The best field accessories have been tested across the state of Alaska by the team at Fish Alaska magazine. These are our selection of the best field accessories on the market in 2023.
Best Field Accessories
Mustad Premium Hero Fishing Pliers
These 7-inch pliers are made from stainless steel with a high chromium content and nickel finish; this combination of materials resists rust and corrosion. They feature a tacky, comfortable handle material, tungsten cutter, and are spring loaded. The pliers allowed us to remove hooks, crimp split shot and cut line, making them a useful multi-purpose tool.
Pro-Cure Herring Super Gel
Most fish swimming in Alaska’s saltwater will eat a herring. Heck, Fish Alaska Publisher Marcus Weiner has even caught salmon sharks on herring. Pro-Cure Herring Super Gel contains ground herring in a gel and flat-out catches fish. It’s one of the key scents Marcus brings with him on every saltwater trip, and he applies it to jigs, spoons, spinners, plugs, hoochies, and have even applied it to flashers. Next time you are using hardware to target salmon, halibut, lingcod, or rockfish, apply some Herring Super Gel to increase catch rates.
Pro-Cure Crab & Shrimp Attractant
We always use this product to marinate our bait when crabbing and it always works. We suggest marinating baits overnight in this oil. It contains fish oil, salmon egg oil, amino acids and anise; crabs come readily to the scent. We find it most effective to cut baits into chunks that will fit in our bait bags, then marinate overnight before placing into crab traps. We usually limit out the next day after soaking pots overnight. We’ve used this exclusively to target Dungeness crabs and look forward to an opportunity to test it out when shrimping.
Uncharted Supply Athena
Uncharted Supply fittingly named this portable energy solution the Athena—the Greek goddess of wisdom, warfare, and handicraft. This handy device is strong enough to jump start a 6L engine, versatile enough to charge devices via USB, USB-C, and two USB ports, and clever enough to include a flashlight so you can light up the darkness when you’re hooking everything up. This is the sort of tool that can keep an adventure from turning into an ordeal.
Yeti Rambler 26 oz Water Bottle
Stainless steel, double-wall vacuum insulated, and available in a straw cap or chug cap, this Yeti Rambler is ready for your most rugged adventures. And our favorite—it’s dishwasher safe.
Mustad Bent Nose Pliers
These 11” pliers are made from drop-forged, high-carbon steel with a black, corrosion-resistant finish for use in saltwater. The double-molded handles are comfortable and provide a sure grip. These long pliers are extremely helpful for removing hooks from toothy fish that are deeply hooked. The next time that lingcod inhales your favorite jig, you’ll be happy if you have these pliers on board.
MSR Lightning Ascent Snowshoe, 25 Inch
MSR Lightning Ascent Snowshoes are relatively lightweight at just over 4 pounds for the pair we tested, and the load rating up to 220 pounds means we can carry plenty of gear and supplies on our trek to the ice-fishing hut. MSR offers these snowshoes in men’s and women’s designs (featuring different walking gaits), and in sizes to accommodate the weight of a wide range of users. Built with Paragon Bindings to strap you in tight, Ergo Televators to ease uphill slogs, and the option of adding 5” tails for increased flotation, the Lightning Ascent series opens up a lot of terrain for winter fishing and hiking adventures.
Sea to Summit Accessory Straps with Hook Release
These straps from Sea to Summit make it easier to get and stay organized on any adventure. Available in 3 lengths and 2 widths, with a lashing capacity of 220 pounds, we found these straps ideal for holding gear bags where we put them. They are useful and versatile enough to earn a full-time spot in the truck, next to the jumper cables and jack.
KastKing Kalibrate Line Spooler
Spooling line onto your reels can be a pain. KastKing’s Kalibrate Line Spooler makes it easy to spool casting or spinning reels, without line twist, and with an appropriate level of tension. It can be clamped onto rods from .15- to 1 inch in diameter. It features a built-in line counter, which we love because we like to know how much line we’re putting on our reels. The Kalibrate uses tension bands to apply tension. The Kalibrate can handle line spools with a maximum spool size of 3.5” wide by 4.5” diameter, which is fine for most filler spools. It will not work with bulk spools, such as a 3,000-yard spool.
Yeti Hopper M30 Soft Cooler
The M30 is an updated version of Yeti’s original Hopper. One of the significant improvements is the MagShield Access—the opening on the M30 stays open when needed, making it much easier to load than the original Hopper. The top also folds over and can be strapped closed, helping things inside to stay cold, longer. It has the same carry handles as the original Hopper, as well as a removable shoulder strap. The Hitchpoint Grid (similar to MOLLE) lets you attach a variety of gear to the outside of the M30. We typically load it with 12- to 18 cans and as many “blue ice” blocks as we can fit. In this configuration, the drinks will stay cold for 2 days in 85-degree weather.
BUBBA 12” Hook Extractor
This is another handy tool for dealing with deeply-hooked, toothy fish like lingcod. The 12” extractor can reach into places you’d never want to put your hand. The shaft is anodized aluminum, and the hook is stainless steel. It has Bubba’s iconic non-slip grip, and the grip is red so it’s easy to find in the boat.
Yeti Rambler 64 oz Bottle with Chug Cap
This is the half-gallon version of the famous Rambler bottle. Like all the Ramblers, it’s tough, keeps drinks hot or cold, resists corrosion, comes in several colors, and several different lid configurations will fit it. The chug cap allows you to drink or pour out of the cap. The chug cap and the bottle are dishwasher safe.
Ugly Stik Ugly Tools Digital Scale
Ugly Tools digital scales are available in 75- and 150-pound models. We tested the 75-pound version. These scales are tough and easy to hold in wet conditions. We used it to weigh salmon but you can weigh any fish with it. It’s made of stainless steel and tough plastic, so you don’t have to worry about saltwater use. It has a red backlit display for use in dim conditions. It’s powered by 2 AAA batteries.
Yeti Loadout Fully-Loaded Bucket
The Loadout Fully-Loaded Bucket includes the Loadout 5-Gallon Bucket, Loadout Bucket Caddy, Loadout Bucket Utility Gear Belt, and Loadout Bucket Lid. The Fully-Loaded Bucket is similar to your standard 5-gallon bucket, but on a heavy dose of steroids and tweaked and improved to make it the ultimate bucket-carrying solution imagined. Every item is Yeti-tough. For instance, the Bucket Lid can withstand 300 pounds of weight. Our 215-pound tester regularly stands and sits on it. The lid is clear so you can see through it, and it has a heavy rubber gasket, so it stays securely on the bucket. It keeps items in that you wish to not come out, like in our case where our Pro-Cure Crab & Shrimp Attractant-marinated bait resided before entering crab traps, or the resulting shells and waste that we needed to dispose of after catching piles of dungies or limits of razor clams.
The bucket has a non-marking rubber bottom, so it doesn’t slide all over the boat deck or pickup bed. It has tie-down slots so you can further secure it. The bucket handle is much stronger and more comfortable to carry than the handles on a normal 5-gallon bucket. The Loadout Bucket Caddy is a removable, 3-compartment tray that suspends on the inside of the bucket, adding some internal organization capability. This Fully-Loaded bucket could be very useful for all kinds of anglers, hunters, campers, and more.
GoPro Zeus Mini Magnetic Swivel Clip Light
This easy-to-use auxiliary light has 4 brightness modes plus a strobe mode. At the lowest setting, you can get nearly 6 hours of continuous use out of it depending on conditions. Its rechargeable battery can be charged with a USB-C cable (included). It comes with a magnetic swivel clip, light mod, light diffuser, 2-finger adapter, USB-C cable, mounting buckle, and thumb screw. It’s waterproof to 33 feet so a little rain won’t hurt it. It can be clipped onto things such as a hat brim to make an impromptu headlamp. The clip also has a magnet, so it can be stuck on flat ferrous surfaces such us under the hood of your car. It’s GoPro Mounts compatible.
GoPro Bite Mount + Floaty
The driving force behind the development of the Bite Mount + Floaty were surfers. The reason we at Fish Alaska like it has nothing to do with surfing. We like it because the Floaty protects the camera from impact, and keeps it from sinking to the bottom of the ocean if we drop it. Plus, it’s orange so it’s easy to see when you’re looking for it. Keep your GoPro out of Davy Jones’s Locker, use a Floaty.
GoPro Gun/Rod/Bow Mount
This mount is designed such that your GoPro is mounted underneath a fishing rod, underneath or beside a gun barrel, or on the upper riser of a compound bow. This handy accessory allows you to capture really cool footage—maybe a giant Naknek rainbow crushing your leech, or your archery shot on that rut-crazed bull moose, or that double you shot on green-winged teal with your shotgun. The mount is compatible with most rifles, shotguns, revolvers, pellet guns, fishing rods, and bows. It’s matte black so it’s unlikely to spook game. It comes with all the hardware you need to use the mount. Most GoPros will fit in the mount.
Gerber Lockdown – Drive
This compact multi-tool includes a 2.5” plain-edge blade, a file, a double-sided bit driver (#2 cross driver and medium flathead), an awl, a replaceable #11 blade, and a pocket clip. The closed length is 3.87”. This little tool contains just commonly used tools. It’s ruggedly built and will last for years.
BUBBA Magnum Lithium Ion Battery
The Magnum Lithium Ion Battery fits onto all cordless Bubba electric fillet knives. It has 50% more power than the original Bubba Lithium Ion Battery. This battery will provide 2 hours of run time with the Pro Series Electric Fillet Knife, and 3 hours when using the Lithium Ion Electric Fillet Knife. That’s enough run time to fillet several limits of rockfish. It also has an LED battery-life indicator.
Adventure Medical Kits Ultralight / Watertight Pro Medical Kit
Everybody should have a medical kit of some kind. Our tester carries one in his truck, one in his drift boat, one in his hunting pack….It’s smart to be prepared for minor and possibly major medical issues in the field. This kit includes a wide range of items you’d find useful. Additionally, it includes a small kit inside which you can use when you need to go ultralight.
Norvise Legacy Tool Bar
The Legacy Tool Bar fits on the thread post of your Norvise system. Its purpose is to hold small tools, plus beads or hooks, close at hand while you’re tying. If you look closely at the picture, you’ll see some dumbbell eyes, two Allen wrenches, a whip finish tool, a bobbin cleaner, and a spare automatic bobbin in the Legacy Tool Bar. There is room for more tools. The Legacy Tool Bar comes in 7 different colors. This item will probably never break. It’s a nice gift idea or accessory for anyone who ties on a Norvise system.
GoPro Hero10 Black
Action cameras just keep getting better and better, and the HERO10 Black is arguably a great one. It comes with a carrying case, rechargeable battery, USB-C cable, and mounting hardware. It is capable of shooting 23 MP stills; that’s about twice as much resolution as say, an iPhone 13 Pro. It’s capable of shooting video in either 5.3K video at 60 frames per second (fps) or 4K video at 120 fps. The camera is waterproof to 33 feet. Files are stored on a microSD card (not included). The Advanced HyperSmooth 4.0 video stabilization works quite well. Footage can be automatically uploaded to the cloud when charging. This camera is compatible with GoPro’s Quik app making uploading and managing your files easy.
PHOOZY Insulated Tablet Case
PHOOZY Insulated Tablet Cases provide sleek, rugged protection from drops, heat, cold, and water for your iPad or other tablet, and it floats—a major plus if you’re using it around water. It has a hook-and-loop closure that provides IP66 water resistance, though we don’t consider it waterproof. The Impactor Core provides drop protection as well as floatation. It comes with a removable, adjustable shoulder strap, and it has a multi-point attachment grid so you can attach other gear to it. The case is heat and cold resistant, so it preserves battery life. It comes in 6 colors and a number of sizes to fit tablets from Apple, Microsoft and Samsung. If you carry your tablet on the boat, this is a great accessory.
PHOOZY XP3 series Thermal Capsule
The Thermal Capsule protects your smartphone from drops, sun, snow, heat and cold. It is heat and cold proof, and thus preserves battery life. An especially strong benefit is that it floats, so if you drop that $900 phone in the drink, you won’t have to kiss it goodbye. An internal stash pocket can hold your credit cards and cash, or other small items. The XP3 is available in 9 colors and a variety of sizes to fit whatever smartphone you use.