2018’s best new accessories

You’ll wonder how you ever fished without these sonars, lines, tackle totes, lights and more

Also see the year’s best new lures, rods and reels, fly-fishing tackle and gear for women.

Best transducer



In recent years, Garmin has impressed anglers with its Panoptix technology, which scans in real time in LiveVu Forward or LiveVu Down modes. The only problem was that if you wanted both (and who doesn’t?) you needed to install two transducers. The PS22-TR solves that problem, scanning both down and around the boat with a single 20-degree transducer. If you’re a Garmin owner, you’re going to want one of these—and pronto.

Garmin, (913) 397-8200; www.garmin.ca

Best braided line



The original Fireline is a fused gel-spun line that lays flat on your spool, perfect for spinning reels. The Ultra 8, however, is a rounder, eight-fibre fused braid that stacks evenly on baitcasting reels. It’s also smoother, longer-casting and four times more abrasion-resistant than the original. No wonder it was named ICAST’s best new line. It’s available in smoke and crystal colours, from four- to 30-pound test.

Berkley, 1-800-237-5539; www.berkley-fishing.com

Best sonar/chartplotter



I can only describe this sonar/charplotter unit as over the top—the 15.4-inch LED backlit screen is bigger than my first TV, after all! It features CHIRP and MEGA Side Imaging out to 800 feet and MEGA Down Imaging to 400 feet, along with traditional 2-D sonar, GPS chartplotting and AutoChart Live mapping. The built-in Bluetooth even syncs to your smartphone to display texts and other notifications right on the screen.

Johnson Outdoors, (905) 634-0023; www.humminbird.com

Best kayak accessory



Like all anglers, kayakers can never have too much tackle, but storing it can present a challenge. Enter the V-Crate. Designed to fit securely behind the seat, it offers easy access to four StowAway tackleboxes. There’s also a waterproof lower compartment for your wallet or phone, and a top compartment for raingear or other accessories There’s even an external rail system for attaching cameras, rod holders and other accessories.

Plano Molding, 1-800-226-9868; www.planomolding.com

Best security system



For years I’ve used a DuraSafe E-Lock to protect my boat and trailer when it’s attached to the truck. Now DuraSafe has a line of locks letting anglers secure a truck, trailer and all their boat equipment with a single key. The line includes locks for receivers, couplers, spare tire, swing-away trailer tongue, a cable lock and a chain wheel lock, all keyed the same. Talk about safety and convenience.

DuraSafe Locks, (262) 544-5615; www.durasafelocks.com

Best boating accessory



The PowerLight is a 500-lumen flood- and spotlight designed to run off a boat’s navlight port, making it perfect for rigging rods before sunrise or unpacking the boat after dark. And thanks to the locking, pivoting mount on the accompanying aircraft-grade aluminum PowerStick, the light can be held in place at speeds of up to 110 kilometres per hour. You can also use the Power Stick to mount a camera.

Yolotek, 1-800-488-5512; www.yolotek.com

Best fluorocarbon line



Crank FC is made specifically for reaction lures such crankbaits, jerkbaits, rattlebaits and vibrating jigs, which require more line stretch to cushion hits than what normal fluorocarbon lines offer. It’s also slicker, more abrasion resistant and longer lasting than regular fluoro. If you fish with reaction baits—and let’s face it, we all do—you’re going to want to spool an outfit or two with this line.

Sunline America, (310) 538-6887; www.sunlineamerica.com