Fish Grips. Made in the USA!
First, I wanted to apologize for not getting these Supporting Gear Series back in the mix of the writings. After seeing how they seemed to be getting such a low reading volume, I felt it essential to take a step away and write reviews for a while and debate this series's course. I realized that I shouldn't have stopped it, and this information could help someone out there that might need it. I fully believe still, if I can help one person, then this writing is worth it. Now that I've got that off my chest let's continue.
I am not one to go putting my fingers in a fish's mouth. I learned that lesson the hard way when I was younger, and I decided to reach into a Pickerel's mouth to get the hook. I was rewarded with pain, blood, and a valuable lesson. After that day, I learned to grab the fish's body with a firm grip and get the hook out that way. Of course, then I learned that some fish have spines. You can say I had a very educational childhood through pain (which could have been why the Marines was a perfect fit for me all those years).
Fast-forward to today's technology and tools available. Fish grips were something I never really heard of until I started to get serious about fishing. My first one was the metal lip grip style, and it seemed to work out pretty well as a starter. The added advantage was these were small enough to fit into just about any fish's mouth and assist in holding it in a more controller manner. Even my daughter was able to use them when she caught her first trout.
She's got that keep it close to the camera game on point! Her first Rainbow Trout
When I started surf fishing, I was having quite a hard time using the grips on the different species. The sizes of their mouths were slightly different, and after my first Hardhead Catfish, the grip was closer than I would have liked to the stinging zones. I got a severe reckoning that the tool I had was inadequate after reeling in my first 33" Black Drum. That monster was heavy, and those grips would not keep up with that. It seemed that it was easier in my instances to do it by hand, so I went back to that method until I saw my friend Justin's fish grips.
I had never really gone looking for a better tool than I had currently because it was good enough. Mostly, I was able to physically handle most fish I reeled in (I use a glove because the kingfish is a slippery little sucker, and I still don't like getting finned). But his set showed me how much easier it would be to handle a large fish (or hardhead) with better control and without using the hook. I decided to go shopping to find a pair.
The next day, I went to Half Hitch and talked with Amber about these grips. She brought me to the section and explained a little more about them and why they are so helpful. I had a few options to go with for colors, so, of course, I went with the Red, White, and Blue (AMERICA!) grips. They were a good size that felt comfortable. They fit very easily into my pocket while fishing, and of course, they were stylish (because we all know looking cool is the first step, yes that was sarcasm).
These grips are strong enough to lift a big fish
There are many different brands available to choose from with these grips. They also are available in a floating type, so if you're out on your kayak/boat and you drop them, they are (hopefully) going to be sitting on the surface waiting for you to grab and bring back to you. That is an excellent addition and piece of mind in the construction of these grips.
Do I think these are a MUST HAVE item in the supporting equipment series? No, not a must-have. I consider them extremely nice to have item, though, and I feel a little naked without mine now when I go out fishing. They are available at most local tackle shops and are plentiful online. I recommend if you're looking for a set to go with the more extended version. This will give you more grip and control (again, in my opinion) when using them to work with fish.
Are you using a set of fish grips? Leave a comment about which ones you use and your likes/dislikes about them. Thank you for stopping by and reading through this review. If you have something you would like me to check out, please drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org. Have a great time out there on the water! Go forth, and do good things!