Five of the Best Fishing Pliers Reviewed

best fishing pliers reviewsA good fisherman knows that a successful fishing trip needs you to have more than just rods, lines, reels, and lures; there are also a number of handy little tools and new accessories that can make the whole process more convenient and efficient, and new technology is being created all the time. Every fisherman and woman is likely to at some point look into the necessary accessories to enjoy fishing to the highest degree and make their fishing more efficient (or should that be e-fish-ient?).

Fishing pliers, one of the most common tools is commonplace for almost every fisherman. Fishing pliers are not the same thing as ordinary pliers that you’d find in the home or in a toolkit somewhere. The most common use of a pair of these fish pliers is to remove the hooks that have ended up in fish, mostly used for those that have become stuck. It can reach far in a mouth and safely remove a hook without doing much harm so you can remain guilt free. A fisherman’s fishing pliers are often even equipped with other accessories such as line cutters and a blade, which come in super useful. Most fishing pliers are especially made to be really rust resistant, much moreso than ordinary pliers, this is partially due to how much they’re exposed to water.

The main criteria for the best fishing pliers is the materials they are made of. In certain types of water such as saltwater, corrosion can be a real issue, and many of the manufacturers have turned to materials that are designed not to rust and corrode, making sure you get value for money and long term use out of your pliers. The actual jaws and cutters are normally made out of stainless steel which provides a lot of strength and durability.

We live in an age of reviews and before buying a model you can check out fishing plier reviews to be able to see what both the experts and consumers who are already using the product have said, but the five models we’ve picked out in this article are all of the highest quality, and the reviews tend to back it up. We’ve also included reviews at multiple prices to ensure you’re getting something to suit your budget as well as good value for money.

There are many other tools out there that you can use in conjunction with your pliers and some are even sold as a set, getting a fishing kit can be a good way of saving money, just make sure that all of the tools are up to standard. You may even want multiple sizes of fishing pliers and some are sold as sets of two at different sizes, just like you’re likely to have spanners and other normal pliers at different sizes, you can do the same with your fishing equipment.

A line clipper is another handy accessory that comes with a lot of different tools. It is similar to nail clippers and is a clever tool to cut lines. Attach the clipper to a lanyard and wear it for ease of use, just grab it and go.

Another handy tool you’ll often find in the same package as the best fishing pliers is a lure retriever. Although some do not think of this tool as totally necessary, it is undeniably useful, especially when a lure gets stuck under one of the many objects that can hold you up such as a rock or a log.

A lot of the fishing accessories are relatively easy-to-find; most of them can be bought at a fishing store or even may be available in a sports shop. They don’t need to be expensive but can make a big difference to your fishing skills and success, and even save you money on lines you may otherwise lose or hooks you may break.

TOP FIVE FISHING PLIERS TOOLS

1. BITE FISHING TACKLE FISHING PLIER 2016
The Bite Fishing Tackle plier is one of the best fishing pliers on the market, making it extremely easy to cut even strong lines, it has Stainless Steel Jaws (which are even replaceable) and this is a hard wearing product which could well be the last aluminum fishing pliers you will ever need. In addition to being sturdy and hard-wearing it is made of a type of alloy that makes this resistant to rust and corrosion. Some of the other features include comfortable but effective grips that allow a great firm grip in even the most challenging situations.

2. MADBITE FISHING PLIER 2016
Madbite advertise their fishing plier as being made of aerospace grade aluminum. Another model with  corrosion resistance, it is designed for durability and use in all different kinds of water. This great fishing tool also comes with straight steel jaws and carbide cutters that give these fishing pliers a huge amount of cutting power to allow it to easily go through all sorts of fishing line, such as braided, mono line, fluorocarbon and other materials.

What I like most about this is the belt sheath which makes it really easy to attach to your belt while fishing and quickly grab it when you need to, no fiddling around in your bag. In addition to this it has a solid, hard anodized finish in three colors with ergonomic handles. Suitable for freshwater and saltwater fishing and also is compact and simple for anyone to carry it in any hard or soft fishing tackle box. This is another great fishing tool that I recommend, and a quick look at other madbite fishing plier reviews will show that I’m not the only one raving about it.

3. PISCIFUN FISHING PLIER TOOL
The Piscifun fishing plier tool is another option, being made from Aircraft-grade anodized aluminum to deliver an excellent corrosion resistance. The Titanium-coated Steel Jaws to provide a lot of strength for such a small tool and a lot of durability and the clever and unique split ring design makes for a super simple removal.

4. ZITRADES ALUMINUM FISHING PLIER
This great tool comes with high density handle which is, in their words ‘skidproof’ and designed to be portable and comfortable at fishing time. It does grip well and is very unlikely to slip out of your hands, which can be a huge issue for fishing. In addition to these features it is very lightweight with cool bright design, which though not vital is still worth considering.

5. SPORTSRAIN FISHING PLIER
The Sportsrain fishing plier scissors is yet another high quality tool that can cut through a fishing line or remove the hook from fishes with ease. A great, individual feature in this fishing tool is the specially designed narrow serrated nose that reaches deeper than a lot of the other products can manage into fishes mouths for simple, quick hook extraction. In addition to providing this longer, clever design, it is made of stainless steel and aluminum alloy. Also this is ultra-light and small and convenient to throw into your fishing bag and be on your way.

The Best Kayak Seats for Comfort, Back Support and Stability

best kayak seatsKayaking is a very popular sport, and is becoming more and more popular. It is a great way to see new sights, stay fit and active and is great for fishing and many other hobbies including ocean kayaking. Having the best kayak seat on your kayak is key, especially if you’re looking for a kayak with back support, extra storage or any of the other benefits many of them offer. If you’re also a cyclist you’ll know that comfort is key, and just like a poorly cushioned uncomfortable bicycle seat will really hinder your fun and enjoyment on a bike, an uncomfortable kayak seat will take a lot away from your fun and achievements on the kayak.

Comfort is not the only aspect of what makes a good kayak seat, and stability is hugely important too. One little movement on the wrong seat and you can find yourself in the water, plus knowing you’re in a seat that adds more of a durable, stable platform to your ride can give you a lot of confidence.

Fortunately, we live in an age of ergonomics, quality manufacturing and choice on the market, which has led to there being a lot of choice to suit your own needs. The world of Kayak seats is actually quite varied, and can be tough to navigate on your own, which is why we have created a buying guide to help you work out the features on offer. We have also put together some individual kayak seat reviews.

Features to Look For in Kayak Seats

  • Durability and Stability – In any product, you don’t want something that is going to break straight away, but as briefly mentioned the durability will have an extra level of importance in the world of kayaking. You should be able to shift your weight and sit comfortably without having to worry constantly about ending up in the water. You should be able to move a little without this concern.
  • Comfort – I don’t even just mean being able to think ‘this is comfortable’ or have a seat that doesn’t cause a sore butt after an hour or so. Some people suffer with joint pains or back pains, finding the best kayak seat for back pain is nothing short of essential for some of us to make sure that our health isn’t at risk from sitting in a seat that isn’t well designed, with the correct lumbar support and ergonomic design for your body.
  • Storage – Some kayak seats also come with storage, which can be at a premium when you’re in such a small mode of transport!
  • Cushioning – Being cushioned is also part of your comfort, but can help with joints too and sometimes the cushioning is optional and removable so you can adjust to your preference.
  • Adjustability – Some of the best models of seats are adjustable so can be perfected as per your own preferences and of course your body shape and size. Adjustability also ensures that it will fit most models of kayak.
  • Price – This is likely to play a part in any purchase you make in life, and nobody wants to pay over the odds for something. Just going for the cheapest kayak seat may not be the best option, and the best value for money is more what you should be looking for.

The fact of the matter is, if you are keen on kayaking, investing in a top kayak seat is worth it. They certainly are not the most expensive piece of equipment, and the benefits they can have both for your own enjoyment, avoiding fatigue and even avoiding injuries. Most models of kayak seat are under $100 but you can even buy seats under $50 which will do a very good job, so the cost isn’t too high, especially if you are a regular kayaker and are looking to get a lot of use out of a seat.

Leader Accessories Deluxe Kayak Seat Review

One of the best models we’ve come across is the deluxe kayak seat from Leader Accessories. A quick look at it will tell you that it isn’t cheap and flimsy, and the molded foam seat combines comfort and durability which is exactly what you need. A look at the customer reviews on Amazon and other online retailers show that this is very highly regarded in kayaking circles, so what are the features that set this seat apart?

  • Luxury seat made of firm, comfortable molded foam.
  • Solid, hard wearing connecting snaps which ensure it stays firmly in place. 
  • 2 straps on the front, 2 straps on the rear give a loads of adjustability to ensure it fits your kayak and keeps you comfortable.
  • Great support for both your back and backside with customer reviews showing that this is very comfortable.

Many people with sit on top kayaks have opted for this product, either as a replacement for a broken model or for an upgrade, as this is better than many of the built in kayak seats, or you may have even bought a kayak without a seat. A huge amount of people have given this very positive reviews, so the masses have truly spoken. The comfort and padding that this offers whilst remaining rigid and firm is a big plus point, and it isn’t the most expensive model, so the value for money is definitely good. If you’re setting up for a long day of fishing on your kayak then this is a positive option for anyone who spends a lot of time out on the water.

Pactrade Marine Adjustable Padded Deluxe Kayak Seat

An option which (at the time of writing, at least) is a little more on the affordable side, and for one of the cheapest kayak seats we’ve found offers some very good features and good value.

  • Adjustable front and back straps for a good fit and comfort.
  • Non slip surface with padding for comfort and to keep you stable.
  • Made of Neoprene with a padded back area offering good support for those with back ailments.
  • Strong copper hooks to keep it in place.
  • Detachable backpack for added storage.

The detachable backpack is a huge plus point. Storage isn’t something that is easy to come by in kayaks, and on a sit on top kayak with a seat which you’re not really able to wear a backpack whilst sitting on, you can find yourself a little bit stuck for somewhere to bring your lunch or put more equipment if you’re out on a fishing expedition. A few kayak seats have this feature allowing you to clip the detachable backpack on if you want to (or leave it if you don’t need it).

This is another model of kayak seat which has been reviewed well and many people are reporting it as a huge upgrade on the stock model which comes with kayaks when you buy them, depending on the brand you opt for. This can provide some good comfort for long term trips on the water, even if you are out for a few hours at a time. This is a good option for many of us and though it could be a little sturdier, it is great value for money.

Ocean Kayak Comfort Plus Seat Back

As you might guess, this is designed with ocean kayaking in mind, but is also great for taking out on lakes or other bodies of water. As you might expect from the Comfort Plus label this comes with, it is indeed a very comfy model of kayak seat, even for longer periods of time. The UV resistant material is also hard wearing, and generally it is a pretty rigid model. The reinforced stays give a lot of back support and keep you firmly in place.

 

As well as the comfort, this has four very hard wearing straps to adjust and fit the seat with ease, further adding to the comfort as well as the compatibility with your own model of kayak.

Another very good model of seat which has a lot to offer at a very affordable price tag. It has a lot of five star reviews on online retailers. Some have reported this as a huge upgrade on their built-in seat, and has a lot to offer in terms of comfort and ocean kayaking. You don’t have to look far for reviews recommending that you add this to your kayak routine, and your butt will thank you for going with the comfort plus model.

High-Back Gel Paddle Saddle

The paddle saddle can be used on boats and more, but is very popular among kayakers. It is relatively unique as it offers gel in the padding which truly does make a big difference to your comfort, and it even acts to insulate and avoid you sitting on a cold surface of the kayak. It is designed to stay in place and the material ensures it doesn’t slip along the kayak which can be very annoying. The design has even taken into account pressure points and truly is designed with back pain and other ailments in mind, making it one of the best for those who have a lot of discomfort.

A huge amount of positive reviews tend to mention the comfort, making this a contender for the most comfy kayak seat on the market, and is certainly up there among the best. It comes with a big thumbs up from us at the watersporter but it does have a slightly bigger price tag than some of its competitors.

Notable Mention: Luxfit Premium Coccyx Orthopedic Memory Foam Seat Cushion

Your butt will thank you! There are loads of uses for a memory foam seat cushion, and it can be used in tandem with a kayak seat. Of course if you do end up in the water you might have to wave goodbye to it (though it will probably float and be retrievable) but it can add to the comfort of the seats already mentioned.

Conclusion

In terms of an investment, considering the fact that these can be purchased for under $50 if needed, they add a lot of stability and comfort, and may even save you medical problems and injury. The question of whether to buy a separate seat and upgrade the one that came with your kayak should be relatively straightforward, and hopefully the guide we’ve created make the decision on which one is best for you a lot easier. Enjoyment is paramount when you go out on a kayaking trip, whether you like to go fishing or just go out for leisure and to see the sights, nothing ruins it more than pain, a sore backside or a seat that doesn’t stay firm and in place.

If you have any experience with other kayak seats and have further reviews or opinions you would like to add, feel free to leave a comment with your thoughts below.

Best SUP Paddle For Stand Up Paddleboards

best sup paddles reviewsIf you’re getting into the world of SUPs or you’re a seasoned paddleboarder, you may already know how tough it can be to pick out a paddle. Some SUPs don’t even come with a paddle as standard, and those that do may not be the best for your own personal needs. Perhaps it is time to upgrade to the best SUP paddle for you. For the best results you need to first work out exactly what you need from your paddle and find one within your budget, fitting your requirements.

A paddle should never get in the way of what you want to achieve on the water. You may want to stay out for a long time fishing, to go faster along the water or just make sure your paddling is efficient. If you’re using a clunky and heavy paddle then fatigue might be an issue, and after a little bit of time you may find yourself longing for the shore just to give yourself a break, but with the modern technology behind making SUP paddles and materials such as carbon fiber, fiberglass and alloy giving the maximum efficiency at minimal weight, there are plenty of choices to give a good experience.

List of the Best Models of SUP Paddle

First up, we’ve selected some models that we consider to be the very best, before explaining below exactly what variables to look for depending on your build, interests and abilities when it comes to paddle boarding. These models won’t see you too far wrong, and we’ve included a cheaper beginner/casual user option, an intermediate option and an elite performance option. They’re also at different price points, whether you want an SUP paddle under $50, under $100 or under $200 then we’ve got something reviewed which will likely suit your budget.

BPS ULTRALITE Fiberglass Shaft Performer Adjustable SUP paddle

This is one of the best selling SUP paddles we’ve come across, the ultralite fiberglass made by BPS (standing for bulletproof surf) is a top model which has some amazing reviews online, hence it making our list of the top paddles. So what makes this such a good option?

Well, this is a stand up paddle which has been picked up for under $100 on many occasion, and has been known to outperform the other models on the market which cost vastly more. When they say it is adjustable, they mean it, and there are even markers to help you work out the size you need to set it to based on your own height and weight. This is suitable for a medium sized adult all the way down to children, so it can be used by a huge portion of paddleboarders out there.

BPS have put a lot of thought into the design here. As well as being usable by both children and adults, it is also super easy to adjust, and vitally it floats on water. Remarkably, a lot of paddles still don’t float on water which makes it all the more likely that you’ll lose a paddle and have to replace it, buying one of the best floating SUP paddles is good common sense, and with the Ultralite you’ll be safe on both salt water and fresh water.

When doing our research for this product, we took a good look at other consumer reviews and pro reviews to see what people were saying about this product, and the vast majority were positive. Most seem to be in agreement that this is a great value for money product and while some of the more expensive models may be superior, they come at additional cost. This is great for people who want to start taking their paddle boarding a little more seriously.

Pure Carbon Fiber SUP Paddle

We’re heading into the elite models here with the pure carbon fiber SUP paddle. It ships as a three piece model and is easily constructed and totally adjustable. This is not just light, but super light, and comes in at under 700g! This can vastly reduce fatigue and tiredness setting in and is perfect for moving at speed or going for a long time or over long distances. If you’re a serious paddle boarder, this could well be a model to consider. The size can be anywhere from 72 to 86 inches depending on the adjustment settings, and the manufacturers claim this is great for anyone to use, of all different heights.

This model, made by manufacturer iGK, is well made. The way it looks and feels, you can tell that the workmanship that has gone into it is pretty great, and the fact that it can remain sturdy at such an amazingly low weight is some feat. It ships with a deluxe carry bag which adds to the feeling of quality and also makes things more convenient.

It has what is called a super dihedral blade, this means that double concave and dihedral blades give a lot more stability to the stroke, and make it a great option for people who are boarding to a high level. As we’ve already said is essential, the Pure carbon fiber SUP paddle also floats on the water reducing the chances of it going missing, never to be found again.

The reviews we’ve looked at online are even more impressive than its counterparts. People have mainly been delighted with the quality on offer here. Durability, quality and ease of use are reported again and again, as well as people being pleased with just how adjustable and flexible this can be. This is not the kind of flimsy model that sometimes gets shipped with your first SUP set, and will likely serve you very well for many miles out on the water. Definitely comes with the watersporter seal of approval.

Affordable Option: Adjustable Alloy SUP Paddle by BPS

There is a lot to be said for a cheap option, especially if you’re just getting started, but even if your budget is relatively small, that doesn’t mean you don’t want something decent, and you need a paddle to do the job well. BPS are a brand we’ve already mentioned, and their range of SUP paddles is very good. This, their alloy offering, is cheaper mainly due to the material, which does definitely come with some drawbacks, but lets be honest, at this price range that is inevitable. What we need to decipher is whether this is the best cheap SUP paddle, and the answer may well be yes.

This ships as a two piece paddle, and though it is made of alloy it is relatively lightweight and pretty easy to use. It is adjustable from 71″-83″ and can be safely used by people who weigh up to 240 lbs, so pretty much anyone can pick up this paddle and use it with a little adjustment. The manufacturer guarantees that for 12 months after purchase this model will float, so you don’t need to worry about losing it at the bottom of the lake.

The blade is made of a nylon composite and designed to be versatile, so while it may not be the best if you want to race your SUP, it is a good starter paddle or perfectly usable for the casual paddle boarder. If you want to be a pro, or are looking for an elite model, one of the options above may be a better call as they’re more lightweight and effective, but for a budget option, this can’t be argued with too much! The reviews of the product on Amazon and elsewhere online are very positive, and as long as you don’t buy it expecting it to be the smoothest paddle in the universe then you will probably not be disappointed.

Notable Mention – Advanced Elements

Advanced elements are a big player in the world of SUPs and they manufacture many different models and accessories for the pastime. We haven’t featured full advanced elements SUP paddle reviews, but it is definitely worth mentioning the brand as an option, as they do provide some great gear, including a few solid options when it comes to paddles. Their AE2057 Alani Adjustable Fiberglass SUP Paddle is a real highlight and can be picked up at a decent price considering the fact that it is such a lightweight and quality fiberglass model. The brand make a lot of paddles for other water sports too, and the majority of the products they produce seem to be very well received. Their stand up paddles are no exception, and are worth a look if you can pick them up for a decent price.

We love the brand Advanced Elements, and their mission to make the world of paddle sports better equipped, so we had to mention them in this article. If you need other gear besides paddles, they make some amazing accessories for the dedicated boarder.

Choosing an SUP Paddle

We’re running through the things you should consider when you’re choosing an SUP Paddle. There are a few different elements which are variable and what works best for one person may not work for another, so it is good to go in with a bit of knowledge.

Length

Length is one the most important factors and you need to think about both how tall you are and the type of water you will be using it in, as well as the size of your SUP.

You should basically be able to stand up and the paddle next to you should be 8-12 inches higher than you are. If it is too short, the leverage is not as effective and the strain becomes higher to paddle effectively. Think archimedes’ lever. If it is much bigger though, it can be hard to move in and out of the water and make your experience tough. 8-12 inches bigger than you is the sweet spot here.

Material

Another vital thing to consider when choosing your paddle. The materials used to make the paddle have a huge impact on the price, and the performance.

Carbon Fiber – This is a super light material and is designed for being agile and easy to glide through the water. The shaft can be rigid and this makes it easy for racing or going fast, or it can be more flexible which is good for the more casual user or a fishing SUP.

Aluminum. Aluminum is cheap in comparison to the other materials used to make paddles, and thus usually makes for the cheapest SUP paddles, which are of a decent quality, but maybe not the most ‘sporty’ models out there. Good for beginners.

Fiberglass – Similar to fiberglass but heavier and denser, great for beginners too but also very good for those who are a bit more advanced in their SUP careers.

Blade size. Small, Medium or Large.

Smaller blades may be more lightweight, and some find them more visually appealing, but they’re best for tranquil waters and ‘touring’ on your SUP. They can be effective on some tranquil lakes for instance, or great for a peaceful trip, but as waters get more choppy and challenging, a bigger blade will be more effective for you. Considering whether you want to ride waves or simply paddle down a quiet stream will inform the decision on blade size.

Best Adjustable SUP Paddles. Adjustable is another option when you’re looking for a paddle, if your SUP is used by more than one person or you want to be able to lend it to a friend or your partner, having an adjustable SUP gives you that flexibility. If you go somewhere that rent out paddleboards then you are likely to find a lot of adjustable paddles as they can be used by people of different shapes and sizes.

Conclusion

As mentioned already, your level of ability, build, budget and even your personal preference, do you want something which looks cool or do you just want something to do the job well? Are you going to be using it on a tranquil lake or in choppy seas? A little bit of thought with regards the use of the paddle will ensure that you can make the best choice for your needs.

Our recommendations are based on the most simple to use and easy on the arms as well as those which are durable and well constructed, the models mentioned in this article won’t see you far wrong as long as you take the time to make an informed decision.

SUP equipment is being released all the time, and we’re committed to keeping our finger on the pulse, so we will bring you updates as more products come onto the market. If you’ve had experience with any of the above models of paddle, have another to recommend or want to join in the conversation, leave us a comment sharing your thoughts.

The Best Tackle Box and Bag for Fishing and Kayaking

best fishing tackle box bag

Fishing is a very popular hobby and millions of people enjoy taking part in it around the world. Whether you’re shore fishing, beach fishing or kayak fishing, there are so many ways to get involved in this pastime. As with many hobbies, there is equipment involved. We’ve reviewed some options and tried to narrow down the best tackle box for you. Tackle boxes are one of the most important pieces of gear you will come across, and organization is key to effective fishing trips. ‘Tackle’ is defined as any accessories a fisherman or fisherwoman would need, and there are so many different things to remember. Lures, bait, hooks and reels, I could go on. Sometimes you need to grab something at short notice and knowing exactly where it is can be the difference between landing a carp and not!

Hard vs Soft Tackle Boxes

These are a couple of terms you might hear on your search for somewhere to store your tackle. What it basically means is the materials your ‘box’ is made of. Sometimes a soft tackle box can really be more of a bag, and they’re soft sided with material making up the outside. A hard box is more reminiscent of a tool box, and may be the more ‘traditional’ design. Of course, a soft box does have benefits, and is designed to be more easily portable, but there are some pretty good models of hard tackle box to take out with you too. A soft box is also not going to be water resistant, which can be a huge downside when you’re inevitably going to be using it near water. It largely depends how far you’re having to take it, how much space you need, and other personal preferences.

A tackle box can be arranged however you want it to, but there are a few things you’re always going to want to take out there including:

  • Extra fishing lines. Your line can always break or get stuck in rocks or other murky areas in the water. Having another fishing line is a basic, and means you don’t have to end the trip early or run around trying to source another. Fishing line is vital.
  • Fishing hooks. What works for one fish will not work for another, so having an assortment of different hooks can sort of be considered your ‘arsenal’ and can help you out immensely, and the compartments in your tackle box can make it easy to separate them.
  • First Aid. You never know what is round the corner, and you do have to handle some sharp items when out fishing. It is sensible to have access to a first aid kit, and instead of having a separate one, you can incorporate it into your tackle box.
  • Toolbox. It is also wise to have some tools with you, and you never know when you’re going to need pliers, scissors, a multi-tool or swiss army knife. Having them available can be very useful.
  • Bait. Of course some bait might not be the sort of thing you want to put in your box, but it is always possible to have plastic bait as a backup plan should you not have bait available.

Features To Look For in a Tackle Box

There are certain features you’re going to need from your tackle box, and things to look out for when making the purchase. We’ve listed some essentials, and the parameters by which you should be judging whether it is the best tackle box or best tackle bag for your needs.

  • Size. This depends largely on how much space you will need for your fishing gear, but bear in mind when purchasing one that your gear will probably grow as you continue to fish.
  • Compartments. You need plenty of spacious and easy to use compartments to store your equipment. One of the main benefits of a tackle bag or tackle box is to let you organize things and put them in their own compartments.
  • Durability. These see a lot of action. I drop mine all the time, and it gets thrown around the back of my car, I need something durable in order to be good enough to keep the equipment in good shape and ensure it is going to last me a long time.
  • Easy to carry. Obviously this is a simpler task for a bag than a box, but they do have convenient handles and lots of them do all they can to be easy to transport.

Plano 7771 Guide Series Tackle System

Plano are a brand who really have things on lockdown when it comes to the world of tackle boxes. Their range is pretty huge, and we’re starting with one of the most impressive products of its type, the Plano 7771 Guide Series. It is awesome, and oh so durable. The product comes with a limited lifetime guarantee which goes to show just how well made it is.

It has dividable trays and lots of compartments which don’t get in the way of each other, making it easy to use and even customize. The clear lid means you can see what you’re reaching for and never forget where things are exactly. The three racks can all be moved and removed separately, and generally it is just neatly designed.

There are many reviews of the 7771 online. It is a product which has been around for a while now and the vast majority of people who have taken the plunge and bought one seem very happy with their purchase. There is a lot of room here, and it could be overkill if you want something tiny and compact, but for a decent sized, roomy fishing tackle box, look no further.

Plano 1354 4-By Rack System 3500

Consider this the little sibling to the model mentioned above. If you want something similar in a hard tackle box made by Plano, with plenty of compartments and room but a little less space, then this is the answer. Just as we’ve grown to expect from this manufacturer, this has been vigorously tested for its durability and quality, and we’re confident it will last some time. It is usually cheaper than a lot of the other products on the market, partially just because it is pretty small, but that can be a benefit in itself.

If you’re all about the equipment, and you just love having loads of stuff in your tackle box, this might not be the option for you. The Plano 1354 may mean you end up having to take a little less stuff out with you, but it is still a great option for a lot of the more casual fishermen and fisherwomen out there.

Wild River by CLC WT3702 Tackle Tek Frontier

Are you ready to be the envy of all of your fishing buddies? The Wild River WT3702 Tackle Tek Frontier is an incredible model of soft tackle box, and boy does this have some awesome features, plus lets face it, it looks cool. This is one of the best reviewed products like this we’ve come across. It comes with a little extra on the price tag, but can be so worth it for those of us who need that extra bit of portability.

Check out the extravagant features on offer:

  • LED lights built in for seeing what you’re doing.
  • Handle with a clever rotating grip design.
  • Storage for five large trays in the bottom section, in the top section there are two dividers which can be adjusted to your preferences.
  • Sunglass holders.
  • Plier holders so you always know where you can grab your pliers from.
  • Four mesh pockets so you can put things in to easily recall during your trip.
  • Clear compartment for things which need to stay visible such as maps or a phone, but also need to stay dry and clean!
  • Even comes with a drink compartment!

A quick feel of this tells you it is one of the best fishing tackle bags on the market. The manufacturers have really thought of everything, and this is easy to transport and carry as well as having so many sections. The trays are hard wearing so if you need things to stay well protected they can go in there. This is a luxurious model, but the price brings so much quality.

Spiderwire Wolf Tackle Bag

This is something of a cheaper alternative for a great tackle bag, and though it may not have thought of quite as much as the Wild River, it is cheaper and is still easy to use and full of space. It can be slung over your shoulder and is certainly one of the easiest to carry and most portable models we’ve come across. It deserves its place on the list of the best soft tackle boxes! It is made of a rugged, high denier material and is hard-wearing, has plenty of different compartments for splitting things up and just like its counterpart it has a specific holder for pliers, a tool you’ll likely be reaching for over and over again.

The feature I like most when it came to the Spiderwire Wolf was the awesome reel dispensers which are detachable and therefore optional, but make life easier and keep one of the most commonly used pieces of tackle right there at your fingertips. It is a great bag, and other Spiderwire Wolf Reviews will show you that the vast majority who purchase one seem to be pretty pleased with it. They’ve definitely been designed with fishing in mind, and therefore make your life as easy as possible when taking them out on all those fishing trips.

Plano Large 2 Sided Tackle Box

The slang phrase ‘cheap and cheerful’ comes to mind. At the time of writing this is the cheapest tackle box we’ve mentioned on the list. For the current price you can check amazon or elsewhere online, but lets just say it is a lot more basic than anything else on our list. That said, if you fish very occasionally or just have a few pieces of tackle to take out with you, or are truly just getting started in the world of fishing, this could do a decent job for you. They’re pretty small, but do have some compartments and are pretty hard to break or dent. They’ve got a carry handle, and perhaps would be a good option for children going on their first fishing trips. Plano products are well made, and this has made it to our list in the interest of providing a more basic option for people.

Conclusion

So there we have it. Options for fishing tackle boxes and bags suitable for almost anyone who likes to fish, and every variation from kayak fishing to shore fishing, ice fishing to sea fishing. The tackle box is an essential piece of equipment and serves as a central hub for a lot of gear, so getting the decision right on which tackle box to buy is pretty important. Reading reviews and getting an overview, as well as deciding on whether you need hard vs soft, can really help you to make your mind up. You may save yourself a lot of time and hassle by opting for one of the tried and tested models.

Best Fish Finder for Kayaks and Small Boats

best fish finder for kayakingTechnology has changed everything. Things that would have been reserved for science fiction 10 or 20 years ago are at our fingertips now, and this has affected everything, even fishing. Finding the best fish finder is tough, there are a lot of different models available, and it is relatively new technology, certainly since being made available easily to the average consumer. The industry is changing fast, just like every other area of fishing, so we’ve tried to dissect it with fishfinder reviews and a run down of what we think are the top models of fish finder for taking out on a boat or kayak.

What is a Fish Finder?

This is the first thing to establish, what even is a fish finder, and how does it work? The clue is in the name, and the product is designed to show a fisherman where they’re likely to have success. The instrument detects tiny sound reflections and represent this on a screen, where whoever is fishing can see where there is movement, and potentially a lot of fish. The tech is not dissimilar to sonar. This can be integrated with a GPS system for instance, to provide the most help possible when out on a boat or kayak.

Some of these instruments aren’t the smallest, but as with most tech, they’re getting smaller, and some are compact enough to take out on boats and even kayaks without any issue at all, and some are even compatible with smartphones and tablets. More on that later.

What Makes the Best Fish Finders?

What are some of the features we’re going to be looking for in our reviews? Some of these products are vastly different, and the features of course depend on what you are looking to spend as well as the brand making the product. If you’re buying a fish finder for the first time, knowing what attributes make it a positive purchase can be the biggest challenge, so we’ve listed some things we’re going to be looking out for in our kayak fishfinder reviews.

Display – The display is how you’re going to interact with the instrument, and how you can read and know what is happening, and as such it has to be easy to use. As well as that, you need to consider the fact that while you are out and about, the weather is subject to change, and glare can become an issue on some screens, so finding one which takes steps to avoid this can help.

GPS Chart Plotting – This is a key feature, and wow, it can certainly make your life a lot easier, charting out where you have had success and mapping your fishing journeys, sometimes even having external SD card slots for more storage space.

3D Imaging – Some fish finders can map out what is going on below and even give an accurate 3D image of the water and what you may be dealing with below, this can make it easy to read and give you even more success.

Mounting – This can be key when it comes to a fish finder for kayaks or smaller sized boats. Having somewhere to mount it and an easy way to do so is an option, and that means you’re going to need something that is simple to mount and read on the go. Of course, this is optional and you don’t have to have it mounted on anything if you don’t want.

Depth Range – Some of these products will stay accurate up to 100m, some 200m, it depends on which model you opt for. If you’re just in a small lake and don’t need something to read over 100m then you may not need a huge depth range, but if you want to go out on the sea for instance or fish in deep waters, then the higher depth range, the better.

Controls and Intuitiveness – As with any sort of electronic gadget, it is important that it is easy to control. If you’re going out on the water, or are already out fishing, you don’t want something that is going to be difficult to control and work out. Clear instructions and intuitively designed controls are a massive plus point.

Transducer/Sensor – The Sensor is the part that will tell you where there are fish to find. This is pretty complex technology, but it is easy to use. Some sensors are better than others, some are more hard wearing, and some are easier to cast off into the water. This is something we’ve looked at in our reviews of fish finders for kayaking.

Battery – A few variations with the battery, not only how long the battery will last, but which type of batteries it takes, and whether your fish finder can be ‘charged’ or whether it takes AA or AAA batteries.

Hawkeye FishTrax Fish Finders – The utmost in portability.

If you want something super portable, even pocket size, then you can opt for a Hawkeye FishTrax model. There are a few different versions, some have a display that is just icons and looks a little bit like an old school video game. The others have clearer displays with sonar being shown either in black and white or color. They’re not even the most expensive models out there and they have a lot of features, especially when you consider they fit in a large pocket!

The Best Hawkeye Fish Finders for Kayaks

HawkEye FT1PXC Fishtrax Fish Finder with HD Color Virtuview Display

My recommendation if you’re looking for a Hawkeye Model is the FT1PXC, probably the top portable fish finder in terms of being pocket sized. Its duel frequency sonar and display which shows the depth of the fish can be extremely helpful, and it is easy to use both in terms of transducer and the buttons on the surface.

The transducer can work for kayaks of course, but even shore fishing and ice fishing work just fine. It has an adjustable sensitivity so you can get the right kinds of readings for the water you’re fishing in.

On top of being easily handheld, this product is easy to mount on the front of a kayak too or anywhere in a small boat, making it a superb option. The reviews you’ll find elsewhere online are extremely favorable, and the cost of the FT1PXC isn’t extortionate. That said, if you are looking for a cheaper option and are willing to sacrifice on the display, it does have a little brother or sister that is perfect for the job, and an icon display fish finder can be found for under $100.

Garmin STRIKER 4 fishfinder

Garmin is a name you are probably familiar with, and they’re a massive electronics and GPS brand who you may know from their sat navs and dash cams. They are more widely recognized for their car products, but they’ve entered the market for fishfinders with the Striker 4, and as you’ll see in this review, they’ve done a very good job of creating a real competitor.

As you might expect, the built in GPS feature on this is among the most exciting things about it, and it can even tell you the speed you’re going and help you ensure you’re going the right speed for trolling.

The waypoint map is a great way to mark out different points on the map to help your fishing pursuits. The high frequency sonar is easy to see and the display on the fish finder is very easy to use. The controls are super simple and there are dedicated buttons for each control, meaning you won’t get mixed up or end up fiddling around when out on the water when you could be fishing!

The Chirp sonar which is built in sends a different range of frequencies which provides a larger amount of info to build a picture of what is going on down in the water. This is one of the cheapest models of Fish Finder Garmin offer, but it still has some very good features, making it top value for money. It has a bigger sibling, the STRIKER 4dv, which offers more power in the transducer and can work at larger depths, it is sort of an ‘elite’ model of the striker, and as such costs a little more money, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t worth it, and if you’re looking for the best of the best, this could be an option.

iBobber Wireless Bluetooth Smart Fish Finder

It is very little surprise that there is a fish finder available for the iPhone and for android, and it can avoid the need to add another device to take out and about. You can use these types of device via bluetooth and on the iPhone and Android, and they’re controlled by apps, which link up to the transducer and provide the info straight to your phone. iBobber isn’t the only model that uses this type of tech, but it is possibly the best known and best selling, hence our review of the iBobber Wireless bluetooth smart fish finder.

The plus side of all this is that we know how to use our phones, and putting another app on them and using it to control our fish finder is very simple, and the apps work very well in terms of display and ease. It does however add some challenges and difficulties to the process. Some of these smart phones have notoriously low battery life, and can be drained very quickly, not ideal for a long day out fishing. The app does have some cool features including being able to share data and take photos and mark things on the map for future reference.

The iBobber is effective do a depth of 135′ and has a pretty effective sonar. The ‘bobber’ itself has a light to indicate when the battery is getting low, and the battery itself is easy to recharge. The patented sonar technology is something the company are really proud of. It also comes with a digital scale and fishing multi tool to increase your abilities to fish effectively, whether you’re going ice fishing, out on the kayak (as mentioned in the rest of this article) or you just want to fish on the shore.

The product isn’t as well reviewed as some of the other best fishfinders on the market, however it makes an excellent gift and many have reported that this really adds to their fishing trips and helps them to find more fish, as is of course the ultimate goal! It is a relatively cheap option in comparison to a lot of the other products, and it is very simple to install and get up and running. Of course it depends a little on the smart phone or device you’re going to pair it with, and if your technology is ancient it may not work as well (or at all if the OS is dated). It is great to not have to take another whole device out and about with you, being able to do it all with just the phone and transducer is a real plus point. There are many competitors to the iBobber cropping up, and some of them offer similar, excellent features, though this is perhaps the best selling, and has been available for years now, hence it being the model that has made our list.

Conclusion

Whether you opt for something that you can link to a smart device, or a standalone fish finder, there are pros and cons to either choice, but ultimately for the very best features, and for those who are serious about their fishing, a good quality fish finder that doesn’t require a smartphone may well be the best option, whereas for the more ‘casual’ fisherman, something to use via an app is perfect.

The models we’ve listed above all fit the bill in terms of being great for use on a fishing kayak. Space is at a premium, and a fishfinder the size of a briefcase isn’t an option. These are all easily portable and other than the iBobber, they can be easily mounted and used on the water. Finding something compact and reliable is made a lot easier by the excellent brands such as Garmin and Hawkeye.

Best Life Jackets and Life Vests for Dogs

hungarian-viszla-658007_640We normally think of our canine friends as good little swimmers, but just like humans, dogs are susceptible to the water, they can get tired and fall foul of choppy waters just like us, and some dogs aren’t even that good in the water to start with. Taking your dog to the beach, on boating trips, in a kayak, out fishing or any of these fun activities is very rewarding and can be a great way to spend time with your pooch, but making sure you have the best life jacket for dogs can be a wise move to make sure tragedy doesn’t strike, you never know when a lake, the sea, a river or even a pool is going to prove tough for your four legged friend. Safety first is always our motto here at the watersporter, and that is why we’ve put together a list of the best live vests and life jackets for dogs.

What Makes a Good Life Jacket for Your Dog?

Size/Fit – Something which will comfortably fit your doggy friend is perfect for your needs. Many of them come in different sizes to suit different breeds of dog, so paying a little attention to the sizings and whether it is suitable for your breed of dog, plus the build quality and materials, can ensure that your pooch doesn’t mind wearing the jacket and is perfectly comfy.

Buoyancy – You want something which will adequately help your pet to float in the water. They have different flotation pouches and areas which are buoyant depending on which model you buy, some are just around the sides and top, some have a belly float too. Looking at dog life jacket reviews can give you an indication of where the floats are and whether it will be sufficient for your dog. If you have a heavy dog, there’s no point in just having a couple of little tiny air pockets which will do very little good, so you need something buoyant enough to support them.

Handles – Of course if disaster strikes or even if your dog gets in a little bit of trouble across the water, you need to be able to quickly and adequately pull them out of it, which means handles. Most of these products have handles of some description but you need something sturdy that means you can grip the dog properly without causing discomfort but remaining sturdy.

Bright and Fluorescent Colors – This can be extremely helpful. Bright colors can help should your dog need to be located in the water, and also means that in busy lakes or waters people can stay out of the way if needs be. It adds another level of security to the jacket.

Price – When buying a product for safety, price shouldn’t be the first thing you think about, but it may play a part, looking for the best value for money is just good common sense and affordability is something we’re looking out for.

Paws Aboard Double Designer Doggy Life Jacket

This is one of the best selling dog life jackets we’ve found. Paws Aboard are made by Fido pet products and a lot of thought has clearly gone into this particular product. It is hi vis and comes in a bright yellow color as standard, though there are other colors and even patterns available. The jacket really stands out and ensures visibility for your pet in the water.

Designed to be breathable underneath your dog, it allows for quick drying so the dog doesn’t stay soggy for a long time after being in the water, this can be a problem with many life jackets which tend to seal in the moisture, never good with an active dog!

This has six sizes and which one you need will depend on the size and weight of your dog. They have a little give and are slightly adjustable so as long as you get in the right ballpark you should be able to create a comfy fit for your little pal. At the moment, the package even includes a novelty ski rope leash for your dog which is both funny and functional! Attached to your dog with a life vest or jacket on he or she will look utterly adorable too, which is a plus. You don’t have to spend a great deal to get your hands on one of these, it is a relatively affordable product, though the price may vary slightly depending on which size you need to buy. It has enough buoyancy and is extremely well reviewed, which means it gets the paws up from us!

Outward Hound Ripstop Adjustable Dog Life Jacket

The main benefit of the outward hound model we are now going to review is how adjustable it is. Obviously, dogs come in all different shapes and sizes dependent on breed among other things. There isn’t a one size fits all option for dogs, not when it comes to a product they need to wear. As well as coming in an impressive six different sizes, this is a totally adjustable model, allowing you to tighten and loosen within that size to make the fit perfect for your dog. You do need to ensure you’re getting roughly the correct size to start with, but their handy size guide should help with this.

Another very cool feature of the Outward Hound dog life jacket is the fact that it has an inflatable at the front designed to keep your dog’s head above water. If your dog does lose control in the water, the head can be the most distressing area to be submerged, so this ensures they can see above water and helps then with their swimming. Made largely out of neoprene, the Ripstop is designed for comfort and should mean your dog is pretty snug and happy wearing the jacket. Lots of dogs won’t be used to any sort of clothing so a life jacket can be tough to get used to if it isn’t comfy. The grab handles make for an easy rescue should you need to get your dog out of a tight spot, and the bright colors increase visibility.

This may well be the best selling life jacket on the market for dogs, and it isn’t too hard to see why, as well as being very well designed and fitting the bill in terms of hi visibility and ease of use, this is actually not the most expensive, and is on the cheap end of the market for doggy accessories at the time of writing. Ensure you get the right fit with the sizing chart, based on weight and chest size of the dog, and then you can adjust from there to make sure you’re getting the right fit for your pup.

A quick look at the reviews on Amazon and elsewhere online show that this is a well respected product which a huge amount of people have invested in, and found themselves very happy with. You can enjoy water based activities with your dog with peace of mind with a high quality vest like this one.

Vivaglory Dog Life Jacket Life Saver Model

Another option worthy of a mention is the Vivaglory life saver model of doggy life jacket. It does a good job and also has a focus on the comfort of your dog, so can be good if your dog is new to wearing things.

  • Comes in five different sizes, and a convenient chart lets you choose the correct size.
  • Available in lots of different colors, all of which are bright and reflective, not all of these products have a lot of different colors so for the fashion conscious, this can be a cool little feature.
  • This is a very safe and heavy duty product, and has a front float just like some of the competitors to help keep the head above water, this is removable should you so wish.
  • The Vivaglory has a clever and convenient design, you can grab the handle just like with the other products mentioned here, and you can also attach the D-Ring to a leash if you need to. The nylon straps are adjustable so you can make sure the fit is just right for your dog.

Conclusion

There are a number of models out there which will do a good job for your pet. You need to decide which features you are looking for, and if things like the color are important to you, before making a choice. There are so many consumer reviews available on the online retailers such as Amazon which are selling these products, which will all tell you something slightly different, and can let you look into which may be better for specific breeds of dog, and which size you’re going to opt for. Investing a bit of money in buying a life jacket for your dog can make all the difference, and ensure safety going out on the water with your pet.

Choosing the Best Wakeboards: Four Top Wakeboards Reviewed

best wakeboards reviewedWakeboarding is an exhilarating sport, but you’re going to need the best wakeboard for your own specific needs if you’re going to have a good time and get the most out of the sport possible. It is tough to choose a wakeboard if you are a beginner as knowing what the jargon is and what makes a good wakeboard can be tough. We have put together some wakeboard reviews to try and showcase the very best models for beginners, intermediates and experts alike.

Make no mistake, wakeboarding is tough, and getting used to staying upright and feeling comfortable on the board is the first step before you even think about tricks. You want to feel like you really are gliding along the water, and after buying your wakeboard you’ll quickly realise how you get comfortable with it, and how tough it would be to change wakeboards regularly. Much like a pool player gets used to his cues, you’ll likely get used to your wakeboard and its own specific features and characteristics. Making the correct choice right from the start puts you at a big advantage and can get you off on the right footing.

Things to Consider When Buying a Wakeboard:

Size. I would say this is the single biggest consideration if you plan to purchase a wakeboard. If you buy a wakeboard too small to support your weight, it will sink, and being able to do anything with it at all will be impossible. Buy one too big, it can weigh you down and make movement hard. The sizing of your wakeboard is crucial, and should be based on your own build including height and weight.

Style. There are a couple of different styles of wakeboarding. If you’ll be boarding with the same foot forward the whole time then something called a ‘single tip’ wakeboard will be perfect for you. Those who are into snowboarding or even skating might be more comfortable with a twin tip, which means the front feet are interchangeable and can allow for a bit more flexibility.

Reviews. Wakeboard reviews are crucial. Basically, you don’t want to buy something flimsy or shoddy and a look at the reviews here on thewatersporter.com or elsewhere on the internet (online retailers) gives you a good idea of how happy people are with their purchase and which brands are up to scratch. A little bit of reading before taking the plunge (no pun intended) can go a long way.

Continuous or Three Stage rockers. Basically, this is another term you’re likely to come across in your search, but continuous rockers are mainly for stability and will suit beginners down to the ground.

Other considerations come into play such as the shape of the board, which does vary from brand to brand and model to model, fins are also worth looking into but the main thing is to make sure they are well built, and the materials and build quality are vital, and vary as well as largely dictating the price.

You need to consider who you are buying the wakeboard for. Whether it will be used by a beginner, a child, someone who is big or someone who is petite, does it need to be used for jumping or tricks? There is no one individual best wakeboard, this is a ‘horses for courses’ situation, and what is best for one may not be for another.

Wakeboard Reviews

Now, time to look at some individual models and provide some info on the features of specific wakeboards! The good news is there are some amazing products on the market right now making shopping for one anything but a chore.

Hydroslide Black Widow Wakeboard

The Hydroslide Black Widow is an excellent wakeboard, designed for adults and relatively large at 56 inches. The lace up bindings are designed in order to keep you firmly in place. It has both front and rear fins which come with the product but require you to attach when you receive it. Most reviews of the Black Widow have talked about it as being not only a smooth and sturdy ride but as being excellently manufactured and likely to last years if kept in the right way. A quick browse at the Amazon reviews will help you to make your choice, but this is actually one of the cheaper models on the market and certainly doesn’t cost as much as some of the high end boards. The value for money combined with the amazingly smooth ride make this a good choice for beginners.

Body Glove Junior Wakeboard

Body glove are one of the best wakeboarding brands, with a couple of products in the market we wanted to take a look at their model for Juniors. It has secure, easy to adjust lace up bindings and performs extremely well. It isn’t necessarily designed for tricks and doing massive jumps but it is a great way to start learning and take to the water for the first times. It is wonderful for beginners and the 125lb limit makes it great for kids or small teens and adults. The performance of this wakeboard was hard to fault, with an exceptionally simple setup and use.

Hyperlite Wakeboard Machete Review

Now into a bit more of a ‘pro’ model, and one that deserves its place on the list of ‘best’ products in the field. It has an amazing record of being exceptionally well reviewed by those taking to the water. The core of the Hyperlite wakeboard is made out of a material called Bio2, which has been made by Dow chemicals, designed to be lightweight and flexible. This is the right weight for those who want to jump, feel the air and experience the full wakeboarding experience. The four fins are removable and provide even more flexibility. The three stage rocker also make this great for moving on the water. For beginners this may prove a bit of a challenge, but if you want a model that can perform with the most movement and a professional, lightweight feel, this may well be the one for you. Hyperlite are a brand name who make some excellent models of wakeboard and their bindings are also among the best, one set of which are included within this package. The bindings which are attached fit multiple sizes so you should be able to wear them no matter what your shoe size. This is also available in a couple of two different sizes, which one you buy will depend on your own size and build.

Full Throttle Aqua Extreme Wakeboard Kit

Another one of the top rated wakeboards we’ve found. The Full Throttle Aqua Extreme has a lot of exceptional reviews out there and most consumers seem to only have great things to say about it, and with good reason. This is the wakeboard for larger people to use. The guidelines are 155lb and up in terms of weight, meaning it is one of the biggest of its type. It doesn’t need to be bought just for the pure reason it is ‘big’ though, and this is a wonderful piece of kit.

Stability is a big plus point here, and though this isn’t what everyone wants, it is certainly good both for beginners and those of a larger build (even normal sized adults will often weigh above 155lbs). One review we found has talked about using this in spite of only being 135 lbs, so it can potentially be used by smaller folk too.

The reinforced fin holder means this is a strongly built and sturdy wakeboard. This sturdiness doesn’t mean that the Full Throttle Aqua Extreme Wakeboard is super heavy though and a very intelligent feather core material means that it does the best it can to stay lightweight in and of itself.

The branding may not be the top thing we’re judging boards on, but we do particularly like the way these products look, with an awesome, surfboard style painted design and the amazing Full Throttle logo on both the board and the bindings.

Accessories

Wakeboarding is a sport which has quite a few different accessories. There are a lot of wakeboards out there, and they tend to each offer something different. There are accessories to purchase also! We’ve talked already about the bindings, and most of the products mentioned come with these included, however it is great to have the option to replace them with something to fit your feet better or provide more comfort. Of course, the rope is another huge part of wakeboarding, and you can spend some time looking for the best rope to put on your wakeboarding boat, they need to be comfortable on your hands as well as flexible and easy to attach.

Life jackets or life vests are an essential product, I cannot stress enough how important this is and how nobody should take to the water without wearing the appropriate safety gear. Finding a life vest for wakeboarding is relatively simple, safety should be the top priority, but they should also allow room for movement and not make you feel too much like a michelin man.

Some people also choose to wear helmets, which is definitely advisable if you’re going at pace on the water and certainly if you’re on a lake for instance where there may be other hazards.

Conclusion

As mentioned at the start, the right wakeboard for you depends on your own ability with a board, your build, age and more. The above models and brands are some of the most exceptional products available. Water sports are exhilarating and wakeboarding is a sport which has hugely grown in popularity. The products aren’t cheap, and once you’ve decided on a brand and got used to it then its hard to change, so making the correct choice by using reviews, and spending a little time looking beforehand can pay off big time. If you’re going to take the time and effort to learn to wakeboard and are looking to invest in a board, the products reviewed above all come with our recommendation depending on your needs.

The Best Tandem Kayaks Reviewed. Fishing and Kayaking in Pairs!

tandem kayak reviewKayaking is a recreation that is fun to do on your own, but even more fun with two people, so giving yourself the option with a tandem kayak with two seats makes sense. Of course, you can still use the kayak alone if you want to, so this way the choice is up to you. We’ve got the best tandem kayaks reviewed here for you on thewatersporter.com as we look to find the very best equipment for your needs.

Tandem Kayaks tend to cost a little more than a solo kayak, which is not exactly a surprise due to the fact it is bigger and takes more material to build, but they come with so many benefits, allowing you to take a beginner out on the water or for a couple of you to go out on a tandem kayak for fishing and have a day out on the lake.

Things to Consider When Buying a Tandem Kayak

Working out what criteria you are looking for is the first step to choosing a kayak of any description, whether you need a tandem kayak for fishing, racing or just for leisure activities. There are a lot of different things to consider, and what is the best choice for one may not be the best for another. We’ve listed below a lot of the features, considerations and information you need to think about when you are shopping for yours.

  • Weight. The options for weight are quite varied, especially as some are inflatable and some aren’t. The weight isn’t just to be considered because of transporting the kayak, but of course you’re going to have to paddle or row the boat, so you need to think about what you (and your kayak partner) are capable of.
  • Portability. Obviously this is tied with weight to an extent, but you also need to think about if you need something you can put on a roof rack (probably the best way to transport) or even deflate and stick in the back of your vehicle.
  • Control. This is largely down to whether the kayak has a rudder or not. Depending on what type of body of water you’re going out on, you need to consider how much control you need and how challenging the water will be.
  • Sit-in or Sit-on-Top. This is down to personal preference, and is down to the design of the kayak. It is more to do with what you will be more comfortable with than having a big impact on the performance of the kayak.
  • How many people! Tandem, of course, implies two people, but there are kayaks out there that have three or more spaces on them. Many tandem kayaks can easily be used by one person too if they are ballast. You must use the rear seat if this is what you plan to do, but being able to use it with a solo pilot is a big advantage and gives more flexibility.
  • Price. This is always going to be a consideration. There are models of inflatable kayak which are pretty cheap, there are models of non-inflatable products out there for under $500 which can do a good job, but at the top end of the market you’ll do well to find one under $1000.

Top Inflatable Tandem Kayaks

We definitely need to talk about inflatables. The top inflatable kayaks have a lot of plus points. Of course there are pros and cons, and you’re going to be sacrificing a lot of stability and sturdiness if you buy an inflatable on top of introducing the chance of puncture, but the chances are you will be saving a huge amount of money by opting for something to inflate rather than a rigid kayak. On top of the cash saving you’re introducing the element of portability which is great for those who don’t want a roof rack or just want life to be as easy as possible when you head to the lake, coast or river. The models reviewed below include some inflatable models to let you make your mind up on what might be the best for your needs (and budget of course).

Intex Explorer K2 Kayak Review

This is an inflatable tandem kayak, and it takes a lot of beating. This has an excellent reputation and definitely deserves its place on our list of the best. It comes with everything you need to get started, and is very affordable when compared to a lot of the other models on the market.

This is 123 inches long and has a capacity of 350 lbs, so make sure that those riding it are coming within the capacity to stay safe. It has a removable skeg which is designed to help with the stability and steering. It is bright yellow for high visibility and the material it is made out of mean that it is hard-wearing and tough to puncture. One of the main benefits of course is the portability, but it isn’t just about whether it is inflatable, it comes down to how easy it is to deflate and inflate. Nobody wants to be inflating for hours before you get started, and the Intex explorer doesn’t take long to get up and running.

Intex are a brand with a lot of history of making these type of products, and this is well and truly one of the best reviewed products on the market. A quick look at the reviews and you will find a lot of people who are very happy having bought this kayak, with users speaking highly of the durability, ease of use and quality of the K2. The only reservation I have seen regularly is people discussing the removable skeg, though it has not been a problem on my model, many take a precaution of drilling a hole in it and running string through it to ensure it doesn’t fall out and get lost on the water, and if it should come loose then it will stay attached at least.

Lifetime 10 Foot Manta Tandem Kayak Review

Another one of the top selling kayaks out there here, the lifetime 10 foot tandem kayak is flexible, well made and exceptionally reviewed, but is it the right model for you?

As you can see from a quick look on Amazon or other online retailers, buying a kayak that isn’t inflatable is going to cost more, but if you’re serious about it, the benefits are clear to see.

  • Great for single use or tandem with a weight capacity of 500 pounds.
  • Comes complete with paddles and backrests for comfort.
  • Extremely lightweight considering the size and comes with handles to carry it around.
  • Has a five year limited warranty which shows the faith the manufacturer have in their product.
  • Seating designed to keep riders off the floor of the kayak.
  • Can even fit up to three people.
  • Has a cargo area making it a great tandem kayak for fishing and allowing you to carry items with you.
  • Tunnel Hull for stability and is ‘virtually impossible to tip’.

This is probably the best kayak for fishermen I’ve ever seen and even has a fishing pole holder, it is amazingly well thought out, and if you want something for you and a friend or two to head out on the water for some fishing or paddling, this is a model you must consider. The fact that it is so hard to tip also makes it very good for beginners or those who are a little less confident on the water. This is so well thought out that it even has a cup holder!

Easy to transport and of course to store, as well as being simple to use and amazing for beginners and experienced paddlers. It isn’t hard to see why this is in our list of the top models of tandem kayak, and there are lots of positive reviews from consumers to support our opinion! Is this the cheapest product you’ll ever buy? No, but with an amazing warranty from the manufacturer and the fact that it is so well built mean that it is likely to last you a long time and many trips out on the lakes, rivers and even on the sea.

Useful UH-TK181 12.5 foot Sit On Top Tandem Fishing Kayak Review

Well, this model from Useful is truly a treat. Of course, on any list of products, I want to recommend what is the best for the money, and this is a bit more of a pricey addition, but it is packed with features to justify its price tag, not to mention how incredibly well made the UH-TK181 Fishing Kayak is. Just a look at this kayak shows you what detail has been put into its manufacture.

  • Weighs just under 70lbs with a capacity of 450 lbs.
  • Has two light paddles and deluxe, very comfortable seats.
  • Comes with paddle rests and three sturdy, impressive rod holders.
  • Has a set of four carry handles, two bungee paddle parks and even has cargo so you can take all of your fishing kit (and even some lunch if you want).

This is another model which describes itself as almost impossible to tip, this is great if you’re new to kayaking but is also wonderful for fishing as of course your mind may be on other things! It doesn’t have to be used for fishing and is equally good for simply paddling. The storage compartments are watertight and the numerous attachments and additions are all well-made, well positioned and well thought out.

The Useful model certainly lives up to its name. Some of the features, the size and the price may be overkill for a lot of people, but for others this will be the very best of all, and there’s little denying that the UH-TK181 is superb.

Conclusion

We are in a ‘horses for courses’ situation here, of course. What is best for you depends on what you’re looking for in terms of features, how many people will be using it, how portable it is and all of the other features we’ve mentioned above. The models we’ve picked out and reviewed for you are all, in our opinion, both reliable and good value for money. If you have more thoughts and experiences with the products we’ve pointed out, leave us a comment below!

Examining the Best Towable Tubes – Reviews and Features

best-towableTowable tubes are a huge amount of fun! They’re an amazing way to enjoy yourself without having to learn too much about a sport or learn anything in the way of techniques to get going. Pretty much anyone can get on a good quality towable tube and have a load of fun in the water. This article is designed to explore the best towable tubes available and review individual models of tube.

Not everyone who wants to chill out on the water is keen to try skiing or boarding, and thats where products like this are so useful. Towable tubes can attach easily onto the back of a boat or other sea vehicle and can sometimes carry two or three people at a time. Whats more, multiple tubes can be attached at one time so you can go out in groups and have a good time flying across the water with minimal effort and maximum fun! Bear in mind that Tubing goes by multiple names such as towing, Toobing, bumper tubing and more, it generally all means the same thing!

Tubing is one of the best things to do as a group. If you’re wanting to ski on the water, or you’re looking at other products such as kneeboards or wakeboards, you’re going to be on your own and if you want a go, you’ll probably have to wait your turn! With tubes, you can take a group out, making them great for youngsters to all go out on the water together. This is one of the qualities of towable tubes which is pretty unique to watersport products.

A common theme for towable tubes is to be able to tow two people or three people at once, but some can handle four or even up to six people. A couple of those on a boat and you’ve got a huge amount of people you can take out at once, picture you and a group of friends flying over the water at speed then you will understand why the best towable tubes have become so popular.

What to Look For in a Towable Tube

What makes the best option for you is largely dependent on what you need the tubes to be able to do. There are a few different factors to consider to ensure you get the model that suits you and your family.

  • Size – is it going to be used for children mainly or adults? What size are you going to need, or do you need multiple sizes of towable tubes to suit multiple age groups?
  • Build Quality – this is pretty universal, you need something that is pretty good quality and isn’t going to puncture easily. For any inflatable product, punctures can be a nightmare. There’s nothing worse than taking your tube out on the water for the first time and it getting a puncture, and buying something good quality will minimize the chances of this happening. Many can be fixed and even come with kits to repair them, but it is still a pain when you want to be out on the water.
  • Seats and comfort – this is definitely worth considering if you’re more timid on the water or are taking people out who aren’t used to being on the water, having a seat that they can comfortably sit down on and feel secure can be a great help.
  • Make sure you have a good quality pump. Pumps are going to do a lot of the work, and a low quality pump will take a long time, or may not even do the job at all. High capacity pumps don’t have to be a big investment but can save you a lot of time and hassle. Some kits even come with their own pump.

Kids or Adults

This is a big decision to make! The best towable tubes for kids may not be the same as the ones for adults, they come in varying sizes based on who will be using it and some of the models are designed specifically for children to be taking out on the water. Some of the top models are even suitable for all ages.

Cost of Towables

The phrase ‘you get what you pay for’ springs to mind here. If you want a budget, cheaper towable tube then it may do a job for a while and be enough to have some fun, but it probably won’t last a long time. The reality is that the most highly reviewed Towable tubes are the ones which are a bit more expensive. You can get some models under $100 and some are even under $50 but

So there we have it. Some criteria for the towable tubes before you decide which to buy. Next up we’ve put together some of the reviews of different models of towables.

AIRHEAD AHM2-2 Mach 2 Towable Review

Airhead are one of the top manufacturers of Towables. This is an exceptional model and though it is far from being the cheapest, there is little denying it is one of the top models on the market. Reviews of the product on amazon and elsewhere back up the fact that most people who have purchased the AHM2-2 are very happy with the features it offers.

One of the key selling points is the fact that it works for both kids and adults, so you don’t have to buy this for a specific age group.

This towable has clearly been designed with comfort in mind, it has an inflated seat to keep your bum comfortable, has four handles (with knuckle guards to try and prevent any soreness on your knuckles) which will help keep you secure in your seat. This all adds up to this being an excellent, secure model which is perfect for beginners and more advanced users alike.

If two seats in your towable tube is enough for you, this Airhead model is definitely worth your consideration, the double stitched nylon seam helps to aid the quality and this isn’t a model which will puncture easily. As well as being very well made, this is a huge amount of fun, and easy to hold onto if you’re new to being towed around.

SPORTSSTUFF 53-2223 Super Mable Towable

A different brand this time, but still really good quality. Airhead make a huge amount of the products in this niche, but Sports stuff aren’t to be ignored either and make some very good towable tubes. The Super Mable makes the list of the best for a few reasons:

  • It is super fast to inflate and deflate, just stick it in the back of the car or truck and it is ready to go in minutes once you reach the beach, lake or river.
  • The back rest is pretty unique and adds another layer of stability and comfort, great for kids and those new to being towed behind a boat.
  • Handles! Lots and lots of handles, also great for staying stable through your ride, even when things get fast.
  • Room for three people with foam padded seating so you don’t get sore, even if you spend ages out on the water.
  • Weight limit of 510 lbs for towing.

This is a superb towable for all of the family, great for kids and adults. In all honesty, it feels like you’re in a fairground ride, and you feel pretty strapped in due to the walls at the back and sides. Many have earmarked this as the most comfortable and most secure tube currently on the market, and for youngsters or beginners this is excellent.

The reviews for the products speak for it. Huge amounts of positive reviews talk about how fun, easy and comfortable the Super Mable is! We definitely recommend it.

SPORTSSTUFF 53-1780 Chariot Warbird 2 Towable

Now this is what we’re talking about. The Chariot Warbird, also from SportsStuff is a wonderful piece of kit, very unique and undeniably one of the best tow tubes on the market. As the photos of the product show, this can be used in different ways, you can sit on your bottom and let it tow you as normal, or kneel on it and have it towed from the other end.

As well as the extremely cool, eye-catching design, this is an incredibly sturdy and well made piece of kit, which resists punctures and is good for even those going on slightly rougher waters.

The USP of this is of course the multiple riding positions, you can use it in multiple ways, which is not something we can say about may of the products which consider themselves rivals. Once again, it isn’t the cheapest product out there, but it is well made, and in our opinion excellent value for money. You’ll have a huge amount of fun out on the water with the Chariot Warbird 2!

As well as this, it is a really easy product to use, it inflates and deflates quickly and simply, plus it is easy to adjust the position and where it is attached to the boat with a heavy duty but easy to use connection kit to hook it up.

Rave Razor 2-Rider Towable

I wanted to include a more ‘budget friendly’ option on the list. The prices are subject to change, of course, but at the time of writing this is cheaper than many of its alternatives, making it great for those on a budget. It is sturdy and well-reviewed, although it may not be too much to write home about. It is sturdy and has comfortable grip handles with knuckle guards. This is better for those who are comfortable gliding along the water as it requires plenty of holding on, it isn’t backed or seated like the other models we’ve reviewed above. Still, for the money, this is good value and has a lot of positives, as well as being sturdy, easy to transport and easy to tow.

Conclusion

Of course you should always be safety conscious when you’re using products like this and life jackets are always a must for any watersports or hobbies and activities involving water. Due to new innovations, these products are always changing, but the models above are such excellent fun and offer a huge amount of awesome features, great for children and adults alike and providing hours of fun on boating trips! Putting a little extra time in to buy the best and do some research before you impulse buy something can pay dividends in the long run!

Reviewing the Best Snorkel Gear – Fins, Snorkels and Masks!

the best snorkel gearIt is easy to see why snorkelling is such a popular pastime these days. People all over the world are taking to the seas to head underwater and see what there is to offer. Snorkelling gives you a chance to see the world as never before, but to do so you need the best snorkel gear. This article is designed to walk you through what you need to start snorkelling as well as reviewing some of the top equipment to ensure you’re happy with the purchases you make before you head on your trip.

Snorkelling is popular in Europe, South America, Asia, North America and of course Australia…pretty much anywhere where there is anything to see underwater, it is worthwhile, you can spot everything from pretty fish to amazing turtles and other marine life. Whether you’re in the great barrier reef or one of the lesser known diving or scuba diving destinations, you need to get the right equipment sorted out for your trip.

What Makes Good Quality Snorkel Equipment?

So, what are we looking for when it comes to snorkel gear? What are the criteria for something you’re going to get a lot of use out of, and be happy with the money you’ve parted with when purchasing it?

First up, the snorkel mask. If your mask doesn’t fit snugly and properly on the face it will cause a lot of condensation, making it really hard to see. This won’t be immediately evident as you should bear in mind that all new masks have a tendency to get a bit foggy due to the way they have been made. Toothpaste applied to the mask usually helps. When the mask is on and has been used for a little while (try it out of the water first) it should be comfy and not filling with steam that makes it hard for you to see what is in front of you.

At a glance, it may seem like a snorkel itself is a really basic piece of kit, but getting it right can be really tough. The main thing to think about here is the comfort of the mouthpiece. It should fit neatly into your mouth and your teeth should be able to rest on it rather than biting it, biting down can be tough, can damage your teeth and make your mouth very sore and tired, so getting the right snorkel is vital. The best snorkels come in different varieties, and may be dry or moist around the mouth. We recommend dry for beginners, but the choice is up to you and the models reviewed below will help make your choice.

Fins. The fins are a lot smaller than they once were. Again, comfort is an issue, you want something that fits nicely around the feet without being painful, but that stays on at the same time. The sizings on the product are usually pretty accurate and it is a bit like buying shoes. The best snorkel fins will also allow you to move freely and maneuver within the water without difficulty.

Build quality is a big consideration when you are choosing your snorkel and other gear. If you buy something cheap and flimsy you can easily end up with leaks, straps that don’t keep it tight to your face and very uncomfortable equipment. Padded straps provide the most comfort possible. Vision is vital throughout the whole process so you should only even be considering snorkels that keep your vision clear the whole time and allow you to see where you’re going, plus, the whole point is to be able to see the amazing wildlife!

Some of the features are a little less simple to understand, especially for beginners, but we’ve got some info on the terms you might come across to try and demystify them!

  • Purge valves – purge valves are designed to help the water drain out and assist getting rid of water that gets into the top of the snorkel.
  • Flexible barrels – these are flexible sections that are attached to the barrel near the mouthpiece, it is designed to be a more comfortable and flexible fit.
  • Rotating mouthpiece – this is pretty self explanatory, and can have a big impact on the tiredness you’ll feel in your jaw as you are using for an extended period of time.

The perfect snorkel gear for you is subjective, and it is up to you to work out which combination of features you need, and how much you are willing to spend. Which leads me nicely to the next point:

Cost of Snorkel Gear

How much does snorkel equipment cost? There isn’t one figure that can be applied here. Generally speaking, a lot of snorkel gear and kits to get going will cost under $100, which is pretty reasonable assuming you get long term use out of them. There is a higher end of the market with even more professional gear and you can pay a premium for these. The cheap end of the market can see you spending under $50 to kit yourself out with enough snorkel gear. Of course, whether you are buying things separately or buying them together in a snorkel kit will have an impact

Well made snorkel gear is easier to spot from poor quality models. The online age of transparency means that snorkel reviews are pretty easy to come by, and we’ve summarized some options for purchase below.

Phantom Aquatics Adult Speed Sport Mask Fin Snorkel Set

The Phantom Aquatics Snorkel set provides something of a complete solution for getting started in the world of snorkelling. It has small but effective fins which help you soar through the water. There are different sizes, but the fins are adjustable so you can get the perfect fit. These are very lightweight and people who have purchased them have reported them being exceptional value for money, especially when you consider the daily rental rates of snorkels when you go on holiday.

The snorkel set is really easy to put on and is good at staying dry in your mouth. An immense amount of positive reviews elsewhere on the internet, stating that the silicone is of an excellent quality, the mask is comfortable and the set is great for beginners and more advanced users.

U.S. Divers Adult Cozumel Mask/Seabreeze II Snorkel, Proflex Fins and Gearbag Review

This offering from US Divers is another kit which provides both mask and snorkel along with the fins. It is also immensely well reviewed and a look at the consumer reviews online will show you how much people think of the product.

  • Features a two window mask for maximum visibility
  • Has three way adjustable buckles for flexibility and to adjust to your own personal
  • Splash top with Hydro-Adhesion technology
  • Comfortable and hard wearing fins giving a lot of projection through the water
  • Mesh panelled gear bag for drying out and ease of storing.

This set is comfortable and has minimal condensation or steaming up which make it easy to see all of the amazing underwater sights. It is lightweight and the bag means you can just sling it over your shoulder or in the back of the car and get going. If you’re traveling abroad you also don’t have to worry about this taking up a huge amount of your luggage.

Seaview 180° Panoramic Snorkel Mask Review

Time to look at some of the individual pieces of equipment, and this is a really amazing snorkel mask which has changed the way many people look at the hobby. Snorkelling is easier than ever with one of these masks which are also designed to provide maximum visibility (180 degrees).

Features include:

  • Full face  design which makes breathing really simple through both mouth and nose.
  • A go pro mount, get your GoPro on the snorkel so you can record everything you see and make sure the moments from your trip can last forever.
  • The dry technolgoy prevents salt water getting into your mouth.
  • It has an anti fog design so it doesn’t keep fogging up, in fact the design is such that the breathing chamber is separate from the viewing visor and minimizes the risk of any fog whatsoever.
  • Easy to set up and great for youth and beginners who are learning the process of snorkelling and having to breath underwater.
  • Really cool and unique looks! It is pretty cool to look at and certainly provides a talking point.
  • Super easy to adjust and make the fit as perfect and snug as possible.

Since this revolutionary design came onto the market, it has been my go-to when it comes to snorkel masks. The Seaview 180 is a wonderful piece of kit that solves so many problems that we come across when we get started in this hobby. Many beginners are nervous of trying to use a snorkel for the first time but this can take a lot of the anxiety out of the process.

This has become one of the best selling snorkel masks out there, and it is clear to see why. A quick look at the reviews on amazon and elsewhere online shows a lot of the plus points people have discussed with this product, and tales of people using this for their kids, seeing more than ever before when they go snorkelling or scuba diving and having an all around better experience underwater.

Cressi Scuba Diving Snorkeling Freediving Mask Snorkel Set

This set is different to those above in that it has only got the mask and the snorkel included. This is enough for some of us, fins aren’t always essential, or you may already have some from swimming. I had to include Cressi on this list as they truly are one of the best manufacturers of snorkel gear. As a brand, Cressi have been operating since the 1940s and providing underwater equipment.

The mask here is designed to give the most possible field of view from a mask of this type, it is very adjustable and the buckles swivel to maximize your comfort and make sure you can get a fit perfect for your face.

The images of the product show just how compact the set is, coming in its own, very small carry pouch which is great for slinging in a backpack, or into a photography bag if you’re a photographer looking for snorkel equipment.

Designed to fit kids and adults, this is immensely well reviewed with a huge amount of five star reviews on online retailers, everyone who I’ve spoken to who owns something by Cressi tends to be very happy with it, they’re a very good brand and their equipment is well manufactured, meaning you can rely on the quality. Not the cheapest set, especially as it doesn’t have fins included, but it does an excellent job and can be relied on to last a long time.

Conclusion

So there we have it. The best snorkelling equipment reviewed. This is great for those who want to start diving, enjoy the hobby, are photographers or hunters and have a need for this kind of gear. It can be easy to treat this kind of thing as an afterthought and end up with very poor quality equipment which is unlikely to last more than one trip, but the snorkels and peripheral products mentioned above are all a lot more sturdy than that if treated right.

You can rent equipment when you head to these destinations and the beaches or trips where scuba diving is offered, but there are quite a few downsides to this, you never know exactly what you’re going to get or if it is going to fit, be comfortable or be easy to use. If you wait until you are on your trip to buy the snorkel, fins, mask or other gear locally, you may end up with something really cheap and flimsy and lose having the control of being able to look at reviews online and make an informed decision. Over the years, the masks and fins have become much more compact, which means they are easier to transport and one less thing to worry about when you’re on the road.