Equipment you shouldn't go fishing without!
Some of the obvious equipment we take with us fishing.
How many times have you headed out to that secret spot in anticipation of hooking into "The fish of a lifetime", only to remember that you forgot this or that at home, and that certain something could have meant success or the very least made the trip just that bit more enjoyable. I always explain to my wife every single time we go out that it's part of tradition to forget something, anything. As we drive to our fishing destination we play a game and try to figure out what was left behind. Anyways here is my list of must have items whenever you head out for a good time.
1. Pliers, gate (wire) cutters, forceps
These tools are indispensible when fishing. They are great for many things but most obviously for removing hooks from fish or people aroound you (depends on your level of ability). One time out fishing a self-proclaimed expert hooked me through the ear with a spinnerbait. I needed the gate cutters to snip the barb off the hook so I didn't create a bigger hole in my ear by trying to remove it. This also applies to badly hooked fish, cut the hook instead of mangling the fish. The hook can always be replaced. Forcept are great for fly fishing and can be pinched onto your vest so they are readily accesible instead of buried somewhere inside a pocket.
2. Diamond files/honing stone, snips.
Diamond files or honing stones are great little tools for sharpening your hooks so that the are sticky sharp. This allows the hook to have maximum pemetration with minimum effort on hard-jawed species.
A net is very important in safely handling a caught fish. It allows you to control it without losing it at boatside. It allows you to quickly remove any lures/hooks with minimum damage to the fish which is great for catch and release. Best nets have the mesh made from rubber or a soft material such as cotton. Take the right size net for the fish you plan to target. A small stream trout net (pictured) won't really help you land a muskie, no matter just how good you believe yourself to be.
4. Tools/ screwdrivers
These little beauty's can really make or break you if you are caught out away from your tool box. The two most common ones you need are a flat head screwdriver and a phillps (4-star shaped) screwdriver. If you have a multi-tool (gadget with all kinds of tools - kind of like a swiss army knife on steroids) all the better.
5. Velcro tabs
These can be purchased in just about any hardware or computer store for holding cables together. I like buying them at the dollar store, it's cheaper and the quality is the same. I use them to hold my rods pieces together when transporting them in my vehicles. I'm not a fan of driving down the road with a window open and a fly rod sticking out blowing in the wind.
I always try to take a digital camera with me when going fishing to capture photos of nature as well as the fish I catch. I would always place the camera in a sealed ziploc bag just in case I went for an unplanned swim while out fishing. Yeah it's happened a few times. This year I bought the waterproof, dust, shock and freezeproof cameraDave Mercer Promotes on his show,"The Facts of Fishing", on WFN. It's a great camera that I don't have to worry to much about while out in nature.
7. Hook Bonnets
This little gem was cleverly thought out. I bought them at "Bass Pro Shops". They not only keep your fingers from getting skewered (while digging through your tackle box, the also prevent your lures from having the hooks tangle, causing you to get skewered as you untangle them.
I hope this article inspired you to rethink what you take with you when you go out. BTW making a list of what you should takes away the fun of forgetting things. Let's keep the traditon alive!!!
Nevin Z. Broz