Every year I try to dedicate this month's column to gear and gadgets. Call it a Christmas shopping list of such. Many of these items might not fit under the tree but, plenty of them will so, it might not hurt to circle the items you might like to have and then lay the magazine around, open to this page of course, in strategic locations for potential gift givers to find.
Sabine Skiff VS
For years I dreamed of having an aluminum skiff that I could pole quietly into the wind. I approached several aluminum boat builders and was always told that it was either impossible or too time consuming to create the hull shape needed. A year ago, I was introduced to Brian Little who had done what I was told was next to impossible he had designed and built an aluminum skiff that would pole into the wind quietly.
I was very impressed with it but, it had a variable dead-rise hull that did not quite suit my needs. I asked him if he would be willing to alter his design to suit my needs. After a few months of collaboration the prototype Sabine Skiff VS was hooked up behind my truck and on it's way to Florida in pursuit of snook and tarpon. And, it is doing a pretty damned good job of catching Texas redfish, I might add.
With that being said, the production VS (Versatile Skiff) is designed to suit the needs of not only the fly fisherman, but also the duck hunter and even the bass fisherman who might be banging into stumps or rocks in an East Texas lake or Hill Country river. It is quiet to pole because of the hull shape and is light (150-200 lbs lighter than most production cored skiffs of the same size). The skiff is also efficient in that it can be operated with a 40 or 50 HP motor instead of the traditional 60 or 70 HP. Most importantly, it is affordable and durable. Seen in the photo above is the production version of the Sabine Skiff VS with a custom camo paint job.
For more info visit www.sabineskiff.com or (281) 380-7304
I am just as picky about my boat trailers as I am my skiffs. Having gone through 12 boats in my 20-plus year career, I have owned numerous brands of trailers and I can assure you, not only are Coastline Trailers some of the best towing trailers made, they are also, hands down, the best bang for the buck. In addition, Marty Strakos and his crew can build a customized trailer for any boat, new, used or home-built. www.coastlinetrailermfg.net or (361) 785-4073
Yeti Bottle and the Flip
As fly fishermen, we like to keep things light, especially in smaller skiffs designed to go as shallow as possible. My new system for cutting weight, and yes, even the use of plastic bottles, revolves around a couple of newer products from Yeti the 64 oz Rambler Bottle and the Yeti Hopper Flip. There is now no reason to weight your skiff down with a larger ice chest unless you need it as seating or as a makeshift platform. The Yeti bottles allow me to carry plenty of water for my sports and the Flip is more than sufficient for lunch for three people. Some of Yeti's best products to date. www.yeti.com
So as far am concerned, the Flush Tie sold by NewWater Boatworks is one of the greatest marine products ever. My Sabine Skiff is the second in which I have incorporated this product. Simpler in design and much less expensive than a pop-up cleat, the Flush Tie provides a place to secure lines and helps provide a snag-free deck for the fly angler. Available at www.newwaterboatworks.com
These things are the cat's meow for safely tying down your skiff while trailering. You can be on and off the trailer ready to travel in seconds rather than minutes. They can be purchased at either www.coastlinetrailermfg.net or www.coastalbendmarine.com
Howler Bros./Sanborn Canoe Co. SUP paddle
If you are into the stand-up-paddle board scene and like the finer things in life, you should visit the Howler Bros. website and look into their HB branded SUP paddle made by Sanborn Canoe Co. A classy, yet finely crafted and functional piece of equipment to add to your arsenal. www.howlerbros.com or www.sanborncanoe.com
Tired of seeing you engine walk from one side to the other while trailering? Try the TH Marine Steering Stops for your hydraulic steering system. Available at Coastal Bend Marine in POC. www.coastalbendmarine.com
Well that's it for this year. Merry Christmas everyone! I raise my glass to each and every one of you hoping that your holiday season started off great with a wonderful Thanksgiving and that it will finish even better with a great Christmas and wonderful New Year.