similar size group size lead acid or AGM.

For example, a NORSK Lithium 100AH battery weighs approximately 25 pounds. A comparable battery would be a 31 series lead acid deep cycle that weighs approximately 60 pounds.

Lithium batteries often have a smaller footprint, too, which makes installation in a lot of boats easier. With NORSK’s new advances in starting/deep cycle lithium battery combinations, finding a spot in your boat for a fifth battery (frequently referred to as a “house” battery), is no longer required.

NORSK Lithium has done significant testing to design the ultimate starting/deep cycle lithium battery.

Company founder and Director of Engineering, Derek A., remarks: “We’ve figured out which cells can deliver that big, quick burst of energy in the shortest period of time to turn over very large outboard engines. We’ve also made sure the internal wiring as well as all the conductive cells can handle that current. Lithium batteries sold as starting batteries up to this point have had significant issues. If you don’t have the proper internal wiring to carry high current, that power surge can melt the terminals right off the top of the battery. It all comes down to managing the resistance, something we’ve been able to do with our new dual-purpose NORSK Lithium starting/deep cycle battery design.”

Holst interjects: “We took Mercury’s requirements for a starting battery—the specs that spelled out their stringent guidelines and warranty expectations—and used that as a starting point. We have the absolute best starting battery on the market in our 180Ah Starting + House battery and we added a lot of extra capacity to it so an angler struggling to find space for a “house” battery to power their sonar units doesn’t have to tear their boat apart and give up valuable storage space looking for room for yet another battery. Our 180Ah Starting + House battery performs both roles beautifully and frees up anglers to stop worrying about battery capacity and runtime and just focus on fishing!”

Holst continued: “With NORSK Lithium, anglers can uncomplicate things a bit and, in the case of a traditional 36V setup, pare down to three 12V batteries rigged in series for the 36V trolling motor set-up and one dedicated “Starting + House” battery for both your outboard engine and electronics. Our new design has plenty of capacity to run everything all day long. It meets and exceeds Mercury’s warranty requirements for starting batteries, offers up to 1200 cold cranking amps (CCA) and is going to last a long time—10 plus years, easy—or a minimum of 4000-plus discharge cycles. It’s a great solution. Solves two problems with one battery.”

Prismatic vs Cylindrical Cell Lithium Battery Design

NORSK Lithium is one of a few marine battery manufacturers offering a design consisting of prismatic vs cylindrical lithium cells.

What’s that mean?

“Cylindrical cell-based lithium batteries are made up of 80 to 100 cells, usually all spot-welded together—what amounts to a lot of components that could potentially fail,” says NORSK Lithium’s Derek A.

“We went the route of prismatic cells, which reduces the cell number from nearly 100 to four primary cells with large connection points, a whole lot less to potentially fail.”

Derek continues: “Obviously, anglers are attracted to the long warranties lithium battery companies are offering, which is a good thing, but what they’re ignoring is the actual battery construction—internal hardware and electronics that are continually subjected to a violent working environment of waves, water, wind, and cold/heat. Having too many small, weak parts is just a recipe for disaster. I saw this working in aerospace for nearly 20 years. All of the FAA-certified lithium batteries used in aerospace are prismatic cell-based for that same reason. The FAA has very harsh test requirements for vibration, and cylindrical assemblies tended to break down on the test table, whereas prismatic cell battery designs tested much better with fewer small, internal components.”

Buy Right The First Time

If you’re a buy-right-first kind of guy who gets only two years out of lead acid and is tired of dying batteries and fishing trips cut short, lithium batteries make complete sense.

The math is self-evident. For example, a standard lead acid battery costs around $200; quality AGM or gel cell batteries are priced between $300 and $500 each.

While lithium batteries are more expensive ($900-$1000 each), you can buy right, once, making the investment up-front to get batteries that are incredibly light, have a flat discharge curve that provides consistent voltage from sunrise to sunset, offer a lifespan measured in many thousands of cycles instead of hundreds, while offering advanced monitoring with Bluetooth-connected apps, like the advanced Norsk Guardian App, that allows an angler to set up the batteries in the boat in logical groups and monitor them all simultaneously from a smartphone.

Changing Technologies

What does the future of lithium hold? For starters, lithium technology will continue evolving, becoming even more powerful, efficient, faster-charging, and lightweight.

“It would be naive to believe that LifePO4 is the chemistry we’re going to stick with forever,” says NORSK Lithium’s Founder and Engineering Director, Derek A.

“There are other lithium battery chemistries not currently on the market that in testing beat LiFePO4 in every single way, they’re just not commercially ready yet, but they will be. And our marine battery case design is intended to accommodate these emerging technologies. Any NORSK Lithium technician can open one of our batteries and repair or replace every single part in minutes.”

Derek continues: “First, our easy-to-service case design was intended to allow our batteries to be serviced if a component fails over the 10 Year Warranty period. We’re not worried about the cells dying during the warranty, it’s the other parts like the BMS module and other little electronic parts that have some limited potential to go bad. If you can’t open the case (like we can) if a small component does fail your lithium battery might just be junk. Secondly, we anticipated the emergence of better cell technology in our case design so we could support upgrading customers in the future with the latest and greatest lithium chemistries.”


It’s an exciting time in history to be an angler. Lithium has become the de facto power source for ice anglers; open water is next.

As you read this, countless anglers are getting boats ready for the season or re-rigging based on springtime experiences already on-the-water. Many are focused on replacing lead acid batteries for a more reliable experience.

While that’s great, the burgeoning acceptance of lithium power is also allowing the entire sport of sport fishing to evolve. Prior to today’s lithium batteries there is no possible way you could have run multiple 12-, 13-, and 15-inch screens and forward-facing sonar/live imaging sonar with lead acid unless you created a multi-battery grouping of the large, heavy, and outdated power source. Given the space in most boats, there is no way you would have been able to house that much lead acid power.

Trolling motor design and functionality is starting to evolve, too. Not only is the trend toward brushless technology, we’re starting to see the first 48-volt trolling motors and standalone electric outboards powered by lithium batteries–a design paradigm that may just replace small two- and four-stroke outboards. For walleye and muskie anglers, higher voltage bow-mount trolling motors may just eliminate the need for a kicker outboard on the bow.

So, you can start to see all the advancements, both here today and just over the horizon made possible by lithium batteries. The future is bright… and it will be powered by advancements in lithium battery technology with NORSK Lithium leading the way.


When it’s time to start catching fish and taking names, you want NORSK Lithium on your side. We aren’t some overseas battery manufacturer. We are open-water anglers and ice fishermen who traverse the U.S. and Canada chasing the best bites. We make the bone-jarring 50-mile run across big water. We live for the adrenaline rush of a 40-mile trek by snowmobile in the freezing cold just to snag the best ice fishing hits. Our lithium batteries have been tested in the harshest conditions by the harshest critics – us. We push our lithium batteries to the limit because we crave the finest fishing experience possible. No angler should be thwarted by second-rate battery performance. You don’t need to settle for your grandpa’s technology. Utilizing the super-efficient, unbeatable potency of lithium technology, NORSK Lithium batteries reduce cheap knock-offs to fancy paperweights. Every NORSK Lithium battery is built to endure. Our batteries outwork the competition every time. Norsk Lithium powers your passion so you can chase adventure. We personally rely on these same batteries to power our pursuit of an exhilarating outdoor experience. Our commitment to you is the same promise we make to ourselves – we will never cut corners, we will never stop improving our battery technology – and we will always take care of our customers after the sale. Your story is our story. We have intentionally tethered our business’s success to our customers’ satisfaction. Including us. NORSK Lithium exists to power your passion for the great outdoors.



from The Fishing Wire

Why You Need Multiple Pitching Rigs

It’s one of bass fishing’s most broadly used techniques and for good reason. Pitching baits offers a highly efficient way to cover a shoreline with quick, accurate presentations, allowing you to slow down and pick apart promising cover.

Targets will vary, so keep a selection of rigs handy.

Light Cover: Sparse hydrilla and milfoil, patchy lily pads, or thin eel grass; bass may relate to this thin cover during early mornings or during their spawn. Here, you don’t need much weight — just enough to allow for accurate casts and the ability to navigate through the cover.


A classic Texas rig with a 3/16- to 1/4-ounce Mustad Tungsten TitanX Worm Weight and a craw or creature bait on a 3/0-4/0 Mustad KVD Grip-Pin Soft Plastics Hook fits this role. Other options: A 4- to 6-inch lizard or a soft stick worm on a 3/0 or 4/0 Mustad Offset Shank Worm Hook. Pitch your bait into gaps and breaks in the cover and stay alert for distinct holes amid grass beds, where hard sand or shell bottom offers ideal holding spots.


Heavy Vegetation: When matted grass or thick rafts of floating vegetation (hyacinth, pennywort, etc.) blanket the surface, the shadowy caverns below offer prime bass habitat, particularly during the heat of summer. Standard pitching rigs often hang on the dense cover, so you’ll want to switch to the “punching” technique, which uses heavier terminal tackle to drive a bait through the cover.


You can use similar baits used when flipping light cover, but you’ll want to beef up the hook to a Mustad Grip-Pin Max Punching Hook and add a 1- to 2-ounce Mustad Tungsten TitanX Weight secured with a Mustad Weight Stop.


Nothing complicated here; you’re simply forcing a bait through the cover for what typically turns out to be a reaction bite. Even when fish are not in an active feeding mode, the sudden appearance of a forage profile usually triggers a reaction bite.


Multi-Purpose: Boaters have the advantage of carrying an arsenal of rods, each rigged for specific tasks; even modern-day fishing kayakers can transport a good selection. For the bank fisherman or the casual kayak angler, a minimalist approach necessitates making the most of two or three rods.

In such scenarios, the ability to immediately switch from pitching to a swimming or twitching presentation broadens your versatility. One of the best options for this is a 5-inch soft plastic stick worm rigged on a 3/0 or 4/0 Mustad Offset Shank Worm Hook .

With a tapered tail, the stick worm easily slips into sparse grass, holes in lily pad fields, and gaps in cattails or reeds. Pitch the bait into a promising area, give it a couple of twitches, then repeat. Optionally, add a nail weight to the tail for better control and a unique presentation. When the worm hits the water, that weight pulls it down and away for a darting look.

For thorough coverage, shifting to a cast-and-retrieve pattern allows you to work the vegetation’s perimeter edges or target fish that you see chasing baitfish. Add a screw-in spinner blade to the stick worm’s tail end for extra appeal during the swimming presentations.

About Mustad

Mustad has led the global hook market since 1877. Mustad’s mission is to create a comprehensive multi-brand company that leads the fishing tackle industry, while focusing on innovation, employee and customer satisfaction, and sustainability. With the addition of TUF-LINE and LIVETARGET, Mustad continues to solidify its position as a complete sports fishing brand family.

Boat, Motor and Trolling Motor Equipment I Use – T-H Marine G-Force Trolling Motor Replacement Handle and Cable

Here is the response i got from T-H Marine and my response.

Andrew Shelton (T-H Marine Supplies, LLC)Mar 8, 2023, 7:18 AM CSTCompared to the amount sold it’s not a big issue we see.  We can send you a new retainer and set screws, the G-Force Handle has a lifetime warranty.  When you get the new retainer and set screws what I recommend and what a lot of people do not do is when holding one set screw down on one side with the wrench tighten the other side all the way down until you hear/feel a snap then do the same with the other side.  This ensures the cable sets well in to the cable and will not pull out.

i would follow your advice if the set screw didn’t strip out with almost no pressure. I have installed these before with no problem until this one.

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

Steel Cable Trolling Motor Pull Cord

I used this cable in the past and was very satisfied with it, but the one I just ordered –  March, 2023 –  had a problem. I could not tighten the set screws. At first I thought the enclosed Allen wrenches were bad but my good Allen Wrenches slipped in the set screws – it seems the set screw itself is too soft to tighten enough to hold the handle on the cable.

I will update this again after working on it and trying it in a  tournament.  I WILL NOT be happy if I have to tie a knot in the cable on the handle end.

From the company when I bought my first one in 2015:


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

Endorsed by B.A.S.S. Elite Pro Gerald “G-Man” Swindle – Rugged nylon jacketed stainless steel table. Large comfortable cushioned grip handle.  The 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 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.

Review of Bass Pro Shops World Wide Sportsman Fishing Shirt

Jack caught fishing in Baja Mexico

Jack caught fishing in Baja Mexico

I like my Bass Pro Shops World Wide Sportsman fishing shirts like the one I wore in Baja while catching this jack.

I have about 20 fishing shirts and jerseys from a lot of different brands and manufacturers. Some of my favorites are the World Wide Sportsman short sleeve shirts from Bass Pro Shops. The are comfortable, come in a variety of colors and sizes. And they are reasonably priced. (disclaimer – I do get a discount on these shirts)

These button up shirts have big pockets, one on each side. The pockets have Velcro tabs to hold the flap closed. Sometimes the pockets are almost too big. A ball point pen can get lost in them, sideways down on the bottom. To solve this one pocket has a small opening in the flap for a pen – an important fact for an outdoor writer or tournament director!

The collars are button down, too. That is extremely important when running 70 mph in a bass boat. Collars that don’t button down can beat your cheeks and jaw uncomfortably.

The back of the shirts is ventilated with a mesh net the top half, covered by a flap to allow air in and heat to escape. The flap also has a Velcro patch to keep it down over the mesh, or you can loosen it to allow more air flow.

The shirts are 100 percent cotton except for the mesh, which is much more comfortable to me. It seems to wick the sweat away better than most materials. The only problem is they wrinkle, so they do need to be ironed to look their best, but for most fishing I just wash and tumble damp dry and hang them up to finish drying. That reduces the wrinkles.

At a price between $23 and $26, even less on sale, they are a good value.

World Wide Sportsman Nylon Angler Shirts for Men – Short Sleeve

Angling Legends: St. Croix Rods

St. Croix’s flagship family of Legend rods provide pinnacle-performance, unmatched sensitivity, and are handcrafted in the U.S.A.
PARK FALLS, Wisc. (February 19, 2021) – Joe Bucher knows the stuff of which fishing legends are made. The renown multi-species fishing expert from Eagle River, Wisconsin is a National Freshwater Fishing Hall of Fame Legendary Angler who targets everything from panfish, bass, walleye and muskies in freshwater to redfish, snook and sea trout on the salty side. Host of the Fishing with Joe Bucher shownow in its 31st year, he’s been a St. Croix pro-staffer for over two decades.

It takes years on the water and a willingness to build on experience to excel at this game,” says Bucher, “but you also need to constantly incorporate new information and suggestions from other experts in the field. It takes a lot of problem solving, too, and I’m not just talking about fishing personalities achieving legend status,” he says. “Tackle can be legendary, too.

”Case in point is St. Croix’s evolving Legend family of freshwater and saltwater rods. Any rod containing the Legend moniker is a pinnacle performer in the St. Croix lineup, handcrafted in the USA and incorporating the finest materials, components and technologies available in a St. Croix fishing rod.“These are rods that really live up to their namesake,” says Bucher, referring to St. Croix’s Legend Tournament, Legend Elite, Legend X, Legend Xtreme, Legend Xtreme Inshore, Legend Surf, and Legend Glass series rods – the very Best of the Best Rods on Earth®. “From the second you first lay that grip in your palm and feel the weight spread evenly across your fingertips you just know they’ve been designed to help anglers catch more fish.”
Depending on which Legend you choose, these rods are handcrafted with St. Croix’s proprietary SCIV, SCV and SCVI carbon or St. Croix’s 100% Linear S-Glass to ensure you receive elite-level sensitivity, strength and lightweight performance. Integrated Poly Curve® (IPC®) tooling eliminates all transitional points in the rod blanks for smoother action and even more strength while further improving sensitivity. Advanced Reinforcing Technology™ (ART™) uses an exotic carbon fiber material that adds a further magnitude (10X) of strength with virtually no increase in blank diameter or weight. Use of a Fortified Resin System (FRS) combines a fortified super resin with computer operated curing ovens that provide improved temperature and time management through all stages of the curing cycle, while Taper Enhancement Technology (TET), a process perfected by St. Croix that begins with precision-cut curved-blank patterns made possible by a state-of-the-art computerized pattern cutting machine, also aids in pushing the limits of Legend blanks into the hyper-performance category.

“All that is well and fine,” says Bucher, “but I think the overriding point is that St. Croix uses all this cutting-edge technology while also incorporating suggestions and insights from a top-shelf pro staff that’s on the water daily when it comes to putting their rods together. From using the most sensitive composites and glass in their blanks, to superior guide trains, designing handles that increase the transmission of the bite through the rod blank, to the parabolic curve of each stick, the research, development and willingness to incorporate feedback from the trenches really sharpened the capabilities of each and every Legend series rod.

”The result, believes Bucher, is the most sensitive, powerful, responsive and durable set of top-end fishing rods on the market with seven distinct Legend families to cover a wide range of species and techniques.“If you’re looking to budget your money for a rod or two that will let you feel the slightest strike, fish across the widest set of variables, and cover the greatest range of species and techniques, St. Croix’s Legend rods are where you begin and end your search,” says Bucher.

Although Bucher uses rods from every Legend series, he does have a few favorites. Due to the incredible sensitivity derived from its SCV/SCVI blank, carbon fiber guides and Gen-2 Xtreme-Skin handle, The Legend Xtreme 7’ medium/fast (#XFS70MF) spinning rod is his first choice for any type of finesse fishing, especially lightweight jigging. 
“I’ve caught everything from panfish and bass to seatrout, snook and 30-pound redfish on this Legend Xtreme and companion saltwater Legend Xtreme Inshore model – and it’s never been overmatched,” he states. “The real wow factor with this rod is that you can actually feel fish pick up a jig on a slack line. That alone sets it apart from all others. Just today, I was fishing on a wide-open Florida bay. I was battling the wind and current, and trying to hit my spot lock, when I popped my jig off the bottom. Somehow, I sensed a slight bump in my slack line. A huge, speckled trout had inhaled my jig.

”Of course, Bucher also has a reputation for decking monster muskies, and for that application he says the Legend Tournament Musky Downsizer 7’10” medium/fast (#LMD710MF) entry, which he helped design, can’t be beat. This rod doubles as a lunker bass stick and musky downsizer in his arsenal, allowing him to fish large lures for bigmouths and smaller musky-class lures to absolutely dominate both species.“Pick it up and it feels light like a bass rod,” says Bucher, “but put it to the test with an angry musky and it has surprising power and backbone. This rod offers the perfect combination of length, strength, and that all-important sensitivity. I’ve caught more big muskies on this one rod than most anglers catch in a lifetime.

”The Legend Xtreme series features six freshwater casting and five freshwater spinning models. Legend Xtreme Inshore includes three spinning and one casting model. These apex rods feature SCV & SCVI carbon, IPC, ART, FRS, TET, Daiwa AGS Carbon Fiber Guides, and 2nd Generation Xtreme-Skin Handles.

The broad Legend Tournament Series is an angler favorite. There are Legend Tournament models optimized for almost any basswalleyemusky, and inshore-fishing application. These blanks are crafted from SCIV high-modulus high-strain carbon, feature IPC, ART and FRS technologies and feature both split-grips and full-cork handles, depending on the model and application.

Like Bucher, Stephen Browning of Hot Springs, Arkansas, has a reputation for battling big fish and cashing checks come tourney time. “I don’t know about being a legend,” says the 21-year St. Croix pro staffer, “but I do know if you put me on a river with a St. Croix Legend rod, I’m probably going to take somebody’s money.”The fisheries biologist-turned pro angler isn’t boasting; he has 42 Top 10s in his career, which has netted not only tons of bass, but winnings over $1.4 million.
“St. Croix has really worked hard to incorporate the input of its pro staff in designing each Legend Series rod to give every angler the upper hand. Pick up any model and you can instantly feel it’s designed to catch more fish,” he says.Browning, too, cycles through the entire array of Legend rods each season, but has two clear favorites. One, he says, is the 7’11’ heavy power, moderate-fast Legend X casting rod (XLC711HMF), which he loves for flipping bass in grass. The other is the 6’10” medium power, moderate action Legend Glass (LGS610MM) casting rod, which he often uses for shallow cranking and running square bill plugs just above the grass.
“That Legend X 7’11” is so well balanced, it allows you to flip heavy baits with absolutely no splash,” he explains. “It’s also super-sensitive. With flippin’ and pitchin’, especially on pressured water, you don’t always feel the bite. You just lift your lure slightly and sense a little extra weight. With the Legend X, you can tell instantly if it’s a bass, weed or even a leaf hanging onto your jig. With the length of the rod, you can also move a lot of line, which I find to be a big help when fishing over hydrilla or other weeds in 15- to 20-foot depths – that’s my sweet spot. This rod also has plenty of power, so it’s the real deal when you need to wrestle a big one out of the slop.

”Browning is also proud of the input he had in designing the Legend Glass series. “We worked a year-and-a-half on making that rod,” he reveals. “With most square-bill and crankbait strikes, it’s the rod more than the angler that drives the hook home. You must let the rod load up on the strike before reacting, but you still need enough backbone to finish the job. Like all the Legend rods, it’s also extremely sensitive – amazingly so, considering it’s a glass blank. This 6’10” rod perfectly matches crankbaits with #4 treble hooks.”
It’s easy to miss some of the smaller aspects that go into making a rod so sensitive, notes Browning. On the Legend Glass 6’10”, for example, St. Croix’s 100% linear S-glass laid up with IPC mandrels has a lot to do with transmitting the bite, but so does the selection, number and placement of the Fuji® K-Series tangle-free guides. Most rods in the 6’ to 7’ class, he notes, have maybe seven guides. The Legend Glass has ten plus the rod-tip, spaced closer together.

“Thanks to IPC, Its forgiving taper is perfect, too,” adds Browning. “I was absolutely sold on this rod when a 4.5-pound bigmouth smashed my lure boat-side as I was about to lift it out of the water. A lot of fish are going to rip free of the hook with a strike like that, but with my Legend Glass, I can probably land nine out of ten on those surprise strikes. That’s impressive.”

St. Croix’s Legend X series features freshwater spinning and casting models incorporating hybrid SCV/SCVI carbon blanks, IPC, ART, FRS, and TET. All of these rods feature split-grip handles.Legend Glass models are designed for spinning and casting with reaction baits and feature super premium 100% Linear S-glass, IPC construction and split-grip super-grade cork handles.Bass and walleye expert, Tony Roach, from, Moose Lake, Minnesota, fishes Legend X, Legend Xtreme and Legend Glass rods on a regular basis, targeting anything that bites, from panfish and bass to walleye and pike. His favorite, however, is walleye, a passion the legendary fishing guide inherited from another legendary stick, his uncle Gary – Hall-of-Famer, Gary Roach – “Mr. Walleye” himself.
“I like pitching paddle tails and swimbaits for the ‘eyes,” he says, “and the Legend X 6’8” medium power, extra-fast action casting model (XLC68MXF) is ideal for that application. It’s lightweight and has great transfer from the line to the guides, down the blank and through the handle. It’s absolutely seamless in terms of transmitting the bite. With this rod, I sometimes feel shy walleye inhale my lures on a completely slack line. That rod’s sensitivity is second to none. With the exception of the new Legend Xtreme, nothing else I’ve ever fished can compare.

”Roach points to Legend X’s hybrid SCV/SCVI blanks and Fuji® Torzite® tangle-free guides as two primary reasons for the exceptional sensitivity, but notes these rods also possess amazing power. “When targeting bronzebacks and walleye, we occasionally hook big pike or even a musky from time to time. With the Legend X Series, you are never under-gunned. I make my living guiding anglers on big water. That means dealing with high winds, strong currents and big fish almost every day. When you choose a Legend series rod under those conditions, you’re giving yourself a big advantage. There’s nothing else out there that matches up.”

Rick Miller from Eastman, Wisconsin, is yet another well-known tournament angler on the St. Croix pro squad. With multiple wins on the Mississippi River, he’s a force to be reckoned with wherever he decides to launch.“I’m so impressed with the sensitivity, light weight and strength of Legend rods that I use them exclusively,” says Miller. “I can use them to match any situation, target any species, and present with any technique.”Miller’s favorite Legend rod is a 7’4” heavy power, fast action casting model, which he owns in Legend Xtreme (XFC74HF), Legend X (XLC74HF) and Legend Tournament Bass (LBC74HF) series. He uses them for everything from flipping and pitching to casting frogs and even punching the weeds with weights ranging from ¼- to 1-1/4 ounces.
“I absolutely love these rods,” explains Miller. “I like to keep the size, action and power the same between the different series so I don’t have to make too many adjustments every time I switch lures or methods. I know what this rod does and what it should feel like, and I think that gives me consistency that leads to a significant advantage.“Quite simply, these are the most sensitive rods I’ve ever had in my hands, which makes a big difference when I ‘m bassin’ in heavy cover or tempting walleye in heavy current. In these situations, you’re looking for the slightest tick to indicate a bite. With these Legend rods, I’m confident I’ll feel every little tick –and fishing with confidence is what you need more than anything else to climb to the top of the mountain in the fishing game.”
When it comes to true angling legends, it takes one to know one. Whether they prefer the split-grip handle design of Legend X, full-cork handle of Legend Elite, the unique 2nd-Generation Xtreme-Skin handle and carbon fiber guide train offered by Legend Xtreme, or the vast selection of bass, walleye, musky and inshore models available in the Legend Tournament family, legendary anglers around the world choose and rely on St. Croix Legend series rods.All St. Croix Legend rods are handcrafted in the USA and carry a 15-year transferable warranty backed by St. Croix Superstar Service for legendary protection of your prized investment. See them all at your local St. Croix dealer.
#CROIXGEARLike the rods? You’ll love our lifestyle apparel.

Garmin Striker Cast GPS Review

Frank Sargeant, Editor
from the Fishing Wire

Garmin Striker Cast GPS—Castable Sonar For the many anglers around the country who fish from shore, piers or docks, it’s always a bit of a mystery how deep the water is within casting range, what structures are on the bottom, and where the fish are in relation to that structure. Without a sonar/GPS screen to tip you off, you’re fishing blind.

Garmin’s Striker Cast GPS puts fish-finding technology into the hands of these anglers, at a very affordable price. It provides quality sonar and GPS on any smart phone.The whole system is encased in a hard plastic housing about the size of a tennis ball. The unit turns on when it’s immersed in water, and links via Bluetooth to your smart-phone once you download the Striker Cast app. You attach the device to your fishing line, cast it out to the water you want to check and presto, a sonar screen appears on the phone.

The Striker Cast is about the size of a tennis ball. It can transmit to your phone from up to 200 feet away.

The device weighs about 3 ounces, so it’s not something you’re going to throw on your light action spinning rod. And it would be easy to pop your line and lose the Striker if you got a dead-stop backlash on a hard cast. I tied it on with 65 pound test Spider Wire braid on the heavy duty snap swivel, just to be sure—that braid will hoist a couple of concrete blocks, so it’s not going anywhere.
Here, a bass hanging over tree limbs on bottom at 8 feet shows clearly. Note the water temperature and depth digital readout on the upper left.

You don’t really cast the Striker—it’s more like lobbing a tennis ball, unless you put it on a 10-foot surf rod. I used a heavy action Shimano Sienna 7-footer and a 4000 size reel that would whip a kingfish, and it was about right.

Manipulating the rod, reel handle and your smart phone all at once is a challenge unless you have three hands. The way I worked it out was to hold the rod in my right hand, the phone in my left and also lightly hold the reel handle. I then rotated rod and reel to retrieve line—it sounds more difficult than it is once you’ve made a few casts.

As with any sonar, the faster the transducer moves, the more the terrain and fish below are compacted, while the slower things move the more they are stretched out. Thus, a foot-long bass going slow under a fixed transducer can look like a 40-pound pike. However, you quickly learn to adjust. The system automatically sets range and gain, or you can adjust both manually at the tap of a virtual scale.

Bottom shows red/yellow, water blue, fish and structure also red if large, yellow if small or scattered. The screen has digital depth and water temperature readouts on the upper left.

The unit also has a very accurate GPS system which allows you to map the area you are graphing. Walk all the way around your favorite pond, casting every 50 feet or so as you go, and it draws a chart of all the water you can reach, complete with depth profiles. You can name and save this, and you can also share it publicly. (I suspect that’s a function not many serious anglers will use!)

The chart was made by repeated casts with the Striker Cast. The opening at the center was where the author walked around a creek, so there’s no graph of that area.

The transducer is not like your boat floating over a fish, which usually flushes anything shallower than 10 feet in most lakes. Fish are not aware of it, and in fact I had a catfish come up and bump it apparently to see how it tasted. So, you can graph an area with a couple casts, spot fish, tie on a lure that gets to their appropriate depth, and hopefully connect.The Striker Cast would also be very useful for ice fishers—it’s compact, easy to carry, and would give you a quick read of what’s happening at each hole you open.

After saltwater use, you’ll want to rinse the connections thoroughly before hooking it up to the included USB charging wire—corrosion is not your friend. I wished the charging LED was a bit easier to see or had an alternate color when fully charged, but that’s a minor inconvenience. The battery lasts 10 hours with a full charge.

Here’s a useful video that teases out the many functions:

The Garmin Striker Cast GPS goes for about $180, and it’s sized about right for a stocking stuffer.

Check it out here:

Buy Fishing Line Based on Diameter

My favorite fluorocarbon line

Buy Fishing Line Based on Diameter, Not Lb. Test, Advises Sunline
from The Fishing Wire

Making enough line to go around the world nearly 34 times each year, Sunline has the largest stand-alone line factory on the planet. Despite making so much line every year, quality and accuracy are guiding principles for production of every spool of line that Sunline makes. 

 Sunline manufactures their lines to strict diameter tolerances that require a specific diameter range for each lb test. These diameter specifications are held across the globe for any line we offer. 

 Japanese laws require line companies selling line in the Japanese domestic market to label lines with a specific lb test based on pre-determined diameter ranges.  This policy ensures lines rated at a specific lb test will break at that lb test for true accuracy.

The true measure of a line or fiber is the denier rating.   Denier is a unit of measure for the linear mass density of fibers.  It is the mass in grams per 9000 meters of the fiber. This provides a true measure of the strength of a line or fiber and allows the strength of different materials to be compared regardless of the diameter.  One fiber may have a higher breaking strength because it is larger in diameter, but that does not mean it is stronger, only thicker in diameter.  Denier allows fibers to be tested and compared regardless of diameter for a true comparison.

Companies selling line in Europe are also held to a similar standard for diameters with the EFTTA Line Charter.  The charter is a pledge by over 35-line manufacturers stating they will only manufacture lines that meet agreed upon standards.  

A few of those include:
To print on their products clear and accurate descriptions in terms of diameters and breaking strength that are easy to understand, truthful and respectful of consumer protection laws and the standards of the industry, in compliance of the ISO 2062 Standards.

To run quality controls in sufficient quantities and sufficiently often to ensure that products labels are always accurate.

Not to use any other labeling in terms of breaking strength that is not scientifically demonstrated or agreed by the industry so as to avoid any confusion among consumers leading to unfair competition.

So, what about the US?  There are no such guidelines or charters in the US market regulating diameters.  Line companies can produce a line and label it with any lb test they want.  What better way to make a line seem stronger than it really is than to make a larger line and label it with a lower lb test.  This will make the line seem much stronger than it really is. An angler thinks the line is strong but doesn’t realize they are fishing with a much larger line size.  

If an angler were to catch a record fish using one of these inflated lines, the record would not be upheld when they submitted the record catching line for testing.

 In some cases, an angler thinking he is buying 12lb line is actually buying 22lb line with a 12lb label on it.

This can obviously impact the status of record fish caught with inflated line sizes. Other ways inflated lines impact anglers are in the performance of their lures.  Many lures swim or run better with lighter line.  If you are buying line you think is 12lb which will allow a lure to perform at its best, but the line is much larger it can impact the performance of the lure. 

 Crankbaits and jerkbaits run deeper with smaller diameter lines allowing them to reach maximum depth.  Similarly, anglers that troll a lot purchase lines based on the diameter knowing it will impact the diving depths of their crankbaits when trolled.  

The Precision Trolling Data shows the impact that a larger diameter can have on the diving depth of a crankbait.

Additional Resources
Trolling data,

Hot Hands Hand Warmers Can Be Worth Their Weight In Gold

Hot Hands Hand Warmers

 When I first joined a bass club I had no idea bass would bite during the winter.  But a January, 1975 tournament at Jackson taught me they would.  Six bass weighing more than six pounds each were weighed in.   

I thought I would freeze that cloudy, windy day with sleet all day long.  I had worn my winter hunting clothes that were fine for deer hunting in the fall or walking winter fields and woods looking for squirrels, rabbits and quail, but they were not fine for sitting in a boat in 32-degree wind and sleet!   

A catalog at home from a new mail order company, Bass Pro Shops, offered snowmobile suits and boots.   I ordered both the next week.  The thick insulated jumpsuit was water resistant and repelled sleet and snow, but I had to get a good rainsuit to go over it.   

The boots were very heavy, with inch thick felt liners inside. I knew if I ever fell out of the boat they would take me to the bottom, so I never tightened up the string at the top, leaving them where they would easily slip off.  Of course, with everything else I wore, getting out of the boots probably would not make much difference.  This was way before the small auto inflatable life jackets I now wear at all times.   

I had some of the old hand warmers, the ones you filled with lighter fluid, lit and put in a case in your pocket.  When they came out I got the ones that used a charcoal stick and put it in a cloth lined case to put in a pocket to keep you warm.    Both kinds were messy and hard to use, and inconsistent staying lit, but they helped.

A few years later I saw a product called “Hot Hands” at Berry’s Sporting Goods that did not make sense.  It was a small cloth pouch with grit in it that, when taken out of a plastic bag, shook up and put in your pocket, it warmed up.  Since I taught science at the time I was able to figure out the iron dust inside rusted really fast when exposed to air, producing heat.

Hot Hands make a huge difference when fishing this time of year.  They are not messy or bulky and are easy to use.  I can put them in my boots before leaving home and they are still warming my toes up nine hours later. One in each jacket pocket lets me put hands in them one at a time when driving the boat or even fishing a slow-moving bait to warm them up.  A few scattered inside my heavy suit keep my body toasty.

I was a press observer at the 2015 Bassmasters Classic on Like Hartwell. On practice day I rode with David Kilgore, watching him figure out patterns for eight hours.  I could not fish, just sit and talk and watch.

The air temperature was eight degrees that morning, but it warmed all the way up to 20 degrees during the day. And the wind blew. I was comfortable all day though, since I had hot hands in the toes of each boot, in each outside coat pocket for my hands, and four in inside pockets against my body.  I even put one under my cap before putting on a stocking cap and pulling my hood over it. 

Two-packs of both hand or toe warmers are about $1.75 at Berrys and bulk packs are cheaper.  They really help and I don‘t leave home without them this time of year.

St Croix Ice Rods

Press Release


Mojo Ice, Avid® Ice, and Legend® Black Ice Series deliver St. Croix performance, versatility, and value in any ice fishing situation

Park Falls, WI (October 29, 2019) – The feeling’s in the air and on the wind. Recent weather patterns have hardwater fanatics and casual ice anglers alike thinking about the rapidly approaching ice fishing season. Now is the time to start getting organized for the upcoming rush to frozen waters; augers need tuned and sharpened, tackle must be organized, and last season’s fishing line requires replacement. Part and parcel of these gear maintenance and preparation activities, this is also the perfect time to start thinking about new ice rods.

St. Croix Rod designs and builds fishing rods that dutifully and beautifully serve every angling pursuit, including dozens of ice fishing models across four distinct series. Covering panfish to lake trout, St. Croix offers ice rod models with varying lengths, powers and blank materials that deliver pride and performance to any ice angler. Mojo Ice

Get Your Mojo Working Featuring St. Croix’s proprietary custom reel seat and split-grip handle, the Mojo Ice series consists of 13 models suited for any fishing style or technique. These precision-tapered, solid carbon blanks are equipped with stainless-steel guides in sizes designed to prevent freeze up so you can keep working your mojo in any conditions. Mojo Ice models retail between $50 and $60.ST. CROIX MOJO ICE 

Precision-taper solid carbon (SC material) blank provides superior performance
Premium split-grip cork/EVA handle Custom reel seat ideal for all techniques
Sea Guide lightweight stainless-steel guides1-year warranty backed by St. Croix Superstar Service

Designed in Park Falls and handcrafted in Fresnillo, Mexico

A biologist by day, Kenora, Ontario-based ice fishing pro Josh Peacock is an enthusiastic fan of the Mojo Ice series, choosing the rods for his frequent lake trout and whitefish forays in Ontario’s storied Sunset Country. “My favorite is actually the MIRC34H,” says Peacock, referring to the 34” heavy power casting model – the heavyweight of the Mojo Ice lineup – which he employs for the hefty lake trout his area is known for. “It has the perfect amount of backbone for ripping four- and five-inch white tubes.

I also like the 34” medium-heavy model (MIRC34MH), which I use when our big whitefish go on the smelt feed,” Peacock continues. “We get them on lake trout jigs and ripping three- and four-inch spoons. The whitefish actually have soft mouths, so the medium-heavy has the right amount of power for that. It’s pretty cool when you find four-to-six-pound whitefish eating smelt. They hit like lake trout!”

Peacock also regularly reaches for the 28” medium-light Mojo Ice rod (MIR28ML) when targeting crappies around the islands on Lake of the Woods and other waters. “It’s a really popular rod up here for crappies, but it’s a great choice for walleyes and even stocked lake trout, too” he notes. “It fishes a 1/8-oz. spoon really well and is a very versatile rod. Anglers love the blank-through reel seat as well.”

Avid Ice Rods for Avid Anglers The popular Avid Ice series consists of six Avid Ice Jigging rods designed for walleye and four Avid Ice Glass rods for panfish applications. Rods retail for between $60 and $70.Created specifically for jigging walleye, Avid Ice Jigging rods features Kigan stripper guides and lightweight, low-profile running guides. Constructed with precision-taper solid carbon (SC material) blanks and super-sensitive carbon handles, 27”-36” Avid Ice Jigging Rods deliver absolute control and sensitivity. 

Avid Ice JiggingAvid Ice Glass models are designed specifically for panfish. Constructed with an Xtreme-Flex solid glass (SG material) blank, high-visibility tip and super-sensitive carbon handle for superior performance, these 18”-34” rods excel in any panfish application.ST. CROIX AVID ICE JIGGING & AVID ICE GLASS 

Jigging rods for walleye feature precision-taper solid carbon (SC material) blanks
Glass rods for panfish feature Xtreme-Flex solid glass (SG material) blanks with high-vis tipsSuper-sensitive carbon handleKigan stripper guide with lightweight low-profile running guides1-year warranty backed by St. Croix Superstar Service
Designed and handcrafted in Park Falls, U.S.A. (with foreign and domestic materials)

Michigan-based St. Croix ice pro Chuck Mason has competed in ice fishing tournaments from New York to Montana. He carries a multitude of St. Croix ice rods on the tournament trail, but says the Avid Ice Jigging models are his favorites.

“Basically, I have my ice rods sized by the shanty I’m using. So, if I’m using my one-man Clam shanty I’m fishing with the 27-inch. And if I’m using the small two-man shack I’m fishing the 30-inch. I use the longer 36-inch Avid Ice jigging rods when I can get my big shack out onto the bay here on Lake Erie, and I’ll also use the 36” models if I’m fishing outside,” says Mason, who prefers the medium power rods paired with 8- to 10-pound test on Daiwa reels for walleye.

“Their action is great, and they’re designed to handle some pretty big fish,” Mason continues. “The Avid Ice Jigging rods have what I would consider more of an extra-fast tip. It’s a stiffer rod compared to the Mojo Ice. They’re ideal in the situations I regularly find myself in while tournament fishing walleyes in open water. As soon as I start lifting ,I immediately feel anything that’s there. There’s no play or slop in these rods. Their sensitivity and power are perfectly matched for walleyes. I just love ‘em.”

Make the Season Legendary St. Croix Legend® Black Ice rods feature the patented, built-in strike indicator system developed by Greg “The Prowler” Wilczynski. A medalist in world ice fishing competitions, Greg spent years refining his invention.

The result is a super-finesse coil spring bobber system that’s much more sensitive than any other type of indicator, helping anglers see even the most subtle bump or strike well before it can be felt. St. Croix’s strike indicator system is adjustable to accommodate different lure sizes. To make the bobber more sensitive, push the spring forward so it extends farther out through the grommet. To make it less sensitive for heavier lures, simply push it back in.

Featuring precision-taper solid carbon blanks and unique Sea Guide NPS integral reel seat handles, seven different 24” and 30” Legend Black Ice models are available, retailing between $75 and $80. 

Super-finesse high-tension stainless-steel strike indicatorFully adjustable and interchangeable spring indicator system
Precision-taper solid carbon (SC material) blank provides superior performance
Sea Guide NPS reel seatPac Bay Minima guides 1-year warranty backed by St. Croix Superstar Service
Designed in Park Falls, U.S.A. (with foreign and domestic materials) 

“I’ve had two seasons using Legend Black Ice rods and the performance has been phenomenal,” offers Peacock. “They’re definitely my favorite crappie sticks. I prefer the light and medium-light power models (LBI24L, LBI30L, LBI24ML and LBI30ML).

Of those, I’m usually using the 30-inchers. I use them with a small tungsten jigs and 4-pound test,” he says. “On the Lake of the Woods and a lot of these back lakes you hook into random pike and walleyes, so you really get to see what the rods are made of. Legend Black Ice rods definitely do the job. Often times we’re fishing 35 to 40 feet deep and it’s cold weather, so there’s a lot of stretch to your line. That’s one reason why the strike indicator system is so awesome; they’re just so sensitive. A lot of time the crappies will swim up with the jig and you can see that on the spring bobber well before you could ever feel anything.

”While you can exchange strike indicators on the rods for varying levels of tension from light to heavy, Peacock has been using the stock indicators that come on the various rods and has been thrilled with their performance. For him, that means the orange-tipped spring bobber with light tension, perfect for his frequent crappie forays.

Parting Words Don’t get caught fishing the same old, outdated gear this winter. Whether you’re chasing predators or looking forward to dialing in epic panfish bites, consider St. Croix’s proven Mojo Ice, Avid Ice, and Legend Black Ice series. You’ll find rods suited to exactly how you fish, no matter the whens, wheres or hows. And after all, that’s precisely St. Croix’s mission—to provide every angler the upper hand.

#CROIXGEAR Like the rods? You’ll love our lifestyle apparel. Shop now!
Ice fishing with St.Croix rods

I Love/Hate My New Minn Kota Ulterra Trolling Motor

Minn Kota Ulterra Trolling Motor with 360 scan bracket

I ordered a Minn Kota Ulterra trolling motor from Their service and price was great, the chat person gave me good advice, their prices are competitive and there is no sales tax or shipping fee. The motor arrived in only two days. BUT, I was too excited to really check. Took the motor to be installed and he called me when he got ready to hook up the power.
My boat is wired for 36 volts and the motor was a 24 volt. Glad he noticed before hooking it up!

I contacted MyGreenTackle and they confirmed they shipped the wrong motor. Since it was already hooked up I decided to see how it preformed. It has more than enough power for my boat, and I can use the extra battery for accessories only, solving several problems. Decided to keep it, and MyGreenTackle refunded the difference in price, but I am worried about reserve power.

There was another problem I did not anticipate. I have a Humminbird 360 scan that I love, but there is no way to mount the transducer to this motor since the shaft slides. And my 2016 sonar units are too old to use the Chirp transducer built into the motor, so mounting the old transducer is a problem, too. I could order a newer unit for sonar, and may do that eventually.

I contacted Minn Kota and was told there is no way to mount the 360 transducer and they do not make an adapter. That is strange since both Humminbird and Minn Kota are owned by the same company, but I guess that is big business.

Fortunately, through a little searching I found that Cumberland Crappie makes an adapter for the 360 transducer as well as a bracket for mounting other transducers like Lowrance to it. I got both and got them put on. And although the resulting rig looks crazy, it works so far.

I have used the Ulterra in two club tournaments now and I love/hate my new Minn Kota Ulterra Trolling Motor.

I ordered the self stow unit since I have back problems and it hurts bending over and pulling in a trolling motor. And I really love that feature, as well as being able to trim it up and down easily when in shallow water. And I think I will really like the remote control feature when I get used to it.

I think I am going to love the spot lock, too. It worked fine the first time I fished with the new motor but the second time I could not get it to engage. I will study the manual and hope i am doing something wrong. It would be just my luck to have a defective unit.

I hate the foot control. It seems the buttons were placed in the worst possible position, especially for someone who has been using a regular foot pedal for 45 years. I have hit the button to stow the motor dozens of times when using my heel to turn the motor. And I am used to resting my heel on the back of the pedal and raising my toe when releasing the power button. That starts the stow function and I hve to quickly hit the lower button to stop it and get it back down. I make that mistake constantly.

There is no “feel” with this foot pedal, either. I have used the regular pedal so many years it is an unconscious effort to keep the boat going like I want it to. Now, I constantly have to look at what the motor is doing, very distracting while fishing.

Another thing I do not like is how high the head sticks up while fishing. I hit it repeatedly while trying to side arm cast and skip baits under docks. I hope I can adjust it lower.

Maybe I will eventually get used to the new system.

If i could go back, I would never order an Ulterra for a bass boat. I would stick with the Ultrex, even with my bad back.