New and improved kayak fishing gear

Some sweet beach treats

Photo By JP Van Swae

Photo By JP Van Swae

AFTCO Fish Ninja Performance Fishing Sun Hoodie
$70; www.aftco.com
Anglers are increasingly turning to sun protective clothing, for good reason. It’s an alternative to greasy, stinky fish-repelling topical sunscreen creams, sticks and sprays. AFTCO’s Fish Ninja Hoodie is one of our favorite options. We like the loose, cool 50+ UV protection fit—this ninja suit is a blend of anti-microbial nylon and spandex. The hood provides near total coverage, and it’s laser cut for ventilation. No more steamed-up sunglasses.

Astral Ronny Fisher PFD
$160; www.astraldesigns.com
Slapping a bunch of bulky pockets onto the front doesn’t make for a good fishing PFD. Astral’s designers get that. The Ronny Fisher is comfortable (open shoulders, well vented) and tough (500 Denier Cordura shrugs off spines) enough for marathon wear, and plenty useful too. Drawbridge pockets offer easy tackle and tool storage but don’t get in the way. The quick-access knife holder and hidden rain hood are clever and useful. The built-in can koozie is something else. Really works! We’ll drink to that.

C-Tug Kayak and Canoe Cart
$160; www.c-tug.com
Flat tires, no thanks. Last year, C-Tug did away with that downer when the company introduced puncture-free Kiwi Wheels to its time-tested Kayak and Canoe Cart. Good for trucking loads up to 300 pounds, the C-Tug is as trick as ever. It breaks down in seconds to a handful of easy-to-stash components, saving that time-consuming trek back to your car or truck. For portage routes through soft sand, consider the accessory double-wide Sidewinder Wheels.

The Measure Net by JTA Products
$24-81; www.themeasurenet.com
If you count up your catch and release inches (don’t we all?), the Measure Net is worth a look. A ruler is built right into the bowl of the fish-friendly soft nylon or rubber netting. Available in sizes from 20 inches to 40, with fixed, telescoping or folding handles, the Measure Net floats for easier CPR. But watch out. If cutthroat CPR competition is your game, this high quality net isn’t precise enough to measure up. For that, you’re stuck with the tried and true fish board or Hawg Trough.

YETI Tundra 35 Cooler
$300; www.yeticoolers.com
YETI’s Tundra Coolers keep your catch and refreshments cool. We figure the accessory SeaDek ($70) is a must-have, turning this thick-walled chill monster into an elevated seat or even a non-skid standing platform. New for 2014: the tubular Rod Holster ($40) and Beverage Holder ($25). Both mount securely to the YETI’s AnchorPoint Tie-Down slots on each side of the tough marine cooler, and don’t interfere with the lid.

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