ACCESSORIES

Sunglasses, lifejackets, fish-grips, pliers, rod racks etc.


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Spinlock Deckvest Lite lifejacket

The first lifejacket I have ever used and indeed reviewed for my shore based lure fishing, this Spinlock Deckvest Lite lifejacket is such an easy thing to wear. It doesn’t get in the way when I am fishing, it is nice and light, and it could well save my life if I was to end up in the water. An absolute no-brainer if you ask me, and giving yourself the best possible chance of surviving something going wrong when you are out fishing doesn’t cost very much. Check out my full review here.

You can buy this lifejacket here


Best-Grip wading studs

Not remotely expensive, but they might just be the best all round wading studs that I ever used. The photo here is of the model 1100 Best-Grip studs in the bottom of my Dunlop safety boots after six months of hard use, and aside from a bit of discolouration I can’t find any sign of wear on these amazing studs. Great things can come in little packages it seems. See my review of these studs here.


Boga-Grip

There is no getting away from the fact that the best fish-grip tool out there is the universally loved Boga-Grip. I did not want to pay the money for one, but in the end I just gave in, accepted what I already knew (that the Boga is the best) and got my wallet out. So many guides and fishermen that I work with all over the place carry at least one of the Boga-Grips, either the 15lb, 30lb or 60lb model - I want to be able to say that all the fish I catch are so monstrous that I have to have the 60lb version, but in fact I carry and use the little 15lb version that does me just fine for my own bass fishing. They are incredibly well built and they are known for lasting and lasting and lasting. As is normal in fishing, the best tends to cost a bit, but I reckon a good fish-grip is hugely important for lots of fishing. I see more and more bass anglers over here carrying some kind of fish-grip, and you simply can't go wrong with a Boga.


Coast HL44 Dual Colour LED headlamp

I looked and looked for a lightweight and cheapish headlamp that had a red LED light which I could switch on and off independently rather than have to cycle through all the different white light settings. I came across this Coast HL44 Dual Colour LED headlamp via some kind help on my Facebook page, and I was able to buy it for under £30 delivered - this is a good headlamp which does exactly what I need for lure fishing at night. See my review here.
 


Costa del Mar polarised sunglasses

You won't get far in many kinds of fishing without a decent pair of polarised sunglasses, and these days I am proud to be able to say that I am using the outstanding Costa del Mar ones. It's their 580 lenses which really got me. I have tried them all and they are all outstanding, but tie me down and let me use only one lens colour and I'm going to go for the 580G Green Mirror. I don't know what it is about these Costa del Mar sunglasses, but they just make the world look better to me. The best do not come cheap, but I take looking for fish, sight fishing, and protecting my eyes very seriously. There has to be a reason why I come across so many fishing guides and anglers all around the world who choose to wear Costas. See my review here.

You can buy Costa del Mar gear here in the UK.


Costa del Mar Permit sunglasses with 580G Green Mirror lenses

Tie me down and allow me to use only one pair of Costa del Mar polarised sunglasses and one lens type and it has to be the Permit frame with the freakishly good 580G (glass) Green Mirror lenses. These wraparound sunglasses suit my face shape, they stop any sunlight creeping in from the side, and they never, ever budge whatever I am doing. As for the 580G Green Mirror lenses? They are so good it’s almost a joke - for shallow water and bright conditions especially, I firmly believe that the Green Mirror shade of Costa polarised lens helps me to see more, and that is what I want. The world literally lights up when you put these things on and I can’t see how a pair of polarised sunglasses can get any better. The best is not cheap, but these things are worth every single penny.

You can buy Costa del Mar gear here in the UK.


Costa del Mar Rockport polarised sunglasses

There’s no getting away that the best polarised sunglasses in the world cost proper money – Costa del Mar are what they are, and they don’t come cheap. But I may have found an “easier” way into the brand via these slightly cheaper Rockport sunglasses. Yes, the Costa 580G glass lens technology is off the scale good, but let me assure you that their “cheaper” 580P (plastic) lenses are pretty insane as well. I absolutely love these Rockport sunglasses. They are ridiculously light and comfortable to wear – I have been using the copper 580P lenses and although the 580G Green Mirror is my out and out favourite Costa del Mar lens, these Rockports with the copper 580P are running pretty damned close if you ask me. Out and out class. See my Costa review here.

You can buy Costa del Mar gear here in the UK.


Costa del Mar Sunrise Silver Mirror lenses

I think I might have found the perfect polarised lens for the kind of up and down light conditions we tend to get. These Costa del Mar Sunrise Silver Mirror lenses are really good early in the morning and later on in the evening, but to me they work so damn well when the light is all over the place, and I especially like how they help so much in lower light conditions. See my review here.

You can buy Costa del Mar gear here in the UK.


HPA lure fishing bag

A very simple and effective way to carry a load of hard and soft lures around for my fishing. I am really liking this HPA bum bag thing, see here for a full review with details on how I use mine.


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HPA 40 litre waterproof rucksack

Without doubt the best waterproof rucksack for fishing that I have found and extensively used so far. Lightweight, easy to carry and much tougher than other waterproof rucksacks I have tried, this HPA 40 litre one is brilliant. It comes in a range of different colours. Check out my review here, and you can buy it direct from HPA in France right here.


Orvis PosiGrip Screw-In Studs

I would not normally go recommending a product such as wading boot studs that I have not used for a long period myself, but a good friend of mine who fishes for bass almost a ridiculous amount has had these Orvis PosiGrip Screw-In studs in his wading boots for over a year now and I can’t see virtually any sign of wear at all. Sure, is boots are falling to bits, but these amazing studs are still going great guns. I am now using a set of them myself and they provide excellent grip on all kinds of surfaces. Around £30 a set, so they are not cheap, but you can’t argue with how long they seem to be lasting. See my review here.


The Fish Grip fish grip

It’s impossible not to like this fish grip - it’s cheap, it floats, it grips very securely onto fish’s jaws, it won’t rust out (made of plastic), and it weighs virtually nothing. Sure, I love my Boga-Grip, but it isn’t cheap, and aside from the Boga and a few of those even more expensive fish grips that come out of Japan, all the metal based “Boga imitation” fish grips I have seen either show signs of rusting or else have failed completely in saltwater. If you want a fish grip tool but don’t want to spend Boga dosh, then I can’t see any point in not getting a pair of these ones, the wonderfully named “The Fish Grip” fish grips!! They just work.

You can usually find this fish grip here.


Vac-Rac fishing rod holders for the car

I believe that these ingenious car-mounted rod holders were initially designed for fly rods, but they work just as well for our lure rods, indeed I simply don’t know how I survived so long without a Vac-Rac rod holder on my car. When I go to Ireland I have one of their “Professional Locking Racks” that holds four lure rods and reels easily and securely at any kind of speed you might drive. When I am at home I have a Vac-Rac “Combi Rack” that is magnetic and I simply put it on and take it off my car as and when it’s needed. So simple but so clever. I can’t imagine carrying lure rods any other way now. Unclip them and go fishing, none of this having to break rods down to transport them inside the car anymore. See my review here.


Van Staal titanium pliers

Yes, it’s no joke how expensive these things are, and yes, I accept completely that spending this much on a pair of fishing pliers is alien to most anglers - but there is no getting away from how good these Van Staal titanium pliers are, as in they just don’t rust. The cutters cut all kinds of braid and fluoro for me as well. I know a South African guide who has been using a pair of these pliers for years, both in salt and freshwater (hundreds of days a year), and he has never, ever washed them - yet they are still going strong. A lot of money for a pair of pliers, but you can’t argue with how they last.


Washable lure boxes

A complete no-brainer if you ask me. Your hard lures won’t end up in a tangled mess of treble hooks and you can simply dunk the box (with lures in it) in a sink of freshwater if you are so inclined to rinse your lures down. There are various brands of these type of washable lure boxes and they are fairly readily available. I can fit two of these washable lure boxes in my HPA bag, and if that isn’t enough hard and soft lures for a bass fishing session then I should be giving myself a thrashing.


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