Maybe youâ€™re a trout bum making the crossover to saltwater flatsÂ or perhaps youâ€™ve booked an offshore fishing trip this fall. Either way, youâ€™ll need more than just your guideâ€™s boat and tackleâ€”youâ€™ll want to bring along these seven must-have accessories. From helping you spot fish to shielding skin from intense UV rays, these items willÂ optimize any day spent stalking saltwater trophies. Consider them your Lucky 7.
You probably know you need polarized lenses to see beyond the waterâ€™s surface glare. But the Mantaâ€™s blue mirror 580G lenses do so much more: The azure tint improves definition in saltwater, allowing you to sight tarpon or discern the difference between a rising marlin and a porpoise thatâ€™s trying to steal your bait. Glass lenses offer better clarity and scratch-resistance than plastic, so theyâ€™re preferable for ocean fishing (where youâ€™re constantly wiping away abrasive, salty residue). And the broad, full-coverage frames limit sun exposure and prevent the eye strain that can result from a full day on the water.
Lighter and sleeker than leashes made of neoprene strips, the ARC system was inspired by something that fly-fishing legend Lefty KrehÂ rigged for himself: He took a span of monofilament fishing line and attached it to holes he drilled in his frames. Croakies ARC Endless improves upon Krehâ€™s concept by using thin-as-floss steel cable thatâ€™s adjustable and articulatedâ€”so you can angle it down or up for comfort. Because it absorbs no water, it doesnâ€™t grow heavier when splashed or dunked.
Whatâ€™s with the bank-robber look? Saltwater guides know that no amount of sunscreen can protect skin as well as simply covering up, and the UV BuffÂ (made of Coolmax polyester that blocks 95 percent of harmful UV rays) masks everything between your sunglasses and your collar.Â
That spaghetti-strainer mesh on typical trucker caps may feel nice and airy, but over eight full hours on the water, it lets in enough UV rays to scorch your scalp. Sunday Afternoonsâ€™ versionÂ keeps the cool-kid trucker styling, but subs in sun-blocking polyester mesh that shuts out more than 98 percent of UV radiation. Additional mesh on the sweatband mops your brow.
Sure, you could wear running shoes on the boat, but theyâ€™re guaranteed to get wet, heavyâ€”and possibly stained with blood. Better to wear something designed for H2O. The Megavent PFGÂ has ports in the midsole that drain water, and the meshy polyurethane upper sheds moisture and stains (the womenâ€™s version receives this upgrade for Spring 2016). Even when splashed or doused with fish guts, these shoes feel cool, dry, and airy. Plus, the razor-siped sole keeps you from slipping on wet decks and docks.
During bouts of wind or rain, pull on this rugged jacket. The midweight polyester fleece (with 80-85 percent recycled content) stays cozy in wet conditions, and the nylon shell across the chest, sleeves, and hood resists snags and abrasion.
Stash electronics, snacks, and extra layers in this waterproof, 40-liter roll-top tote, which keeps contents safe and dry from splashing waves and soaking puddles. The broad opening makes it easy to see inside and retrieve your gear, and the side buckles let you secure the bag by clipping it to the boat.