It’s finally May and anglers all over the country are out and about in pursuit of their favorite fish. Often what separates a great outing – or outdoorsman – from an average one is the gear we take. Well, here folks is a rundown of some of the new and best fishing and outdoor gear available at Sportsman’s Warehouse stores to ensure all your experiences are great!

Yeti Coolers
My first thought when it came time to review the Yeti cooler, was that there is no way to justify the price. I mean, dang, the thing is a very pricey cooler…how could it possibly be that good?! Well, after using one for a while, it is safe to say that the Yeti is in fact in a class by itself.

The Yeti slogan is “wildly stronger, keeps ice longer”. Seems simple enough, but that appears to be an understatement. This thing is bomb-proof, and in my testing, it kept ice much, much longer than my other coolers. In fact, I got tired of waiting for the last of it to melt during my test, so I can’t say for sure exactly how much longer. Suffice it to say it’s a long time.

The Yeti Tundra is made of roto-molded plastic in the same way that river kayaks are built. It’s insulated with expansive polyurethane foam that adds to the coolers rigidity and overall strength, and features a refrigerator-style rubber lid gasket which is recessed for protection. Two handles are built in to each side; a molded in version for one-person carrying, and a heavy rope handle for two-person hauling of fully loaded coolers. The lid latches are heavy rubber and stretch tight to seal the lid gasket, and the screw-in drain plug is recessed for protection. A really neat feature is the molded in spot to lock the lid, making the cooler certified bear-resistant (or to keep your mooching buddies out of your suds!). The non-marking, non-slip rubber feet kept the Yeti from sliding around in the back of my Tundra and also make it stay put on fiberglass boat decks. In fact, Yeti’s are now being used as primary platforms for anglers to stand on in flats fishing skiffs. There is an integrated tie-down system allowing the cooler to be secured to anything with 1” straps, and Yeti offers a variety mounting systems and accessories for the coolers. The Tundra model I tested has a removable dry-goods rack that suspends food above the ice; a very handy feature.

While I was initially skeptical of the Yeti’s value, I was more than impressed with its build quality and insulating abilities. I’d heard that a Yeti would be the last cooler I’d ever buy, and it’s safe to say that statement is likely true. Outdoorsmen of all types rely on their coolers, and if you’re going to rely on one, let it be a Yeti.

Berkley TurboGlide Cordless Fillet Knife
I’ve got to be honest, I’ve never owned an electric fillet knife before this one. It’s not that I didn’t fillet fish, I just did it with a knife sans motor. But after borrowing an electric one a couple times to process a pile of fish, and a full summer of eating fresh walleye weekly, I was more than ready to convert. And since many of my non-fishing hand tools are cordless, it stood to reason that I ought to try a cordless, rechargeable fillet knife for the same mobility and convenience. Enter the Berkley 7.5” TurboGlide fillet knife.

My first impression was that it was physically lighter than I expected. That’s because of its lithium-ion battery, which weighs one third less than the NiCad batteries I was used to. The li-ion battery also charges in half the time, and lasts twice as long; a definite bonus. In my testing, holding a charge was not an issue. Perhaps more importantly, the knife feels good in my hand. It balances well and the handle is ergonomically well thought out. Motor heat is dissipated by engineered airflow and heat shields keeping my hand cool, too. Said motor must also be well designed; it has plenty of torque and works at speeds comparable to corded knifes I’d tried in the past, yet is light in the hand. The full kit comes with a folding fillet board to protect your surfaces, a digital charger, and a convenient carrying case for the whole shebang.

More important than all of that is how the knife handles fish. After all, that’s what its purpose in life is. Suffice it to say that the chrome-plated 7.5” blades made quick work out of whatever I chose to fillet. With a little practice, I get just as clean of carcasses as I did with a regular knife, only much quicker and easier. I must admit that I still prefer a plain ol’ knife for removing blood lines and the skin, but the heavy lifting so to speak is quickly handled by this appropriately named Turbo Glide. The blades seem to be durable, and are holding their edge very well so far. After using the Berkley’s cordless electric knife, I wonder why I resisted going electric for so long.

Lowrance Mark 4 and Elite 4X
One of the most common product questions I get is from folks looking for simple, affordable fish finders that perform at a high level. Often they are to be installed on small boats, kayaks, or family pontoons…and since I happen to have a fishing kayak and a 12 foot custom built Jon boat, this seemed like a good time to review a couple of great options for those applications from the industry leader, Lowrance.

The first option is a pure sonar unit; the new Elite-4X.  It’s got a super bright, full color 3.5inch display allowing for easy interpretation of the image. The image is surprisingly bright and detailed for the modest screen size. It has Lowrance’s TrackBack feature allowing the screen to be scrolled back up to four pages in history which is very handy to get detail on something that caught your eye. It’s designed to reach depths of 800 feet with a dual-frequency skimmer transducer for the transom mount. The transducer also has a built in temp sensor – a very nice feature on an affordable unit. I found the buttons and menus to be somewhat intuitive and very easy to navigate.

Speaking of navigating, the second option I looked at is the Mark 4. This unit is a combination sonar and gps chartplotter all in one, which is extremely versatile in a compact and inexpensive unit. The display is grayscale – no color – but it is very bright and easily viewable even in bright sun. Contrast was excellent and it also features the TrackBack technology found on the Elite 4x. All you have to do is move the cursor back to see what you missed. It can be split screened to display both sonar and gps, or you can focus on one or the other with a larger view. Here again the menus and buttons are easy to use. The chartplotter can store 3000 waypoints and 100 trails, and comes preloaded with a detailed basemap. It is compatible with several aftermarket map “chips” via the microSD card slot if you need more detail in your mapping.

Both the Elite-4X and the Mark-4 are easy to install with simple tools and can run a small 12V battery. They have a quick-release mounting base that is excellent in portable boat installs, and the mounting base can be both tilted and swiveled – also very handy. They are true plug-and-play units installed this way, or you can use an optional mounting kit for flush-mounting the unit in the dash of a pontoon boat, etc.

I chose the Mark-4 unit for my Jon boat mainly because of the integrated chartplotter, and installed it mid-ship so it can be viewed from either deck using the swivel base. Installation was a snap using the trolling motor bracket option for the skimmer-type transducer (which also includes a temp sensor).  For a dedicated sonar unit, the Elite-4X gets the nod mainly due to its color display. Whichever you choose, you’ll find a powerful and competent tool in a very compact and easy to use package.

NanoFil
It would be easy to just slap a positive review together for Berkley’s new NanoFil line. After all the accolades it’s received from within the industry and from the field, worldwide no less, it would be safe to assume that it’s good line. The problem with that assumption is not that it’s wrong…it’s that I’d miss out on actually fishing the stuff. Fishing NanoFil on your spinning tackle is not to be missed. It is ridiculously thin (even by “superline” standards), extremely smooth, very supple, and has no memory at all. In short, it casts farther and easier than anything you’ve tried, I promise, no, I guarantee. In other aspects such as no stretch, durability, and sensitivity, NanoFil performs similar to other premium superlines – which is to say great…but it’ll outcast them all by a wide margin.  Ranging in pound tests ratings from one (yes, one!) to 12, NanoFil was specifically designed for spinning reels. We’ve fished it in creeks and rivers for trout, reservoirs for bass, walleyes, trout, and pike, and ponds for panfish. In all cases, it handled and cast great, especially with light baits. One tip is to pay special attention to your knots; the stuff is very slick so good knots are very important. We’ve had our best success with double Palomars to terminal tackle, and double Uni’s (with a few extra wraps) for line-to-line connections. Since I first saw the hype last summer, we’ve been fishing NanoFil consistently (which for the record is a spun Dyneema fiber molecularly bonded, not braided, so it’s smooth). It truly does perform as promised. We’ll have it on a bunch of reels this season.

Havoc
Berkley is the industry leader in soft bait design. From Powerbait to Gulp! to jarred dough baits, they’ve lead the way in developing new and effective soft baits for literally any application. In 2011, Berkley launched a new line of plastic baits called Havoc, and based on the success of the early offerings, they’ve added several new models for 2012. Each of styles are designed by big time pro bass anglers including Skeet Reese, Larry Nixon, and Mike Iaconelli, and they’re made of a very soft plastic to ensure lively action, even in cold water. Any of the eight bait styles in the Havoc lineup can be Texas rigged, Carolina rigged or put on a jighead, and several of them make excellent trailers for skirted jigs as well. Some, like the Wide Load and Craw Fatty are designed to displace a lot of water making them great around heavy cover or stained water, while others like the Bottom Hopper and Deuce Grub are more subtle and perfect for clearer water. I found the Iaconelli designed Devil Spear to be a unique bait with a great gliding action. I really liked it T-rigged on a shank-weighted hook and fished like a soft jerkbait, or on an 1/8oz jighead and allowed to spiral on the drop. All the baits come in proven colors with subtle hues, and they all have that oh-so-soft plastic. If you’re a basser, Havoc deserves a spot in your box of tricks.

Orra S and SX
Abu Garcia is one of the oldest reel manufacturing companies still in existence, so it stands to reason that they ought to know how to build a quality spinning reel. Add to that the fact that I have about a gillion hours of experience fishing various Abu’s over the years with great results, so I had high expectations of their latest spinning models, the Orra S and SX. So, how’d they stack up? Very well!

Both Orra models feature some new and some proven Abu Garcia features including the Carbon Matrix drag system well known for its smoothness and overall power. They are both also built on the X-Craftic frame for serious corrosion resistance, even in salt water. Both are also the recipients of one of the neatest things about the series; the superline-ready machined aluminum spool. Modern anglers, myself included, have come to love the positive things superlines like NanoFil and Fireline bring to spinning tackle, but we’ve also learned to hate the negative; slipping on the spool that can occur if backing or some other trick is not applied prior to spooling the superline. Well, Orra solved that with a very subtle “corkscrew” machined into the spool, which has the effect of cinching the line should it try to slip. In my testing, it was a perfect cure; no hassle when spooling, and no line slip, even under extreme pull with heavy braid. Also, the superline spool is shallower, holding just enough of the tiny diameter line to be efficient without waste from the 125-150 spools superlines are commonly available in. It’s a well thought out system. In case you fish mono or fluorocarbon, there is a traditional deeper spool included with each model.

Other commonalities amongst the two Orra models include a one-piece gear box for solid gear alignment, and brass gears and stainless steel main shaft for durability.

The main difference between the two models other than appearance lies in the bearings; both feature HPCR (High Performance Corrosion Resistant) bearings, but the top of line SX model has nine of them while the S model has seven. More bearings equals smoother and more durable performance. The rock solid anti-reverse bearings in both are designed to deal with the beating no-stretch superlines can give them. My experience with both models was that they are well thought out and very solid reels, worthy of the Abu Garcia name, and they see tons of use by our guide clients.

Columbia
The Columbia Sportswear brand has been synonymous with fishing apparel way longer than I’ve been fishing. In my original home state of Florida where fishing is a way of life, their PFG (Professional Fishing Gear) line is just about the official state shirt, and for good reason; namely, performance. Guides wear them, tournament competitors wear them, and weekend warriors live in them…heck I’ve got pictures of myself fishing in Columbia shirts from when I was about 10 years old, and my closet is full of them today. Columbia’s latest versions of the iconic garb reflect tradition, yet are packed with style and, more importantly, technology.

“Blood and Guts” may not be pleasant, but neither is a stained shirt. Columbia makes a treated polyester material by that name that repels, well, blood and guts. Don’t like sunburns? No problem, look at their Omni-Shade technology. Hot, muggy days are handled comfortably with Omni-Wick technology and well designed venting found on many Columbia garments. They’re all quick dry too.

The latest shirt on my back is the Low Drag Offshore model featuring very clean lines and both Omni-Shade and Omni-Wick, with venting of course. One cool feature, and don’t think I’m gross here, is the anti-microbial fabric which keeps it fresh over multiple wearings; perfect for lighter packing on longer trips. In my wearing, it stayed looking as sharp as it smelled, even after two full days of inshore fishing. This is a truly great looking and performing fishing shirt that will see a bunch of use in my travels.

Anglers need pockets and Columbia knows it (go figure) so they designed the Permit short with 10 of them, and some good sized ones too. These fit me a touch shorter than some others, perfect for wading with your tackle in the pockets. They’re made of Nylon and feature the shade and wicking technologies found in many Columbia garments, plus a front utility loop to keep tools immediately handy. I wet-wade more often than not, and these fast drying, super wicking shorts are perfect for it. That they look good is a bonus!

Lamson Velocity Fly Reel
Bigger, faster, lighter, stronger. Not words often associated with fly fishing tackle, but after trying out Lamson’s fantastic new Velocity reel, you might change your opinion of that. I know I did. The Velocity has been fully redesigned, retaining only Lamson’s unique engineering concepts and build quality, while improving capacity, line recovery speed, and strength-to-weight ratio. That’s a tall order given the first generation reel, but they did it.

I’ve been drawn to Lamson fly reels for one reason; engineering. Part of my education background is aerospace engineering, and Lamson’s concepts make great sense on paper, and more importantly, they flat work on the water. I won’t go through all of them here, but the conical drag and center axis concept, plus the lightweight materials, deserve a mention. The conical drag provides more drag surface for power and heat dissipation in a completely maintenance free design. The start-up inertia and smoothness throughout the drag’s power range is super smooth, too. The center axis concept found on the Velocity and all Lamson fly reels aligns the center of mass of the reel with that of the rod, making the rod balance and feel much better, a concept that was really evident when trying several reels back-to-back on my favorite 6wt St. Croix Bankrobber rod. Great materials combined with solid engineering lead to a lightweight reel, and the Velocity certainly exemplifies that throughout its available sizes. The arbor size is very large and wide for faster line recovery and less line coil, yet the reel is still feathery light and balanced.

The reel is finished with a Hard Alox coating that has proven to be very rugged – far superior to traditional anodizing or other reel finishes – on my other Lamson, an older Litespeed which is heavily used yet looks new. I’m honestly not sure how exactly Hard Alox is produced, but it looks refined and is extremely durable. For the new Lamson Velocity reel, “bigger, stronger, and faster” will likely describe the fish it whips as much as the reel itself.

Scientific Anglers Fly Lines
The two most important components of good fly casting and presentation are the rod and line. A high quality rod is done a major disservice by be paired with a low quality line. That won’t happen if you choose a Scientific Angler’s line. From my personal favorite Mastery Textured Series GPX tapers, to the budget friendly yet high performance Supra series, there is an SA line for any application.

The Textured Series utilizes a subtle dimple pattern on the lines surface to break up contact with the rod guides in the same way as they’re ground-breaking Sharkskin series does, only not nearly as abrasive or noisy. The concept adds to lower memory and more durability as well. It shoots like a dream, very noticeably better than more traditional smooth lines, while being easier on the fingers while stripping line. The GPX tapers are about a half size heavy for a given weight so they load very well on the faster action rods often preferred by anglers these days. I’ve found that they work very well on short casts where not much line is in the air and they come off the water’s surface easily. Longer casts require less “hauling” to really load the rod. They have built it streamlined loops for backing and leader attachment and are optimized for a range of water temps.

For a more traditional all-purpose fly line, look to the Supra series. Available in double taper and weight forward designs in floating and sinktip versions, Supra is the kind of line any fly guy can appreciate. It floats very high in the surface film and is designed to cover nearly any freshwater situation. They’re durable and come in two colors, Buckskin and Sunrise. In my book, Supra represents a very good value for high quality line.

Frabill Nets
Having the right landing net may not seem like a big deal, until you’re trying to land the fish of a lifetime, or tonight’s dinner, and your grandpa’s net ain’t cuttin’ it. Frabill’s extensive line of nets is available at Sportsman’s Warehouse to ensure you never have that problem. In fact, their line-up of high quality and somewhat specialized nets is so stacked that I had a hard time deciding which one to review so I got several. Seems reasonable, right? The largest is a Tru Trax Pro-Formance monster for netting big pike and lakers. It features the Pow’R-Lok yoke and slide handle making it easier to stow given its size, plus soft mesh and a very deep net. I don’t see me catching anything bigger than this net can handle, and it’ll reach way out there to get ‘em, too.

Moving down to a walleye/bass size net, the Power Stow series was my choice and it was a great one. The Power Stow net’s hoop folds in half along the same axis as the aluminum handle, and then the yoke slides down that handle, making it very compact to stow, even in smaller boats. It unfolds and slides into locking position quickly and securely – every time – to make sure that’s not an issue when landing your dream fish. I really messed with the overall stow/un-stow process looking for weaknesses and found none: this is a very well designed net for the serious angler. The soft, knotless mesh is easy on fish and features Frabill’s flat bottom design I’ve learned to love on my older Frabill nets when reviving fish for release. They can swim unbound in the net until ready for release, which incidentally is handy for fish-friendly photos as well.

Since we fish trout, I also tested a few of the trout nets, all of which are tangle free. I really like the rubber-dipped net bags for their fish care and the hoops are tough as nails to survive river rocks and hiking around, yet light to carry and inexpensive too. The handles are soft and grippy and they come with an attached lanyard so it’s always handy.

Spend some time checking out any Frabill net and you’ll see, as I did, that these folks are serious about netting, and they have at least one, if not more, nets that are perfect for your angling.

Frabill Crawler Can
Raise your hand if you’ve ever been fishing on a warm day and opened your worm container only to find a bunch of nasty, dead bait cooking in the sun. That, my friends, is quite yucky, not to mention expensive and unproductive. Well, Frabill has solved that common problem with a simple solution, the Crawler Can. Basically it’s a small plastic bucket with separate compartments, one on the top, one on the bottom.

Each are capped with convenient quarter-turn, water-tight lids, and the whole thing is foam insulated. Like all Frabill stuff, the overall build quality is very solid for years of use. The concept is that you put ice in one side, crawlers in the other. Viola, no more dead bait! Or, if you like to have two kinds of live bait, say crawlers and leeches, you can place them on opposite sides and have them both handy in a single insulated container. Speaking of handy, the Crawler Can has a beefy handle for toting and since the Can is insulated, it’ll work well for keeping mealies and wax worms alive and separated for ice fishing. The Crawler Can truly is one of those “why didn’t I think of that” products, simple and effective.

St Croix Rage
My first introduction to the new St Croix Rage series of rods was at the hands of the guy that designs rods for the company. He was smiling like a proud father as he went over the features, obviously happy with the fish-catching tool he’d created. After fishing one for a while now, I’m as happy with it as he is.

The Rage series is built on St Croix’s SCiii graphite blank. It features their proprietary “IPC” technology (Integrated Poly Curve), which leads to smoother, more consistent actions and very durable blanks. To compliment the proven blank design, St Croix added Pac Bay Minima guides for increased accuracy and sensitivity; they look small, are very light, and perform big. The reel seat and handle are unique in that no cork is used. The handle is made of a neoprene skin that gets ever so slightly tacky when wet. This led to great feel in my testing, and adds to the rods overall balance. The reel seat itself is minimalist to say the least, allowing for lot’s of finger access to the blank for sensitivity.

I chose the 6’8”, medium power, extra fast action spinning rod to test. This is my favorite overall length/power/action in spinning rods and this rod did not disappoint. I found the Rage’s accuracy to be stellar, and it balanced very well with a size 20 Abu Garcia Orra S spinning reel mounted. The overall “feel”, which is very hard to put into words, was positive and the neoprene grip was surprisingly comfy. If you’re looking for a very high performing rod, the Rage is a great choice. It’s kind of a hotrod in that it looks menacing, balances perfectly and performs flawlessly, all at reasonable prices. It’s designed in Wisconsin, is available in a range of models, and warranted for 5 years to boot. In short, they’re all the “Rage”!

St Croix Triumph Travel
Let’s get one thing straight, I’m a rod snob. I haven’t spent my entire life learning to be proficient with fishing rods to fish with sub-par stuff, and that’s often what you get when you purchase a manufacturer’s most affordable rod. Well, the St Croix Triumph series knocked the snob right out of me.

I wanted a multi-piece pack rod that I could take into the boonies to harass trout. It had to be accurate, reasonably sensitive, very compact when broken down, and most of all, extremely durable because I would use it when bushwhacking willows, traversing steep banks, etc, and breaking your rod after hiking five miles in to fish would be a serious bummer!

St Croix’s Triumph Travel rod series fits the bill perfectly. Of the four models offered, I chose the littlest, a 5’6” ultra-light powered, fast action model because of the small creeks, tight confines, and smallish fish I expect to encounter with it. It weighs in at a feathery 2.7 ounces and breaks down to just under 18”; won’t add much weight or bulk to the backpack. The Triumph Travel comes with a soft rod case to protect it in transit. I paired it with a Cardinal 301 reel spooled with 3# NanoFil.

To put it simply, this set-up made me smile. It handles great and fills out my other criteria even better than I hoped it would. True packable spinning rods of good quality are increasingly hard to find, but St Croix has once again proven their reputation with an affordable rod the feels and fishes perfectly for its intended application. Oh, and it makes a great gift for the adventurous western angler!

Rocky Mountain Tackle
Trolling for kokanee salmon and trout is one of the most popular fishing techniques in the west, and few people know more about it than pro Jared Johnson. His company, Rocky Mountain Tackle has an extensive line-up of products tailored specifically to this type of angling. Since trolling is not my strength as an angler, I consulted with Jared to get some insight on dodgers and “squids” – two of the key tools for salmonid trollers.

Dodgers are designed to attract fish, not actually catch them, and they do so using “flash” to catch a fish’s attention. RMT’s signature dodgers are thin polished metal on one side and highly reflective permanent tape on the other, which comes in a range of hues and patterns such as Bahama Mama and Lime Fire Ice – two of Jared’s personal favorites. Both are more of less silver, with a subtle color pattern to fine tune for selective fish and conditions. The dodgers are a single, lightly-cupped design about 5 inches long with a realistic shape reminiscent of a large flat spoon and they integrate 3D eyes. Most importantly, they can be trolled at higher speeds than other dodgers and he recommends the 1.2 to 2 mph range. They have quality swivels and clips making them ready to go right out of the package.

RMT Signature Squids come in a rainbow of colors heavily skewed towards the pink and purple hues known to be favored by salmonids. They are a twin “octopus” hook design utilizing high quality red hooks and come pre-rigged with 10# test leaders. The Plankton version has a tiny clevis/spinner blade built in for more attraction and comes with 12# test leaders. Both are sure to be effective on “kokes” and trout all over the west.

Glacier Glove
Fishing for a living means you deal with all kinds of weather. When it’s your career, you don’t get to stay home in cold, and I’ve never been very durable in that regard. To put it simply, I’m cold at any temp below about 50 degrees, and that can occur just about any season here in the mountain west. I combat my wussiness with good clothes, and the Glacier Glove brand can be found on gloves packed for many of my trips. The latest offerings from the warm-hands specialists bring light-weight and well thought-out features to my arsenal.

The Ultra Light Angler and Ultra Light Angler Mitt are both made of very thin premium breathable fleece and are designed for cool to light cold angling conditions. Both models feature silicon texture applied in a web design to the palms for grip, and slits in both the index finger and thumb through which they can be exposed for dexterity. The difference in the two models is that the Mitt features a super light wind-proof over-mitt that can be easily pulled over the fingers, and the thumb is wind-proof as well. The palm and fingers remain breathable; a key point in moisture wicking.

Fishing in gloves is a difficult proposition (believe me, I’ve done it a lot!) and both of these gloves are about the best option I’ve worn for somewhat mild conditions.  They are certainly light and very comfortable and I’ve been able to fly and spin fish without exposing my index finger or thumb through the slits. On milder days the slits work well, too. I took the Mitt through a variety of days, most often covering the fingers to drive the boat or move around and then uncovering them to fish; the best of both worlds in a light-weight and simple design. Grip, even on wet items, is never an issue and the gloves compact nicely to stow in my gear bag. I’ve found all Glacier Glove models to be durable and effective and these two pairs appear to be no different. In fact, they’ve earned a spot in my daily gear bag, meaning they are now with me on all outings. I back them up with heavier gloves for colder days, but otherwise they are my new gloves of choice and they’re small enough to carry both styles because cold hands are a bummer.

Plano 767
The Plano brand and “tackle box” are just about synonymous, and for good reason. Plano makes a huge line-up of hard boxes and soft bags, and a bunch of combos there-of. Their Guide Series has proven very popular due to the abundant storage and handy designs and the latest in that series, the 767 is no different.

I’d consider it a mid-sized hard box at about 18” x 10” x 11” in size. As with all the Guide Series boxes, it’s got compartments for both specific items and general use. The 767 comes with six smaller, removable clear plastic boxes, three of which are accessed through the clear main front hatch. A very handy feature is that the boxes slot in at a 15 degree angle upward, making them very easy to retrieve when the main box is sitting on the ground or deck. The top lid opens to reveal a large area with its own separate water-proof box and two smaller side compartments for things like sunglasses. Two smaller removable boxes flank the main compartment with very easy access for oft-used items, and all the compartment covers are clear allowing you to see what box is inside without opening it.
Another great feature is the soft, expandable rear pocket for weird shaped or bulky items; I stored boxes of line and my waterproof camera there.

So there you have it, my picks to make you a better equipped angler. As much time as I spend outdoors, I’ve come to really appreciate quality gear, clothing and tackle, and the value they ultimately bring. Try some of these new products in your own angling; I think you’ll agree that your experiences in the woods and water will be better for it!