2020 Fishing Gear Roundup

For anglers, having the right fishing gear can go a long way toward turning a good day on the water into a great day on the water by giving them the confidence that when the rubber meets the road — and a big bass slams their spinnerbait — their equipment won’t let them down.

2020 Fishing Gear Roundup

I get a chuckle out of 2nd Swing Golf’s motto: “It’s not you, it’s your clubs.” But there’s a good measure of truth in this tongue in cheek sales pitch. When the chips are down, the difference between using budget and top-tier equipment can make or break the moment — whether you’re driving a ball down a narrow tree-lined fairway on the local golf course, or working a favorite fishing hole with a new spinnerbait. In fact, anglers are a lot like golfers in the respect they are always looking for that silver-bullet equipment purchase that will elevate their game to the next level — and savvy tackle shop owners make sure they have all of the new bells and whistles on hand to satisfy their wants and needs.

Lucky for today’s bait and tackle retailers, those brainiacs who design and manufacture high-tech fishing equipment are continually tinkering — it’s what they do — and coming up with amazing new products that make anglers better at consistently putting fish in the boat. From the boats they captain to the electronics, rods and reels, lures, baits and other accessories they routinely use, fishermen and women are truly enjoying the Golden Age of Angling — equipment-wise. And you can believe that perceptive bait shop owners and fishing equipment retailers will do all they can to capture the moment — and those hard-earn Benjamins — when customers walk through their doors … or take a deep dive through the gear on their websites during these challenging COVID-19 times.

So, with that in mind, here’s quick look at some of the coolest fishing gear to hit the store shelves this year — items you’re going to want to keep front and center. And remember, it’s up to you to convince your customers that, “Hey, it’s not you, it’s your equipment.”

Angler’s Fish-N-Mate Fish-N-Hitch Utility Rack

The all-purpose Fish-N-Hitch utility rack from Angler’s Fish-N-Mate is a great way to transport essential equipment to and from those favorite fishing spots. It weighs just 28 pounds and easily attaches to any standard 2-inch hitch receiver. The Fish-N-Hitch securely holds eight rods and has a 150-quart cooler capacity. Recommended maximum weight capacity is 250 pounds — and that’s a lot of fishing gear! Outside dimensions are 48x21x9 inches and inside dimensions are 46x19x7 inches. MSRP: $335.99. Contact: www.rodrack.com

Angler’s Fish-N-Mate Fish-N-Hitch Utility Rack
Angler’s Fish-N-Mate Fish-N-Hitch Utility Rack

Aquateko Knot 2 Kinky Leader Wire

The Knot 2 Kinky nickel-titanium leader wire can be stretched and bent at least 10 times more than ordinary steel leaders without permanent deformation. A special formula of nickel and titanium alloys creates a super-elastic property that allows fish to apply an enormous bite, making the Knot 2 Kinky a great shock leader for toothy fish such as pike, muskie, wahoo, kingfish and barracuda. Single strand leaders are available in 10 sizes ranging from 6 pound/3kg to 100 pound/45kg test in 15-foot/4.6m and 30-foot/9.2m lengths as well as bulk spools of 1,000 meters. They also come in seven-strand versions in four sizes and pre-made leaders in five sizes and three lengths. MSRP: $899/6-pound, 15-foot single strand nickel-titanium. Contact: www.aquateko.com


Aqua-Vu Micro Stealth 4.3 Underwater Viewing System

Great value and breathtaking live underwater video come together in one ultra-portable, easy-to-use underwater viewing system. The micro Stealth 4.3 from Aqua-Vu comes complete with a 4.3-inch color LCD screen connected to 50 feet of reinforced cable and a super stealthy micro underwater camera. The state of the art viewscreen and camera optics deliver sharp, clear, colorful underwater images. The micro Stealth 4.3 magnetic battery charger assures the whole system is completely waterproof and its micro camera system includes clip-on ballast weight and two separate adjustable viewing fins for trolling/drifting and for ice fishing. An internal lithium-ion battery powers the micro camera system for up to six hours. MSRP: $229.99. Contact: www.aquavu.com


Baitmate Ultra Fish Attractant Spray

Baitmate Ultra fish attractant spray incorporates the tastes, scents and visual stimulants that trigger the attack instincts of predatory fish species, providing anglers with an added advantage. Baitmate Ultra attractants feature continuous spray in any direction, even upside-down with no pumping, amino acids to enhance fishing scent and precision application. To use, simply spray the attractant directly on artificial lures or live bait. Available in crawfish and bass formulas, Baitmate Ultra spray is 100 percent fish attractant and contains no ozone depleting propellants. MSRP: $7.49. Contact: www.baitmate.com


Bucket Grip

Ever filled up a 5-gallon bucket, loaded it into the truck, boat or SUV only to have it spill its contents all over the place? The Bucket Grip puts an end to those worries. Simply fit it on the bottom of a standard 5-gallon bucket and it will keep it from tipping, slipping or dripping during transport and use. Made of rubber, the Bucket Grip will not mark or scratch any surfaces and fishing and marine applications abound. Bait buckets and cleaning supplies generally will roll with the smallest wave movement and are a mess waiting to happen. The Bucket Grip keeps buckets in their rightful place. MSRP: Varies by size/prices starting at $8.99. Contact: www.bucketgrip.com


Cobra Garage Storage System

The Cobra is a revolutionary storage system that can easily attach to most garage door panels in minutes. Designed, manufactured and packaged in the USA, it is made of high strength ABS plastic that is strong enough to support nearly any fishing gear. The Cobra garage storage system protects equipment from damage and keeps it out of the way but readily available. It can be clamped to a garage door without tools or it can be hard mounted to a garage door on walls or ceilings. Each package includes one set of 21-inch Cobra rack assemblies to fit standard 21-inch garage door panels. Custom spacers are available to fit non-standard doors. MSRP: $34.99. Contact: www.cobrastorage.com

Cobra Garage Storage System
Cobra Garage Storage System

Donnmar Checkpoint 880 Stainless Steel Pliers

Donnmar stainless steel pliers are indispensable for a wide variety of fishing tasks. Constructed of marine grade stainless steel, Donnmar Checkpoint 880 pliers are strong and durable and feature non-slip Santoprene rubber grips that are molded into the handles. Their super sharp (tungsten-carbide) blades cut nylon, mono (up to 450 pounds), braided line, super braids and wire (braided and single strand) up to 180-pound test. The gripping surface of the jaws features a 20-degree diamond pattern for a secure hold. The pivot bearing is machined from solid brass and is electroless nickel-plated for a lifetime of smooth operation. Internal spring loading allows convenient one-hand operation. Donnmar pliers will not rust, corrode or oxidize. MSRP: $199.99. Contact: www.roscoinc.com


Fitec EZ Throw Cast Net

Fitec’s EZ Throw cast net is a proven provider of fresh, live bait and lives up to its name by providing the user with a simple-to-use net casting system. The EZ Throw has an Accuthrow ring sewn into the center of the net and is thrown like a discus, with the centrifugal force fully opening the net with every cast. It is available in 4-, 5- and 6-foot-radius models and is made with Fitec’s clear SPS monofilament netting in a 3/8-inch mesh. Users can choose from either 1 pound per radius foot or .75-pound per radius foot models. The EZ Throw also includes the Fitec-exclusive Komfort Kuff, which reduces chafing on the throwing wrist. MSRP: $38-$78/Depending on size. Contact: www.castnets.com


Lindy Fish Handling Glove

Most anglers don’t consider the dangers inherent to fishing until they’re on the way to the emergency room to get stitched up. Fish thrashing hooks around the boat, needle-sharp fins and teeth, razor-like gill plates, wire leaders, cleaning the day’s catch — almost every aspect of a successful fishing trip has the potential to damage hands. To keep hands cut free, use the Lindy Fish Handling Glove when unhooking, filleting and removing fish from livewells. It’s chemical-resistant — repelling gas and oil — and works great in both freshwater and saltwater. The Lindy Fish Handling Glove resists taking on fish odors and is machine washable for easy cleaning. To use, simply slip it on and tighten the Velcro wrist strap. MSRP: $28.09. Contact: www.lindyfishingtackle.com


Side Kick Lure Retriever

For anglers who are tired of losing baits to overhanging trees or leaving submerged, snagged lures behind, the Side Kick lure retriever employs a telescoping pole, a flat-ended surface body manufactured from industrial grade resin and a stiff spring for getting them back. For above water recovery, just reach up and snag the hooks in the right angle spring. For underwater recovery, lay the Side Kick lure retriever on a taught line between one of the spring’s coils, use gravity as the connecting force and hammer or finesse the bait free. And the Side Kick sits on the line with no permanent attachment, allowing for a quick transformation from a bait recovery tool to a push pole. MSRP: $52-$58. Contact: www.sidekicklureretriever.com


Stealth QR2-MM Rod Holder with Multi-Mount Base

The Stealth QR-2 rod holder with Multi-mount base is built to handle heavy-duty rods made for landing large fish. It firmly grips the rod handle, keeping gear super secure, and its patented technology allows for the release of the rod when the angler pulls up to set the hook. The patented CAM system is made from EPDM, a chemical-resistant elastomer which is the same material that engine gaskets are made from. It works from -100F to +300F and is UV resistant. Like all Stealth products, the QR-2 is constructed with glass-reinforced nylon and comes with a lifetime guarantee. MSRP: $39.99. Contact: www.stealthrodholders.com


Tropical Seas Blue

Tropical Seas Blue is a biodegradable deodorizer made with lemon, lemon grass and cedar essential oils — a natural deodorizer that eliminates most foul odors from ice chests, coolers, tackle bins, boat lockers and more. It even removes fish blood from clothing, shoes, etc. And Blue is bait safe, tested for acute toxicity on juvenile fathead minnows, and biodegrades in around 16 days. Blue was formulated to have minimum foaming or suds, thus minimizing the amount of rinse water needed. Average rinse water for a 65-quart cooler is approximately 2 to 2.5 gallons. If dumping into seawater, the rinse water foam dissipates in about 5 to 10 minutes depending on sea conditions. MSRP: $25. Contact: www.reefsafesun.com/products/tropical-seas-blue

TTI-Blakemore Brush Gripper

A must-have item for hunting, camping, fishing and kayaking, the Brush Gripper from TTI-Blakemore is a versatile tool with a variety of uses. It’s simple to operate. Just squeeze the handles to open the jaws and release them to close. Great for securing gear at the campsite or in the boat, the Blakemore Brush Gripper clamps down hard and holds on tight to keep essential gear securely stowed. It includes a 10-foot parachute cord — the harder the cord is pulled the tighter the grip — and its spring-loaded tension design ensures a secure hold with no play. The TTI-Blakemore Brush Gripper is now available in silver, green and orange. MSRP: $18. Contact: www.ttiblakemore.com


Z-Man Bait BinderZ Doublewide

It’s now easier than ever for anglers to organize and carry their ElaZtech softbaits with Z-Man’s Bait BinderZ Doublewide storage solution. The Bait BinderZ Doublewide offers ample room to house two side-by-side stacks of bait bags — up to 20 packs or more. Within the tough 500-denier nylon satchel, two sets of corrosion resistant nickel-plated rings align to accept pre-punched holes on all standard size Z-Man bait bags, providing access to individual baits without removing their packaging. The Bait BinderZ Doublewide is further outfitted with clear plastic pockets sized to store jigheads, terminal tackle, leader spools and other essential tools. Secure plastic clips and hook-and-loop enclosures eliminate zipper failure or breakdown via corrosion. MSRP: $34.99. Contact: www.zmanfishing.com

Z-Man Bait BinderZ Doublewide
Z-Man Bait BinderZ Doublewide


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