Boating and Fishing Gear: On-Water Testing

SEA Anglers for Conservation Tournament – June 16 & 17 – Aransas Pass, TX
May 18, 2017
May 25, 2017
fishing rods

Here's what the rocket launchers look like prior to leaving the dock, during three days of fishing rod and reel testing.

Don’t you wish you could test out new boating and fishing gear before you laid out your hard-earned cash for it? Of course you do – how many times have you bought something that looked great on the store shelves, then quickly broke or failed to perform during real-world use? It’s happened to us all. Fortunately, as writers we do get the chance to test out new stuff ahead of time on a regular basis; here are a few items we’ve recently tested with real-world use, and can give you the straight scoop on.

fishing rods

Here’s what the rocket launchers look like prior to leaving the dock, during three days of fishing rod and reel testing.

Electronics – We spent time on the water with the Simrad NSS evo3, the Raymarine Axiom, the Lowrance Elite 7x HDI, and the NaviOP integrated control and digital switching system.

Fishing Gear – On-water fishing tests will tell you a lot about the Okuma Azores fishing reel,  the Y-Zuri 3D Inshore Pencil, the Abu Garcia Revo STX, and the Penn Reels Torque, which we’ve had in service for years. Note: if you’re intrigued by the above picture of all those reels, you can see them in action in this video:


And, here’s one of the lures we were testing out, too:

Outboard Engines – The Suzuki 15 we tested has been in use for years now, at this point we’ve had a slew of experience running the Evinrude G2 outboards, we’ve run the Yamaha V-6 Saltwater models and the Mercury Verado models for countless hours, and we’ve also performed dozens of dockings with outboard joystick control systems.

Oddball Gear – Those of you who like to film the action with a GoPro will want to see what we think of the QuickPod battery/grip; paddlesports fans should check out the Corcl; and XG Sunglasses will be of interest to those who are sick and tired of polarization blacking out their fishfinder screens. If you’re thinking about putting a new deck on your boat, be sure to check out SeaDek: Awesome Boat Improvement Project, first.

Fishing Boats – We’ve tested a zillion, but here, we’re only talking about the ones we’ve spent significant time on. Those we’ve fished, cruised, and caroused on sufficiently to provide ownership-level insight on. Let’s start with the Glacier Bay 2665, which we fished offshore for an entire season. Then there’s the Bayliner F18 and the Element F16, a pair of inexpensive beginner boats, both of which we’ve fished in lakes, bays, and rivers. The Boston Whaler 230 Outrage we’ve taken off the dock for days at a time, on at least three occasions. The Regulator 23, which we’ve run offshore to a distance of 60-plus miles. And check out all of the boats in Small But Sturdy: 3 Little Fishing Boats That Can Handle Big Water, because we’ve got extensive fishing-time on all of these craft.

While it’s true that Google allows us all to do far more product research before making a purchase than was ever possible before, it’s just as true that the Google-sphere is riddled with misinformation and nonsense. So before you lay out your hard-earned cash be sure to get straight talk from a reliable source – and see if it’s something we have had hands-on experience with.


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