New gear reviews

Microwave line guide system

Invented years ago by the late Doug Hannon, “The Bass Professor,” Microwave fishing guides are a unique line-control system for spinning rods that reduces the line coiling effect, thereby increasing casting accuracy and distance. The initial stripper guide is where the magic happens. A cone shaped guide-within-a-guide knocks down the line coils that naturally come from casting a spinning reel.

With conventional guides, these coils carry through the first guide, thereby causing additional resistance and vibration as the line continues through the remaining guides out to the tip. Slow-motion photography shows how the Microwave system knocks out the coils at the initial guide, providing a smooth, straight line flow through the rest of the guides. Using identically-rigged combos and line for nearly a year, one with conventional guides and one with the Microwave guides, I put the system to the test with both monofilament and braided line. The Microwave system is no gimmick. You can literally feel the smoother cast and lower vibration.

Casting is easier, which is important in a kayak because the seated position is not optimum for achieving long distances. Longer casts, with less effort, was immediately obvious. Using the Microwave system, line issues over the life of the test were consistently cured. Frustrating line coils gathering in the mono just did not happen. Likewise, wind knots in the braid were non-existent. The guides, by American Tackle Company, are sold by most major rod building suppliers. Full sets include the stripper guide and a full set of snag free running guides. If you build your own rods or like having custom rods made, try a set on your next spinning rod and you won’t be disappointed. Some factory made rods, including models from Lew’s, can be found with the Microwave system. The guide sets are available in chrome, black and titanium. MSRP: Starting at about $30 per set.

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RAM Roller-Ball Paddle & Accessory Holder

One key to successful kayak fishing is having your gear secure and where you need it, when you need it. The new RAM Roller Ball accessory holder works for a variety of items that have a round or nearly round handle. Paddles are the most obvious accessory that the Roller Ball grips hold in place. Simple but strong, it utilizes rubber balls that roll and spring outward as the paddle shaft is gently pushed down. The balls grip your paddle firmly, but release effortlessly and quietly when needed. The unit holds items with a diameter from 1 to 1 5/6 inches.

The base mount utilizes a T-bolt screw that is compatible with RAM Tough-Track and most kayak track systems. The base is easily tightened by hand and can be set at various angles, not just parallel to the kayak. This is especially handy for holding landing nets or gaffs at just the right position for quick and easy access. A spring-loaded plunger between the roller balls assures that there are always three points of tension for a secure hold. Another handy use is to hold your BogaGrip, or similar lip-grip tool, at the ready. And a molded-in eye at the base of the Roller Ball provides a secure location to clip a gear leash. Stake out poles, bait nets and many other items can be securely held in place with the RAM Roller Ball. MSRP: $17.99.

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About Chris Holmes 256 Articles
Chris Holmes has kayak fished in the Gulf of Mexico, the Atlantic and Pacific oceans and many places in between.