If you’re a well-seasoned angler with years of experience, you’re likely looking for that next, best item to help up your game and increase your efficiency on the water. Matching your skill and expertise with the right equipment can give you a better chance at getting bites—and make you more comfortable while you do. These goods to complete your tackle collection go beyond the basics as well as more intermediate needs of the angler interested in simply extending their fishing seasons. So, if you’re trying to fine-tune a well-honed setup, here are the favored pieces for the hard-core and committed anglers looking to get the most out of every season and every fishing outing.
Accessories for Advanced Anglers
Whether you’re trying to preserve the fish you catch, or maintain the good vibes on a hot day, a good cooler can enhance your fishing experience. Knowing how you’ll use the cooler is key for knowing what to buy. If you’re more likely to do your fishing from a canoe or boat, a hard-sided heavy-duty cooler might be the right answer. If, however, you’ll be carrying your cooler to your fishing spots, consider something lighter and smaller like a soft-sided cooler, which more comfortably lugs the items needed, and leaves the insulating plastic weight behind.
Whether you spend the day in saltwater or freshwater, muck and grime takes its toll on expensive fishing equipment and waterproof clothing. Build a system to properly wash off your gear (especially saltwater from any zippers) and it will last you far longer, adding extra seasons of use. At its most simple, this can be a 5-gallon bucket, but for a bit more punch, consider a self-pressurized showering system like you might see surfers or van-lifers use like the RinseKit or Yakima Road Shower. Also, take particular care of waterproof-breathable layers, especially those in any footwear, consistently freeing them of rocks and debris before applying a scrub-down.
Rod Carrying Equipment
While many beginner and intermediate anglers have gear-toting basics like tackle boxes and fishing vests, more experienced anglers may want to be able to carry a few rods. To do so more comfortably, consider a rod carrier. Look for a system that lets you carry a few rods at once, without having the reels hit one another, which can cause unnecessary damage. As a bonus, this allows you to carry the rods of friends, family, and maybe even your own children, helping those closest to you get into fishing, too.
When you keep going farther offshore in the ocean, or deeper into the woods away from roads, a portable GPS emergency system can let your loved ones know if you get in trouble (even outside of cellular coverage). It isn’t just good insurance; it could save your life. These units are usually small, lightweight, and available with an affordable subscription plan, so you only pay for them in the months you are doing your most adventurous fishing.
Rather than a hard good, some innovative mapping apps offer subscription-based services that will have you finding the sweetest honey-holes. With an app like Gaia GPS or OnX, you can find public access to waterways that may be mostly surrounded by private land. OnX, which was originally designed for hunters looking for public land to hunt on, divides a map into each parcel of land owned by a different person or public entity, letting you know which ones are private, and which ones are public areas that you can likely use to access a waterway.