By Alan Clemons
A couple of weeks ago while fishing with a buddy on Guntersville Lake, I was getting ready to tie on a new frog when he pointed to a small item by my feet.
“Try those,” he said. “Great little tool and wait until you see it cut the braid.”
Yeah, yeah. I’ve seen “great” gizmos and gadgets over the years. Some worked, some stunk and a few truly were pretty doggone good.
This one falls into the latter category. My pal was referring to the Boomerang Tool Company’s new “Snip” clipper tool. It’s just 3 inches long, about an inch wide and has stainless steel blades that easily and cleanly cut my 50-pound test braided line like it was sewing thread.
In fact, I tried again several times to see if I could fray the end of the line. Sometimes with scissors, toenail clippers or a knife, the braid frays. Not with the Snip. Doubled and tripled the braid, too, and the Snip cut through the multiple lines with ease.
It’s not “just” a snipper, either. The blades close tightly with the Snip’s aluminum locking mechanism. There’s also a battery-operated light, for low-light conditions, and a 36-inch retractable nylon cord. Attach the affixed split-ring to a belt loop, vest zipper (if you’re a fly-fisherman) or somewhere else and you won’t lose it.
Pretty doggone good.
Boomerang Tool also produces the Big Catch H1 pliers, also with a retractable lanyard and belt pouch, and the Swift Cut lock blade knife. The pliers are lightweight and have replaceable jaws. The lightweight knife (4.5 ounces) sports a 4-inch 440C steel blade with a blunt tip, fine and serrated edges and thumb-assist stud for easy opening.
On the web: http://www.boomerangtool.com/
Team Marine USA
Bass caught from deep water sometimes need a helping hand, which comes from Team Marine USA and its venting tools for freshwater and saltwater species.
I’ve seen these in action and they work when used properly. Venting the swim bladder helps gases escape, giving bass or other deep-water fish a leg up on recovery.
But Team Marine has a couple of other cool tools that are worthy of consideration to have in the boat, too. One is the Cinch Tool, a lightweight helper to pick out knots or backlashes in reels or tie knots to hooks and swivels. It works for swivels from 20- to 400-pound sizes, and is a great assist to help secure a good knot.
Another beneficial tool is the D-Hooker, which comes in three sizes. If you have a deep-hooked fish or are battling saltwater species with teeth (and aggression!), being able to remove a hook without getting your hands around the mouth is a plus. The D-Hooker’s design easily allows you to get control of a hook and use the t-handle to remove it.
One other awesome item is the Steve Whitlock Series “Magic Slice” flexible cutting board. It’s not really a board, though, so you don’t have to worry about packing something heavy on the boat or in your camping gear.
They’re 12×15 inches and made of a tough, flexible plastic with a non-stick backing. Roll it up and it lays flat. Magic Slice withstands repeated, normal use and cleans up easily. We have a couple for our home kitchen and use them often. One great thing is after chopping onions or veggies, we can lift the edges like a funnel to dump everything into a bowl or skillet.
On the web: http://www.teammarineusa.us
Secure storage boxes
I’ve seen wallets, keys and phones stuck in consoles, under consoles, storage boxes, in the “glove” box, by the driver’s seat in a cup-holder and other places.
Also have seen them bounced out, blown out and grabbed in the nick o’ time.
Here’s a good idea that might help prevent losing anything or getting anything wet during a rainstorm or rough weather – a dry, sealable and waterproof box.
Plano offers four Guide Series Waterproof Case models – the 1470, 1460, 1450 and 1449 – based on the popular StowAway lure box sizes. The cases have cam-action latches, padlock tabs, a Dri-Loc O-Ring seal and soft internal lining. They’re also see-through so you can look and find something without opening, if necessary. I’ve used all four to keep everything in one place on boats and canoes, and they’re great.
The Otterbox 2000, Pelican 1120 and Pelican 1400 models aren’t see-through, but offer more durability. Professional photographers, television and entertainment folks, and military personnel use the Pelican models to protect valuable equipment. The 1400 and 1120 might be overkill for a wallet and keys, but if you have a camera, phone, a firearm or other items that need more protection in the boat then it’s a solid choice.
Like most photographers, I have several sizes of Pelican boxes for different tasks. Some are big, like the Model 1510, and have wheels and extendable handles. The 1450 is a good mid-sized case for a camera body, lenses and gear, and the 1400 is just right for one camera or as a small boat box. The Pelicans offer internal foam padding, near-indestructible handles and design, locking tabs and a great history of success.
On the web:
Who hasn’t needed a really good light at some point to make a repair in the boat, truck, camp house or to see what’s clattering around outside at night?
Flashlights are fine, from the smaller MagLite pocket sizes for quick jobs to the larger SureFire or Q-beam type for bright blasts and a wide field.
One super possibility is the Pelican 9410, a rechargeable light with four LED that pump out a blinding 710 lumens. It has a 3-mode switch (high, low and flashing), charging indicator light so you’ll know when it’s ready, a ribbed handle for easy grip and a 120-degree pivoting head. Stand it up on the boat deck, truck chassis or camp table, and you’re set.
On the web: pelican.com/lights_detail.php?recordID=9410
Texas Tackle split-ring pliers
If you don’t have some of the Texas Tackle Split-Ring Pliers to change out hooks and split rings on hard baits, you need one.
Actually, you need two or three of them. One for the boat, the tackle box and your man cave. Made from stainless steel, they won’t corrode and last for years.
They’re simple, tough, reliable and they work very well. Get some.
On the web: www.texastackle.com/pliers.htm
If you travel with fishing gear, chances are there’s a little corner of your truck or SUV where a tackle bag, lures, hooks and other stuff are lying around. Maybe neatly, maybe not.
Ditto for your boat, where a pile of crankbaits and “stuff” can collect in corners to create a mess.
Defintely take a look at the Gear Grabbar, which helps eliminate the mess. Powerful magnets hold hooks, baits, tools or other items instead of allowing them to get tangled. Stick-on tabs hold the Gear Grabbar on your boat, vehicle or work station, and two screw holes provide extra security if you want to drill to mount.
Hang crankbaits, spinnerbaits, jigs or whatever baits you want to get to easily without digging through a pile of stuff.
On the web: www.magneticmarineproducts.com/
Do you have some other ideas or suggestions on tools that can help anglers in the boat, at home or when they’re walking around a pond or lake? Give us some feedback.