October '09 Reader Tips

The latest collection of great ideas sent in by SWS readers

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Bottoms Up

Everyone knows that boat bottoms can quickly accumulate unwanted growth, especially in a saltwater environment, and everyone should know the importance of keeping them clean. Doing so requires a good bit of elbow grease. It's a chore that's no fun, any way you slice it. So here's an easy and inexpensive trick that makes this task a little bit easier on your upper body. My father, being the clever fellow that he is, suggested putting an old foam fender on the end of a scrub brush. Naturally, the float forces the brush upward, toward the bottom of the boat. This makes it possible to scrub with force using minimal effort. I prefer to use an old fender, but a pool noodle works just as well.

Derek Thole
Amityville, New York

Wash It Down

Everyone who fishes in salt water should get into the habit of giving their tackle a good freshwater rinse after a day on the water. I designed a portable tackle-washdown station as a raffle item for my local CCA chapter and would like to share it with you. It's simple to make. First, find yourself a heavy 8 x 8 block for the foundation. I designed mine to hold 10 outfits, but you can make yours larger or smaller to fit your needs. Once you decide how many combos you want your station to hold, purchase that many rod holders. Using stainless steel screws, fix the holders around your block. Use a galvanized (or stainless) cleat and screw into the top of the block for a handle.

Chris Hawley
Murrells Inlet, South Carolina

Peace of Mind

Anglers have a lot of money invested in their gear and don't want to lose any of it overboard. I've always worried about one of my rods flying out of a rod holder when I hit a large wave or when I'm running in rough seas. I'm constantly looking back to see if the rods are still where they should be. I solved the problem for under 6 dollars by mounting a stainless steel, Bimini-top tie-down loop at the rear of the rod holder and slipping a 4-inch bungee cord through the clamp and then around either my reel handle or reel seat. The bungee cords hold the rods firmly in place while in transit; they're removed easily; and they hide inside the rod holders when not in use. Now I can focus on where I'm going without the worry of one of my pricey outfits going for a swim.

Rick McCleskey
Cottonwood, Alabama