All manner of great products for the offshore angler
December 7, 2011
Since Melton is already making special camera mounts for GoPro cameras to be used by fishermen, you’ve probably seen one of these tiny high-definition (HD) cameras in action. If you haven’t yet, you will. GoPro cameras are now used by more pro filmmakers and stoked enthusiasts than any other camera in the world. Recently, GoPro introduced the HD HERO2, the most advanced GoPro camera yet. Wearable and mountable on almost any slick surface, waterproof to 197 feet, capable of capturing professional, full 170-degree wide-angle 1080p video and 11-megapixel photos at a rate of 10 photos per second, the HD HERO2 is the world’s most versatile camera. The HD HERO2 is compatible with all GoPro expansion accessories and BacPacs, including the Wi-Fi BacPac and Wi-Fi Remote (coming soon). This Wi-Fi remote option will allow you to turn on your video camera or take stills without having to touch the camera itself. For more information, visit www.gopro.com.
Caveat emptor: Not all HD technology is created equal. V.I.O., the decade-long leader in point-of-view video technology, is proud to announce the all-new POV.HD video camera: the most flexible, rugged and easy-to-use point-of-view HD video system available. The new POV.HD follows the award-winning form of its predecessor, but with all-new internal components and functionality. The POV.HD features new in-field flexibility capabilities and records up to five hours of crisp HD video. The recording unit features a 2-inch LCD screen to view footage in the field, edit video and make exposure-control adjustments. A simple set of controls allows the user to easily “tag” the best footage in the field, so final editing is finished quickly back in the studio. The recorder, run by Texas Instruments’ new Da Vinci DM368 Video Processor, supports a real-time video pipeline that enhances image quality and produces crystal-clear 1080p H.264 video. The 2-ounce wearable camera head captures a 142-degree field of view at 1080p 30fps — the widest point-of-view camera angle available on the market. This camera is commonly used in a wide variety of extreme environments. Its dust-, water- and shockproof ratings and ability to handle extreme temperatures make it an ideal choice. Check it out at www.vio-pov.com.
Ande Tournament Line
A big pet peeve of mine is using fishing line that breaks over 130-pound-test — the heaviest line class recognized by the IGFA for world-record consideration. Actually, I don’t care for using any line that tests over the number stated on its label. If I want to fish 12-pound line, I want my line to break at 12 pounds! Ande Tournament line is one of the few lines out there that breaks where it says it will — and the company holds more than 1,000 world records to prove it. Ande Tournament line comes in just two colors, green and high-visibility yellow. Made to special diameters for tournament and world-record fishermen, Ande Tournament offers line in every available IGFA line class: 2, 4, 6, 8, 10, 12, 16, 20, 30, 50, 80 and 130-pound-test. For more information, visit www.andemonofilament.com.
Bo Jenyns Obadu Gloves
Bo Jenyns grew up fishing with his father on the Great Barrier Reef in Australia, so he knows a thing or two about wiring big fish on heavy tackle. You’ve probably seen Bo’s back on several covers of Marlin wiring fish in excess of 1,000 pounds. Jenyns knows how important it is to have a good pair of gloves, so he personally picked the materials and oversees the construction of every pair of his signature Obadu gloves. The glove itself is made from deerskin leather, a material chosen for its suppleness and good fit. Jenyns then sews a protective layer of cowhide around the outside of the glove and over the palm. Obadu gloves come in two styles, medium weight and heavyweight. The medium-weight gloves work well when using 150- to 400-pound leader, and the heavyweights are made for 400- to 800-pound leader. Easy to look after — an occasional soak in fresh water and some leather conditioner does the trick — these gloves should last for several seasons, if not years. For more information, visit www.bojenyns.com.
Alutecnos Veloce 12
There’s no question that Italians have a way with metal; names like Ferrari, Lamborghini and Alfa Romeo immediately leap to mind as examples of beautiful cars that perform exceptionally well. Following in the footsteps of great Italian designers, the Alutecnos Veloce 12 provides a wonderful example of a beautiful work of art that works as good as it looks. Much like a fine watch or piece of jewelry, this is one of those reels where you can actually feel the quality of it just by holding it in your hand. Ultratight tolerances and a satin-smooth finish make this reel look like some sort of ornate mechanical tool — which is exactly what it is. Weighing in at 24.5 ounces, this small-footprint reel is still big enough to pack on 930 yards of 12-pound-test. And, boy, can it get that line back in a hurry — Ferrari-fast, the Veloce 12 boasts a blistering 6.2:1 retrieve ratio. For more information, visit www.alutecnos.com.
Release Marine Battle Saddle
One of the coolest things I saw at this year’s Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show, the Battle Saddle from Release Marine, solves one of the long-running problems that come with fishing from a small boat. Most boats under 35 feet don’t have enough cockpit area to accommodate a full-size fighting chair. However, anglers on small boats still tangle with large fish from time to time, and they can find it difficult to apply the right amount of drag to subdue a big fish while standing up — especially kids and older adults. Release Marine developed the Battle Saddle after NASCAR driver Jeff Burton came to them while building his Jarrett Bay. Burton asked for a combination rocket launcher/seat that would help his children fight and land larger fish. The result: the Battle Saddle. This new hybrid features a rocket launcher in the back and a small seat and gimbal in the front. The unit is fully adjustable up and down, so any size angler can find the right height to fish comfortably and be in complete control. For more information, visit www.releasemarine.com.
Shimano Talica 50II
When you make a reel that gets 60 pounds of drag at sunset (with free-spool) right out of the box, you’re certainly going to get some attention. Shimano does just that with their Talica 50II. Designed primarily for those crazy West Coast tuna fishermen who fight monster cow yellowfins from a dead boat, the TAC-50II can withstand extreme punishment. A compact, high-speed, castable lever-drag reel, this new Talica still holds enough braided line to stop just about anything that swims — 800 yards of 130-pound braid. The TAC-50II is loaded with the needed durability features for offshore action, including a one-piece, forged and machined aluminum frame and a machined aluminum handle-side forged side plate. Anglers will also appreciate Shimano’s High Efficiency Gearing (HEG), an oversize cross carbon Dartanium II drag washer for ultrahigh drag pressures, six shielded SA-RB bearings, an ergonomic power handle, silent triple-pawl anti-reverse, removable harness lugs and an aluminum rod clamp. The Talica 50II has 3.8:1 high-speed and 1.7:1 low-gear ratios, pulling in 45 inches per crank in high and 20 inches in low. For more information, visit www.shimano.com.
Ever been cooking on a nasty grill and had your fish fall through the cracks? Ever tried to make pancakes, bacon and eggs on the dockside grill? Well, you don’t have to worry about food falling in or having enough flat space to cook what you want on the Griddle-Q. A heavy-duty, stainless-steel grill-top griddle, the Griddle-Q allows you to cook virtually anything on a grill — and we know how much you guys like cooking on the dock. The Griddle-Q comes in a wide variety of sizes to easily fit inside almost any outdoor barbecue grill (rectangular or round), and it cleans up easily right on the grill; there’s no need to wash it in the sink. For more information, visit www.littlegriddle.com.
While most big sport-fishers offer multiple freezers and ice dumps, there will always be a need for a solid, dependable cooler that can keep things cold for long periods of time. While there are a lot of coolers to choose from out there, very few of them offer the kind of quality found in a Yeti. Yeti coolers feature one-piece, roto-molded polyethylene construction and are among the strongest and longest-lasting coolers you can buy. Constructed of food-grade material that is dry-ice compatible and UV resistant, Yeti coolers come with a minimum of two inches of polyurethane foam throughout the cooler body (three inches in the lid) to provide superior insulation. A freezer-style sealing gasket locks in the cold, and the T-latch keepers are molded into the cooler body, so they can’t fail. The coolers come with a full-length, self-stopping hinge that runs all the way across the back and won’t hyperextend and break. And the Yeti’s nonslip rubber feet and molded-in tie-down points help keep the cooler where you put it. For more information, visit www.yeticoolers.com.
Global Satellite Shadow
One of my biggest gripes with satellite phones — and I use them quite a bit in my travels for Marlin University — is their bulky size. I always feel like I’m back in the ’80s with a giant saddle phone stuck to my head when I use one. Global Satellite, recently announcing the development of the first Bluetooth-enabled device that is compatible with a satellite phone, BGAN terminal or other mobile phone, must have felt our pain. This tiny device, measuring just 2” x 1,’ is an excellent satellite shadow for the Inmarsat ISAT Pro and Iridium 9555 (Bluetooth-supported docks only). With Bluetooth technology, the connection does not require cables or have to be in the line of sight; the two handsets just need to be within 30 feet of each other. The ISAT Shadow replaces the need for a docking station and supports caller’s telephone number and caller ID display, first-letter search of contacts, call history, call vibration, call ring tone, keypad lock and phone book synchronization. It also comes complete with echo cancellation and noise reduction for perfect sound. The handset also has a rechargeable Li-Polymer battery for a nominal charging time of two hours. For more information, visit www.globalsatellite.us.
Pelican has been around for quite some time, enjoying a reputation for making high-quality products and cases that are virtually indestructible — and deservedly so. We keep our cameras in Pelican cases here at Marlin, and they’ve saved our gear on many occasions. The company recently branched out into the tool market, and their new box, the 1460TOOL, will most assuredly live up to Pelican’s tough standards. The 1460TOOL features a two-level, extra-deep, fully customizable tray system that lifts out of the case on reinforced stainless-steel brackets. The trays, with their interchangeable dividers, accommodate a wide variety of configurations to protect and organize standard hand tools and accessories that mechanics and service technicians use in the field. When the case is properly closed, its lid works with the tray system to form a seal that secures all parts inside so that the case can be flipped upside down and the contents will stay organized. Additionally, the lid opens 180 degrees to form a wide, stable base. This box would complement any engine room. For more information, visit www.pelican.com.
Dexter Russell Knives
If you fish, you need a good set of knives. Dexter Russell makes knives for the professional meat-processing industries (including seafood) and you probably won’t find a better brand of cutlery when it comes to withstanding harsh conditions. Built to be both tough and sanitary, Dexter Russell knives come with a textured, slip-resistant, easy-to-clean polypropylene handle that withstands both high and low temperatures. An impervious blade-to-handle seal makes sure you don’t carry bacteria from one job to the next, and the stain-free, high-carbon steel blades, with individually ground and honed edges, excel in any circumstance. These knives hold an edge, but will also freshen up to razor sharpness with a few strokes of the steel. You can choose from dozens of different shapes, styles and lengths to handle any fish-cleaning chore. For more information, visit www.dexter-russell.com.
Murray Brothers EZ Adjust Harness Cables
Another great find at this year’s Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show came from the legendary Frank Murray of Murray Brothers Originals. Frank and his brothers make some of the finest boating and fishing accessories on the market, but their expertise doesn’t stop at building fine furniture and fighting chairs. These boys grew up tackling big tuna on heavy tackle, so the gear they use has to withstand tremendous drag pressure. Adjustments to the harness length, footrest angle and gimbal height all affect how the angler can perform in the chair, and the new EZ Adjust Harness Cables from Murray Brothers Originals make setting up multiple anglers of different sizes in the chair a breeze. The 14-inch steel cables are covered in heat shrink to protect the angler’s forearms and come with a couple of extra clips to lengthen (or shorten) the harness if needed. Once set up, you can easily add or subtract clips to make sure the harness rides in just the right place for maximum comfort for each angler — even when holding over 80 pounds of drag. For more information, contact www.murrayproducts.com.
Melton GoPro Stick Mount
It seems like everyone in sport fishing is carrying some sort of video camera these days, and the GoPro Hero is fast becoming a favorite. Heck, even my Marlin University students show up with GoPro kits to capture their trip for posterity. Never one to let a growing trend pass, Tracy Melton of Melton International came up with an innovative way to get the waterproof camera over the side without having to jury-rig a mount to a gaff or broom handle. Melton beefed up one of his tag stick blanks and added a GoPro mounting bracket on the end that holds the camera firmly in place at whatever angle you choose. This allows budding videographers to get down deep to record the tagging and releasing of fish at boat-side from some surprising angles. You can also hold the camera upright and overhead to get a bird’s-eye view of the cockpit action. For more information, visit www.meltontackle.com.
Boomerang Big Catch Pliers
Pliers represent one of those tools on the boat that always needs to be within arm’s reach. Whether snipping the wire to release a fish on the leader or tweaking a hook back into its proper shape, a pair of pliers on a sport-fishing boat is something you never run out of uses for. That said, I can’t tell you how many times I’ve set a pair of pliers down somewhere and made the damn things disappear! The folks at Boomerang Tool Company must know about folks like me since they built their Big Catch pliers with a 36-inch retractable Kevlar cable inside the handle. Made from solid aircraft aluminum, anodized and powder coated, Big Catch pliers will not suffer any inconvenient, rust-induced jams. The replaceable Carbide cutters cleanly cut mono and braided fishing line. Slip-resistant, reinforced composite grips ensure that they stay in your wet hand. The spring-loaded jaws stay open — always ready to use — just like they should. For more information, visit www.boomerangtool.com.
Fin-Nor Tycoon Rods
The legendary Tycoon, one of the most influential big-game rods in history, is back with modern innovation and trusted quality. Alfred Glassel’s Tycoon “Bimini King” rod and his 12/0 Fin-Nor reel still holds the all-time tackle black marlin record (1,560 pounds) from 1953. Keeping with tradition, the all-new Tycoon series is constructed with the highest-quality components and design for today’s record-seeking anglers. Although designed specifically for use with Fin-Nor’s Santiago and Marquesa reels, Tycoon rods feature all of the high-quality components needed to make any reel you put on them shine like a new penny. Tycoon rods come standard with AFTCO roller guides and tip and Stuart Uni and Stora Butts for exceptional performance and durability. The rods come in 12 different models: six for standup and six for trolling. For more information, visit www.finnorfishing.com.
SKB Large Tackle Box
Finding a portable storage system that can meet all of your tackle needs and not fall apart after three trips is a pretty tall task. Most soft-sided boxes just don’t have the toughness to stand up to the heavy weights, gear and wire that big-game fishermen need a lot of. SKB, maker of some of the finest cases in the world, turned its attention to tackle boxes after the owner got bit by the fishing bug. The 2SKB-7200 Large Tackle Box features indestructible, roto-molded construction finished off with stainless-steel hardware and fasteners. The lid opens 90 degrees or 180 degrees, and you can even access lid storage through a clear acrylic door. Four storage boxes with dividers keep everything organized, and a hanging-jig area accommodates up to 40 jigs. Two large, pleated, soft-exterior pockets hold various accessories, and a removable shoulder strap makes for easy, convenient transport. If you travel with your tackle a lot, you might want to grab one of SKB’s Reel Tanks. The Reel Tank comes with adjustable padded dividers to accommodate a variety of fishing and maintenance gear. A waterproof closure and stainless hardware provide maximum equipment protection. For more information, visit www.skbcases.com.