Ready to check out three tip picks for hot new fishing gear this spring? 

piscifun alijoz fishing reel
The Piscifun Alijoz 300 low profile baitcasting reel proved its mettle on muskie.

Piscifun Baitcaster Review

If you’re looking for an affordable inshore or heavy freshwater baitcasting reel the Piscifun (“Pee-cee-fun”) Alijoz 300 may be the reel for you. It comes in 5.9:1 or 8.1:1 gear ratio. I tested the latter. The reel is light enough to cast all day without wearing your arm out, especially if you’re trying to catch a musky, the fish of 10,000 casts. What I found unique and what I liked most was the thumb bar engage button. There is no need to turn the handle to engage the thumb bar after a cast, simply push the button and you are good to go. I found this helpful when fishing baits that I wanted to sit for a moment before I started my retrieve. The reel is versatile enough to fish saltwater in the morning and freshwater in the afternoon. Pair up the reel with a rod and you’re ready to have some fun catching those piscis. Price: $99.99. Visit Piscifun for more information.

- By Eric Packard

dumb stick tow kayak
The Dumb Stick will help you get your fishing kayak to the ramp and back.

That’s Smart

You might remember the Dumb Stick from a Paddler’s Edge kayak fishing column a couple of years ago; Contributor Eric Packard told us about this simple apparatus that links your bicycle to a kayak, allowing for short tows to the local boat ramp or soft launch. Since that time nothing has changed and the Stick remains the same. So, why revisit the old Dumb Stick in Hot New Gear? Because some information has come to light that people deserve to know about. We ordered a Dumb Stick a month prior to Christmas, as a gift for a bike-owning kayaker. Thanks to the turbulence at the USPS, the week before the holidays it hadn’t arrived. So we emailed the Dumb Stick folks to make sure the order had been received in the first place. It had been, and they had sent one out as usual, so we chalked it up as a late gift we’d just have to wait for. Then, without us even asking, they sent out a second Dumb Stick to replace the missing delivery. Weeks later when the missing package finally arrived and we gave them a shout, they responded that they appreciated our business and that we should enjoy towing around our kayaks with both Dumb Sticks, no additional charges necessary. Note: they provided this exceptional level of customer service without having any way of knowing who we were or our connection with FishTalk Magazine. If you want to tow a kayak with a bike, these are the coolest folks to call. And while you can call the dudes at Dumb Stick dummies, we’d say they’re delightfully diligent at their duties and deserve some distinction. Price: $59 ($79 for a kayak/SUP wheeled cart, if you don’t already have one). Visit Dumb Stick for more info.

zoll safety kit and app
The Zoll takes your first aid kit to a techy new level.

Safer at Sea

You want to have a safer boat? Zoll has a way to add some smart tech to your first aid kit: their Mobile Rescue System Utility Kits include a full selection of first aid supplies which are color-coded and alpha-numerically labeled. In case of a medical emergency, open up their Mobilize Rescue App (for both iPhones and Androids) on your phone, and it delivers real-time instructions that correspond with the color coding and labeling so you can instantly access supplies as the app instructs you how to treat the victim. Everything from traumatic bleeding to hypothermia is covered. Since these kits are designed for use in schools and businesses they aren’t water-tight, so we’d recommend putting it in your emergency dry box or a similarly safe place. But the concept is so smart, we say it’s worth the extra effort to “marinize” a Zoll. Larger Compact Rescue System kits are also available. Price: $249 to $299 for kits plus app user licenses. Visit Zoll to learn more.