Test of Time: Reliable Watercraft & Accessories
Pristine Ventures PR-49
Float fish and hunt expert Larry Bartlett is a longtime friend and innovator in the industry. Among his accomplishments, he’s developed a variety of boats that are well suited for hauling heavy loads in shallow rivers. Among them is the amazing PR-49. The 9-foot raft weighs in under 25 pounds and sports an 850-pound load capacity, allowing you to float heavy loads with a very shallow draft. Our team has had experience with this boat and all are astounded with its performance.
Beckman Nets BN3543S Landing Net
This net is commonly seen across Alaska, helping anglers land salmon in both freshwater and saltwater locations. It sports a huge basket and deep bag, which provides ample space to land all but the largest Chinook. The yoke is strong and sturdy, as is the hoop. The nylon netting offers little resistance in the water, making it easier to maneuver under large salmon. There are multiple handle options, so you can dial in the length handle that makes the most sense for your boat. Beckman makes many great nets, and they most likely have one that will excel in your fishery.
Alaska is a place where you can find yourself out at sea with no one around to help if something goes wrong. As such, reliability is a highly desirable feature for outboard motors. Honda’s outboard reliability is legendary. They are so good, the US Coast Guard has been using them as their primary outboard motors for years. Three years ago, Editor George Krumm put a BF250 on his 22’ Rogue Jet Boatworks Chinook and is very happy with his choice. They are quiet, have great power, and most importantly for Alaskan waters, they are extremely reliable.
Super Cat 50 Pontoon Boat
George Krumm has probably spent well over 1,000 hours in his Super Cat 50. A typical day for him is 6- to 10 hours, and he comments that the SuperCat is the most comfortable, versatile “float tube” he’s fished from. It’s super durable, too, and has backpack straps to help you pack it to the lake shore. It’s built on a backpack frame, with mesh seats and backrest. It comes with two side pockets and a behind-the-seat pocket. It can accommodate additional side pockets and has plenty of room to strap on a fish-finder and multiple rod holders (George often takes three- or four rods on a typical lake outing). It comes with a two-way pump and is fast and easy to inflate. It also comes with a carry bag than can fit the tube, your fins, and the pump, and the heavy material is stout enough to fly as checked baggage on an airline. It is a great fishing platform for any lake in which you can fish from a float tube.
Minn Kota Riptide Terrova 80
Several years ago, Editor George Krumm wrote an article called “The Game Changer.” It was about using electric, bow-mounted trolling motors for west coast fishing applications like salmon trolling, trout/kokanee and bottomfishing. The star of the show was the Minn Kota Riptide ST. The Riptide Terrova is the latest iteration and we’ve been using it for a few years. With one of these motors, used in conjunction with a gas kicker motor, we enjoy relatively hands-free trolling, backtrolling, backbouncing and more. Tired of being a slave to your kicker motor? Add one of these to your boat and you’ll see why George calls it a game changer.
LeeLock Magnum Skeg
The use of bow-mounted, electric trolling motors for west coast salmon, trout and bottomfishing applications is a real game changer. The LeeLock Magnum Skeg is a vital part of such systems. LeeLock was the first west coast manufacturer to mass produce an oversized skeg for electric trolling motors. The LeeLock Magnum Skeg drastically improves performance of bow-mounted electric trolling motors. Not only does it improve performance, it makes a bow-mounted electric trolling motor much more efficient as well so your batteries will run much longer on a given charge. Whether forward trolling, backtrolling/backbouncing in big rivers, or hovering over a rocky pinnacle for bottomfish, the Magnum Skeg makes your bow-mounted electric trolling motor work much better. Acting like a keel at the front of the boat, it also counteracts wind making it much easier to troll a straight line in windy conditions. LeeLock makes Magnum Skegs that fit a number of different brands of electric trolling motors.