Product Reviews

Keep It Reel Clothing - I have some very exciting news to share, I have partnered up with an up and coming fishing apparel company, KEEP IT REEL CLOTHING offers high quality, great looking apparel designed for fisherman like us.  Check them out at


Lowrance Hook 5 -

Merry Christmas to me.....I added a RAM mounted Lowrance Hook 5 with Navionics + to the console to use as a stand alone GPS / Chartplotter.  It will allow me more room to split my 7ti with sonar and down / side scan instead of having to split it into thrid's or chosing between sonar and down / side scan.  The install came out GREAT, Ranger made it easy with a power brick underneath the console, that had several open ports.  Definately a nice addition to the Ranger, I am excited about the addition. 


BTO Bow Graph Mount -

After experiecing the quality of my BTO Trailer Steps, and wanting a bow graph mount to center my Lowrance Elite 7ti over my recessed trolling motor tray, ordering a BTO Bow Graph Mount was a no brainer.  Roy built it to my specs, and it came out AWESOME!!!!  The quality of his products is top notch, and from what I can see, he can build pretty much anything.





Dobyns FURY Series Rods -

I recently picked up a couple of Dobyns Rods new Fury Series rods.  I have been a fan of Dobyns Rods since they were introduced, several years back.  I have fished with there Champion Extreme, Champion, Savvy lines, all very impressive rods.  I have heard nothing but great things about the Fury series, Dobyns intro in the the $100 market, they sale for $109 (Swimbait model $119). Can they perform like all the other Dobyns Rods I have used in the past?  Time will tell, so far I am impressed with the sensativity, feel, and looks of these much I completed my transition to a complete (well 99.9%) Dobyns Rods aresenal.  If you have any questions on any of the following models, feel free to drop me a line (use the "contact me" link).  I will also be posting rod specific reviews in the future as well.


FR 703SF (2) - So far great multi-purpose spinning rods.  I have used these rods for a variety of baits, from Texas rigged worms, to Spy Baits....Great feeling rods


FR 703C - I've been using this rod for spoons, and Texas rigs this winter, Great feel, Good tip, Good backbone


FR 733C - Picked this rod up for spinnerbaits....great choice


FR 704C - Great Senko, small swimbait rod


FR 705CB (2) - So far, Great for a variety of topwaters, squarebills, lipless, jerkbaits, and chatterbaits...I am sure I'll get a lot of use out of these two rods


FR 735C - I've been using this rod for "One Ton" jigs, and small swimbaits.....haven't boated a fish yet, but I love the feel of this rod


FR 765C - Great for Flipping and Pitching Texas rigged worms / creature baits, as well as Carolina Rigs


 For rod specificattions, check out Dobyns Rods website



BTO Trailer Steps -

I ordered a set of trailer steps for my RT from BTO - Bass Tracker Optimax a moderator on BassBoatCentral.  The steps came out GREAT, install time was maybe 20-30 minutes, and they bolted into factory holes with provided hardware.  These steps are by far, one of the best upgrades I've done to my RT so far.  They are heavy flex, and I am 210lbs., they are very ergonomic...perfectly spaced...and they look GREAT!!!!  Definately worth checking them out.  If you are interested in these steps, or want to check out the other great products from BTO, click the link below.


Upgrade Fishing Rod Covers -

For the last couple months I've been trying out new rod covers / socks from Upgrade Fishing.  I purchased all rod covers with the tapered tip, I went Pink for my spinning and Neon green for my baitcasting.  In the past I have tried covers / socks from Bass Pro, Rod Sox, Outdoor Angler (Walmart), and The Rod Glove.  While a few of these manufacturers offer the tapered tip, I have found that the covers / socks from Upgrade fishing allow hooks to be removed much easier then the others mentioned.  I know only time will tell how these covers / socks hold up, but right now there getting a big thumbs up from me.


Tip - While I only have an 8 rod compartment rod box, the covers /socks allow me to carry many more.  I typically carry 14-15 rods in my rod box.  One trick I have learned is that you can usually fit two baitcasting, or one spinning and one baitcasting rod in each tube....while it's difficult to fit two spinning rods




V-T2 Livewell Vents -

Keeping fish alive and healthy is very important to me.  I have always taken great pride in keeping my fish alive and healthy during tournaments.  Over the last ten or so years, I can count the number of fish that I have had die on one hand.  That being said, and after being impressed with how they worked in my prior boat ('00 Stratos 295 Pro Elite) I installed the V-T2 livewell vents in my 2016 Ranger RT 188.  I chose the VT-2 Vents over some of the other DIY vents for a couple reasons.  I feel that the small raised vents aid in maximum air flow into my livewell.  The vents are raised just enough to help capture and force the air in, while not causing a tripping hazard in anyway, they also flex when stepped on.  The inside of the vent is split into two chambers, helping increase maximum flow of clean air in, and gasses out.  They also protrude 2-3 inches down into the livewell, once again forcing the clean air in, and gasses out.  As you can see by the pictures,  I installed them just to the inside edge of my seats, for maximum air flow.  I feel that as tournament fisherman we need to do what we can to help protect our fish.  The VT-2 Vents are an inexpensive upgrade, that in my opinion, make a HUGE difference....


I also installed a Cull Keeper, 5 Hole Cull System Keeper which you can see in the second pic.  It's a must for every tournament angler, your cull tags are right in reach, and untangled when you need them.


UPDATE - I've had the boat out 5-6 times now, and every trip I have been able to put 2-3 fish in the livewell, first thing.  I've kept fish in my livewell from 2 to 7 hours, and EVERYTIME the fish have came out like they were chugging Mountain Dew and Red Bull for hours on end.  These things are freaking awesome!!!! 



2016 Ranger RT 188 -

As equipped from my local Ranger dealer, C&C Marine -

2016 RT 188

2016 Mercury 115 HP Fourstroke

Minn Kota Fortrex 80lb. / 24V

(2) Lowrance Elite 7ti Chartplotter / Sonars


NuCanoe Frontier 10 Kayak -

The NuCanoe Frontier has been great so far.  Of course part of the fun is rigging your kayak.  I installed a NuCanoe Slide Mount, Scotty rod holders, anchor trolley, Lowrance 3dsi, NuCanoe casting bar, custom milk crate, Hydrowave Mini, and a Micro Power Pole.  Definately a fishing machine, and it hasn't let me down far only negative I have found is the weight

Pic doesn't show Micro Power Pole