The best boating gear, trolling gear, watercraft, and boating accessories in 2020 should make your time on the water more efficient and enjoyable.
If you are pulling in your anchor or boating your catch, we tested some of the best new and tried-and-true boats, watercraft, and boating accessories. We’ve compiled the recommended boating gear for 2020 below.
These are the best boating gear, accessories, watercraft, and fishing nets for 2020
|Beckman BN1116C-7 Landing Net
This fixed-handle net is well suited for average-sized trout, char and grayling and would be a good one to take out in your float tube, or when wading. We like that the PVC bag resists hooks from tangling in the net material. It’s also gentle on the fish. It’s got an 11-inch width, 16-inch length and is 12 inches deep. It’s a manageable size for your young anglers to use. An additional feature that our testers like is the lanyard built into the handle.
|Beckman BN2634C Coated Net
This is a good all-around net for landing a range of species in Alaska including rainbow and lake trout, Dolly Varden and Arctic char, Arctic grayling, northern pike, sheefish, burbot, and all species of salmon except large Chinook. The hoop is 26 inches wide, 34 inches long and the net has a bag depth of 32 inches. The coated-nylon basket is easy on fish, and resists hook tangles. Testers commented that the hoop is well-built and rigid. This net features Beckman’s Quick-Connect Channel which allows you to rapidly connect and disconnect the handle. When buying this net, you have the option of a range of handles to choose from. Handle options include the H6 which is 6 feet long, the H43 which extends from 4- to 7 feet and the H63 which extends from 6- to 9 feet.
|Plano Guide Series V-Crate
We found this to be a very useful tool on our Sea Eagle FishSkiff 16, which is a 16-foot inflatable skiff. The crate incorporates a variety of storage compartments to allow you to transport assorted gear items as well as tackle. The top compartment is open and is large enough to fit reels, water bottles, tools, etc. The bottom compartment is waterproof and also provides ample storage. At the front of the crate, four Stowaway utility boxes slide into receiver slots, thereby giving you tons of tackle storage that is easily accessible. The side rail system allows you to attach rod holders and other accessories.
|Frabill Steelhead & Salmon Wade Net
Finally, a net in which a 30” fish easily fits, but without a long handle which makes carrying it while wading or stashing it on a float tube doable. The hoop is 23” long by 19” wide and the bag is 16” deep. The netting is small mesh, coated nylon which is easy on fish and in general, doesn’t snag hooks as readily as an uncoated net does. The 8” handle is rubber coated and easy to grip wet or dry.
|Aire Outcast Striker
This is a great, versatile boat for two anglers who want to float and fish. We chose it as a best boating gear pick because it’s small enough to fit in the back of your pickup to go fish popular road system floats like the upper Kenai, Willow Creek or the Kasilof River, and compact enough to fit in a float plane for a remote float down any number of amazing rivers across Alaska. Weighing in at 102 pounds, we’d venture that two guys could carry this boat into a number of productive lakes, and maybe even portage and paddle it on one of the Southcentral lake chains like Swan or Nancy. It’s 9.5 feet long, 5 feet wide, and has 16-inch tubes. It sports a self-bailing floor, inflatable lean bar, and can accept a motor. You can get this boat, many other inflatable boats, and Clackacraft drift boats, at Alaska Raft and Kayak in Anchorage.
|Garmin Rino 750
This unit is great! One of the best features of this 2-way radio/GPS navigator is the ability to see the location of the other people who are using Rinos on the same channel, and this works through all models of Rinos, so older Rinos can see newer ones. Garmin continues to add features to their units, and there are way too many to mention. Choose the ones that you use most and customize your home screen with icons for those applications. Next time you go on a remote trip in Alaska, we’d recommend that each member carries one of these units and then you’ll be able to see each other’s location, as well as talk to each other on the unit’s radio.
|Fish Fighter Products Large Fillet Table—Quick Release System (QRS)
At 38” by 13”, this portable fillet table is big enough for most of the salmon we land. These dimensions also make it perfect for two Fillet Away Fish Cleaning Mats to keep your catch from sliding around. It’s made of marine-grade aluminum. It has drain holes in the back corners, and a subtle lip on the front to prevent blood and slime from dripping into your boat. It can also be used to hold a portable barbeque, as a tackle prep station, or many other uses. These attributes landed this table on our list of best boating gear for 2020. The back stop folds down, as do the legs, so that it can be stored more easily. Our tester stored his in the large fish box of his sled when not in use. The table can be attached to the boat a number of different ways. We recommend you call them if you don’t already have Fish Fighter Products sliding rail system on your boat; you may need to buy their Gunnel Rail Sliders to attach the fillet table.
|Fish Fighter Products Tackle Tender
The Tackle Tender is a multi-use product designed to hold your rod while underway, along with your sinker, flasher and bait. It can hold both Pro-Troll style flashers and triangle flashers. The bait tray is big enough to easily store a green label herring, and the sinker holder can hold cannonball weights from 5- to 24 ounces. The Tackle Tender can be bolted to any Cannon, Scotty, or Folbe rod holder. They are made of marine-grade aluminum and King Starboard marine plastic. These handy devices make it easy for temporarily stowing gear to run back up to the beginning of your trolling or backtrolling path. In the age of long rods and lengthy terminal tackle setups, the Tackle Tender will make your life easier. Available in left-side and right-side models.
|Fish Fighter Products Bolt On Bow Chocks
Those who regularly fish on anchor know how useful bow chocks can be. Fish Fighter’s Bow Chocks are easy to use and an elegant solution for those who like to fish on anchor. Fish Fighter is always striving to make a better mouse trap, and their Bow Chocks reflect that philosophy. They are CNC machined out of marine-grade billet aluminum and the result is a strong, compact, clean design that will last as long as you own your boat. The Bolt On Bow Chocks feature ⅜-inch stainless-steel bolts and washers. Each bow chock has a structural rating of 2000 pounds, but keep in mind the actual strength will be limited by the surface on which the bow chock is mounted. Weld-on versions are available as well.