Best field accessories for fishing in Alaska in 2022
Pro-Cure Bait Scents Garlic Butt Juice pro-cure.com For years, halibut and bottomfish anglers have relied on the best lures and top baits to put more fish in the boat. So why not increase your odds of success with the top bait scents on the market? Pro-Cure’s Butt Juice and Garlic Butt Juice are made of 100% bait and are a must-have for bottomfish anglers. This year we added Garlic Butt Juice to our arsenal, and it kicked ass. Our field-tester jigged up slab halibut, oversized black rockfish and pugnacious lingcod with jigs buttered in Garlic Butt Juice. Slather your jigs and bait with Garlic Butt Juice and bring more bottomfish to your boat.
REC RECOIL Single Foot Fly Guides reelseats.com These fly guides are a step above all other single-foot fly guides. Made of a nickel-titanium alloy, these guides are super hard, yet flexible and will return to shape following deformation. What’s more, they will never corrode—not even in saltwater environments. They are also very light which allows your fly rod to unload quickly resulting in better casting performance. RECOIL single-foot fly guides come in two colors (natural titanium and black pearl) and ultralight or standard wire. If you build your own fly rods and want the best guides available, RECOIL nickel-titanium fly guides are the way to go.
MyMedic MyFAK First Aid Kit mymedic.com From minor cuts and injuries to life-saving equipment, the MyFAK is a compact, well-stocked, well-organized first-aid kit. Even the bag in which the items come is thoughtfully designed with Molle straps and Velcro to facilitate packing and accessorizing the kit. The kit weighs from 2.1- to 2.8 pounds depending on whether you get the standard or advanced kit. Dimensions are 7.5” high x 6.5” wide x 5” deep. With over 100 quality items included, this kit has you covered for a variety of injuries you might sustain in the field. The items within are organized in a specific manner. We recommend you familiarize yourself with the location and use of each item so that when an injury happens, you’re able to quickly access the items you need to treat it. We recommend you buy a box of assorted Band-Aids and add them to this kit as there are only a few included.
Donnmar Checkpoint 880 Titanium Fishing Plier donnmarpliers.com Made of titanium right here in the USA, these pliers will never corrode, rust or oxidize. This is a plier that will last your lifetime. We found these pliers to be strong, lighter than stainless pliers and the cutters capable of cutting mono and fluorocarbon up to 450-pound-test, super lines, and even wire line up to 180-pound-test. These are outstanding pliers. They’re not cheap, and we strongly recommend buying the optional leather holster and coiled tether to help keep you from accidentally dropping them overboard.
Scent Striker DBS Scent Attractant appanagefishing.com Scent Striker’s DBS Striker Formula is a herring-oil-based fish attractant that adds that Dinner Bell Smell (DBS) to your bait. Striker Formula is a blend of all-natural proteins, fats, minerals, and amino acids designed to turn on the feeding behavior of salmon, halibut, and other gamefish. DBS Striker Formula was created and tested in Alaska. Turbocharge all your bait by adding DBS into your gear lineup. DBS pairs exceptionally well with their Scent Striker lures.
Norvise Shank Jaw nor-vise.com Norvise has done it again, producing yet another innovative feature to add to the versatility of the Norvise fly-tying platform: Shank Jaw. If you have a Norvise and like to tie on shanks, or if you don’t have a Norvise but are considering getting one but have held off because you like to tie on shanks, wait no more. The Shank Jaw securely holds shanks and like all Norvise jaw sets, spins the shank on its axis so you can easily spin on thread bases or other materials. The shank jaws are adjustable for different shank diameters. What’s more, put the Shank Jaw in a standard Norvise hub and you have a fine-point inline jaw that can be used to tie flies on small hooks, such as nymphs and dry flies. The Shank Jaw is arguably the most versatile set of jaws Norvise has developed to date.
Batson Forecast Full Wells and Half Wells Carbon Fiber Grips and Fighting Butts alpsforecast.com Over the past 15 years, high-quality cork has become harder and harder to find. Rod builders began looking for solutions, and eventually someone figured out how to make fly-rod grips out of carbon-fiber sleeves epoxied to shaped, rigid-foam cores. The result was a replacement for expensive, rare cork that is actually lighter, stronger, longer lasting, impervious to weather, more sensitive, and in general, better. You used to have to make grips like this yourself, but now they’re available from Batson Enterprises. Editor George Krumm says, “I doubt I’ll ever build another single-hand fly rod with cork grips. Carbon fiber grips are superior from a performance and longevity standpoint. Batson’s Forecast Carbon Fiber Fly Grips are the best commercially produced carbon-fiber grips I’ve ever seen. I can’t make them any better, so I save the time and effort and just buy theirs. Forecast Carbon Fiber Fly Grips and fighting butts are top notch.”
HT Enterprises Polar Fire Xtreme TX 2-Man Shelter w/ Polar TX Insulation htent.com This ice shelter is portable, easy to set up, provides ample room for two anglers and their gear, and is really warm, thanks to the Polar TX material that provides significant insulation. Access into the two-man shelter is accomplished through two zippered doors. It comes with a carry bag.
REC CERECOIL Double Foot Rod Guides reelseats.com CERECOIL Double Foot Rod Guides are typically used for casting rods or as stripper guides on fly rods. We used them for stripping guides on a couple rod builds this year. Like REC’s RECOIL guides, CERECOILs are made of a nickel-titanium alloy that is very hard, completely corrosion proof, yet flexible so that they return to shape if deformed. What’s different about CERECOILs is the addition of a mechanically installed Zirconia ceramic ring. This method of installing the ring prevents the insert from ever popping out. Zirconia was chosen because it’s extremely resistant to wear and breakage. This guide was built to last forever. If that’s what you want in your next fly-rod or casting-rod build, you should try CERECOILs. CERECOILs are currently being used as stripper guides by several high-end fly-rod companies, including Olympic Peninsula Skagit Tactics, Scott, Hardy, and Douglas.
Uncharted Supply Co. The Zeus unchartedsupplyco.com Battery technology is ramping up at an unprecedented rate. With so many electrical devices vital to our outdoor lifestyle, The Zeus is a piece of equipment all active outdoors people should have. It’s essentially a portable jump starter and USB charger. At about the size of a brick, its Lithium Polymer battery has 20,000 mAh of power. It can jump start full-size pickup trucks (gas- and diesel engines up to 8L) several times on a single charge. It can run power tools with its DC output up to 180W. It has dual USB ports so you can charge more than one USB device at a time. It can charge an iPhone Plus from 0 to fully charged at least 10 times. It has a built-in flashlight and can run the flashlight for several days if fully charged. You can charge it at home, or while driving. The device comes with a nylon hard-shell case, AC/DC wall adaptor, car charger, jumper cables, and a three-way USB charging cord (Mini USB, USB-C, iPhone). This is a very useful piece of equipment that can get you out of a serious jam if you’re in a remote place.
Diamond D Outdoors Denali Chest Holster diamonddoutdoors.com This ballistic nylon holster is super comfortable to wear, being both light and also well designed to place the weight of your handgun on your shoulders and across your back. The ballistic nylon sheath provides a solid, snug fit for our tester’s Ruger Redhawk .44 Mag, and the elastic strap with snap works perfectly to secure the hammer of the revolver in place. The padded shoulder strap feels good on the shoulder and provides storage for six extra rounds. The holster design places the handgun right in the middle of your chest, allowing an angler to draw the gun rapidly, and still allow for active casting with little interference from the gun. This is our choice for bear protection.
Peet Advantage Peet Heated Shoe and Boot Dryer peetdryer.com Anybody who spends time outside all year in any place but the desert knows that wet shoes are part of the package, especially if you go traipsing about in the woods. Now throw in a family with kids, and there’s an endless number of wet shoes that need drying. Trust us, we know firsthand. This unit uses a fan to push out hot air, which speeds up drying time. It’s constructed on a solid base, which allows you to place heavy boots on it; it can accept two pairs. Drying your shoes will make them last longer and help reduce odor.
Princeton Tec Mossy Oak Gamekeeper VIZZ princetontec.com This is a great headlamp for around camp, pre-dawn boat launches, and we have even used it digging razor clams in the dark. It has dimmable red- and white ultrabright LEDs, plus a dimmable maxbright LED (420 lumens). It’s IPX7 waterproof to one meter. It runs on three AAA batteries, and the battery compartment screws shut for added security. To select the various LEDs, press the button until the desired one lights up. To dim or brighten, press and hold the button. It has an adjustable camouflage strap with orange hardware; the light housing is olive drab. This headlamp carries a lifetime warranty. Midland Micromobile MXT115 2-way Radio midlandusa.com This GMRS radio features an external magnetic-mount antenna for extended range and can communicate with any Midland FRS/GMRS radios. Included are the radio, mounting hardware, magnetic-mount antenna with 6-meter cable, microphone, microphone holder, 12V power cord with DC power adapter, and the owner’s manual. The unit can communicate on 8 repeater channels and 15 GMRS channels, has a backlit display, a NOAA weather radio, and a USB-C charging port that can be used to charge other devices. It has 15 watts of power, and like all GMRS radios, range is determined by line-of-sight. We use this to communicate between vehicles while on road trips and it works well. You’ll need a GMRS license to legally use this device. Mr. Heater Buddy Flex Heater mrheater.com We found this heater to be versatile, easy to operate, and that it puts out a lot of heat. We used it both indoors and out. It runs on propane and has several safety systems integrated into it to make it safe to run indoors. It will run for 3.5 hours on low or 2 hours on high using a 1-pound propane cylinder. The unit pairs with the Buddy Flex Cooker so you can cook on the go. UCO Rechargeable Arc Lighter & LED Flashlight ucogear.com This handy tool combines a 100-lumen rechargeable flashlight with a 1400-degree dual-arc plasma lighter. The lighter feature burns much hotter than any match and is windproof, which is important when you need to start a fire right now or light that cigar around the campfire. The housing is made of aluminum alloy, weighs just five ounces, and includes a USB charging cord. The battery is a 340 mAh lithium polymer, so it functions well in cold weather. Dimensions are 4.2” by 1.4” by 1”. The light has three settings: strobe, bright, and dim.
Blackfire Waterproof LED Clamplight blackfire.com After testing this light in 2021 we were impressed with its versatility and usefulness, which made its $30 price tag even more appealing. You can use this as a standard 300/130 (high/low) lumen flashlight, as a free-standing light or engage the clamps and attach it to a wide range of locations. The double-axis pivoting head makes it easy to point it wherever you need to for hands-free light. We also tested their LED Visor Cap Light and found it useful.
GoPro HERO9 Black gopro.com It seems like every year (maybe less) they’re coming out with a new GoPro. We tested the HERO9 Black this summer and it’s clear the company strives for continuous improvement with each version of their cameras and accessories. The HERO9 Black delivers stunning 5K video and 20 MP photos. Add HyperSmooth 3.0 stabilization, powerful features and a durable, waterproof design, and you get more of everything you love. The HERO9 Black has two screens—a front screen for selfies and a rear touch screen for controls. It’s waterproof to 33 feet, and it’s compatible with over 30 mounts and accessories.
GoPro 360 MAX gopro.com We enjoyed using this 360 camera in 2021. It creates awesome 360-degree videos and photos, and has a range of cool features like Max TimeWarp and PowerPano. Image stabilization is top-notch, thanks to GoPro’s Max HyperSmooth function. Audio is solid due to six mics on the unit. The camera is a three-in-one device, allowing you to create spherical footage, videos and photos like a traditional GoPro Hero, as well as the ability to vlog with 1080p live streaming. One of the features we like is the built-in voice commands—12 in all. Midland X-Talker Extreme Dual Pack T77VP5 midlandusa.com These GMRS two-way radios come in a soft-shell carrying case and include several accessories: a pair of radios, belt clips, rechargeable battery packs, desktop charger, AC wall adapter, micro-USB charging cable, two boom microphone headsets, and a 12V auto adapter. They can communicate on 36 channels, have a range up to 38 miles (line-of-sight permitting) and also have a hands-free mode. These can be handy for communicating on the road, on the water, or on the ice while ice fishing. These radios don’t require a license to use.
Uncharted Supply Co. The Seventy2 Pro Survival System unchartedsupplyco.com This survival system is designed to support 2+ people. It is contained within the Seventy2 Pro Shell Dry Pack—a roll-top, waterproof backpack with an internal soft frame. The pack’s capacity is 36 liters, and the items within take up most of that space. Within the pack is the Seventy2 Pro insert which contains a multitude of survival items including a robust first-aid kit, folding shovel, waterproof cold-weather gloves, water and food for two people for 72 hours, 48-ounce stainless-steel water bottle, water filtration system, paracord, Empire knife, mylar portable tent, goggles, flashlight, crank radio/flashlight/charger, emergency blankets, firestarter, and more. While it’s difficult to “test” an item like this, the items inside are well thought out and of high quality. If you drive through remote areas, if you have a bush plane, if you snowmachine or four-wheel across remote areas, if you boat on Alaska’s interior rivers, this survival system would be good to have.