Best Outdoorsman Field Accessories for Alaska Anglers in 2017

Work Sharp Combo Knife SharpenerWork-Sharp-Combo-Knife-Sharpener.jpg
www.worksharptools.com
The Combo Knife Sharpener is a simple-to-use knife-sharpening system that will enable you to put a razor edge on all your knives, very quickly. There is no set or adjustment necessary at all—just take it out of the box, plug it in and turn it on. This machine only has one variety of belt, so you don’t have to change belts to finish the sharpening process. It also has a tapered ceramic honing rod to finish the edge and to sharpen serrations. Since it’s very compact, our tester keeps it plugged in on his workbench all the time so he can sharpen fillet knives quickly, whenever needed. Though this sharpener is aimed just at sharpening knives, he also used it to prep guide feet for fishing rods being built. The unit is simple, razor-sharp, effective and affordable. 

Counter Assault 10.2-ounce Bear Deterrent with Chest HolsterCounterAssualt_BearSpray.jpg
www.worksharptools.com
The Combo Knife Sharpener is a simple-to-use knife-sharpening system that will enable you to put a razor edge on all your knives, very quickly. There is no set or adjustment necessary at all—just take it out of the box, plug it in and turn it on. This machine only has one variety of belt, so you don’t have to change belts to finish the sharpening process. It also has a tapered ceramic honing rod to finish the edge and to sharpen serrations. Since it’s very compact, our tester keeps it plugged in on his workbench all the time so he can sharpen fillet knives quickly, whenever needed. Though this sharpener is aimed just at sharpening knives, he also used it to prep guide feet for fishing rods being built. The unit is simple, razor-sharp, effective and affordable. 

Bolduc Knives Surf n’ Turf Fillet KnifeBolducSurfnTurf.jpg
www.bolducknives.com
Knife-maker Gary Bolduc has got a following of fishermen and hunters who buy his custom knives for a reason. Gary sent us one of his Surf n Turf fillet knives to try out and we are instant BOL-ievers. Many others including writers, television hosts, outdoor retailers and avid Alaskan fishers and hunters are also big fans of Gary’s knives. We tested a utilitarian model of Gary’s fillet knives, but he makes some absolutely gorgeous custom pieces. Gary’s fillet knives are prime pieces of equipment thanks to the high-quality crucible stainless steel he uses, and the knives are made extra-stiff to fillet fish smoothly. Our Publisher keeps it in her kitchen for everyday use.

Halibut Release RulerHalibut-Release-Ruler.jpg
www.releaseruler.com
This ruler is wide with big numbers, making it easy to decipher the length of a halibut. We used it to measure fish on a trip to Area 2C where guided halibut anglers have to release fish between 43- and 80 inches. This 65-inch fish shown in the picture was released. 

 

 

Spyderco Pattada PlainedgeSpyderco-Pattada-Plainedge.jpg
www.spyderco.com
This is a very useful everyday-carry folding knife. We like the textured handle, blade shape and the handle size is large enough to comfortably fit a big hand. The straight clip point on the knife is useful for many things, such as cutting gills on a Chinook or puncturing tough salmon-belly skin to gut a coho. The belt clip is low profile but long and stiff so it holds the knife firmly in place in the pocket. The blade features a full-flat grind and is made from high-performance stainless steel alloyed with cobalt, molybdenum and vanadium. 

Spyderco Snap-It SaltSpyderco-Snap-It-Salt.jpg
www.spyderco.com
This rustproof knife, made from H-1 steel, integrates nitrogen instead of carbon when making the steel, thereby making the knife totally impenetrable from corrosion. It features Spyderco’s Snap-It design which allows the user to attach the closed knife to a D-ring, carabiner or similar attachment and we found this useful for keeping the knife handy when attached to the D-ring on our tester’s saltwater bibs. We tested the SpyderEdge version; the Snap-It Salt is also available in a PlainEdge model. The blade is sharp and strong, and the handle is built to last from bright yellow fiberglass-reinforced nylon.

REC Recoil Stripping, Casting, and Snake GuidesRec_RSG.jpg
www.reelseats.com
REC Recoil guides are made of a very light-weight, flexible, extremely corrosion-resistant titanium alloy. The material returns to its original shape after being flexed, resulting in a guide that is almost impossible to damage. Saltwater won’t hurt them. They bend and spring back, rather than bend and stay bent. The casting and stripping guides do not have a ceramic insert, so there’s no possibility of an insert popping out, which could be disastrous if you’re on a remote Alaska fishing trip. Recoil guides are indeed Alaska tough.    

Eagle Claw 8-inch Stainless Steel Fillet Knife with Magnetic SheathEagle-Claw-8-inch-Stainless-Steel-Fillet-Knife-with-Magnetic-Sheath.jpg
www.eagleclaw.com
The stainless-steel blade is sharp and holds an edge. We liked the feel and shape of the handle, which aided in keeping a firm grip even after our hands got slippery handling salmon. The magnetic sheath is useful and the sheath comes with both coarse and fine knife sharpeners.

Diamond D Guide’s Choice™ Chest HolsterDiamond-D-Guide's-Choice.jpg
www.diamonddcustomleather.com
We’ve been wearing this holster for nearly a decade and continue to appreciate it’s design and how effectively it spreads the weight of our wearer’s 54-ounce, .44 Magnum Ruger Redhawk across his torso, and positions the revolver in a supremely-accessible position. New advancements include a custom cut down for the newer Glock 40 MOS that has the ability to mount a reflex sight such as a red dot or delta point, and a personalized touch with initials stamped on the shoulder strap. Two useful accessories are available: a reload pouch and a magazine pouch.

Promar ProGrip GlovesPromarGripGloves.jpg
www.promarnets.com
These waterproof gloves are warm thanks to their fleece lining. They provide a good grip in wet conditions. We used them when filleting coho in the fall, where temperatures were dropping and we needed a solid purchase on cold, wet coho destined for the smoker. The fish slime washed off and the gloves earned our respect and a spot in the gear bag.

HotHands WarmersHot-Hands-HotHand-Hand-Warmer.jpg
www.hothands.com
Our field testers love having their HotHands available on colder days, fishing fall trout or steelhead during inclement weather. These single-use air-activated heat packs provide everyday warmth and are ideal for keeping your hands, feet and body warm when the temperature gets cold.

 

Frontiersman Bear Spray, 9.2-ounce canisterFrontiersmanBearSpray9oz.jpg
www.sabrered.com
This bear spray will reach out to 35 feet and is the maximum strength allowed by the EPA. We like both the belt- and chest holster options and found it comfortable to wear the canister. We didn’t need to deploy the spray, thankfully; the spray has been tested and proven effective on bears at Joint Base Elmendorf Richardson (JBER), which is the Air Force and Army base in Anchorage.

 

Mustang Survival Elite 38 Inflatable PFDMustang-Survival-Elite-38-Inflatable-PFD.jpg
www.mustangsurvival.com
The Elite 38 is very comfortable, and it has the highest buoyancy rating of commercial inflatable PFDs at 38 pounds. The quality and workmanship is evident. Since this is a Type II PFD for recreational use, it only meets USCG PFD requirements if it is actually worn. There’s a bright chartreuse-colored inflation cell to be visible. It is designed to inflate only when submerged in water. 

Coast FL85 HeadlampCoast-FL85-Headlamp.jpg
www.coastportland.com
Our testers found this to be a highly functional and comfortable headlamp. It has several different settings for ultra-wide flood beam and long-range spot beam, as well as bright LED red and/or white lights. It is easily adjusted, and reviewers really like the focus feature and that it is lightweight and easy to hike with. It has reflective material around the headband, and is well-constructed. 

Rapala 12-inch Salt Angler’s Curved Fillet KnifeRapala-12-inch-Anglers-Curved-Fillet-Knife.jpg
www.rapala.com
We prefer a knife of this size and shape for filleting big coho and kings. It doesn’t flex, allowing you to take a smooth, even fillet off a big salmon in one stroke. This knife is big and sharp enough to cut through pin bones with ease, increasing the ability to take a nice, level fillet and maximize the amount of meat. The handle fits the hand well and the stainless steel blade takes and holds an edge as well as resists corrosion, making it a good choice for your saltwater boat.

Arctic Ice Chillin’ CradleArcticIceChillinCradle-Set_5PC.jpg
www.arctic-ice.com
This product worked very well to keep canned beverages cold for prolonged periods of time. On a recent outing, the cradles kept beer cans cold enough to get them to start to freeze in the can. Now that’s impressive and the definition of ice-cold beer! The cradle also works well as a cold pack at the bottom and top of your cooler. 

Mud Hole CRB Hand Wrapper, HWS-1Mud-Hole-CRB-Hand-Wrapper;-HWS-1.jpg
www.mudhole.com
The CRB Hand Wrapper is an amazing rod-building tool. It’s affordable, easy to set-up so that a 10-year-old could do it with supervision, and it is a very capable rod-wrapper. We were especially impressed with the thread tension system. It is quite adjustable, and the thread tension rod allows you to ‘backup’ in case you make an error wrapping. The thread slider is equally as ingenious and allows for very precise positioning of the thread. The CRB system is modular. You can add parts to the hand-wrapper to make it even more functional, such as extra support stands, an aluminum track system and even a powerhead so that it becomes a powered-wrapper, rather than a hand-wrapper. 

Bubba Blade 7-inch Tapered Flex Fillet KnifeBubba-Blade-7-inch-Tapered-Flex-Fillet-Knife.jpg
www.bubbablade.com
This fillet knife works great for most salmon-sized fish. For halibut, the 9-inch blade would be better. The 7-inch blade is flexible, yet firm enough to allow you to feel rib bones as the blade glides over them. The non-stick finish on the blade seems to help prevent meat from sticking to it and prevents rust. Our favorite part of the knife is the handle made of a sticky rubber compound textured in such a way that it’s easy to hold the knife, even wet. The trigger grip handle also helps prevent your fingers from slipping off the handle and onto the blade.

Mud Hole CRB Blank Extension ToolMud-Hole-CRB-Blank-Extension-Tool.jpg
www.mudhole.com
The CRB is designed to fit in the female ends of rod sections so that ferrule wraps and applying finish to the ferrule wrap can be more easily accomplished. The tool is tapered to fit rod sections with openings from .20- to .35 inches. It is made of a semi-soft plastic that allows it to maintain a secure fit on the rod. It can be chucked into the CRB drying motor, as well as other brands of drying systems. It is well worth the roughly $6 it costs.

Pelican Elite Cooler (20 Quart)Pelican-Elite-Cooler-20-Qt-White.jpg
www.pelican.com
Herring are a precious commodity, especially for salmon fishing. Prime herring must be kept very cold if you want the best bait possible. Our tester picked this cooler specifically to use as a bait cooler. At 20 quarts of volume, it will hold several dozen herring, plus ice and ice packs to ensure bait stays as cold as possible for days. The cooler has a stout handle and is sturdy enough to stand on without deformation, so it makes a good seat. The latches are overbuilt; we can’t imagine one ever failing. It also has built-in rubber feet that prevents it from sliding around in rough seas or in the back of a pickup truck. The larger Elite coolers do have drain plugs while this one does not. 

EGO Mini Gripper ToolEgo-Mini-Gripper-Tool.jpg
www.egofishinggear.com
This tool is handy for picking up fish. It is designed with a magnetic release so that you can remove it from its holder when ready for use. It also has a cord that expands and contracts and has an attachment so that you won’t lose the tool overboard when connected. The ergonomic handle features a foam grip, a wide jaw opening and is made from aluminum so it’s good for both fresh- and saltwater.

Onyx M-16 Belt Pack Manual Inflatable Life JacketOnyx-M16.jpg
www.onyxoutdoor.com
This belt pack is a useful tool for anglers, as it provides protection from drowning while remaining low-profile and easy-to-wear and it doesn’t get in the way of casting. Upon entering the water this Type V PFD will auto-inflate to 17-pounds of buoyancy and can be manually inflated to 26.5 pounds.