There's nothing better after a day's fishing than sitting down to a nice fish dinner. Fresh fish usually tops the list of most anglers' favorite foods, so keeping the catch cold to prevent spoilage becomes a high priority. While some of us are lucky enough to work on boats with insulated fish boxes fed by a dedicated ice maker, a lot of guys have to get by using the tried-and-true plastic cooler. And although manufacturers are making some awesome high-end coolers these days, everyone knows their coolers are going to take a beating.
Coolers undergo serious abuse - from flopping fish to being dragged down a dock or getting tossed in and out of trucks and boats. Usually, the plastic hinges on the back give out first. Joe "the Seagull" Figiel showed me a great way to fix/replace cooler hinges.
Start by taking the old hinges off, making sure to save the screws. Now take a piece of old rubber hose - the reinforced ones works best - and cut off a section the same length as the old hinge. Now cut a slit down the length of the hose so you can flatten it out; this will be your new hinge. Place the hose piece up against the cooler where the hinge was, and use a knife or an ice pick to poke some holes in the hose that correspond with the screw holes in the cooler. Now you can attach the hose hinge with the same screws that held on the old hinge. These hinges are cheap and strong, and they last about 10 times longer than the original hinges!
Pompano Beach, Florida