There’s no better time than spring, with prime fishing season around the corner, to add a few enhancements to your fishing machine. From innovative propulsion options to better ways to keep baits in the strike zone, here are some products to make your time on the water more enjoyable and productive.
Rapid Switch Shade
With seasonal temperatures on the rise, shade is a welcome relief when spending long hours on the water, and the Rapid Switch System Shade—for skiffs and center-consoles—now offers a viable alternative to cumbersome umbrellas and Bimini tops, which often interfere with fishing. Its top features include carbon-fiber telescoping struts that quickly install into dedicated flush-mount receivers, so gunwales and decks stay clear, and Soltis Horizon 86 fabric, an open-mesh, vinyl-coated polyester fabric that is tear- and mildew-resistant, and blocks heat while maintaining airflow. Once the poles are deployed, the shade is drawn tight, yet it can be tilted or raised as the angle of the sun changes. When not needed, the poles and shade can be quickly repacked and stowed in a deck box or compartment. Kits are stand-alone or connect to existing T-tops or rod holders. Starting at $1,150; rapidswitchsystems.com
Sharrow MX-1 Propeller
Featuring a unique looped blade design, Sharrow MX-1 custom propellers are now available for recreational outboard and sterndrive engines ranging from 100 to 450 hp. Each prop is CNC-machined and made to order, taking several weeks to produce. Benefits include lower planing rpm, reduced vibration and tip degradation, plus increased fuel efficiency and top-end speed. Company president Greg Sharrow says the difference in performance and handling is noticeable, especially in hard turns and reverse. The MX-1 propellers are available in aluminum ($4,500) and stainless steel ($9,000); sharrowmarine.com.
Grand Slam 1000 Electro-Hydraulic Outrigger Mount
Designed for outriggers up to 24 feet long, the Grand Slam Electro-Hydraulic outrigger mount offers push-button fishability. The system lets you adjust a rigger’s lift from zero through 75 degrees without leaving the helm or having to stand on the gunwales. Incremental stops are set at 30, 45 and 60 degrees. As an added safety feature, outward rotation won’t occur without releasing the locking mechanism. Lift and rotation of the unit are driven by a 1,000 psi hydraulic pump with a control manifold and valves. The GS1000 installs flush with the top, so all lines and wiring are concealed. The mount pairs with Twist & Lock Carbon Fiber Tele-Outriggers. $8,995; tacomarine.com
Rotating Rod Holders
Conditions on the water tend to change frequently, and your ability to adapt usually results in more fish in the box at the end of the day. Rotating rod holders from Boat Outfitters afford you that advantage. Available in 15- and 30-degree models, these durable and strong holders—made of premium, treated stainless steel to inhibit rust and withstand up to 135 pounds of pressure—are designed to rotate to the desired position.
Similar to typical flush-mount rod holders, installation is simple enough for most do-it-yourselfers. Companion backing plates and drain attachments are also available. The rotating rod holders are covered by a five-year manufacturer’s warranty. $175; boatoutfitters.com
Tigress Poseidon Dredge Boom
With the Tigress Poseidon Dredge Boom, center-console boats can easily compete with the big sport-fishers, pulling double and triple dredges down deep to raise boat-shy fish that would otherwise not come up to the spread. The Poseidon is designed to work with 80-pound-class bent-butt rods and Lindgren-Pitman or Hooker electric reels. This handy cockpit accessory features a 7-foot black fiberglass boom, heavy-duty block pulley, and stainless-steel hardware, and it comes with a safety tether complete with stainless carabiner. $649; tigressoutriggers.com
Cox Diesel Outboard
Available in 25-, 30- and 35-inch shaft lengths, Cox Marine’s CXO300 diesel outboard is a powerful alternative to big-block gasoline engines. Based on proven four-stroke V-8 technology and weighing 848 pounds, this diesel Clydesdale burns an efficient 20 to 28 gallons at speeds of 40 to 46 mph. Other attributes include low vibration, impressive torque and responsiveness, noise levels low enough to carry on normal conversations throughout the operating range, and no smoke. The carbon-fiber cowlings come in black or white, and service and warranty are backed by an extensive global dealer network. $55,000; coxmarine.com