Best Outdoorsman Field Accessories
for Alaska Anglers in 2016
Stylish and highly functional, this ingenuous product packs a whopping 29 tools into a rugged bracelet. A wide range of wrenches, screwdrivers and hex drives are incorporated. We found the cutting tool handy for cutting rope and fishing line.
We really liked this new introduction from Leatherman, and among the 19 tools in this multi-tool are a fire-starting ferro rod and an emergency whistle. This tool accompanied us on the water, in the woods and around the house and with tools such as pliers, wire cutters, knife, saw, hammer, screwdriver, bottle- and can-opener, we found ourselves using it for many types of jobs.
Work Sharp Guided Sharpening System
The Work Sharp Guided Sharpening System is a complete manual sharpening solution for every knife. It features the innovative Pivot-Response System which allows the abrasive to follow the curve of the blade – making manual sharpening faster, easier and more precise than ever. The Guided Sharpening System (GSS) is Work Sharp’s complete benchtop sharpening and honing system. The innovative Pivot-Response System follows the curve of the blade while sharpening, putting a sharp edge along the entire length of the blade. Even beginners can get excellent results.
Work Sharp Ken Onion Blade Grinding Attachment
The WSKTS-KO Blade Grinding Attachment is a horizontal belt attachment designed for knife shaping, sharpening and honing tasks. This four-pulley attachment is fully adjustable from 10- to 35 degrees (in 1-degree increments) and uses 1-inch x 18-inch engineered abrasive belts in a wide range of grits. The top pulleys have two center distance positions so you can choose your preferred belt deflection to create the edge profile you want—a full convex or a near flat convex. This allows you to customize your blade edge to best meet your needs or preference. This attachment is similar in design to what blade makers use and provides a wide range of adjustability so you can custom shape, sharpen and hone your blades at home without the cost or size of a full-scale blade-maker’s equipment.
Spot Global Phone
We recommend not going far into the field without a satellite phone, and after this year, that definitely includes the new Global Phone, a satellite phone allowing users to make calls virtually anywhere in the world. We found it easy-to-use, lightweight and with good voice quality. Favored features include 9-1-1 Emergency Response, which gives families plenty of peace-of-mind, and the optional data kit, which allows you to access e-mails while off the grid.
MaxxDry Heavy Duty Boot, Shoe and Glove Dryer
We liked having heat and no-heat settings and a timer control for the dryer. The unit can accommodate two pairs of boots, shoes or gloves at once. It gets the job done so our garments are dry and ready for the next adventure.
Norvise Automatic Fly Tying Bobbin
The effortless Norvise Automatic Fly Tying Bobbin is a true marvel that will “automatically” rewind itself, making thread management simple, quick and efficient. This bobbin automatically retracts instantly to the correct tying position, yet remains suspended from the hook where released. No matter what vise you use, this bobbin will improve, simplify and speed up your fly tying. Contributing Editor George Krumm writes, “When I first saw the Norvise Automatic Fly Tying Bobbin in use at the Great Alaska Sportsman’s Show 10 years ago, I knew I had to try it. I’ve subjected the bobbin to several years of abuse, putting heavy physical pressure on it while spinning deer hair, making Glo-Bugs with GSP thread, and tying hundreds of less demanding flies with all kinds of threads and all kinds of tying techniques. To say it has been thoroughly tested is an understatement. It is still working like it did the day it arrived. It is by far the best fly tying bobbin I’ve used in my 40-plus years of fly tying.”
Eliminating the need for jumper cables or bulky jumper packs, this portable battery is just the type of field accessory our testers are looking for, making our lives easier while out and about in Alaska, without adding a lot of weight or taking up much space in our packs. The unit starts gas engines up to 6.4L and diesels up to 3.2L, and works with cars, trucks, boats and ATVs. It also charges any USB device, including phones and tablets, as well as laptops and other accessories with its 12v and 19v outputs.
Okuma Fishing Tackle Water Wolf UW1.0 Underwater Fishing Camera
The Water Wolf is a fun, enlightening underwater camera designed to be used while fishing to record underwater video. It uses a 16- or 32-GB Micro SD card (sold separately) to store video and with the appropriate card can record for four hours or more. Video is recorded in 720P HD. Video files are not viewable on the camera; you transfer the files to a computer. The camera is waterproof to 100 meters. This camera needs light to record and the clearer the water, the more light penetrates and the higher the quality of the image. It can be use while trolling, casting, float fishing or bottomfishing.
Buck Saltwater Splizzors
These stainless-steel combination scissors and pliers are a useful tool. Blade design allows for easy cutting of super lines. Small and large crimpers and a bottle opener are also built into the unit. The tool has been cerakote-coated to add further corrosion resistance. We used this extensively in 2015 and liked its performance and functionality.
CRKT Spark’N Sharp
Consolidating gear is the name of the game for those headed deep into the Alaska bush and this combination knife sharpener/steel striker came in equally useful for its dual purposes while in the field in 2015. A sliding plate moves to expose either the sharpener or the striker. All parts of the fire starter are connected to a lanyard, so we never worried about misplacing pieces of the tool, and the tungsten carbide knife sharpener kept our various blades honed to a working edge all year long.
Lansky Sharpeners Master’s Edge Knife Sharpener
The Master’s Edge Knife Sharpener system is composed of medium (800 grit) and fine (1000 grit) ceramic rods as well a medium ceramic triangular rod. Rods are stored in a non-slip rubber base with hand guard that is designed to accept rods at sharpening angles of 17-, 20- and 25 degrees. The unit is compact, convenient, quick and easy to set-up and will sharpen a variety of blades including serrated edges, awls and fish hooks.
Arctic Ice Alaskan Refreezable Ice Pack
Our testers loved these reusable ice packs, which are made from non-toxic, plant-derived material. The packs helped keep our food and drinks cold on multi-day camping and fishing trips.
South Bend Bait Box
This polyethylene bait box is rugged and perfect for your kids to load full of worms and take to the lake to fish for stockers for the pan. In our opinion, it’s as much fun to hunt for worms as it is to go use them with the kids. This box would also work alright as an egg box, as it has integrated belt clips making it possible to position the box on your waist for easy access when bank-fishing with eggs.
Peet Dryer Original Peet Dryer
Our tester liked the absolutely silent operation. He said the unit does a great job and is excellent for drying boots, shoes, gloves and helping to eliminate odors. The device uses thermal convection to dry garments.
Bellies Up Fish Cradle
We used this device to hold our salmon steady in order to remove the belly in one easy slice. It also works well to hold fish in place in order to gut them. The cradle is made from composite material that is easy to clean and the unit holds up to 20-pound fish.
Griffin Montana Mongoose Vise
We spend a lot of time tossing flies here at Fish Alaska magazine, and that means a lot more time behind the vise, melding feathers and fur into something the fish might chase. Complete resistance-control while rotating the vise was one of our tester’s favorite highlights, as were the tempered-steel jaws, which enabled him to securely grip hooks from 4/0 down to size 28.
The last thing someone wants to do after they spent an hour tying their latest wigglicious creation (or paid $5 for it) is to cram it into a box and close the lid on its tails and herls. Then there is the question of what do you with your Intruder-type flies once they’re wet and you want to change flies—toss it back into your box and let the colors start bleeding or throw it into the front pouch of your waders to find it a tangled mess at the day’s end? Truder Tubes are the answer! These clear tubes are about an inch in diameter, so your big-profile flies don’t get crushed. One of the end caps has a magnet from which your flies hang. Using a T pin, you can also hang your tube flies in Truder Tubes. The other end cap has a small drain hole. Truder Tubes come in two lengths—4- and 5 inches. The tubes come with a case they snap into, and you can wear the case on your wading belt if desired. Truder Tubes are the best solution we’ve seen for keeping your big wigglies in great shape.