since 2009

The best gear I’ve bought this year (so far…)


I’ve been thinking about the stuff I’ve bought for fishing and what’s been most useful and most frivolous. So far this year two things stick out as the most useful pieces of gear
I’ve bought so far. First and foremost is the Aquapac waterproof case for my phone. Anyone who’s fished with me probably knows how terrible I am with electronics, and how much electronics hate saltwater. So far my tally is three deceased iPhones and two digital cameras (Canon s90, which I loved, and the Canon 880, which I liked ok). Jason Puris at the Fin actually gave me the heads up on this thing, so credit goes to him, and once I saw it I knew I would be a moron for not getting one. Not that I wasn’t already a moron for losing five pieces of expensive electronics before I wised up and paid the $32 (tax included) for the case. Man, I’m dumb sometimes. The good news is Aquapac also makes a digital camera case for little point and shoots and for DSLRs also. If I ever get around to buying another digital camera (thinking of the Panasonic DMC-LX5), I’ll have to pick up one of these too. On a related note, if you fish and buy your cameras from B&H or wherever, and they offer you that extended warranty for $40 or $60, take it. I’ve replaced cameras and other electronics no questions asked with that over the last few years. And if you’re a doofus like me who soaks electronics in the water pretty often, well I don’t have to say any more.


The second best thing I’ve bought this year is this wading jacket from LL Bean. This thing has saved my ass from getting soaked pretty much every time I’ve worn it. Whether it was when I was eating it in Montauk, getting pounded out in the Rockaways, getting lightly splashed on the Breezy Point jetty at low tide this jacket hasn’t done me wrong. It’s not a dry top so don’t plan to go swimming in it, and don’t store anything in the front pockets that you won’t want to get wet, even if you have it stored in Ziploc bags. But the jacket is lightweight and waterproof and the adjustable cuffs on the sleeves work great for keeping you dry when you’re fishing jetties, rocks, the surf, or from a boat. If you’re planning on swimming then you probably already have a dry top or wet suit. Some comparable Patagonia ones can range up to $450; this one is only $130. What a deal.

What about you guys? What’s the most valuable gear you’ve picked up this year? Oh yeah, heading back to the Rockaways Wednesday evening, so hopefully I’ll have something interesting to report.

—mkl

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6 responses

  1. David Cole

    I’m going to say the best thing I’ve bought this year for gear would definitely be my new rod. Its a St. Croix Mojo Surf 10’6″, which is super strong thin and light. Going out to the piers having an Ugly stick is fine (for some reason if you bait fish from the pier you look like an idiot if you don’t have one), but for surf casting its absolutely the worst rod one could possibly have. I was out for like 2 hours one night and I think I threw out my shoulder trying to cast what was essentially a waterlogged tree trunk. With my new rod I feel like i’m casting with a wiffle ball bat.

    June 29, 2011 at 9:44 am

  2. wow, really feeling that phone case! Thank you! Gear I bought this year, new plug bag for $30 at Capitol Tackle, 12 slots. no brand name.

    June 29, 2011 at 4:10 pm

    • yeah man. i think probably because i’ve lost so many phones already it’s a relief to find a good quality case for cheap. i’m using an aquaskinz medium bag since i lost my other one last fall. it’s ok. i like the size of it a lot, but the compartments and pockets leave a little to be desired. also my plugs keep getting caught in the material and tearing. i think if maybe i spent a little more money i could have gotten a much better bag. oh well, i’ll use this one until it wears out and figure it out from there.

      -mkl

      June 30, 2011 at 12:59 am

  3. Preacher

    Very true, Ugly Sticks are horrible to cast with. They are flexible and strong and therefore great for Piers and rough conditions because they can get stepped on, or jammed in between rocks for a rod holder and you don’t have to worry about the paint. They also make the reel work very hard. They do not fight the fish, just bend. I have 3 that fell into my lap and I keep catching big fish on a $5 garage sale ugly stik. One of my fav purchases this year is a surf rod called only D- Blue. Hand made by a guy in Long Island. After 100s of casts I am still blown away by how far I can get the lure. No Logo’s just a blue paint job. Wonderful to cast with and fight with but not a beater rod that ugly stiks do so well.

    July 2, 2011 at 11:50 am

  4. did you guys see this, courtesy of Capt. Gene Kelly…

    If you fish in Montauk or land in Montauk with a fish, you need to be enrolled, unless you only fish on a charter or head boat. To do it, you can go to https://nyfgisales.appsolgrp.com/fgnyia/html/index.jsp and just follow the instructions. Don’t worry about the indication that you have to pay with a credit card. If you only apply for the marine license, the fee is $0.00 and you don’t have to enter any credit card info.

    July 25, 2011 at 2:43 pm

    • Al, do you mean enroll in the federal registry? Is that already in effect? I thought it was going to be active next year… I’ll have to dig up where I read that.

      -mkl

      July 25, 2011 at 7:04 pm

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