Great Gear or Gimmicky Gadgets?

Payne Outdoors
One of the perks of tackle and boat shows, whether working them or just spectating, is the abundance of gear and gadgets in one place. Instead of having to visit five or six stores spread out all over town, I can peruse more than 100 in no time at all without having to waste all that gasoline. (That’s more money for gear, right?)

Last weekend I was at one of these shows, the Texas Tackle, Hunting and Boat Show in Mesquite, Texas. Vendors covered the floors as expected and I found a little bit of time to check out some cool new stuff. The question for everyone to decide, is it great gear or a gimmicky gadget?

Secure Outdoors

I visited Secure Outdoors because I had seen a forum thread that they would be at the show. I approached and saw the banner that said Secure Outdoors Asset Tracking. That got my curiosity up so I asked what kind of assets? Derk quickly gave me a demo. When he moved the small pager sized box it sent an email and text message to him. He only moved it about two feet. They come in small units that hold a charge for a couple of days or in a weatherproof case with battery that can last about eight months. You can change the assets it is tracking to really anything. He showed me golf carts, trucks, trailers, and boats so I naturally asked about kayaks. He admitted he hadn’t thought of that. Imagine being able to track within a few feet of where your kayak, truck, trailer or other assets are. Kind of cool. Two years subscription will run you about $18 a month, subscription and equipment included. So check it out and you tell me great or gimmicky? Would you buy it?


CastAway Invicta

This new rod was tucked in the corner of a booth on a rod rack. It is basically a 40Ton carbon fiber blank that is super light and has a new style grip on it. The best way to describe it is a golf club grip style. It is soft to the touch, offers good cushion and feels good in the hand. It is also sporting a new reel seat.The real question is how will it do when wet and then when slimed. My guess is it will get slightly tacky when wet but I’m afraid slime might make it tough to keep a handle on while casting. It felt nice but what do you think. Is it great or a gimmick?


Power Pole Micro

One of the most talked about new accessories, the Power Pole Micro is designed specifically for kayaks. They will begin shipping a portion of the pre-orders  later this month. At $595, the Micro isn’t cheap and some say overkill but others seem to disagree. Mounting brackets made by YakAttack are being customized for most major kayak models. An added bonus I learned at the show is your existing YakAttack Park-N-Pole can be used in the unit. This will allow you to not travel around with a permanent pole sticking up in the back of the kayak. The cost and added cause some to be wary but others were quick to lay down their money to be first in line. What say you? Gimmick or great?


Hydrowave Mini

Another recent arrival to the market, the Hydrowave Mini is a more compact, simpler version of its predecessor. Utilizing a 9v battery and external speaker the Mini has four fish attracting settings. Early adopters have warned against short battery life in the portable unit. Since we had a couple of days at the show, we put it to the test. We were able to get 13 hours out of the unit before the battery needed to be changed. Hopefully a 12v wire-able option will be available in the future but for now, on a device that isn’t left on the whole trip, it’s an option many are considering. The $139 price point is also an attractive reprieve from it’s big brother’s $400 price. The question is, does it work? Is it great gear or just a gimmicky gadget?

Video of how it works (not the Mini):

NuTech Jigs

Small, affordable and innovative, the NuTech jig is said to keep the hook upright and allow for more hookups when a fish takes a taste test. I visited the booth and talked with the inventor. He was able to give me a demo of how it works and I promptly bought five to try out. At about $4 each, the NuTech jig is available in several styles and even some spinning blade versions. Sometimes thinking out of the box is necessary to catch fish and sometimes to catch fishermen. Which is it? Great or Gimmicky?


Let me know on Facebook or the comments here, which things you like, which you don’t and of course whether they are great or gimmick. 

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