As human powered anglers we are often limited in what we can carry with us and still stay mobile. When working the shoreline many times I am forced to decide on which items I take with me and which I am forced to leave behind. Actually I find myself with this dilemma most of my fishing situations. Everything I carry must serve more than one purpose if it's to accompany me on the water. One item that has earned its place on the very short list of "must haves" are my Lucid Fishing Grips.
I discovered the Lucid Fishing Grips at the Madison fishing expo four years ago. I was browsing the aisles looking for a replacement net. I stopped by the Thorne Bros. booth and asked them to show me a net that could fold down to under a foot, but with a bag big enough to land a musky. As you can probably imagine they got a good chuckle out of my request. Then a gentleman walked over and said that 2 ladies were selling lip grips at a booth near the main entrance. I headed over to check them out and left with the 30 pound model (in hindsight I probably should have bought the 60 pound model). Now that I have owned them a while I finally feel that I am qualified to give them a review.
|Support the belly for a healthy release.|
The Lucid Fishing Grips are available in 2 sizes, a 30 pound model for smaller fish, and a 60 pound model for those of us that are after the big ones. The grips are also able to be IGFA scale certified, the IGFA won't just certify any scale so the fact that they certify these grips gives me confidence in their accuracy. With the comfortable grip, and smooth one handed operation I can land fish quickly and safely. Most of the time I don't even have to take the fish out of the water to unhook them. Another nice touch is the rotating head. I can't begin to tell you how many times I have hooked the grips onto a musky or pike and have had them start barrel rolling in the water. The head just spins around right with the fish. I have seen more than one scar on larger fish from getting rolled up in braided line while sitting in a net. This helps protect the fish, and when dealing with something as fragile as a musky it is a much appreciated feature.
The first thing I did when I got the grips home, was adding a plastic carbinger clip to the wrist strap. You might be wondering, why not just clip it to your bag or belt loop with the lip gripper end? Because bushes and underbrush like the Lucid Fishing Grips as much as you do. The carbinger clip gives you some added insurance that the grips will still be there when you arrive at your fishing hole. SBH Tip: Use a magnetic net lanyard on your Lucid Grips when kayak fishing to keep them from going overboard.
The grips also extend your reach, making them great for break wall casting, landing fish from a kayak, and ice fishing. When fishing on break walls or steep rock banks that extra couple of inches can be the difference landing or losing a fish. Using fish grips in a kayak keeps those annoying treble hooks out of your skin. Besides nobody likes reaching into the ice water to scoop a walleye, pike, or big brown trout out of the hole. With the Lucid Fishing Grips just work the fishes head up towards the hole and lock the grip on to the fishes mouth. One quick pull and the fish is on the ice and your hands are nice and dry.
But wait, I've read that lip grippers are bad for the fish. I am sure you have all read this somewhere. Every time I post a picture with my Lucid Fishing Grips somebody pipes up and says "you need to stop using those". Well a little common sense will tell you that driving a hook through the fishes mouth and then using pliers to rip them back out is probably more traumatic then using a grip to control their head. Also as long as you follow a few simple rules the fish are always able to swim off just fine. First, keep the fish in the water! I know this sounds crazy, but you won't believe how many people I see with the fish out of water for extended periods of time. It doesn't matter if your using a net or lip grips, keeping the fish in the water will help with a healthy release. Second, when you lift the fish for your photos and measuring keep them supported by the belly. This takes the strain off the neck muscles, and helps to keep the grips from wearing through the skin on the fishes mouth. Lastly, if your weighing the fish do it quickly. No fish likes being hung by its mouth, or its gill slits for that matter. You won't damage most fish species if you keep the weighing quick. Another nice option would be to use a sling on larger fish and just clip the Lucid Fishing Grips to the sling. Easy on you and more importantly, easy on the fish.
So go and get yourself a set of Lucid Fishing Grips. You'll love the freedom of not having to worry about transporting a net, and you won't have to carry a scale anymore either. I gain some extra room in the backpack, and as a shore fisherman, that means fewer things I have to leave behind. To learn more tips and tricks about the use of lip grips I'd go straight to the source at www.lucidfishing.com. Until next time...