Cool Accessories For Fishing Boats
By: Mark Romanack
Mark’s Phantom X2 OS is accessorized inside and out. Half the fun of owning a fishing boat is adding those personal touches.
The adage, a fishing boat is a hole in the water in which to throw money couldn’t be more correct. Boats are expensive and everything that mounts to a boat is seemingly sold at a premium. I came to terms with this reality years ago. You see my love of fishing and fishing boats has a unique way of justifying the cost.
My passion for fishing is not blind however. When I’m shopping for fishing boat accessories, I’m shopping for items that are going to make the fishing experience better. Better could mean helping me catch more fish, helping organize the boat, assisting with cockpit lighting or helping with the boats’ overall performance.
Smooth Moves Seats
Everyone and I mean everyone who takes a ride on my Smooth Moves suspension seats immediately falls in love. If you fish big water, you can’t avoid rough water, but you can make the ride as smooth as silk by installing either a Smooth Moves Ultra or Smooth Moves Air suspension seat. The Ultra is a manually adjusted suspension seat that uses a T-handle to easily adjust the tension up or down depending on the passengers’ weight and the wave conditions.
The Air uses compressed air to provide the ultimate in suspension seat comfort. Because air can never be fully compressed, these seat suspensions won’t bottom out should you suddenly hit an unexpected boat wake. One button controls the amount of air pressure making for the ideal ride for anglers big and small.
Smooth Moves Seats are the ultimate in suspension seats for anglers who fish on big water.
Recently Jake and I installed a Fish On Sports Jr. River Cross Over Arch on our SmokerCraft Phantom X2 OS. This arch is highly adjustable making it an obvious choice for trailerable fishing boats. We opted to purchase the Captain’s Pack that included an assortment of rocket launcher rod holders and adjustable rod holders, a net holder and a drink cup holder. Fully installed, this arch really sets off the Phantom, providing not only functional rod holders, but rocket launchers to hold rods in a safe and easy to reach position when running. Many other accessories are engineered to fit the Jr. River Cross Over Arch, making this American made product one worth taking a close look at.
Cisco Fishing Systems
For many years the boats featured on Fishing 411 TV have featured Cisco Fishing Systems rod holders and accessories. We love track mounted rod holders and accessories because at Fishing 411 we are constantly visiting different fisheries and targeting different species. The ability to set up the boat with a full complement of rod holders for trolling, then strip that stuff off for jig bite is priceless in our opinion.
In addition to offering saddle, tube style and rod holder trees, Cisco also produces a host of other accessories including electric motor brackets, downrigger plates and mounting systems, mounts for Fish Hawk sub-surface probes, tool holders, adjustable electronics brackets and much more. The quality of Cisco products is second to none and you can feel good that every product is made in Ohio with American labor.
Cisco Fishing Systems makes all kinds of track mounted accessories including this cool mount for the Fish Hawk speed and temperature probe.
RyTek Marine Planer Board Caddy
Just about everyone these days is fishing with in-line planer boards. The problem with in-line boards is finding a suitable place to store them in your boat. If they get left on the floor, the flags and tow arm brackets, and Tattle Flag linkage easily get damaged.
Recently Fishing 411 discovered the RyTek Marine Planer Board Caddy made of a nylon mesh material that insures the boards dry quickly. The boards easily slip into sewn pockets and secure in place with a bungie cord. We mounted the caddy into the groves on the integrated track located on the gunwale of our SmokerCraft Phantom X2 OS. The boards are perfectly stored, protected from damage and ready for action in an instant.
When it comes to storing in-line boards like the popular Off Shore Tackle Side-Planer, this caddy is the best we have seen to date.
Waterproof Tool Kit
If your boat doesn’t have a tool kit, eventually you will regret that decision. Having a few basic tools on board is essential, but keeping them dry and rust free can be challenging. I tried the orange waterproof boxes sold at marine stores, but they are anything but waterproof and they actually encourage condensation. Recently I found a waterproof and clear hard plastic Plano box that has a waterproof seal and latches on three sides. The box is heavy duty enough to hold up to abuse and keeps the tools inside bone dry. Inside I can fit a multi-head screw driver, set of short handle metric and SAE box end wrenches, a spark plug wrench, pair of pliers, pair of needle nose pliers, an adjustable wrench and some electrical tape.
This same box is ideal for storing flares, flare guns and other emergency gear that’s required in every boat.
Boat and fishing accessories don’t have to be expensive, they just have to improve the fishing experience.
Hand Held VHF Radio
Since the invention of the cell phone it seems anglers have forgotten about the benefits of having a VHF radio on board. Should you find yourself in a marine emergency and out of cell coverage, that VHF radio could be the difference between life and death.
A base unit with an eight foot antenna will reach the furthest, but a hand-held unit can also be a life saver. Lowrance Electronics makes a host of hand-held and base units that are bullet proof and reasonable in price.
Vertical Rod Tubes
Near the back of any boat that is used for trolling, I strongly recommend adding vertical rod holders. These can be made of plastic or metal depending on how much you want to spend. The beauty of these handy trolling aids is they provide the ideal place to place rods when running from spot to spot. Without these little accessory gems, you will find yourself laying rods down on the floor and that is never good.
TackleWebs produce a host of mesh style storage solutions that are designed to be mounted to flat surfaces or suspended between posts using bungie cords. We find them handy for holding all kinds of gear that otherwise doesn’t seem to have a home. Gear like a throwable rope bag, drift socks, dock lines, tow lines and other important but hard to store gear find their way into the Tacklewebs.
Fish Fighter Products
The back of a boat seat is the perfect place to store gear that needs to be handy, but stowed. The Fish Fighter Boat Seat Backpack straps to standard style marine seats and does an excellent job of holding stuff like a life vest, rain gear when the weather turns nice or important tackle you plan to use on any given day.
Jake discovered these Fish Fighter Products seat backpacks while on a filming adventure on the Columbia River. Ideal for storing life vests and a lot more, they make good use of what is often wasted space in a fishing boat.
Summing it up
There is no end to the accessories for a fishing boat. My list of “must have” items will obviously be different than yours. That’s the beauty of owning your own boat. No one can tell you how to rig it, but you!