Tag Archives: fishing az

Tweezerman Professional Stainless Steel Toenail Clippers – Item of the Day

Every day I bring you an item on Amazon that I personally use or has been purchased by many members of the audience and I have researched enough to recommend.

Today’s TSP Amazon Item of the day is Tweezerman Professional Stainless Steel Toenail Clippers.  This may seem like an odd item but well, it is something we all need and something that serves multiple functions.

There is the obvious function, cutting nails and I use these for both toe and fingers nails.  I have always found most toe nail clippers to be for well, I guess children and women.  I have had them come apart and even one time break, I mean the metal cracked.

Next if you don’t keep a set or two of clippers in your fishing gear you either don’t have fishing gear or you are missing out.  I keep a set of these in each of my tackle boxes, so no matter which one I grab I always have them.  Sure you can cut fishing line just fine with a knife but no tool on the planet is better for trimming up rigging then clippers.

Lastly I don’t know what it is but there are three things I lose more than anything else.  They are in order sharpie markers, tape measures and nail clippers.  I just don’t get it, I am talking not leaving a room or a garage, having just had it in my hand and fing GONE LIKE A FART IN THE WIND.  Sometimes they show up, a day, week or month later, sometimes they are gone forever.

I tend not to believe in the super natural but if their are gnomes or some such shit that steals things, they must adore pens, tape measures and nail clippers.   So I want a quality clipper but I also want one that when, not if I lose it, I am not going to be too upset about it.  At $6.68 a piece when I need more I usually buy 2-6 at a time.

Right now I am down to the ones in my tackle boxes and one pair in my medicine cabinet.   Perhaps I should put a rat trap next to it and see if those little gnomes really exist?  In any event for your nail care and your tackle box at this price the Tweezerman Professional Stainless Steel Toenail Clippers just can’t be beat.

Remember you can always find all of our reviews at TspAz.com


“Sand Salt Surf and Sun” – Wicking Fishing Shirts – Item of the Day

Every day I bring you an item on Amazon that I personally use or has been purchased by many members of the audience and I have researched enough to recommend.

Today’s TSP Item of the day is “Sand Salt Surf and Sun” – Wicking Fishing Shirts.  Now “Sand Salt Surf and Sun” is a brand of design put out by a company called Vapor Apparel.  I happen to like my shirts with something interesting on them, but you can also get these shirts in long and short sleeve in a generic version (plain no design) for on average 10-12 bucks less per shirt if you are so inclined.  Links to all the options are at the end of this review.

Note that the “Sand Salt Surf and Sun” branded stuff and the stuff with no design are the exact same shirts, from the exact same company.  Just one has some sort of art work on it and the other is plain.

There is a lot I like about these shirts, lets start with UPF 50 as a sun protection rating.  UPF (Ultraviolet Protection Factor) is a new standard measure for how well fabrics protect your skin from the sun.  A rating of 50 means only 1/50th of the suns UV radiation will pass though the fabric.  More importantly this is for both UVA and UVB solar radiation.  Most sun screen does a really good job on UVB radiation but is pretty poor at the UVA radiation.

Next is the wicking technology.  To put it bluntly being covered in sweat sucks and the only thing worse is a soaked in sweat shirt that just won’t dry.  It feels like wearing a fricken giant body diaper!  Nasty.  These shirts wick the sweat off you and dry quickly, they turn your sweat into fricken air conditioning.

I wear them all the time now when working in the heat and when fishing in hot weather as well.  I really enjoyed them while wade fishing in the surf recently on Sanibel Island.  Talk about wearing an air conditioner.  When I would get too hot I would just kneel down and soak the entire shirt up to my shoulders (holding the reel above the water of course).  As soon as you stood up  you could feel your core temp drop as the moisture began wicking away and evaporating.

This isn’t really how an air conditioner works, it is more like how an evaporative cooler works, it is actually exactly how they work.  These shirts are great of course for swimming too.  And unlike sunscreen they don’t wash off and don’t expose your skin to chemicals.

As to price that varies based on color, size, designs etc but basically the branded design stuff ranges from about 26-35 dollars a shirt on average.  And the more generic non design plain shirts range from 16 to 19 dollars.

Remember you can always find all of our reviews at TspAz.com

P.S. – I really like the short sleeved shirts for wearing around the house, out in the yard and even out to dinner.  They look great and are very comfortable.  But when it comes to a day in a boat or at the shore, I vastly prefer the long sleeved ones.

Few reasons.  First it covers your arms from the sun and protects them.  Next especially when fishing and getting wet it increases the cooling power of the evaporative fabric.  Lastly, I can easily push long sleeves up if I want that look or feel, but I can’t stretch short sleeves down if my arms are getting too hot or burned.

P.S.S. – There is a lot of talk that “sun screen causes cancer” and such on the web today.  While there is a vein of truth to it, it isn’t that simple and most of what is online about it is total bullshit.  The best info on the subject and the info I personally trust is from Dr. Mercola.


Catahoula Manufacturing Tarred Bank – Item of the Day

cmitwineEvery day I bring you an item on Amazon that I personally use or has been purchased by many members of the audience and I have researched enough to recommend.

Today’s TSP Amazon Item of the day is one of my go to essentials for BOBs, Vehicle Kits and around the homestead, and frankly everywhere.  It is Catahoula Manufacturing #36 Tarred Bank Line.  Let me say that any size bank line by Catahoula Manufacturing Incorporated (aka CMI) is fine, if you want heavier or lighter stuff there are many options, check here.

I personally recommend that you get at least one 550 foot roll of #36 because it is such a good bang for the buck.  At 30 dollars with free shipping it isn’t just a monetary value either.  As a pack item you are talking about a spool that weighs only a pound and yet gives you 550 of 320 pound tensile strength line.  Tarred line is the best go to as a twine and binder for everything from “red neck repairs” to setting traps, building survival structures or fishing with limb lining or trot lines.

The key here is ONLY BUY Catahoula Manufacturing Line.  Most bank line is in a word, shit, it isn’t tarred line just because the label says so.  CMI is the only manufacturer I trust when buying this stuff online when I can’t inspect it by hand prior to purchase.

Look I know it sounds obvious but the entire point of tarred line, is that it is well, tarred.  Let me explain a bit further.  Tarred doesn’t mean it is black, or it has some trace bit of a tar like substance on it.  No it is supposed to mean that the twine is fully impregnated with tar.  It should be sticky, you should smell tar when you open it, get it tarred.

You know how they say you can’t push a string?  Well if it is a tarred string you should easily be able to push a foot or so of it.  Again, get it, tarred!

The point is that this twine doesn’t unravel and it holds both in knots and in wraps, the tar is what makes that happen.  That way the part you red neck reparied stays put till you fix it right, or you lean to doesn’t fall on your head, or that big catfish doesn’t yank it off the sapling you used for a limb line set.

Most so called bank line or tarred line has little if any tar on it.  CMI, is the real deal.  So consider adding some Catahoula Manufacturing #36 Tarred Bank Line or other sizes of it to your preps.  Again it is something I consider an absolute essential.

Remember you can always find all of our reviews at TspAz.com

P.S. – Yes the prepper/survivalist/bushcraft world is enamored with parachute cord.  Yes I do think it has its uses, but it can’t come close to the versatility, usability and bang for the buck good tarred line gives you.



Marine Metal Aeratr Bubble Box – Item of the Day

Every day I bring you an item on Amazon that I personally use or has been purchased by many members of the audience and I have researched enough to recommend.

Today’s TSP Amazon Item of the day is the Marine Metal Aeratr Bubble Box.  Yes this is another item for your fishing kit, but it is more than that, a lot more.  In the end what this is comes down to a battery powered aerator that runs about 40 hours on 2 D-Cell Batteries.  Again 40 hours!

So sure I keep one in my Fishing Kit, because it can keep bait alive or fish that I want to bring home alive in a bucket.  That is what most people use this for.  Yet there are other things one may need this for.

Let me ask you, do you keep fish at all?  Like do you have an aquarium?  Or an aquaponics system?  Now I am not suggesting that this little box can keep your 55 gallon tank or 300 gallon IBC running like a top long term, but what if you power goes out for a day or two?

Like many of you I have a generator but you can only run so many things and like many of you I am all about running what you can on batteries when it makes sense.  So consider with a 12 pack of cheap D-Cell batteries and two of these boxes you could keep two tanks aerated for 120 strait hours.  Folks that is 5 days!

Again long term this is not a solution for larger tanks but during an outage this could save you hundreds or even thousands of dollars in lost fish!  And what does this little magic box set you back, a whopping 8 bucks.

Oh and hey what about you high gravity beer and mead brewers?  Those of you wanting to push things to 16-20% ABV, one key to that is oxygen, so you hook this little bad boy up to your carboy, (sanitize the hose and stone of course) and run it for 6 hours before setting your airlock into place!  Note if you plan to do this you should get one dedicated ONLY to this use.

Again my main use for this is keeping fish alive in the field, mostly for bait and it is outstanding for that, but for 8 bucks it does a lot of other things.  So consider adding the Marine Metal Aeratr Bubble Box to your kit today.

Remember you can always find all TSPAZ Items of the day by just going to TspAz.com along with a link to Amazon’s top deals of the day.


Shakespeare Ugly Stik GX2 Spincast Youth Combo – Item of the Day

rodEvery day I bring you an item on Amazon that I personally use or has been purchased by many members of the audience and I have researched enough to recommend.

Today’s TSP Amazon Item of the day is the Shakespeare Ugly Stik GX2 Spincast Youth Combo.  Recently I answered a question about taking kids fishing on the podcast, three different listeners told me about this combo.  Got to say I am impressed.

This is what you have, a GREAT rod and and okay reel.  Let me expand on that.  Keeping in mind this is a combo for a kiddo!  The cost of this combo is about 40 dollars and that is about the value of the rod itself.  The reel is worth about 12-16 dollars, in time it is going to wear out.  And that is okay!

Because as your kiddo gets older and that reel wears out but their skill and willingness to care for things goes up, you just get a better reel for them and keep that great quality rod.  I just ordered one for my grandson, it is a rod that will grow with him.  And to be blunt if you ever break an uglystick, you have done something very bad wrong.

So if you have a young one you want to get started fishing consider the Shakespeare Ugly Stik GX2 Spincast Youth Combo as a great place to start.

Remember you can always find all of our reviews at TspAz.com


Yamasho Brass Fish Scaler – Item of the Day

Every day I bring you an item on Amazon that I personally use or has been purchased by many members of the audience and I have researched enough to recommend.

Today’s TSP Amazon Item of the day is the Yamasho Brass Fish Scaler.  Jason from PA was kind enough to ask for a recommendation for a fish scaler.  This is the one I recommend hands down.

It really comes down to something simple by the way, if you want to know about preparing fish, turn to Japan.  Just how much fish do the Japaneses consume, well by some estimates about one in every ten fish consumed in the world, is consumed in Japan.  Yea you read that right, Japan is about 1.6% of total global population but they consume 10% of the worlds fish.

So the Japanese know just a bit about consuming and hence preparing fish.  This scaler is a perfect blend of simplicity, functionality and value.  It comes in at just under 10 bucks with free shipping and 4.8 out of 5 stars with well over 100 reviews.

Gaming the Amazon review system has become something of a hobby for companies selling there, so of course I checked fakespot on this item, The Product itself gets an A Grade on Fakespot, while the company itself, Yamasho also gets an A Grade.   Additionally the third party seller who is actually shipping the item, Japan Tokyo Shop has 100% positive feedback on Amazon for the last 12 months.

In addition to the fact that it just freaking works, the other thing I love about this scaler is the look and feel.  It is flatly a quality tool that feels right in the hand.  To really make it great rub a bit of stain into the unfinished handle and seal it with some wax or oil.  You then have a tool that looks like it has been around for a century and frankly the form of the tool itself is likely older than that.

To make scaling most effective (read that not messy) fill a sink or a tub with water and scale under water, this will keep scales from flying all around and making a mess.  Which it will do otherwise.  If you are scaling on the side of a lake, no big deal but if you are doing it in your kitchen, trust me and use the water trick.

In America we seem to have become obsessed with skinless and boneless EVERYTHING, we really need to get away from that, but especially with fish.  Japanese and many other Asian cultures seem to mostly prefer to cook fish on the bone, with the skin, because they simply know it gives better flavor, and man if you crisp the skin, you won’t even miss that deep fried breading we also seem obsessed coating everything with.

Here is a VERY simple recipie for seared fish, it works well with any fish but it is outstanding with smaller pan fish like bluegill and perch.  To prepare the fish, scale it, then gut it, you can leave the head on, or cut it off the choice is yours.  Then take a very sharp knife and score into the skin on both sides three to for small cuts, try to only cut as much into the flesh as necessary.

Now make a rub, here is what you need for it.  Scale up or down based on how much you need.

  • 2 Tbs Korean Fermented Chili Paste (Gochujang) –  Link
  • 1 Tbs Ginger Paste (or minced fresh ginger) – Link
  • 1 Tbs Lemon Grass Paste – Link – (Check the produce section of your grocery on this one and save money)
  • 1 Tbs Garlic Paste – Link
  • 1 Tbs Your Choice of Oil – (I like peanut oil for this)
  • 1 Tbs Fish Sauce – (This is my favorite brand, I won’t buy anything else) – Link
  • Black Pepper (a few grinds – I prefer pure Tellicherry) – Link

Mix the wet ingredients, don’t sweat the quantity too much, to tell the truth I do it by eye.  Rub the fish inside and out with this oil paste until fully coated and let it sit for a few hours in the fridge, for best results rub your fish in the morning before you go to work and cook it that night for dinner.

Cook the fish in hot oil, a cast iron skillet or a carbon steel pan is best.  Cook until the fish flakes easy and the skin is crisp.  The scoring marks will expand and let the oil inside.  I like enough oil that about 30% of the thickness of the fish is in the oil.  But go by eye.  Serve this with stir fry vegetables and a bit of rice.  You can thin the left over paste with some saki and soy sauce and add it to the veggies right at the end, this is called reinforcing the flavors.  Garnish with thinly sliced chili peppers, cilantro, Thai basil and green onions.  Sprinkle with some toasted sesame seeds for a nice effect.

The best part?  The fins!  The tail fins and dorsal (part without bones) are like little crispy fish potato chips!  The dorsal fin will pull right out and the meat will come off the bones so easy you will wonder why you ever bother filleting fish at all.  You won’t have much waste either, the bones will look like an old cartoon of Tom the cat getting fish bones out of the trash when you are done.

This makes eating smaller fish like perch and pan fish a lot more practical than filleting them as well.  So check out the Yamasho Brass Fish Scaler today and hit that little pond down the road and make a meal you can’t even buy in a restaurant out of some of your local panfish.

Remember you can always find all of our reviews at TspAz.com

Mitchell 300 Spinning Reel – Item of the Day

mitch-300Every day I bring you an item on Amazon that I personally use or has been purchased by many members of the audience and I have researched enough to recommend.

Today’s TSP Amazon Item of the day is the Mitchell 300 Spinning Reel.  I grew up fishing with old school Mitchell 300s as in 1950s models made in France.  Things have changed, sadly today Mitchells are made like many things in China, but this reel is done right and true to its heritage.

I love to fish, but bluntly fishing is one of two things depending on how you do it.  It is either a great low cost way to add protein to the homestead or a very expensive hobby.  So as always I want maximum value, with a very high quality to price ratio.  I may have tried the new Mitchells due to family affinity, but they won me over on merits.

Over the years I have tried many mid sized spinning reels under 70 dollars looking for the best, and Mitchell in my view is still the working man’s best value.  The only runner up really so far is the Garcia SX40, and Garcia owns Mitchell, so that might be a reason.  Note the SX40 is NOT as good of a reel as the Mitchell 300 but at only 30 bucks it is a great reel for loaner rods and rods your kids drop in the water!

This is not the reel for taking on tarpon or sharks (other than pups in the surf) but it will run line from about 4-20 pounds beautifully.  It pairs up perfectly with most medium-light fast to medium action rods.  Which is my sweet spot!  I have no desire to drag a 3 pound fish across the surface like a water skier, any of you remember that clown Babe Winkleman in the 80s?

The Mitchell 300 Spinning Reel simply works and works great, there is no back roll, it is smooth, it casts beautifully, the drag is silky smooth and the total cost is about 45 bucks with free shipping.   It is currently the best valued spinning reel under 50 bucks and if I ever find a better deal I will let you know.

For what it is worth, I have tried the 300 Pro, it is a great reel and I can’t tell the difference in performance.  The key mechanical difference is it has 10 bearings vs. 8 bearings on the standard 300.  If the pro is worth the extra 40ish bucks to you, fine it is a great reel too, but where the fish meets the line, I can’t tell the difference other than the color.

Remember you can always find all of our reviews at TspAz.com

Igloo Hybrid Stainless and Plastic Latch and the Igloo Stainless Steel Hinges


Every day I bring you an item on Amazon that I personally use or has been purchased by many members of the audience and I have researched enough to recommend.

Today’s TSP Amazon Item of the day is the Igloo Hybrid Stainless and Plastic Latch and the Igloo Stainless Steel Hinges.  Yep a two fer cause I know many of ya’ll need one or both of these.  I can see it now, that big giant white igloo cooler most of us at least one of, sitting out there with the latches broken off it.

I mean those cooler are great and affordable to boot, they hold a TON of stuff, keep ice for a few days and man you just can’t beat em.  But what always happens, the damn latches break off and though not as frequently the hinges fail.

Most people “live with it”, I mean unless it is strapped onto a cargo carrier shoved into a pintel hitch receiver, it isn’t going to just fly open right?  Well no but it will not close tight and it will tend to therefore not hold ice as well, besides that latch is there for a reason right.

The issue is clear, it should not be made of plastic, because here is the other thing many of us have done.  When we are at say Bass Pro or Academy Sports they sell these latches and hinges cheap, so we buy a set and in a season or two at most, they break again.  Seriously I haven’t been spying on you, this is just what happens to us all.

The solution is don’t use plastic and that is what you can get here.  The latches are plastic where plastic makes sense and metal where the plastic always and I mean always in time fails.  The hinges are just solid metal, which is how igloo should make these damn things in the first place.  This is an example of living like our fathers did, not only do you not just toss something out and instead fix it, but  you actually make it better than new.

I mean think about it, unless you do something really horrible to a cooler it lasts a VERY long time.  I have some that are 20 years old and still good, so why replace a broken part with something that will soon break again anyway.

So if you have igloo coolers that need new hardware check out the the Igloo Hybrid Stainless and Plastic Latch and Igloo Stainless Steel Hinges.

Remember you can always find all of our reviews at TspAz.com

PS VERY IMPORTANT THIS TIME – First and foremost the hinges come as a pair, the latch is a single unit.  The reason they do this is some coolers only have one latch OR sometimes you only want one.  So if you need two, order quantity two.

Next if you look at the negative reviews for the latches you will see claims they do not fit.  They absolutely do fit, if you install them correctly.  They are designed a bit different from the plastic ones and must be installed a bit differently.  The photos below come from a review by Moxy on Amazon but I could not figure out how to link to Moxy’s images directly so I am including them here.  They make it VERY clear what the people bitching about fit are doing wrong.



Spiderwire Wolf Tackle Bag – Item of the Day

Every day I bring you an item on Amazon that I personally use or has been purchased by many members of the audience and I have researched enough to recommend.

Today’s TSP Amazon Item of the day is the Spirderwire Wolf Tackle Bag.  This review includes the long promised video of my behind the truck seat go anywhere fishing kit.

The key about this bag is capacity and function.  There is just a ton of storage in it, again as you can see from the video below.  One of the great features in the line minders on both sides of the bag, this allows you to spool line onto your reel with zero twist and with just a bit of practice no spool over as well.

With this bag I am able to carry three full sized telescopic rods, a cast net, a minnow trap, various prepared baits, an aerator, tools, a full tackle assortment and more.

The quality of this bag is also amazing, all the stitching is super high quality and it is made of very tough 1680 denier material.  While quite large it is still small enough to fit in a truck tool box or say behind a truck seat.  The carry strap is nicely padded and well made making hiking into a spot really easy.  And by using the telescopic rods you are only carrying the bag with no rods to thread in between trees, bushes and snagging briars. 

So check out the Spirderwire Wolf Tackle Bag I think you will find it to be the best currently available tackle bag on the market.

Remember you can always find all of our reviews at TspAz.com

P.S. –  The best way to really show you what this bag has to offer so check out the video below.

Items Featured in the video



Rapala AC/DC Electric Fillet Knife – Item of the Day

Every day I bring you an item on Amazon that I personally use or has been purchased by many members of the audience and I have researched enough to recommend.

Today’s TSP Amazon Item of the day is the Rapala AC/DC Electric Fillet Knife.  So bottom line up front, 95% of the items I review I personally own, I don’t own this one yet but I soon will.  Many years ago I was taught that the fastest way to filet fish was with an electric knife.  I learned this from my late friend Howell Dodd.

This week I took a good old solid “mental health day” with my buddy David and we hired fishing guide Omar Cotter of Luck ‘O the Irish Guide Service.  We had a great day on Tawokini.  We left the ramp at 0630 and were back well before noon.  Total haul…

  • 50 Sand Bass (aka white bass)
  • 4 Yellow bass (that were worth keeping)
  • 1 Blue Cat
  • 1 Striper

We also caught a lot of hybrids just a few inches under the legal limit of 18 inches and tons of yellow bass that were hand sized.  Here is a photo of our haul below.

Now one of the best parts about fishing with a guide other than they know exactly how and where to put you on fish all season long is well, they generally clean your fish for you.  I was not at all surprised to see Omar whip out an electric knife, every guide I know in North Texas seems to use one.  Speed is life in business.

What did surprise me what the particular model he was using of course it was the Rapala AC/DC Electric Fillet Knife.  There was a good cleaning station at the ramp and he simply had this knife clipped onto the battery in his boat and went to town, cleaning about 1 fish both fillets off and skinned in about 30 seconds a fish.

Again 95% of the items I review I personally own and have put though the ringer a while before recommending them.  In this instance though I have no qualms taking Omar’s recommendation.  Omar fishes for a living running about 2-6 trips a week almost year round and has been doing this now for over 20 years.  If there was a better tool for this job he would own it.

From a flexibility stand point this tool is awesome.  Because it uses both AC or DC if you have power you can use it, because I have yet to see a power option besides AC or DC.  This means when you are camping with your 4 wheeler you can use it, if you have a battery on your boat you can use it, heck the thing will even work if the grid is down with your Steven Harris approved battery back up system.

It comes with 6 and 7.5 inch blades so it is up to cleaning just about anything you would be cleaning in bulk.  It made short work and never slowed down going from 11 inch white bass to a 18 inch blue cat and on to a 20 inch striped bass.

One recommendation I have would be to add a couple Rapala Filet Gloves to your kit with this.  You only need one in the non knife hand but they do wear out in time, so two is one and one is none you know.   While these will help prevent cutting yourself, the bigger thing they do is help you hold onto a slimy fish so that your work is easier.

The entire kit comes in a great hard case to keep everything organized and dry if you store it in a boat, etc.  If you wear the blades out you can replace them with out buying an entire new kit but let me tell you such blades last a long time anyway.  The cost is a great as well, the Rapala AC/DC Electric Fillet Knife will only set you back about 42 bucks with free shipping on prime.  So if you want to clean more fish faster than you ever have before check out this piece of kit today.

Remember you can always find all of our reviews at TspAz.com

P.S. – As soon as Omar finished up I was ready to kick myself for not videoing him in action with this knife.  But I checked YouTube an found this video of some guys cleaning sand bass with the same knife.

Just ignore the end where they talk about the second board and the blood line and other bones, it is all mythological nonsense.  Tune in today to episode 2020 hear how to skip all that when it comes to sand bass.  They are also going a bit slow because they seem new to using this knife and are doing it to teach.  Once you get skilled with this tool, it is amazing how fast you can really go.

P.S.S. – It likely goes without saying but I can’t recommend Omar Cotter of Luck ‘O the Irish Guide Service enough if you want a guided trip in North Texas.  His lakes of choice are Lake Grapevine and Lake Tawakoni.  Either way a trip is 275 bucks and all you need to bring with you is a license and a cooler with ice to take your fish home with you.   Two guys splitting that is about 140 a piece and that is not expensive for a great day on the lake and a cooler of fish.

And if you guide any guide does a great job for you please consider tipping them, it is a tough job these guys do and good ones always work hard to make sure client get a great trip.