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Accessories for the fisherman

As I continue to advance into advanced age, I find it more and more difficult to do a lot of fairly simple acts of dexterity and skill. Tying knots used to be simple, but now I must use my glasses or else stay home. Seeing fish in the water is impossible without polaroid glasses and making that "perfect cast" is becoming more and more a thing of the past. Still, I manage to stumble around and even land a few nice fish now and again despite my shortfalls.

In fishing, there are a few, but very essential tools that make the sport just a whole lot easier and more enjoyable. Here is the short list of those items that will make fishing easier and more enjoyable for everyone.

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Sunglasses: Seems like a "no-brainer" here, but you would be surprised at how many people still ignore this basic accessory. I personally prefer the polarized lenses for their ability to help me spot, and catch, fish in the shallows or critters like spawning bluegills and crappies. You can shoot for tinted lenses to your preference and the price range runs from cheapies to big bucks. But basically, sunglasses make it easier on your eyes and will enable you to fish longer and more effectively.

Hemastats: These are used not only for surgeons removing stitches, but for unhooking fish as well. They are relatively cheap and can be snap-locked on a lanyard around the neck that would hold a few other items. Fly shops and tackle stores carry them. For larger fish like bass and pike, long-nose pliers would get the call for unhooking chores.

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Line Cutters: Most of these resemble simple nail cutters, but are designed to enable the angler to trim and cut monofilament line and trim knots. The majority of them are included in fisherman's tool kits that folks like Rapala and Strike King sell. Once you get above the 15-pound test range, then small side cutters get the call for these bigger applications. I, for one, am tired of biting line and my dentist says it's time for me to retire my "fishing teeth." For braided lines, use specially made scissors for cutting these tough lines, also available in most tackle shops and the "big box" stores.

Hats: Yet another no-brainer, but some are better than others. With today's increased awareness of skin cancer, it pays to pay attention to this simple item. I prefer standard issue style baseball caps, camo, please, for my outdoor activities. But in truth, I should wear protective headgear that shades the ears and nose, as these are often areas of concern. Cabelas and Bass Pro have a variety of "flats" and "up-downer" style hats that can offer sun protection along with facial wraps and gloves that provide high SPF for those who are out of doors a lot. Not for the construction crowd, these items are sometimes more style conscience than anything, which means little to me. I just want something that works. Along with the headgear, utilize a quality SPF lotion that has at least a 30 rating if you plan on spending all day on the water or in the sun.

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