Find Your Best Fish Finder: Reviews of the Top Depth Finders For The Money

Blind casting all day without a single bite is one of the most frustrating and exhausting experiences an angler can have. If you want to consistently catch fish, a quality fish finder is an absolute necessity.

The problem is that wading through all the brands, models, confusing specifications, and marketing jargon can be just as frustrating as not catching any fish! To make the task of choosing a fish finder a little easier, we’ve reviewed the top fish finders on the market to help you find the right one to get more fish in the boat.

The fish finders on this list cover a range of prices and functionality but are generally best suited for small- to medium-sized boats. Whether you fish lakes, reservoirs, rivers, bays or inshore saltwater, the following fish finders will help you achieve more fishing success the next time you head out on the water.  If you don’t like a lengthy read, we’ve listed two of our favorites below – otherwise, we’ve covered our favorite in much more detail and we hope you enjoy the read.

Our Top 2 Picks:

  1. For the tech savvy fisherman:  Deeper Chirp Smart Sonar Fish Finder
  2. A great stand alone unit: Garmin Striker

Table of Contents:

The Best Fish Finder Reviews for the Money:

We’ve broken our nine favorite fish finders below into more detail.  We’ve taken our favorites and analyzed user feedback to come up with the proper fish finders that will help you on your next outdoor fishing trip.

Keep in mind that some of the models are newer and have more technological features, making them more expensive.  Higher priced or not, they should all make landing your next catch a lot easier.

1. Deeper Chirp Smart Sonar Fish Finder:


Deeper Chirp Smart Sonar – Castable, Portable Fish Finder…

  • Take it Anywhere: Portable,…
  • Save Time: Locate fish,…
  • Highest Specs: Casts out to…
  • User-Friendly App: Displays…
  • Create Your Own Bathymetric…

Type: Portable sonar fish finder for smartphone or tablet
GPS: Uses GPS from smartphone
Imaging: Down view
Sonar coverage: 47°, 16°, 7°
Sonar frequency:290 kHz medium; 100 kHz wide; 675kHz narrow
Power output: Charges to 100% in 75 minutes
Depth capability: 330 feet
Transducer: Portable floating wireless transducer
Display size: Smartphone/tablet display
Color or black and white: N/A
Screen resolution (pixels): N/A
Unit size: Transducer weighs 3.5 oz

Product Summary & Fish Finder Reviews:

The Deeper Chirp Sonar Fishfinder is a new breed of a fish finder that’s only been available for the last few years. Unlike traditional depth and fish finders that use a transducer mounted on a boat, Deeper uses a castable, wireless transducer paired with the smartphone or tablet you already have to create a highly portable fish finding system. Before, fish finders could only be used on boats, but now with the Deeper, bank anglers get to enjoy the same benefits that boat anglers have been reaping for years.

Deeper can be used by anyone fishing from banks, shorelines, piers, docks, jetties, and can also be used when fishing from a kayak, canoe, float tube, or pontoon boat. Deeper is highly portable, with the transducer being small enough to fit in most tackle boxes, and even comes with a neoprene belt pouch. Since you do have to use your smartphone or tablet with Deeper, you may find it beneficial to invest in a waterproof case or bag to keep your device safe and dry.

2. iBobber Wireless Bluetooth Smart Fish Finder for iOS and Android Devices:

 


ReelSonar CGG-MY-IBOBBER iBobber Wireless Bluetooth Smart…

  • Patented sonar fish identifier…
  • LED beacon
  • Rechargeable battery and…
  • 10+ hrs battery life.Syncs…
  • Accurate sonar readings down…

Type: Portable fish finder for smartphone or tablet
GPS: Uses GPS from smartphone
Imaging: Down view
Sonar coverage: 42°
Sonar frequency: Not specified by manufacturer
Power output: N/A
Depth capability: 135 feet
Transducer: Portable floating wireless transducer
Display size: Smartphone/tablet display
Color or black and white: N/A
Screen resolution: N/A
Unit size: 3″ x 3″ x 3″; 1.6 oz

Other features: Transducer communicates sonar data to smartphone via Bluetooth and pairs with the free iBobber app for iOS and Android; app displays raw sonar and fish tagging views, bottom structure, water temperatures, and weather conditions; app includes GPS spot tagging with interactive map, trip logging, and social media sharing functions; device is compatible with Google Watch and Apple Watch

Product Summary & Fish Finder Reviews:

The iBobber is another ingenious wireless portable fish finder that pairs with a smartphone or tablet. Like the Deeper Smart Fish Finder, iBobber uses Bluetooth technology to sync with your smartphone, and the free iBobber App gives all the sonar images you need right in your hand. Tie the iBobber onto your fishing line, cast it out, and get a live view of bottom structure and fish below.

The iBobber and Deeper are very comparable which can make choosing between them a difficult task. The iBobber does have some drawbacks compared to Deeper such as shorter casting range and only a single sonar frequency with a 42° coverage compared to Deeper’s dual frequencies with 15° and 55° coverage. But, differences aside, the iBobber is a very handy fishing tool for those who fish from banks or piers and want to know what’s going on below the surface. Anglers in kayaks, canoes, and other small watercraft can also make good use of the iBobber, and won’t have to worry about installing a fish finder that will take up valuable space.

The iBobber App gives you sonar imaging of bottom structure and fish directly on the screen of your smartphone as well as additional information about water temperature, weather forecasts, and moon cycles. Using the GPS of your smartphone, you can mark spots on a map within the app, just like you can on a traditional GPS-enabled fish finder. Social media sharing is built into the iBobber app making it easy to share your trip logs and other data with your friends. Unlike the Deeper Smart Fish Finder, the iBobber is compatible with both Apple Watch and Google Watch, making your on-the-water fish finding even more accessible.

3. Garmin Echomap Chirp 74Cv with Transducer


Garmin Echomap Chirp 74Cv with transducer, 010-01801-01

  • Clearer scanning sonar shows…
  • Chirp sonar Chirp sends a…
  • Preloaded Blue Chart g2 charts…
  • Clear scanning sonar the CV…
  • Best in class Internal 5 Hertz…

Type: Combination
GPS: Yes, with waypoint map
Imaging: Down imaging
Sonar coverage: Not specified by manufacturer
Sonar frequency: 50/77/200 kHz and CHIRP (mid and high)
Power output: 200 watts RMS
Depth capability: 1,600 ft freshwater; 750 ft saltwater
Transducer: Dual beam transducer
Display size: 3.5″ diagonal
Color or black and white: HVGA Color
Screen resolution: 480 x 320 pixels
Unit size: 3.6″ W x 5.9″ H x 1.6″ D

Other features: Uses CHIRP sonar technology; built-in GPS with waypoint map; displays boat speed on screen; built-in flasher mode shows real-time view of fish passing through transducer beam

Product Summary & Fish Finder Reviews:

The Striker 4 packs tons of power and functionality into a well-designed, compact unit. With a 3.5-inch full-color display, the Striker 4 is perfect for smaller motor boats and is a popular choice among kayak anglers where space is at a premium. It’s a combination unit featuring both powerful sonar imaging as well as a robust GPS system that includes a waypoint map allowing you to mark your favorite fishing spots for easy navigation in the future.

The defining factor of the Striker 4 is CHIRP sonar technology. While standard fish finders send a single signal at a time, CHIRP sonar sends a continuous string of signals across a broad range of frequencies. Through these CHIRP signals, more sonar information is relayed, resulting in clearer and more detailed images on the screen.

4. Venterior VT Portable Depth Finder With Sonar:

 


Venterior VT-FF001 Portable Fish Finder, Handheld…

  • Detects and displays water…
  • Applies to lake, river, sea…
  • Comes with round transducer…
  • Various features settings: 5…
  • Warranty: This Venterior…

Type: Standalone
GPS: No
Imaging: Broadband Sounder
Sonar coverage: 20° (@ 200 kHz), 60° (@ 83 kHz)
Sonar frequency: Dual-frequency operation, 83 kHz or 200 kHz
Power output: Unknown
Depth capability: 328 ft
Transducer: Skimmer transducer with water temperature sensor
Display size: 4″ diagonal
Color or black and white: Grayscale
Screen resolution: Unknown
Unit size: 9.6″ W x 2.2″ H x 5.9″ D

Other features: Product will show you where fish are, sensitivity controls picking up smaller fish sizes

Product Summary & Fish Finder Reviews:

Another powerful compact unit, the Venterior VT gives you dual-frequency sonar readings on a space-efficient 4 inch Grayscale display.

With dual-frequency functionality, you can switch between 83 kHz sonar which gives a 60° coverage range, and 200 kHz sonar which gives a 20° coverage range, allowing you to adapt to different water depths and conditions for maximum fish-finding potential.

The Venterior VTFF001 is not equipped with a GPS, making it ideal for anglers that already have a GPS device or those who just need a simple-yet-powerful fish finder. A compact design makes it a perfect chocie ideal for smaller motor boats and an excellent unit for fishing kayaks.

5. Lowrance Elite 5X CHIRP with 83/200+455/800:


Lowrance 000-11657-001 Elite-5X Chirp with 83/200+455/800…

  • 5″ color LCD
  • Broadband CHIRP Fish finder
  • Structure Scan Fish finder
  • Transom mount transducer…

Type: Combination
GPS: Yes
Imaging: Hybrid dual imaging with DownScan imaging and Broadband Sounder
Sonar coverage: Not specified by manufacturer
Sonar frequency: 83/200/455/800 kHz
Power output: 500 watts RMS; 4000 PTP
Depth capability: 1000 ft @ 83/200 kHz; 2500 ft @ 50/200 kHz
Transducer: Transom mounted Lowrance transducer
Display size: 5″ diagonal
Color or black and white: Color, 256 colors
Screen resolution: 480 x 480 pixels
Unit size: 6.9″ W x 5.4″ H x 2.5″ D

Other features: Built-in GPS with base map, waypoints, and chart plotter, stores 3,000 waypoints, 100 routes with 100 waypoints per route, 100 retraceable plot trails with 10,000 points per trail; waterproof microSD card slot compatible with Navionics Gold chart cards, Fishing Hot Spots, and Lake Master micro SD cards

Product Summary & Fish Finder Reviews:

Another powerful combination unit, the Lowrance 5X CHIRP gives anglers a clear view of bottom structure and fish using both DownScan imaging and traditional broadband sounding sonar. The built-in GPS with integrated base map displays your real-time location on the water, and with chart plotting functionality, you can mark productive fish-catching spots and routes for future reference.

The unit has a waterproof SD memory card slot that’s compatible with additional navigation software such as Navionics Gold, Fish Hot Spots, and Lake Master in micro SD card format.

The Lowerance 5X CHIRP works well in both fresh and saltwater in depths of up to 1000 feet when using down view imagery, and depths of up to 2500 feet when using the broadband sounder. Unfortunately, the Lowrance 5X CHIRP is an excellent unit, although higher in both price point and quality.

6. Humminbird 409640-1 HELIX 5 SI Fish Finder with Side-Imaging and GPS:


Humminbird 409640-1 Helix 5 SI Fish Finder with Side-Imaging…

  • Uses the most innovative and…
  • Get the most out of your day…
  • The leader in fish finders,…

Type: Combination
GPS: Yes
Imaging: Side imaging, Down Imaging, DualBeam PLUS
Sonar coverage: 20°, 60°, (2) 85° (180° total)
Sonar frequency: 200/83/455 kHz
Power output: 500 watts RMS; 4000 watts PTP
Depth capability: 100 ft SI; 1500 ft 2D
Transducer: Transom, XNT 9 SI 180T
Display size: 5″ diagonal
Color or black and white: Color, 256 colors
Screen resolution: 800 X 480 Pixels
Unit size: W/ gimbal mount – 7.55″ W x 4.64″ H x 3.3 D

Other features: GPS tracking and chart plotting included with 2,500 waypoints, 45 routes, 20,000 points; built-in UniMap cartography; microSD card slot; side imaging sonar gives an 180-degree side view below the boat

Product Summary & Fish Finder Reviews:

If you’re looking for a fish finder that does it all, the Humminbird Helix 5 SI is for you. It’s a combination unit, meaning it has both sonar imaging (depth and fish finding) as well as integrated GPS. This is by far the most powerful and versatile fish finder on our list, featuring DualBeam Plus sonar as well as down imaging and side imaging sonar.

While many fish finders feature dual imaging and down imaging, it’s the side imaging capabilities of the Helix 5 SI that set this unit apart, giving anglers an 180° side-to-side view of the water below. Side imaging sonar is ideal for lake and inshore saltwater fishing in water depths of 100 feet or less when you want to see a broader swath of water and bottom structure. Down imaging and DualBeam sonar can be used in depths of up to 1500 feet and gives you a narrower scope, displaying what’s directly below the boat.

The integrated GPS of the Helix 5 SI is very powerful and features built-in UniMap cartography with GPS chart plotting, giving you the power to mark 2,500 waypoints, create 45 different routes, and map 50 tracks, each with 20,000 points. It’s safe to say that most anglers won’t use all the mapping and chart plotting points the Helix 5 SI has to offer, but it sure is nice to have the option.

Both the sonar imaging and the GPS chart plotting are shown in vivid color on the 5-inch high-resolution screen. The control buttons are easy to use and you can switch between several different screen views to see exactly what you need to at any given time.

7. Humminbird 409600-1 HELIX DI Fish Finder with Down Imaging:


Humminbird 409600-1 Helix 5 DI Fish Finder with Down Imaging

  • 5-inch color display
  • Down Imaging Sonar
  • Dual Beam PLUS Sonar
  • Temperature
  • International languages

Type: Standalone
GPS: No
Imaging: Down Imaging, DualBeam PLUS
Sonar coverage: 16°, 28°, 45°, 75°
Sonar frequency: 455/800/200/455 kHz
Power output: 500 watts RMS; 4000 watts PTP
Depth capability: 350 ft DI; 600 ft 2D
Transducer: Transom, XNT 9 DI T
Display size: 5″ diagonal
Color or black and white: Color, 256 colors
Screen resolution: 800H X 480V
Unit size: W/ gimbal mount – 7.55″ W x 4.64″ H x 3.3 D

Other features: Includes transducer with transom mount; water temperature sensor built into transducer

Product Summary & Fish Finder Reviews:

The Humminbird Helix DI is like a stripped-down version of the Helix 5 SI, but still powerful in its own right. Compared to the Helix 5 SI, it’s cheaper, it doesn’t have GPS, and it lacks side imaging. With those differences in mind, the Helix DI is a great option for anglers that simply want a solid and reliable fish finder without all the bells and whistles, or for those who already own a standalone GPS device.

With the Helix DI, you get a high-resolution full color 5-inch display and easy-to-use control buttons. Down imaging can be used in depths of up to 350 feet, and DualBeam sonar can be used in depths of 600 feet. The unit is easy to install with the included gimbal mount or directly into the dash of your boat.

8. Signstek FF-003 Portable Fish Finder:


Signstek FF-003 Portable Fish Finder Outdoor Fishing Tool…

  • sonar technology
  • portable
  • water detective
  • fishing
  • water resistant

Type: Portable, standalone fish finder
GPS: No
Imaging: Down imaging
Sonar coverage: Not specified by manufacturer
Sonar frequency: 83/200 kHz
Power output: Not specified by manufacturer
Depth capability: 240 ft
Transducer: Portable with a float and 20-foot cable
Display size: 2.8″ diagonal
Color or black and white: Color, 512 colors
Screen resolution: 240 x 160 pixels
Unit size: 4.7″ x 3.2″ x 1.2″

Other features: Bottom contour and water temperature indicator; multi levels depth range; ideal for kayaks, canoes, and other small watercraft; no mounting options, comes with a neck strap

Product Summary & Fish Finder Reviews:

One of the best entry-level fish finders on the market is the Signstek FF-003 Portable Fish Finder. The display unit is lightweight and compact and comes with a detachable neck strap to keep the fish finder close by all times. The transducer is designed to be portable, giving anglers the option to either mount the transducer on a boat or kayak, to drift it alongside using the built-in float, or to cast it out up to 20 feet when fishing from shore.

The 2.8 inch, 512 color screen shows bottom features and fish images in great detail, along with water temperature readings. The FF-003 also has a fish identification feature that distinguishes between small and large fish as well as a fish depth indicator so you know how far down to get your lure or bait.

The Signstek FF-003 may not be powerful enough for anglers that need to cover a lot of water, or fish depths greater than 240 feet, but for those who fish small lakes and rivers, it’s a great entry-level fish finder that will no doubt help you catch more fish.

9. Garmin Striker 7SV with Transducer


Garmin Striker 7SV with transducer, 010-01809-00

  • Clearer scanning sonar – shows…
  • The power of simple – offers a…
  • Way point map – use the way…
  • Chirp sonar – Chirp sends a…
  • Built-in flasher – view your…

Type: Standalone
GPS: Yes
Imaging: Down view
Sonar coverage: Not specified by manufacturer
Sonar frequency: 77/200 kHz
Power output: 500 watts RMS
Depth capability: 2,300 feet
Transducer: ClearVu and SideVu
Display size: 7″ diagonal
Color or black and white: Color
Screen resolution: 800 x 480 pixels
Unit size: 9.25″ x 5.5″ x 2.25″

Other features: Smooth Scaling feature creates smooth transitions across depth changes; Fish I.D. feature helps identify fish targets; water temperature sensor included; water speed sensor included

Product Summary & Fish Finder Reviews:

The Garmin Striker 7sv is a standalone fish finder in the same class as the Humminbird HELIX DI and the Lowrance Elite-5 HDI. Featuring ClearVu and SideVu sonar scanning — Garmin’s version of down view imaging — along with HD-ID 77/200 kHz scanning, the Striker 7sv delivers crisp, clear sonar images of bottom structure in depths of up to 2,300 feet on a vivid high-resolution 7-inch color display.

The Garmin Striker 7sv features “smooth scaling” which creates smooth transitions between different depths and bottom structure giving you a screen view that’s easier to follow and read. Fish I.D. functionality displays fish as fish icons instead of standard arches to help you identify fish more easily and with more certainty.

Included with the unit is the standard transom mount as well as a trolling motor mount, giving you options for mounting depending on your specific boat setup.

How Fish Finders Work:

A fish finder or depth finder works by using sonar underwater to detect pulses of sound energy.  It locates the fish by emitting a sonar wave that will register solid mass and can detect schools of fish or the bottom of a body of water if there are no obstructions.

Fish finders are used today by sport fisherman, commercial fisherman and recreational fisherman alike.  They can be used for pike, bass, black or white crappie or just about any other type of fish.

Fish finders are usually mounted to the boat and are run while the vessel is moving at a slower or stopped speed to properly recognize the area and the depth.  Fish finders can be mounted to just about any boat, including fishing kayaks and larger boats or watercraft.  You can even use fish finders when you are ice fishing, provided the hole you dug with your auger is big enough.

Fish finders can be beneficial for many reasons.  They can be used to locate larger and smaller schools of fish and to assist in finding the appropriate depth that schools typically like to dwell at during the different times of year.

Fish finders are becoming widely used by many fisherman across the industry and they are looked at as a “must have” for recreational fishermen looking for an extra edge when out scouting for their next fishing location.

Many modern fish finders are coming equipped today with a GPS.  This is highly beneficial in case you get lost (don’t laugh, it’s happened) and also to help track your locations of your favorite fishing spots.

Wrapping Up:

A fish finder might seem like just another expense on top of everything else you need on the water, but when it comes to actually catching fish, nothing on your boat or in your tackle box will be as beneficial as a quality fish finder.

Whether you’re a new boat owner or a fish finder veteran looking to upgrade, we hope our review of the top fish finders on the market helped you find the one that’s right for you.

Benefits of Fish Finder and GPS Combos

Fish finders are a necessity for any fisherman who wants to go on the hunt for the best catch. If you are looking to stay in your local area and take out a little boat or even fish from the shore, you can likely go without a GPS. If you are an adventurer, the pro fish finder, or the courageous fisherman always looking for a catch that tops the last one, a GPS is really the only way to do that thoroughly.

Plotting Your Course

So what are some things having a GPS paired with your fish finder will do? For starters, it will set the course for your trip. If you like to have a plan to follow, the GPS is able to give you a map going through the prime fishing grounds. Without a GPS, this organized way of traveling by water is not possible. Many of these combos come with maps already loaded, but you will want to look into getting a device that allows you to customize charts and get back to your departure location easily.

Pinning Your Location

There is nothing better than being able to pin down your exact location so you can return. Once you find that ideal spot, your dream spot, going back to it every single time is possible with a GPS on your fish finder. You can make it down as your fishing hole and get pinpointing accuracy.

Finding Depth

Getting the lay of the land is not possible with a regular fish finder. The reason this is important is because seeing the bottom of the waters makes your depth readings easy to figure out, and this will make fishing better in the long run.

Getting Water Temperature

Any expert fisher will know the difference between cold water or warm water species. But knowing the difference doesn’t help you find the fish in the cold or warm areas! Using a fish finder will help you to know where is warm, where is cold, and where both meet. This is surely a handy feature to have in a fish finder!

Tips and Tricks for Results with GPS

Though you can be the most expert fisherman and could have used a fishfinder many times before, getting one with a GPS will change the game. You will have a new level of information about fishing to steward. These new features can be hard to decipher, so it’s good to know some tips and tricks before you start using one!

Buoys

This feature marks various depths in the ocean as well as shipping lanes. When you get on the water, buoys will plot these for you which is a great help.

Wrecks

It is common for fish to surround a shipwrecked area. A feature of these maps that are plotted with a GPS+fish finder is letting you know where the wrecks are as to be more prepared.

Contour Lines

Did you know hills and valleys exist in the ocean depths? With contour lines, you will be able to see these so you can plan accordingly as you fish.

Seafloor Hardness

Fish finders will help you to determine if the floor you are hovering over gravel, rock, mud, or sand. This happens using colors in shades of red.

Weather Predictor

As this is a GPS, it knows exactly where your vessel is at all times. This means it can get a perfectly accurate prediction of what the weather is like and what it is going to be like later one. You will get basic things like rain, snow, cloudy, and more in-depth things like fast-flowing lakes, aggressive rivers, and ice fishing. Being on the water is an unpredictable thing. Sometimes your smartphones loses signal very quickly and you are stuck out at sea unaware. Being able to check your fish finder’s GPS to predict weather patterns is a blessing.

Bucketlist Worthy Catches

Now that you’ll be able to become an expert fisher with a large advantage seeing as you have the best fish finder on the market, you need to know which fish to make your prey. We want to tell you all about which fish to catch at least once in your lifetime.

Sailfish

In both tropical and subtropical waters you will find the sailfish. This breed is gorgeous, sporting a variety of blue shades. You will need your fish finder to catch this one because they only swim in waters deeper than 30 feet! The reason this kind of fish is a challenge to catch is because they are able to swim up to EIGHTY miles an hour! They are the fastest amongst the aquatic organisms, and as fast as your car!

Yellowfish Tuna

These fish are some of the most beloved catches in the world. They are extremely sought after by fishermen. The reason for this is because of their strength and ability to put up a fight. Only those fishermen determined to fight till the bitter end with their prey will win here. The reason your GPS fish finder works wonders in catching Yellowfish is because they are found in warm waters.

Dorado

Another name for this type of fish is Dolphinfish or Mahi Mahi. These are very expensive fish, and the reward for catching them is large. But as a fisherman, we know you’re all about the hunt. These gorgeous fish are good at hiding and escaping because they duck under objects such as seaweed, logs, and buoys. It will be a game of hide and seek for you both; are you up for the chase? On top of having to chase and find them, they are also known to leap up out of the water in order to escape your hook. Having these fish to aspire to is a worthy goal!

Having a bucket list for the fish you want to catch in your lifetime is such a fun exercise. With a fish finder, especially one with a GPS, you will be an expert fisher in no time; reaching your goals every step of the way!

Abu Garcia Pro Max Review

If someone says fishing is in the lure you use, tell them they’re wrong. It’s all about your reel, and if you’ve been searching for an Abu Garcia Pro Max review, you’re likely in the market for a high-quality spinning reel.

There are many important factors to keep in mind when choosing the right reel. Depending on your fishing style, location, and experience, you’ll want to get the proper reel for your next fishing adventure.

graphic illustration of a fishing rod

Abu Garcia Pro Max Review: Is It Worth It?


Abu Garcia Pro Max Spinning Reel with 30 5.2:1 Gear Ratio 7…

  • 6 ball bearings + 1 roller…
  • Lightweight graphite body and…
  • Machined aluminum spool…
  • Everlast bail system for…
  • Slow Oscillation provides even…

Let’s take an in-depth look in this Abu Garcia Pro Max review. We want to make sure you make the right choice with your reel.

First, if you’re looking for a reel that boasts some impressive features at an affordable price range, you’ll want to keep reading.

The Abu Garcia Pro Max has a lightweight graphite frame and rotor. The reel boasts a machined aluminum spool with the Rocket Spool Lip Design. This design is great because it promotes even line lay on the spool without causing the line to bunch o
r become loose.

Let’s take an in-depth look in this Abu Garcia Pro Max review. We want to make sure you make the right choice with your reel.

First, if you’re looking for a reel that boasts some impressive features at an affordable price range, you’ll want to keep reading.

Fishing with the Abu Garcia Pro Max


You want a reel that doesn’t restrict you, right? If that’s the case, you want the Rocket Line Management system. This setup allows you to cast longer and control your cast better regardless of where you’re fishing and what type of line you’re using.

The line management system works by slowing down your cast towards the end. It helps increase accuracy and prevents your line from becoming tangled. It also helps limit the likelihood of nesting in the line, which causes as a result of backlash during casts on windy days.

The slow oscillation system of the Abu Garcia Pro Max helps the line lay properly on the spool, and the Everlast bail is both durable and comfortable.

We also notice the overall size of this reel is small in comparison to some other models. Some of their midsize models weigh less than 10 ounces, which is ideal for preventing fatigue after a long day of fishing. The reels are lightweight, but they still offer around 14 pounds of drag and a 27-inch retrieval rate.


How We Reviewed


We understand that a fishing reel is an investment. This is not something you want to buy today and throw away tomorrow. You expect to get years of use out of your fishing reel, so it has to be something that lasts.

As a result, we bring in only the best information in our reviews. We take advice and points from experienced anglers with years of experience fishing and writing about fishing.

In addition to actual word of mouth, we use reviews from real anglers who have already purchased this reel. Who better to learn from than the people who are currently out there, on the water, fishing with the reel you want to buy?

Finally, we take our own experience and knowledge and put it into play. We’re anglers too, and we understand what separates a good reel from a bad one.


graphic illustration of a fishing rod

The Abu Garcia Pro Max: Stack It Up

One of the best ways to understand a fishing reel is to compare it to another. In this Abu Garcia Pro Max review, we’re taking a look at some other reels a well to see if they’re better or worse than this one.

All of these reels pass our extensive inspection, and although we’re comparing them, they are all great reels that we would recommend to anyone.

KastKing Crixus



KastKing Crixus Spinning Fishing Reel,Size3000

  • CRIXUS SERIES – Fish li
    ke a…
  • PREMIUM COMPONENTS – Crixus…
  • MAXIDUR BALL BEARINGS – For…
  • SMOOTH CARBON FIBER DRAG –…
  • SUPERPOLYMER HANDLE KNOB –…

First, let’s take a look at this spinning reel from KastKing. This comes in four different models ranging from 2000 to 5000. The reel uses a zinc alloy and machined pinion gear made from brass. The spool and handle are both aluminum, so right off the bat, you get the feeling that you’re dealing with a durable reel.

This reel uses a five-plus-one bearing system. It contains five stainless steel ball bearings plus a zero lock anti-reverse to help set the hook. This setup is similar to the Abu Garcia Pro Max minus one bearing.

You get a carbon fiber drag system that helps you keep the larger fish in check. The amount of drag you get varies depending on how high you go in the model. The 2000 and 3000 offer 17.5 pounds of drag. The 4000 and 5000 offer 20 pounds of drag.

Comparing that to the Abu Garcia Pro Max, you’re getting a bit more drag for a lighter weight reel in the KastKing Crixus.

Overall, this reel is smooth, light, and durable, so it would be a great alternative to the Abu Garcia Pro Max.

Pflueger President



Pflueger PRESSP30X President Spinning Fishing Reel

  • 10 bearing System : corrosion…
  • Graphite body and rotor :…
  • Sealed Drag System : Sealed…
  • The “B” at the end of the…

Next in our Abu Garcia Pro Max review, let’s take a look at the Pflueger President. This reel comes in several different models with a 10 anti-corrosion bearing system. These bearings are stainless steel, and they do a great job of keeping the reel smooth while preventing corrosion from dirt or saltwater.

The reel itself is graphite with a lightweight reel construction and spool designed for braid. You can attach the braid directly to the spool.

The President also comes with a sealed drag system with lubricated and sealed washers. You get the feeling that the company really designed this spinning reel for saltwater applications. Based on its size and drag ratings, we would choose this over the Abu Garcia Pro Max for many inshore saltwater fishing situations.

This reel also comes with a slow oscillation gearing system to help improve line lay and prevent tangling.

Many people say that this reel is a bit slow, but it’s nice for keeping lighter baits suspended in the water for longer periods of time.

Overall, it’s one of the best fishing reels. If you’re looking for a lightweight reel geared more towards inshore saltwater, you’ll want to check out the Pflueger President.

Okuma Ceymar



Okuma Ceymar Lightweight Spinning Reel- C-30

  • Gear Ratio: 5.0:1, Precision…
  • 7BB + 1RB bearing system,…
  • Multi-disc, oiled felt drag…

If you’ve fished for a few years, you’ve likely heard of Okuma. For a long time, this brand was known for producing “less than desirable” reels that most people didn’t want. Over the years, they’ve progressed, and people are starting to see some star potential in these reels.

The Okuma Ceymar features an eight bearing system with seven stainless ball bearings and an anti-reverse bearing as well. You’ll get a multi-disc oiled felt drag system as well.

The reel comes in six different models ranging from 4-pound drag to 20-pound drag systems. I like the design of the reel, and I think it looks very attractive from a cosmetic perspective. If we dive a little deeper, the body is corrosion-resistant, which makes this one more ideal for saltwater fishing as well.

It doesn’t have the same type of sealing like the Pflueger President, though.

Finally, anglers get the Okuma RESII computer balancing system in the rotor. It helps ensure you don’t feel any friction on your casts. This will help you get the most accurate and distant cast each time.


graphic illustration of a fishing rod

Fishing Is Serious Business

By this point in our Abu Garcia Pro Max review, you should have a solid understanding of whether or not the Abu Garcia Pro Max is for you or not. The reel has a lot to offer, and it’s a great reel at this price range.
That said, it doesn’t have a lot of saltwater corrosion protection like some of the other reels we looked at. It also has a lower drag rating for the extra weight you’re carrying.

Overall, it’s still a popular reel that is durable, comfortable to handle, and long-lasting.

If you have some experience with any of the reels we’ve reviewed in this article, be sure to drop us a comment and let us know what you think.

Featured Image Source: Unsplash.com

Fishing Rod Icon Source: Icons made by Eucalyp from www.flaticon.com

Daiwa Tatula CT Review

Compiling fishing reel reviews can either be a pleasure or a royal pain. In the case of any Daiwa Tatula CT review, it’s definitely the former. In fact, reviewing any of Daiwa’s products is almost guaranteed to be a blast.

So, why is the Daiwa Tatula CT review such a pleasant experience? It’s simple really, and best described in these terms. If you are in the market for a low profile baitcaster with industry-leading features at an affordable price, the Daiwa Tatula CT is your reel.

vector icon of a fishing reel

Daiwa Tatula CT Review: Reinventing the Wheel


Daiwa Tatula CT 100XS 8.1:1 Hyper Speed Right Hand Baitcast…

  • Rugged, lightweight aluminum…
  • Ultimate Tournament carbon…
  • Corrosion resistant clutch…
  • Ultimate Tournament carbon…
  • MagForce-z cast Control

Among Diawa’s new products that debuted at the 2011 ICAST expo were several new low profile bait casters. So what, you may say, there’s nothing out of the ordinary about that?

Well, those bait casters featured a revolutionary new technology. A system that was, in our minds at least, one of the most significant advancements in reel technology to date. Enter Daiwa’s T Wing level wind system.

Check out the video below:

The level wind dilemma

Level winds have been around almost as long as the casting reels they grace. And if there ever was a necessary evil in the realm of fishing reel technology, the level wind was. And we use the word “was” purposely because those new baitcasting faces in 2011 changed that status quo forever.

Let’s face it, level wind reels are great. You can crank away all day and never have to bother about laying line evenly on your spool. However, that convenience comes at a high price.

As cool as they are, conventional level winds are thieves. They rob you of casting distance no matter how they are configured. And right there is where Daiwa’s T Wing system turned the level wind dilemma on its head.

T Wing to the rescue

Daiwa’s unique stirrup shaped level wind guide ensures that when in the free-spool position, it’s essentially not there at all.

Watch:

During a cast, the wide “T” shaped upper profile offers almost no resistance to your line as it peels off the spool.

Re-engage the spool to retrieve line and the “wing” flips down to trap the line in a narrow, conventional level wind style guide.

See for yourself:


vector icon of a fishing reel

The Daiwa Tatula CT 100XS: All the Bells and Whistles

OK, so the T Wing system is awesome. Is that all the Tatula CT is about though? Absolutely not!

Obviously, there is much more to the Tatula CT 100XS than the ground-breaking T Wing system. In fact, the Tatula CT 100XS is loaded with several of Daiwa’s game-winning technologies making it a truly well-rounded package.

So, let’s see what makes this reel so special.


Daiwa Tatula CT 100XS 8.1:1 Hyper Speed Right Hand Baitcast…

  • Rugged, lightweight aluminum…
  • Ultimate Tournament carbon…
  • Corrosion resistant clutch…
  • Ultimate Tournament carbon…
  • MagForce-z cast Control

U.T Drag system

The UT Drag, or Ultimate Tournament Carbon Drag, sports oversized drag washers that allow for higher maximum ratings in a smaller frame package. The proprietary carbon fiber washer composition delivers smooth and predictable performance throughout the entire drag range.

Magforce Z cast control system

The Magforce Z system offers progressive cast control that eliminates infuriating backlash over winds without robbing you of cast distance.

Essentially, the Magforce Z is a hybrid system that uses centrifugal force to increase or decrease magnetic braking action. In other words, the system increases the magnetic braking at peak spool speed and decreases it as the spool slows down.

Swept handle design

The Tatula CT 100XS’s handle is a traditional dual grip design with a performance-enhancing twist. If you view the reel from above, the handle grips are swept back towards the reel body.

This places the rotational input force closer to the rod’s centerline which reduces wobbling and instability when cranking the reel.

Air rotation

Daiwa has gone to great lengths to ensure their reels are butter smooth when casting and retrieving. And that applies to all their reels across the board.

The reason for this philosophy is simple. The smoother the operation of the reel, the less stress and wear it is subjected to. Not to mention the enhancement of the angler’s experience. In the case of the Tatula CT 100XS, this is particularly evident in Diawa’s Air Rotation spool drive system.

Gearing configurations

The Tatula CT family of reels features four gear ratio options. The reels are available in standard, high and ultra-speed gearing configurations as well as one low ratio, high power model.

Specifications

Here are the Daiwa Tatula CT 100XS’s credentials

  • Monofilament line capacity: 14/120, 16/100
  • earing count: seven ball bearings, one roller bearing
  • Gear ratio: 8.1:1
  • Maximum drag — all models: 13.2 pounds
  • Handle orientation: right hand only
  • Retrieve rate (inches per handle turn): 34.5
  • Weight: 7.4 ounces

Pros and cons

Let’s look at a summary of all the Tatula CT 100XS’s good and not so good points:

Pros

  • Excellent cast distance and control

  • Powerful and smooth drag

  • Wide range of gear ratio options

  • Exceptionally smooth operation

  • High build quality

  • Good line capacity

  • Smaller overall size compared to its predecessors

Cons

  • The bearings used throughout the reel are not corrosion resistant


vector icon of a fishing reel

Our Review Process

In an environment where high-quality bait casters abound, we always try to structure product reviews to be as honest and valuable as possible. We’ll consider two competitor products of similar specifications which would be applicable to the same angling environments.

So, here are the other runners in this Daiwa Tatula CT review.

Abu Garcia Revo4 SX-HS



Abu Garcia 1430429 Revo SX Low Profile Baitcasting Reel,…

  • 9 stainless steel ball…
  • C6 carbon sideplates provide…
  • Duragear brass gear for…

Little fanfare is needed to introduce Abu Garcia as a supplier of high-quality fishing tackle. Abu reels have been a standard in a great many anglers tackle arsenals for decades. And that legacy of trust lives on in current offerings such as the Revo 4 family of reels.

The Abu Garcia Revo4 SX-HS is one of four offerings in the Revo 4 SX stable. This lineup consists of two gear ratio options each available in left or right-handed handle configurations. In addition, all of the family members sport a similarly impressive set of features that we’ll examine in detail now.

DuraClutch and Infini brake systems

Abu’s trademarked DuraClutch and Infini brake cast control technologies deliver exceptionally smooth and effortless casting and positive spool engagement.

Duragear and D2 main gear systems

The Revo4’s gear train features Abu’s proprietary D2 gear technology and a solid brass main gear. Consequently, this arrangement results in smooth, effortlessly power retrieves and enhanced reel service life.

Power Stack carbon matrix drag system

Here are the core specifications of the Abu Garcia Revo4 SX-HS

  • Monofilament line capacity — all models (pounds test/yards): 10/175, 12/145, 15/100
  • Bearing count — all models: 10
  • Gear ratio: standard speed — 6.6:1, high speed — 7.3:1
  • Maximum drag — all models: 24 pounds
  • Handle orientation: right and left-handed in each gearing option
  • Retrieve rate (inches per handle turn): standard speed — 27 inches, high speed — 30 inches
  • Weight — all models: 7.83 ounces

Pros and cons

These are the best and worst features of the Revo4 SX bait caster.

Pros

  • Excellent gear strength

  • Smooth and reliable retrieve action

  • A consistent and powerful drag system

  • Stable, wobble-free retrieve

  • Outstanding cast control

  • Excellent maximum drag rating

Cons

  • The side plate release lever is not well placed

  • High price point by comparison

Where to buy

Shimano Curado K



Shimano Curado 200K XG Lowprofile Freshwater Fishing Reel

  • Built tournament tough; this…
  • Featuring shimano’s latest…
  • Employs svs infinity braking…
  • Utilizes x-ship technology to…
  • Max drag: 11 lbs. / gear…

Our second and final competitor reel in this Daiwa Tatula CT review is the Shimano Curado K. Much like Abu Garcia, Shimano needs no introduction as they have a stellar reputation as an angling gear manufacturer. The Curado baitcaster is a great example of this legacy of quality and innovation and sports an impressive list of features.

The Curado K series of reels are available in three gear ratio options in either left or right-handed configuration. Each of the six offerings features a host of industry-leading technologies that we’ll look at in detail here.

Micro Module gear system

The Micro Module gear system features an increased number of smaller gear teeth. This increases the contact area between the drive and pinion gears making for a smoother and more efficient gear train.

X-Ship pinion system

Shimano’s X-Ship system supports the pinion assembly on either end with precision bearings. The result is enhanced casting distance with light lures and a more stable cranking mechanism overall.

Hagane body

The Hagane body is a high rigidity reel body technology that lends the reel advanced strength and eliminates flexing.

SVS Infinity braking system

Shimano’s proprietary SVS Infinity braking system delivers one of the most consistent and predictable braking actions of any reel. As a result, this enhanced control makes casting a breeze even with very light lures.

A-RB bearings

The A-RB bearings used in the Curado baitcaster are specially treated to give at least 10 times as much corrosion resistance as conventional bearings.

Cross Carbon drag

The Curado K features Shimano’s well known and respected Cross Carbon drag system. This specially formulated drag material produces a wider range of drag settings and is exceptionally smooth and heat resistant.

Specifications

These are the technical specifications of the Curado K baitcaster.

  • Monofilament line capacity — all models (pounds test/yards): 8/180, 10/155, 14/100
  • Bearing count — all models: six plus one
  • Gear ratio: standard speed — 6.2:1, high speed — 7.4:1, extra high speed — 8.5:1
  • Maximum drag — all models: 11 pounds
  • Handle orientation: right and left-handed in each gearing option
  • Retrieve rate (inches per handle turn): standard speed — 26 inches, high speed — 31
  • nches, extra high speed — 36 inches
  • Weight — all models: 7.6 ounces

Pros and cons

Let’s look at the good and bad points of the Curado K baitcaster.

Pros

  • Excellent build quality

  • Very smooth and strong spool and gear train

  • Outstanding frame rigidity

  • Excellent corrosion resistance on all gears

  • Improved casting controlImproved casting control

  • Smooth drag system

Cons

  • A relatively high price pointA relatively high price point

  • The smallest maximum drag of the reels on review

Where to buy


vector icon of a fishing reel

The Daiwa Tatula CT 100XS: All the Bells and Whistles

Daiwa Tatula CT 100XS 8.1:1 Hyper Speed Right Hand Baitcast...

It might not be fair to say that the outcome of the Daiwa Tatula CT review was predictable. However, it wouldn’t be a lie either. The Tatula simply has too much going for it in terms of features and bang for your buck to be ousted.

The Abu and Shimano reels are very good products with outstanding characteristics. However, they just don’t quite have what it takes to unseat the Tatula 100XS. And, as expected this Daiwa Tatula CT review was a blast!

Tight lines!

Please use the comments section below to share any thoughts or experiences that could enhance this Daiwa Tatula CT review.

Featured Image Source: Amazon.com
Fishing Reel Icon: Icon made by Eucalyp from www.flaticon.com


How Does a Fish Finder Work? The Scoop on This Fishing Companion

It sure would be handy if you could see down in the murky water so you could reel in the biggest catch of the day. Luckily, you brought along a fish finder to help, but how does a fish finder work?

HOW DOES A FISH FINDER WORK?


Humminbird 410210-1 HELIX 5 CHIRP GPS G2 Fish finder

Image from Amazon

A fish finder works by using a sound navigation and ranging (SONAR) system to peer down into the depths. You’re utilizing an echo! The soundwaves produced by the fish finder bounce off objects underneath the waves to bring you a picture of what’s there — including fish. It also tells you how deep the object is.

But there are more solid things under the water besides fish, so how does a fish finder work to locate what you want to catch?

BUT HOW DOES A FISH FINDER WORK TO CATCH FISH?


The fish finder attached to your boat produces a small soundwave, which grows as it travels through the water. When it hits an object, it bounces off of that object and travels back to the fish finder.

So, the fish finder uses the time it takes for the soundwave to travel back to determine how deep the object is and exactly where it is underneath the surface. That helps you determine where to cast your line.


PLUSINNO Spinning Rod and Reel Combos Telescopic Fishing Rod…

  • Warm Prompt: Full Kit with…
  • Full Kit with Carrier Case is…
  • Perfect elasticity, high…
  • Instant anti-reverse; Power…
  • It’s the best gift to send…

FISH AREN’T THE ONLY THINGS DOWN THERE


SONAR waves are going to pick up everything in the water, including your fishing line, so how can you tell you’re looking at fish?

While it might be nice to see a fish shape down in the water, that’s not what the soundwave is going to bounce back. You’ll get to know what’s what by simply using your fish finder.

The fish are moving, of course, and the fish finder is constantly sending down soundwaves, so you won’t see fish-shaped blips on the screen. Instead, you’ll likely see trails.

Notice how you can see the fishing lines bobbing up and down? Then you can see the fish as they swim up to the lines and back down again. You can also see the trail of the fish who are hanging down below.

BUT HOW DO YOU KNOW IT’S A FISH?


When using your fish finder, you’ll get to know what the images are that are coming back to your screen. If you have a color screen, the different colors will also give you a clue as to what you’re looking at.


Humminbird 410210-1 HELIX 5 CHIRP GPS G2 Fish finder

  • 5-Inch Color WVGA Display
  • CHIRP Dual Beam PLUS Sonar….
  • Precision Internal GPS Chart…
  • Micro SD card slot for…
  • Target Separation – 2.5 Inches

Image from Amazon

Remember, the fish finder works by sending a soundwave down into the water. Smaller objects will have a smaller surface area to bounce the soundwave and will show a smaller picture on the screen. They will also typically be a consistent color or shade.

Usually, solid objects will be the darkest — think rocks. Fish will be lighter in color or shade and will be smaller. They’ll also likely be moving in the water.

THAT SOUNDS ODDLY FAMILIAR


Deeper Chirp Smart Sonar – Castable, Portable Fish Finder...

Image from Amazon

If the answer to the question “How does a fish finder work?” sounds familiar — it should. After all, there are natural fish finders who’ve been using this technology since the beginning of their existence.

THE OLDEST FISH FINDERS

Deeper Chirp Smart Sonar – Castable, Portable Fish Finder...

Marine animals, like whales and dolphins, use biosonar to find their prey and they are the best fish finders. They also use it to locate their families and familiarize themselves with their environment under the ocean.

Using their own soundwaves, they can tell not only the location of an object, but also where it is, its shape, and whether it’s coming toward them or moving away.

So, when you’re thinking, “How does a fish finder work?” and you’re happy about how easy it is to find fish, thank the marine animals for their technology.

And you might be interested to know that it’s not just whales and dolphins who use this tech. Many fish and invertebrates use sound for food and other reasons like warding off predators.

KNOW WHEN TO CAST


red fish

image by pixabay

Now that you know “How does a fish finder work?” you can use that knowledge to understand what you see on your fish finder screen. And the more you use your device, the easier you’ll be able to read it, so you’ll know exactly where and when to cast your line.

One thing to note: Read the instructions that come with your fish finder. In order to see what you want to see, you need to know the proper settings.

You can change the depth in which you’re looking as well as the angle you’re sending the SONAR wave. Plus, most allow you to use filters to better understand the environment under the water as you fish. So, know your fish finder before you head out.

How does a fish finder work to help you with your fishing adventures? Tell us your fish tales in the comments!

Featured Image by Florida Fish and Wildlife from Flickr

Here’s How To Put Fishing Line On A Baitcasting Reel Without Getting Tangled Up

Fishing is a leisurely activity that’s enjoyed by millions of people all around the world. Although it might seem like a simple activity, there are skills you need to learn. One of those skills to learn is how to put fishing line on a baitcasting reel.

Learning how to put fishing line on a baitcasting reel might not seem complicated, but it takes a little bit of practice. However, if you take your time and work meticulously, you’ll be able to learn this skill in no time.

If you’re new to fishing, there’s probably a couple of terms you’re unfamiliar with, such as fishing line or baitcasting reel. You may have heard the names but might not be sure what these things are. As a result, you need to know what you’re working with before you learn how to put fishing line on a baitcasting reel.

graphic illustration of a fishing rod

What Is Fishing Line?

Fishing line is a very thin cord that you use for fishing or angling. It looks like string, but it’s much more durable. Although you might think that you can use regular string while fishing, you won’t have as much success as you will with fishing line.

Several things make fishing line better than regular string for fishing. Firstly, it’s much thinner than regular string. This makes it more difficult for the fish to see the line.

Since they can’t see the line, they won’t be scared away from the bait. This will give you a higher chance of catching a fish.

Not all fishing lines are the same. Some need to have more abrasion resistance, and some need more breaking strength. The fishing line you need depends on the environment you’re fishing in.

However, as a beginner, you should be stick to regular fishing line for your expedition. There’s no need to start using special fishing line until you’re a little more experienced.


graphic illustration of a fishing rod

What Is a Baitcasting Reel?

Before you can learn how to put fishing line on a baitcasting reel, you need to know what a baitcasting reel is. A baitcasting reel is a specific type reel used by fishers.

With a baitcasting reel, you can launch the lure further than with other reels. This is because the line flows in a straight line off the spool. In other reels, it moves in a more circular motion.

Unfortunately, baitcasting reels are more challenging to use than other reels. They take a lot of time to master, and it takes a while to get comfortable. However, once you master the baitcasting reel, you’ll be able to cast with great accuracy.

Baitcasting reels also allow you to fish from a longer distance. This makes them an appealing choice in many fishing locations if you have the space.Unfortunately, baitcasting reels are more challenging to use than other reels. They take a lot of time to master, and it takes a while to get comfortable. However, once you master the baitcasting reel, you’ll be able to cast with great accuracy.

a man holding a baitcasting reel

Image Source: Pixabay.com

Baitcasting reels also allow you to fish from a longer distance. This makes them an appealing choice in many fishing locations if you have the space.


graphic illustration of a fishing rod

What’s the Difference Between a Spinning Reel and Baitcasting Reel?

a spinning reel installed on a rod

Image Source: Pixabay.com

Now that we’ve covered what a baitcasting reel is, we’d like to compare it to spinning reels. Spinning reels are some of the most popular reels among fishers. They are incredibly easy to use, especially for someone new to fishing.

All you need to do is flip the bail, put a finger on the line and cast. They close the bail and turn the handle to reel it back in. It’s as easy as that.

Spinning reels are preferred when using lighter baits. This is because the distance you get on a cast is limited by how hard you’re able to cast the bait.

The line flows off the spool with almost no resistance. As a result, the lighter baits allow you to get more distance.

When comparing the two reels, spinning reels are the easier of the two to use. As a result, if you’re a beginner, you should go with this option.

However, if you’re more experienced, you may want to switch to the baitcasting reel in certain situations. Being able to get more distance when you cast will allow you to fish in calmer areas. This will lower the risk of the fish being scared off by the motion of your boat.


graphic illustration of a fishing rod

How to Put Fishing Line on a Baitcasting Reel

Now that you have the basic knowledge, it’s time for you to learn how to put fishing line on a baitcasting reel. Make to pay attention, or you may end up getting things tangled.

The knots

Before you can begin learning how to put fishing line on a baitcasting reel, you need to figure out which knot is best for you. The knot you should use depends on the type of line you’ll be using with your reel.

Arbor knot

The arbor knot is one of the most common knots used by fishers. When using mono backing, it’s best to use this knot. It’s also good to use an arbor knot if you’re planning on attaching braid to the spool.

An arbor knot is simple to tie. The first thing you’ll want to do is wrap your line around the arbor of the spool. Next, tie a simple overhand knot around the standing portion with the tag end.

Once you’ve done this, you should tie a second overhand knot in the tag end. It should only be an inch or two away from the first knot.

Then pull the standing part of the line to slide the first knot down to the spool. Jam the second knot against the first. Trim any extra line, and you’re good to go.

Double uni-knot

If you’re using a mono backing, you’ll need to attach it to the braided line. The best knot to use here is the double-uni knot. This knot is a little more complicated than the last and will take some practice.

First, overlap the ends of the lines to be joined. Then, take the end of the line from the left side and double back. You wrap it around both lines three to four times and through the loop.

Makes sure everything is tight and repeat the process on the other end. Once this is done, you can pull the lines away from each other to slide the knots together. Then all you need to do is clip the ends, and you’re good to go.

Spooling

Spooling is the part of the process that most people will think about when they think of learning how to put fishing line on a baitcasting reel. Although this step isn’t difficult, there are ways for things to go wrong. So, you need to be slow and meticulous while working.

baitcasting reel installed on fishing rod

Image Source: Pixabay.com

Once you have your knots tied and the line is through the line guides, you can get started. You’ll want to have someone else at the end of your rod holding the spool between a pencil. This will make it so the line comes off smoothly.

Make sure that before you start reeling to grip the line with your thumb and pointer finger. This will create tension, and it will force the line to go on the spool tightly.

To reel the line onto the spool, all you need to do is turn the handle in the same way you would reel in a fish. This will allow you to store lots of line on your fishing rod.

Don’t overfill the spool

A common mistake new fishers make is overfill the spool. You might not think that having a lot of line on the spool could cause issues, but it can. As a result, you should make sure to stop when the line reaches one-eighth of an inch from the top.

Having too much line on your spool will make it a lot more challenging to cast. You’ll also run into situations where the line is slipping off the edge. This will result in tangles, which can be a nightmare to deal with.


graphic illustration of a fishing rod

What Do You Need to Go Fishing?

Now that you’ve learned how to put fishing line on a baitcasting reel, you’re probably ready to start fishing. However, before you get started, you need to gather all the things you need for a fishing trip.
The first thing you need is your fishing rod and reel. You also need the fishing line that you attached to your rod earlier. However, you might want to bring some extra in case it breaks.

You should also bring extra fishing hooks and a wide selection of live and plastic bait. The exact bait you need is dependant on the type of fishing you’ll be doing.

licensed fishing preserve signage on a lake

Image Source: Unsplash.com

Are there any fishing laws?

You may also need a state fishing license depending on your age. The fishing laws are different from state to state, so you’ll need to investigate that before you head out.

Rules and regulations about fishing in the United States differ by region. There are eight significant regions in the United States: Alaska, Atlantic Highly Migratory Species, Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, New England/Mid-Atlantic, Pacific Islands, South Atlantic, and West Coast. Take the time to investigate the basic laws for your region and stay informed on any updates.

Safety tips for fishing

The first thing to do before you get on a fishing boat is put on a life jacket. If you fall off the boat, you’ll be glad to have the flotation device.

There are some of you who are strong swimmers and might not think you need a life jacket, but even experienced swimmers may panic from falling off a boat. As a result, having a flotation device is a must for everyone.

You should also keep your boat neat so you don’t bump into things. Additionally, keep your hooks in a box, so you don’t accidentally stab yourself. You should also keep a first aid kit with you in case of emergencies.

a life jacket

Image Source: Pixabay.com


graphic illustration of a fishing rod

Let’s Go Fishing!

a man holding a freshly caught fish

Bison Cooler Review: Why You Need It In The Wilderness

When searching for portable coolers, it’s hard to miss a Bison Cooler review. Formerly known as Brute Outdoor Coolers, these American-made coolers have a reliable reputation for high-grade performance. Not to mention, they’re in the same league as other leading cooler manufacturers.

After launching in 2011 in Fort ​​Worth, Texas, Bison earned the trust of the outdoors crowds in the county shortly after. But since they weren’t big yet, you could find their coolers in very few stores.

However, a few years later, their coolers started showing up in online stores. And many customers loved them. Even today, they still gush about their reliability in their online Bison Cooler review.

After all, to survive in the outdoors, you need a high-quality cooler. You need your food and drinks to stay fresh and chilly as you like it and for as long as your trip takes.

But you might wonder: How do any of these coolers keep contents cold even in the hot summer sun?

How Do Portable Coolers Work?

two men smiling and holding a bison cooler

Image Via Flickr

The two most essential components of a cooler are the insulation and the ice.

The insulation, which is usually foam or plastic, slows down the circulation of warm air, hence increasing the ice retention for cooling of your food or drinks. Let me break this down further:

Do you remember convection in your science class? Well, it’s bound to happen in an enclosed space. However, the insulation material helps slow down the warm air, and hence, cooling it — the slower the movement of air particles, the colder it gets.

But that’s not all the science behind coolers. You also remember conduction, right? It makes heat flow from a warmer object to a cooler one.

Since these two processes are inevitable, coolers resist their desire to warm your contents by creating an inhibiting environment. And that’s where the quality of the material build comes in. You’ll understand more when we discuss the features in our Bison Cooler review. Hopefully, it helps you make a smart purchase.

But, I bet you’ve heard of hard and soft coolers. And you may be wondering: how do they differ?

​Hard or soft: what’s the difference?

A hard-sided cooler is larger and more rugged than a soft-sided cooler. A hard cooler also provides a longer ice life.

Soft coolers are great for daily use since they’re portable. They come in small bags that you can take with you to the gym, office, and even to the wilderness. However, they’re less durable than hard coolers.

If you’re going camping, hunting, or any other rugged outdoor activities, the best hard cooler will be more suitable. They usually feature tough exteriors that can handle substantial impacts. But you’ll have to be prepared to transport and carry the weight.

You can also get durability with portability in the best s​​oft cooler. You can’t go hiking while carrying a bulky hard cooler. I prefer soft coolers since they can suit the spontaneous outdoor trips that require me to pack small.

Now that you know what to expect from coolers, let’s get back to the Bison Cooler review, shall we?

​The Bison Cooler Review: What Does It Offer?


BISON COOLERS 24 Can Insulated Ice Chest Bag for Beer, Soda,…

  • PREMIUM COOLING: Keeps ice…
  • HEAVY DUTY DURABILITY:…
  • 30 DAY TRIAL & 2-YEAR…
  • THE PERFECT SIZE: Holds 24…
  • MADE IN THE USA: We take pride…

The Bison 24-can cooler is one of the top soft coolers in the market. Although it’s soft-sided, it’s built for rugged environments too.

​Insulation

The Bison 24-can model boasts twice the insulation of most premium soft coolers. It measures almost 1 inch, while most other comparable coolers fall under the 0.5-inch margin.

This optimized insulation helps retain ice for long hours.​

​Ice longevity

The Bison 24-can cooler can keep ice for 24 hours in 120 degrees Fahrenheit. Although many cooler manufacturers overstate their ice life, Bison kept it quite realistic. When measuring ice retention, manufacturers might create a best-case scenario that doesn’t match many conditions that consumers face.

For instance, a cooler full of ice left in the Texas spring sun won’t match the reality of using the same cooler in the California summer sun. Remember, if you have your cooler in the wild for a whole day, you’ll be opening and closing it as you fetch your stuff. And as you do that, warm air keeps creeping in — raising the cooler temperature more than in the manufacturer experiment.

But for the Bison 24-can cooler, customers’ expectations have been met since the ice stays strong for at least 24 hours. That’s if you observe the cooling optimization measures like pre-chilling your food and drinks before packing, plus minimizing cooler opening durations. With good use, your beers can stay chilled in the Bison 24-can cooler for almost two days.

However, the ice life could be longer if the zip and can design was optimized. The zip could close tight enough for a better squeeze and seal. Also, if the can design were made with lesser surface area exposed, this bad boy would beat higher-priced counterparts.

But overall, the Bison is reliable for many soft cooler users. You can spend all day in the outdoors, taking chilly drinks and fresh fruit like you were at home.

​Capacity

The Bison 24-can cooler accommodates 24 cans and 10 pounds of ice. This capacity is what most people need for a day trip.

You can keep your dry contents in the side pockets without a second thought since it’s sweatproof. Also, you can pack some other stuff with the Modular Lightweight Load-carrying Equipment (MOLLE) webbing this cooler provides.

​Quality

​Does the Bison cooler fit the standards of its price expectations? No, it goes beyond.

You might see it all pretty and soft, but it’s not. It features a heavy-duty 1000-denier vinyl shell plus UV shield.

And then there’s something sensational about stuff made in the U.S. Statista shows that America is one of the top trusted manufacturers in the whole world.

Also, Bison is known for its limited model production, which shows they focus on quality rather than quantity.

However, there’s a manufacturer glitch that has been noticed for a while. Some customers claim that the cooler is slightly shorter on one side, which compromises its stability. Hopefully, by now, it’s fixed because those claims aren’t popping up anymore.

​​​​​​​​Talk of style

The Bison 24-can is stylish as well as functional. You can confidently carry this cooler with you anywhere since it looks elegant.

And the best part is: It comes in colors (blue, sand, black, and pink) that fit diverse preferences. Furthermore, the removable shoulder strap helps transition to whatever you’re comfortable with.

Don’t worry about including a bottle opener for your trip, either. Like other premium coolers, It has one attached to the bag so you can pop your drink while it’s still cold.

​pros and cons

​Pros

  • ​Robust construction for a soft cooler

  • ​Reasonable ice retention

  • ​No leaks and no sweat

  • Lightweight and medium-sized

  • Excellent capacity

  • Valuable accessories

  • Stylish

  • Two-year warranty

​cons

  • ​The zipper isn’t waterproof

​​How We Conducted the Bison Cooler Review

Using expert insight, we assessed the best and worst features of coolers. We then determined the overall impact they have on different aspects of performance. However, we didn’t just scrutinize the theoretical part.

We analyzed experiments performed in various controlled scenarios. But since real life isn’t perfect, and we can’t control the situations we use a cooler in, we explored further.

We dug into customer reviews, finding a pattern of results you’ll likely experience. And while we put all these facts together, we picked only the coolers that will satisfy your needs — creating this unbiased Bison cooler review with comparisons.

​Bison Cooler Review: How It Compares

​Although the Bison 24-can cooler is one of the best, you can find others that you might prefer.


YETI Hopper Backflip 24 Soft Sided Cooler/Backpack, Fog…

  • Part cooler, part backpack,…
  • DRYHIDE SHELL – The Hopper’s…
  • COLDCELL INSULATION -…
  • HYDROLOK ZIPPER – The…
  • The BackFlip has an inside…

The YETI Hopper Backflip 24 can carry 20 cans with a third of the space filled with ice. Since you can wear it on your back, you can bring along chilled drinks on any trip.

For insulation, the YETI Hopper Backflip 24 has closed-cell rubber foam that ensures ice retention for at least 24 hours. Its hydro lock zipper is waterproof and airtight too.

The zipper efficiency beats the Bison 24-can performance by some paces — which explains why YETI is pricier.

This cooler has a water-resistant dry hide shell that can sustain rugged and moist-dense environments. Also, it won’t fade since it’s UV rays protected.

The YETI Hopper Backflip 24 resembles the Bison 24-can. They’re both durable premium coolers that perform as advertised.

However, this YETI model is more versatile since you can carry it comfortably on your back. It can fit more wilderness activities than Bison — coming in 10 outdoorsy colors.

Also, you can judge its higher quality by its increased warranty.

​Pros

  • ​Strong build

  • ​Excellent performance

  • ​Extremely portable

  • ​Foolproof insulation properties

  • ​Sufficient capacity

  • ​Relevant accessories

  • ​Three-year warranty

​cons

  • Zipper fails in some


TOURIT Soft Cooler 30 Cans Leak-Proof Soft Pack Cooler Bag…

  • ADVANCED COOLING PERFORMANCE:…
  • 100% LEAKPROOF and IMPACT…
  • BPA FREE and FDA APPROVED: The…
  • 3 WAYS to CARRY: With a…
  • PERFECT DIMENSIONS: Exterior…

With its three uniquely built layers, this cooler provides advanced cooling for at least three days.  The outer waterproof layer inhibits sweat production, the high-density foam middle layer ensures maximum insulation, and the inner layer is uniquely lined to be leakproof.

Apart from its impressive cooling abilities, the TOURIT Voyager 30 has a sturdy shell that can handle rugged use.

It beats the YETI Hopper Backflip 24 in capacity and insulation. And yet, it’s cheaper.

If you wish to get a cooler that acts as your all-weekend fridge, TOURIT is your guy. However, don’t expect anything from these waterproof zippers. No cooler company has perfected them yet.

You can also choose the TOURIT Voyager 20 or opt for backpack options like the TOURIT Backpack Cooler. Many customers trust these cheaper alternatives to the YETI models.

​Pros

  • ​Sturdy build

  • ​Performs as advertised

  • ​Highgrade insulation power

  • ​Portable

  • ​Spacious

  • ​Useful accessories

  • ​Three-year warranty

​cons

  • ​Some zippers fail


Heavy-Duty high Performance HD30 Soft Sided Tote Bag.

  • 32 Quart Soft Sided Cooler -…
  • Outer shell compsed of durable…
  • Closed foam insulation
  • Patent pending vacuum valve…
  • Features, adjustable ergonomic…

This 32-quart cooler can pack your day trip supplies and still have space for more. It has a Thermal Plastic Urethane (TPU) exterior, which is known for its durable but lightweight properties. And even better: It can hold ice up to four days in around 90 degrees.

While most cooler parts are sewn, ENGEL HD30 majority features are welded. They attribute their ice retention power to this construction. However, they did more to maximize insulation.

This cooler includes a patent-pending vacuum valve technology that promotes ice retention. Before use, you can use it to suck the air out and enjoy at least 72 hours of chilled food and drinks.

If you want a cooler with extended ice life, ENGEL is for you. However, it isn’t that sturdy — many customers who regularly use it in rugged environments notice unraveling stitchwork.

So, for all-weekend cooling for at least a year of regular use, this cooler is suitable. But if you prefer more durability, the Bison, YETI, and TOURIT models should be your option.

​Pros

  • ​Optimized insulation

  • ​Impressive ice life

  • ​Innovative vacuum valve technology

  • ​Versatile

  • ​Supportive accessories

  • ​One-year warranty

​cons

  • ​Poor stitch work

  • Some people find it hard to load and unload

​​​Rounding off the Bison Cooler Review

bison cooler with fishing equipments

Image Via Flickr

For most wilderness enthusiasts, the ice life of a cooler matters a great deal. However, durability does as well. For the wild isn’t for the weak.

You don’t want something that fades or tears after a few months of use. And that’s why you need to choose from high-quality options — the prices will be worth it. You’ll see.

​Featured Image Via Flickr

Which of these coolers would you choose? Why?

Polar Bear Coolers Review: Keeping Your Snacks At Hand On The Trail

You’re reading a Polar Bear coolers review. Is that because there’s some upcoming fun activity, and you need to bring the drinks, or is it for something mundane and practical?

When it comes to the practical, there’s no denying that having some extra coolers on hand is a good idea. Weather can cause havoc with power, and so can distracted drivers. Having some coolers on hand could save a refrigerator full of perishables when the lights go out.

But it’s much more fun thinking about getting some coolers to hold beverages and food for that upcoming camping or boating trip. But coolers for fun take more thought than coolers for practicality, so make sure you pick the right kind of cooler for those fun times.

And reading this Polar Bear coolers review is a good idea even if you’re only shoring up your emergency plans.

Soft-Sided Coolers, What to Look For

soft-sided cooler in a forest

Image Via Flickr

​According to the physics brainiacs, for a cooler to do a good job, it’s not what keeps the cold in, it’s what keeps the heat out. And what determines that effectiveness is insulation, air, and ice.

Those same brainiacs say that just like darkness is the absence of light, cold is the absence of heat. And that we should think about this from a thermodynamics perspective. Sure.

The bottom line from the brainiacs is that hard-sided coolers are better at insulating than soft-sided. But when portability is a concern, and when isn’t it, the soft-sided cooler wins.

But the thermodynamic brainiacs have one last comment to make, don’t open the cooler any more than necessary. Duh.

While soft-sided coolers aren’t as insulating as the hard-sided, soft-sided coolers take advantage of new and improved synthetic materials that help keep the heat out.

So when shopping for the best soft-sided, easy to carry, and store cooler, look for one that most closely matches your activities and cooler needs.

If you’re a hiker, then a backpack style cooler is what you want. Whereas, an ergonomic shoulder strap might be best for a day at the beach. And when you’re out on the water, make sure your cooler floats.

Check for quality zippers and hardware, solid straps, durable fabrics, and food safe interiors. The shape of the cooler is also something to consider, make sure you can square the bottom for its most efficient use.

And storage can’t be overlooked when shopping for the best cooler. The soft-sided cooler racks up significant points when it comes to storing. If for no other reason than you can store a lot of soft-sided coolers in the same space of one hard-sided cooler. And you don’t need a physics degree to know that.

​Who Is Polar Bear?

​In 2001, Strud Nash, owner and CEO of Polar Bear coolers located in Georgia, introduced the original 24-hour chill cooler. Strud says that this cooler introduced American consumers to the performance soft cooler category.

And in the years since, Polar Bear has continued to expand and improve upon their coolers. They currently have a complete line of soft-sided coolers, including:

  • ​Original 6-pack soft cooler, available in 4 colors

  • ​Original soft cooler in 12, 24, and 48 pack sizes, available in 5 colors

  • ​Eclipse UV-Resistant, 18 and 24 pack

  • Deluxe Flip-Top

  • Nylon line in Mosey Oak comes in 12, 24, and 48 pack sizes

  • Medical coolers in several sizes up to x-large

You can customize almost all of the Polar Bear coolers with corporate logos or monograms. And Polar Bear says their coolers make great gifts, especially groomsmen gifts.

And Polar Bear proudly continues to make all of their coolers at their Georgia location.

​Polar Bear Original 24 Pack Cooler


Polar Bear Coolers – Nylon Line – Quality Like No Other from…

  • INSULATION – Keep ice 24 hours…
  • INTERIOR LINER -…
  • OUTER SHELL – Rugged 1000D…
  • ZIPPER – Super Heavy-Duty YKK…
  • SIDE ZIPPER POCKET – This side…

​Polar Bear’s Original 24 Pack Soft Cooler has a rugged 1000 Denier luggage grade nylon outer shell. Plus, all the seams are double hemmed and anchor stitched for extra durability.

The interior liner is FDA food-grade approved, anti-microbial, and TPU double-coated nylon. And the 1-inch thick, 10 gauge high-density foam insulation will hold ice for 24 hours in over 100-degree temperatures.

All hardware on this cooler is heavy-duty, including the side release buckles and tie-downs. And the D-ring tie-down attachment points can be used to secure the cooler to any vehicle.

Plus, the heavy-duty YKK #10 rust-proof zipper is part of their patent-pending zipper design that keeps the zipper from ripping out of the cooler.

The padded shoulder strap makes carrying a fully loaded (at approximately 30-pounds) cooler a breeze. And the bottom saddle gives excellent support and uniform sturdiness for packed coolers.

Plus, the zipper pocket area can be embroidered with your company logo or monogrammed for personalization. And for convenience, a metal bottle opener is attached to the zipper pull.

This cooler is available in 5 colors and measures 10 inches by 18 inches by 12 inches, and has a 24 12-ounce can capacity. Polar Bear backs this cooler with a limited lifetime warranty.

​Our Polar Bear Coolers Review Process

​Our Polar Bear coolers review is an independent analysis of this and three comparable coolers available to today’s consumer.

To narrow our choices of competitors in this Polar Bear coolers review, we researched and reviewed the most popular comparable sized coolers. Then we compared their features along with consumer reports and comments.

Our goal in this Polar Bear coolers review is to give you sufficient factual, unbiased information. With this, you can make a confident, informed, and easier decision when purchasing your next cooler.

Polar Bears Competitors

​For this Polar Bear coolers review, we’ve picked the following three comparable coolers. And they’re not in any order of preference, quality, or price.


AO Coolers Original Soft Cooler with High-Density…

  • Soft-sided cooler with…
  • Twice the insulation of other…
  • Perfect for boating, fishing,…
  • Made of durable soft canvas…
  • Holds 24 cans plus about 14…

The first competitor in our Polar Bear coolers review is AO Coolers 24 Pack Canvas Cooler. This soft-sided canvas cooler features a removable shoulder strap, clip-down ends, and a side pocket for dry items.

AO Coolers says this cooler has twice the insulation of other soft-sided coolers, and they back that statement up with a guarantee it will hold ice for 24 hours in 120-degree weather.

The confidence in that guarantee is due to five layers of insulation with the inner insulation of 3/4-inch thick, high-density, closed-cell foam, and the high-quality TPU liner. And that washable TPU liner gives AO Coolers the confidence also to guarantee this cooler will never leak or sweat.

AO Coolers reminds you that this cooler can also keep your hot dishes hot, so pack your favorite hot casserole for that pot luck dinner in this cooler with confidence.

This cooler is lightweight, easy to carry, and measures 17 inches long by 10 inches wide by 12 inches high. It can hold 24 cans plus about 14 pounds of ice.

And AO Coolers offers a limited lifetime guarantee on the liner and top zipper.


Arctic Zone Titan Deep Freeze 30 Can Zipperless HardBody…

  • Deep Freeze high performance…
  • Patented, “flip open”…
  • Ultra Safe leak proof lining…
  • Adjustable Backsaver shoulder…

Next on our Polar Bear coolers review is Arctic Zone’s Titan Deep Freeze 30 can, zipperless cooler. Their patented flip-open Zipperless lid allows for quick access to food and drinks. Plus, the front zippered pocket is insulated.

Arctic Zone says that ice will keep for up to three days when you fill the cooler with ice. And that their interior linings are FDA and CPSC compliant and free from BPA, PVC, lead, and phthalates.

Arctic Zone wraps the entire exterior of the cooler in a lightweight layer of heat reflective material that repels radiant waves. And the thick Coldblock base of this cooler keeps the three separate layers of insulation from compressing when the cooler is full.

The easy-to-clean Microban antimicrobial protected lining of this cooler will last its lifetime; it will not wash off or wipe away and makes it easier to clean.

This cooler measures 16.5 inches long by 11 inches deep by 12.75 inches tall and can hold 30 cans.

Arctic Zone backs this product with a 30-day, hassle-free return if not happy with your purchase, and a limited lifetime warranty on this cooler.


IceMule Pro Insulated Backpack Cooler Bag – Hands-Free,…

  • THE WORLD’S COLDEST…
  • KEEP YOUR HANDS HANDY – the…
  • A SUPER SPACE-SAVER – forget…
  • WATERPROOF AND FAST, EASY…
  • ICEMULE CLASSIC PRO, X-LARGE,…

Our last competitor in this Polar Bear coolers review is ICEMULE Pro X-Large hands-free cooler. The backpack design of this cooler, along with the double padded and ventilated straps, comfortably straps on your back, leaving your hands and arms free.

The closure system on this cooler, designed without zippers and welded seams, means no leaky or broken zippers and easy access to load and unload contents.

ICEMULE says their exceptionally sturdy MuleSkinET exterior fabric combined with their tough interior layer of MuleSkinEV creates a rugged shell that gives superior ice retention. And their unique PolarLayer insulation foam will keep contents cold for over 24 hours.

Plus, ICEMULE coolers let you add air for extra insulation with their IM AirValve. And that same IM AirValve enables you to release air so you can roll up the cooler for compact storage when not in use.

The dimensions of this cooler are 14 inches long by 11 inches wide by 20 inches high with a capacity of 33 liters, that’s 24 cans plus ice. And ICEMULE backs this product with a 90-day warranty.

​​​​​​​Pack It Up

three people hiking a mountain

Image Via Flickr

We’ve given you a lot of cool (pun intended) information in this Polar Bear coolers review. And the coolers in this review were neither the least nor most expensive in the soft-sided cooler category. But all of the coolers mentioned in this review held their own when compared to the most expensive coolers.

What that means is spending more money doesn’t mean you’re getting a superior product. There’s a lot more to consider than the price tag.

Researching for this article, one of the stories that stood out was about Bullet, the Belgian Malinois (dog) who tried to rip apart the TPU lining that Polar Bear uses in their coolers. He was unsuccessful at tearing it and is now on duty with the Griffin, GA Special Task Force K9 unit.

Now, they didn’t elaborate on the connection between Bullet, the TPU lining, and the Griffin Special Task Force K9 unit. So you can draw whatever conclusion makes sense to you. I think, after everything I read, I’m going with the conclusion that Bullet showed plenty of tenacity and perseverance, but that TPU lining was just too tough.

But the good news for the consumer is that the lining in Polar Bear coolers is durable and can take a lot of wear and tear. While Bullet didn’t have a go at the competitor’s coolers, those coolers ranked high enough in many other reviews that they would be a superb choice as well.

Whatever your reason for purchasing a new cooler, a soft-sided cooler, especially the Polar Bear soft-sided cooler, is an exceptional choice.

Let us know in the comments below if this Polar Bear coolers review helped you pick the right cooler for your needs.

​Featured Image Via Flickr

Coleman Xtreme Cooler Review: Putting the Competition to Shame

If you’re looking for a good Coleman Xtreme Cooler review, it’s probably because you’re shopping for an affordable alternative to some of the bigger cooler brands out there. It’s no secret that this particular cooler has a significantly smaller price tag than many similar products.

But as we all know, a lower price often means lower quality. So can the Coleman Xtreme really hold it own against the competition?

Before investing in this cooler, there are a few things you need to know. Is this a quality product that will stand the test of time? Will it keep your drinks cold during long trips into the wilderness?

And of course, how does this product compare to other quality coolers? These are some of the things you need to know in a Coleman Xtreme Cooler review.

WHAT IS THE COLEMAN XTREME COOLER?

The Coleman Xtreme Cooler is an impressively large cooler. In fact, this cooler is capable of holding up to 100 canned drinks at a time!


Coleman Cooler | Xtreme Cooler Keeps Ice Up to 5 Days |…

  • XTREME TECHNOLOGY: Insulated…
  • HIGH CAPACITY: Holds up to 100…
  • HAVE-A-SEAT LID: Closed lid…
  • CUP HOLDERS: Molded into the…
  • COMFORT-GRIP HANDLES: No-crush…

This cooler also features an inch of insulation. As a result, it claims to be able to retain ice for up to five days at a time. We’ll put this claim to the virtual test in a moment.

Furthermore, it uses low CO2 insulation, which reduces carbon emissions from foam manufacturing. This will certainly appeal to people who care about protecting the environment. This product is made in the United States.

Where to buy

WHAT ELSE SHOULD YOU KNOW IN A COLEMAN XTREME COOLER REVIEW?

There’s obviously much more to learn in a Coleman Xtreme Cooler review. Here are a few of the things you need to know before you make a purchase.

What are its main features?

The Coleman Xtreme Cooler has a few very convenient extra features. One of these is its sturdy “Have a Seat” lid, which can support up to 250 pounds. This ensures you always have a place to sit during your adventures.

Additionally, this lid has a smooth texture that makes it easy to clean. Just wipe it down real fast, and you’ll be ready for the next trip.

Furthermore, this cooler features No Crush handles that stop before they can pinch your fingers. This makes the cooler exceptionally easy to carry. Finally, the cooler has four convenient cup holders molded into the lid.

How is its ice retention?

Naturally, this is the main thing you want to learn in a Coleman Xtreme Cooler review. As mentioned before, this cooler promises to keep your ice cold for five days at a time. But of course, you can’t always take the manufacturer’s word for it.

That said, this cooler comes shockingly close to hitting this goal. On average, it only misses the five-day mark by a few hours.

As you’ll probably expect, the Coleman Xtreme’s ice retention doesn’t truly compare to more expensive brands. But for the price, it stays cold for a decent amount of time. Odds are, you’ll be able to use it for a weekend trip at the very least.

To see for yourself how long this cooler can last, check out this video.

Is it durable?

Sadly, this is where the Coleman Xtreme starts to show its limitations. Simply put, it’s just not as durable as many of the other coolers on the market.

Unlike more expensive coolers, this cooler doesn’t have a rubber seal around the lid. Because of this, it’s not airtight or leakproof.

The handles are flimsy and likely to break under too much pressure. Also, almost every Coleman Xtreme Cooler review complains about the drain plug’s design. It’s poor quality, and it’s positioned too high to drain water effectively.

On the bright side, the lid really can support up to 250 pounds. But in terms of general durability, the Coleman Xtreme falls far short of the competition.

HOW WE REVIEWED

When reviewing these products, we used professional reviews and the products’ official websites as our primary sources of information. Also, our opinions were largely informed by a combination of product research, professional review, and customer reviews.

For these reviews, we chose to focus on a few key areas. These include ice retention, durability, portability, and main features.

HOW DOES IT COMPARE TO OTHER COOLERS?

Obviously, a good Coleman Xtreme Cooler review should look at the competition as well. There are tons of great coolers on the market today. Let’s see how the Coleman Xtreme Cooler measures up.

IGLOO MARINE ULTRA COOLER


Igloo Marine Ultra Cooler (White, 72-Quart)

  • Ultratherm insulated body and…
  • Stain and odor resistant liner
  • UV Inhibitors to protect…
  • Reinforced comfort grip…
  • Dimensions 30.06in L x 16.5in…

The IGLOO Marine Ultra Cooler is a good choice if you love to fish. This cooler features an ultratherm insulated body and lid. As a result, it claims to be able to retain ice for five days at a time.

One other unique feature is the fish measuring ruler that’s built into the lid. This is one of the features that makes it a good option for fishermen. It also has UV inhibitors that protect it from the sun.

This cooler has a stain and odor resistant liner and comfort grip handles. It can hold up to 140 cans at once.

Most reviewers were very impressed by this cooler’s ice life. They found that these coolers are able to stay cold for almost an entire week. They also felt the handles make them very easy to carry in wet, marine environments.

Unfortunately, lots of customers had issues with these handles breaking. This is a very common problem with these coolers. The fact that replacement handles aren’t readily available makes this problem even worse.

The IGLOO Marine Ultra Cooler is a good product that’s similar to the Coleman Xtreme in a lot of ways. However, there’s a very good chance you’ll end up with broken handles if you go with them. The Coleman Xtreme is a longer-lasting product in general.

Pros

  • Good ice retention

  • A few unique features

  • Well suited for marine environments

Cons

  • Handles are prone to breaking

Where to buy

REYLEO COOLER


REYLEO Cooler, Rotomolded Cooler 21-Quart, 30-Can, 3-Day Ice…

  • 【Professional Cooler】 :…
  • 【Sealed Latch & Built Sturdy…
  • 【Uv Protection &…
  • 【4-in-1 Function】 : With…
  • 【Mobile Flexible】: With it…

The REYLEO Cooler is another potential cooler alternative. This cooler has a few interesting features. These include a 16-inch fishing ruler, a bottle opener, 2 cup holders, and a drain plug pressure relief valve.

It can hold 30 cans at one time, and it keeps ice cold for up to 3 days. This cooler also has a strong, rotomolded construction that can withstand up to 700 pounds of pressure.

Furthermore, this cooler has UV protection, so you don’t have to worry about sunlight damage. It also has a non-slip bottom that keeps it stable while you’re using it.

Reviewers generally appreciated this cooler’s vast array of convenient features. They were also impressed by its sturdy construction. This is a strong little cooler that can even handle a bear attack without being destroyed.

The biggest problem with this cooler is its ice retention. Compared to many other coolers on the market, it just doesn’t last very long. You can expect it to stay cold for only two or three days at a time.

This is a good cooler, but the Coleman Xtreme Cooler surpasses it in almost every way. It’s much larger, and it stays cold for longer periods of time. Therefore, we recommend sticking with the Coleman Xtreme Cooler.

Pros

Igloo Cooler Review: Perfect for Snack Attacks Around the Campfire

Everyone loves having some delicious snacks and goodies around the campfire. What no one loves is soggy or warm goodies around the campfire. Searching the internet for an Igloo cooler review can bring about plenty of results, but which ones are unbiased and packed with useful information?

Not that many.

The best cooler for camping will offer plenty of space to store your food and drinks. It will also provide a way for you to drain the water from the bottom. Some even serve as a comfy place to rest around the fire.

You never know how bad you need a great cooler until you experience a less than desirable one. We don’t want that to happen to you, which is why we wrote this Igloo cooler review.

WHAT MAKES THIS IGLOO COOLER SO GREAT?

During your search for a cooler, you might have stumbled upon an Igloo cooler review. This cooler offers many features that you will enjoy. From a powerfully insulated body to handles that make it easy to transport the cooler around the fire, you’ll find everything you need in this Igloo cooler.

Cool it down

Your cooler has one primary job, right? It’s there to keep things cold. This one uses an Ultratherm insulated body that can keep ice frozen for up to five days. Yes, five days, people. They even say it will keep ice cold in 90-degree weather.

There is nothing worse than taking your cooler to the campsite and finding a giant swishing bucket of water inside. Now all your food and drinks are soaking wet, and you don’t know how long you’ll be able to keep them cool.

I can tell you first hand if you have kids, the last thing you want is wet cardboard juice boxes.

Space it out

Another important thing to keep in mind is the amount of space in your cooler. In this Igloo cooler review, we wanted to find one of the largest coolers for the most affordable price.

This cooler can fit up to 188 cans and 120 quarts of ice. Let’s just say, if you need a bigger cooler, you might have to bring a refrigerator to the campsite.

Since you’re filling your cooler to the brim, you’ll also need a safe and easy way to carry your stuff around. This one comes with swing-up handles and a tie-down loop feature. This component makes it easy for one or even two people to carry the cooler from the back of your car to your fireside camp.

What you need to know

An often overlooked component of coolers is the lid. You never know when your cooler might tip over or fall during your travels. When you’re carrying it to your campsite, your adventurous side might kick in. During your walk across the river and through the waterfall, you might tip the cooler over and even drop it.

No need to worry because this one comes with a snap-close lid and tie-down loops. You can bang the Igloo cooler around all you want, and it should keep all your snacks safe and sound.

Finally, you won’t have to worry about tipping this beast over to drain all the excess water and ice when the party’s over. The cooler comes with a threaded drain plug to make draining easy and quick. You can even hook up a hose to run water into the cooler if that’s your game.

HOW WE REVIEWED

We understand how important it is to make the best buying decision. When we look online for an Igloo cooler review, it’s difficult to find and clear and concise information. For that reason, we only use the most reputable sources when we conduct reviews.

Who are the most reputable sources?

The people are. People who have purchased this item already and use it all the time. We get all of our information from verified purchasers of this cooler, and that’s why we want to provide you with the most honest and accurate information possible.

In addition to taking reviews from others, we also weigh in with our own experience. I can say that I have personally experienced the downfalls of a cheap or low-quality cooler many times in my life. I’ve had some that fell apart before I even got to my campsite.

For that reason, I recommend choosing coolers with the best reviews and most recommendations possible.

IGLOO COOLER REVIEW: WHICH IS COOLER?

We’re here now to see which cooler is the coolest of all. Sometimes, the best way to tell if a product is right for you is to see what other options are available. When you stack up two of the same products against each other, it’s easier to see the pros and cons.

All of our choices in this Igloo cooler review passed our inspection, so they are all great choices. Let’s see how they stack up to our Igloo cooler.

COLEMAN 120-QUART COOLER


Coleman 120-Quart Cooler, Blue

  • Two-way handles for easier…
  • Lid accommodates 24 in. (61…
  • Exterior dimensions: 39.8 in….
  • Interior dimensions: 32 x 12.6…
  • Made in the USA

Our first choice is another beast that holds up to 120 quarts. This cooler comes with two-way handles that make it easy to carry and lift. They give a slight advantage to the Coleman cooler by saying that it holds 190 cans instead of 188 like the Igloo one.

Of course, we believe that there are many factors that could change that number.

The Coleman cooler uses what they call Xtreme 5 Technology that keeps ice cold for up to 5 days in 90-degree weather. This rating is the same as the Igloo cooler, so that checks out well.

Customers of this cooler say that it doesn’t hold as many cans as they say. One customer was only able to fit 160 cans, but hey, we’re splitting hairs.

Overall, customers are thrilled with this cooler. They say that it is well built, sturdy, and gets the job done for most situations.

Where to buy

ARCTIC ZONE TITAN GUIDE SERIES COOLER


Arctic Zone Titan Guide Series 36 Can Cooler, Blue

  • Features TableTop lid with 4…
  • Deep Freeze high performance…
  • ColdBlock base has 3 thick…
  • Leak proof lining with…
  • Rhino-Tech stain and water…

Let’s size things down a bit with the Arctic Zone Cooler. This one comes in three different options. You can choose a 16 can cooler, 30 can backpack, or a 36 can cooler. The 36 can option comes with four drink holders and multiple exterior pockets to store things.

This is a soft exterior cooler, but don’t let that fool you. It comes with performance insulation and a multi-layer system that protects your contents in even the most extreme heat.

The main issue that I’ve had with soft coolers in the past is the collapse. That doesn’t seem to be the issue with this one. It has a leak-proof lining with microban that also helps protect against odors and stains.

Inside, the cooler is around 16 inches long, and it keeps ice cold for as long as 3 days.

The main issue we encountered with this cooler is a design flaw. The pockets on the front of the cooler are there to hold items that you might want to keep cool, but it’s not critical. They’re designed in a way that causes the whole cooler to tip forward if you don’t have it completely full on the inside.

We’ve noticed a few customers complain about this issue.

Overall, if you’re looking for a smaller cooler that guarantees nothing gets warm, this one is a great option.

Where to buy

COLEMAN XTREME COOLER


Coleman Cooler | Xtreme Cooler Keeps Ice Up to 5 Days |…

  • XTREME TECHNOLOGY: Insulated…
  • HIGH CAPACITY: Holds up to 100…
  • HAVE-A-SEAT LID: Closed lid…
  • CUP HOLDERS: Molded into the…
  • COMFORT-GRIP HANDLES: No-crush…

Next, let’s introduce you to a moderately sized option from Coleman. This cooler has a 70-quart capacity and holds up to 100 cans. It comes with strong insulated walls that offer 5 days of ice retention in heat as much as 90 degrees.

On the lid, you’ll find four cup holders, which is nice for creating extra space and seating for around the fire.

The handles are no crush handles, so it helps prevent injury when carrying heavy drinks, food, and ice.

A frequent downside we see in a lot of these coolers is the lack of wheels on them. With a fully packed cooler, it would be challenging for one person to carry this, especially because of its size.

This one is more in the budget price range, so we assume that is why they have not included wheels as a standard option, but it would be nice to see.

Overall, customers say this is a reliable and durable cooler that can hold ice for five days. If you’re a hunter or camper traveling with a buddy, you’ll want to check out this option.

Where to buy

ARCTIC ZONE TITAN DEEP FREEZE COOLER


Arctic Zone Titan Deep Freeze 48 Can Zipperless Cooler,…

  • Deep Freeze high performance…
  • Patented, “flip open”…
  • Ultra Safe leak proof lining…
  • Rhino-Tech water and stain…
  • Adjustable Backsaver shoulder…

Our last option is a hard body deep freeze cooler from Arctic Zone. This one offers high performance insulation with radiant heat barrier technology. Instead of absorbing the heat, it reflects it. It also has a patented flip open lid that eliminates the need for a clunky zipper.

We’re always nervous about features that stray too far from the ordinary. Many customers are pleased with the flip-open lid, and they say it does a great job, so you don’t have to worry about not getting the lid open.

Inside you’ll find a hard body to prevent food from getting crushed and a SmartShelf to keep things cool but not wet from the ice.

This cooler holds up to 48 cans and keeps ice cold for as long as 3 days.

Where to buy

CHILL OUT

By this point in our Igloo cooler review, you should know more than you ever thought you could about coolers. We’ve provided plenty of great options for you to choose from, and we would recommend any of them.

Keep in mind that the two Coleman coolers and the Igloo option do not come with wheels. If you don’t plan on carrying a ton of snacks and drinks, you might want to settle for the smaller Arctic Zone options.

On the flip side, we’d recommend choosing the Igloo cooler because it is affordable and large enough for those serious campouts and backyard barbecues.

If you consider yourself a campsite snack expert, be sure to leave us a comment and let us know what cooler you will use after reading this Igloo cooler review!

Featured image by: Pixabay

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