Fishermen's News - The Advocate for the Commercial Fisherman

2018 Gear Guide

It's time to start working on your Christmas list, dropping hints and cutting out ads from magazines to leave around the house. We're helping this year with our gear guide to help you get outfitted for the next season, with equipment to keep you and your crew productive and safe.


November 1, 2018

New Grundéns boots have a steel toe to keep all your parts in one place. Photo courtesy of Grundéns.

Wet Work

Is it raining where you are? Yeah – here too. We can stay inside and sip a hot cup of coffee but you probably have to go out in the rain. Grundéns has you covered.

Grundéns ( makes gear for commercial fishermen under their Grundéns and Gage brands, and this Hauler jacket and bib are purpose-built with the commercial trap fisherman in mind. The combo features new high-visibility color-blocking for increased working visibility and safety. Both jacket and bib are constructed from durable double-sided PVC and are fully hose-rinseable both inside and out for easy cleaning, quick drying, and improved mildew resistance in wet marine environments.

Built for durability and mobility, the Hauler jacket's body is made with tough 500-gram PVC for abrasion resistance in high-wear zones, with lighter 460-gram PVC in the sleeves for reduced weight and improved mobility. The bib's primary base-fabric is 460-gram PVC, fortified with reinforced 500-gram PVC leg-fronts and body for better wear. Hauler bibs also feature a knee pad pocket that accepts a compression molded EVA knee-pad, available separately.

The folks at Grundéns want to be your one-stop shop, so they've introduced their line of Deck-Boss boot with a safety toe, designed for superior safety and performance. Built with an ASTM certified steel safety toe and puncture resistant full-length steel shank, the boot delivers protection where it matters most. The new boot also features a "Herkules Grip" outsole – Grundéns says it's the highest level of slip resistance testing on the market – for superior traction in all environments. The boots are made with an injection-molded upper that eliminates delamination and cracking, to keep all those little piggies warm and dry.

Let there be Light

We know it's wet. Probably dark, too. Not to worry – Larson Electronics, a manufacturer of industrial lighting products, has introduced a handheld HID light that produces 3,500 lumens of light and features a 5,000 mAh rechargeable lithium-ion battery that powers the light for 90 minutes on a single charge. Larson ( says this waterproof handheld light outperforms lights that are four times more expensive in brightness and distance.

The RL-11-INTL is a High Intensity Discharge (HID) light that consists of a 35-watt HID lamp that produces a 3,000-foot beam in the 4300K color range- call it 15 million candlepower, taking just 2 seconds to reach full power. A special snap-on diffuser lens is included with this unit that enables the operator to convert the light to a soft, wide flood beam that covers an area 200 feet long and 200 feet wide.

While this sturdy new light is just the ticket for long walks up the deck to the chain locker, it could save your life if you're floating in the water and your crewmates are looking for you.

The new light is pricey at $798, but worth having onboard when things go dark.

Reach Out

It's lonely at sea. You miss your wife and kids. SPOT gets it. In May, they released their newest product, SPOT X, a 2-way satellite messaging device, which combines proven SOS emergency notification technology with new text messaging functionality for safety and peace of mind, regardless of cellular coverage.

What does this mean to you?

SPOT X provides 2-way satellite messaging so you can stay connected to family, friends and colleagues whenever you're outside of cellular range, including direct communication with search and rescue services in case of a life-threatening emergency. SPOT X even provides you with your own personal mobile US number so others can message you directly from their cell phone or other SMS devices at any time.

SPOT X is ruggedized, lightweight and easy-to-use with an illuminated QWERTY key board, 2.7-inch backlit display, US mobile number, rechargeable Lithium battery and dust and waterproof rated hardware.

The device lists for $249, and offers plans ranging from $11.95 to $39.95 per month ( The lower tier requires a year-long contract, and offers 20 custom messages per month, while the highest tier can be purchased in one-month intervals and offers unlimited messages.

Suit Up

If things go south, you want to be covered, and Marine Safety Services can help. In cold water, immersion suits are crucial for survival. They help keep your body temperature up and the keep your body afloat. Marine Safety Services ( sells Imperial Immersion Suits, in several sizes, and they can be custom ordered to fit as well. Marine Safety Services carries both USCG and SOLAS approved models. The suits all have three fingered mitts to keep your fingers warm, a watertight pocket, reflective tape, and a soft, comfortable face seal. The immersion suits also have toe valves to purge any water out of your suit, or to release any air trapped in upon entering the water. Pricing available on request.

SmaK Your Catch

Need a way to keep your fish, meat, and vegetables cold and fresh as they can be? The FishBox 165, from SmaK Plastics (, features sidewalls that are 2.1 inches thick offering higher insulation values than the 1.6-inch industry standard to keep your day's catch or farmers market offerings cold and fresh. The 165-quart (41-gallon) box offers a hinged lid with a tight seal and all the company's commercial features, like the one-piece rubber latch system (no more rusted or broken latches), easy drainage with a 2-inch outlet and threaded plug storage near the opening so you never lose your plug.

At less than $400, the cool new box is also about $50-$100 less than others in its class.

Also available in a commercial 285-quart size, all FishBoxes are produced locally in Vancouver, Washington by SmaK Plastics.

Cyborg Crew

Superman? Batman? Mermaid Man? No- just one of your crew, wearing the latest in workwear- the Comau MATE exoskeleton, and outperforming his friends on deck while improving his posture. Many industrial exoskeletons already exist to help with warehouse operations as well as military rehabilitation, but they all require a power source. The MATE (Muscular Aiding Tech Exoskeleton), made by Italian robotics firm Comau (, doesn't use motors, batteries, or fickle mechanical parts. Instead, it uses a simple spring-based passive structure to provide users with additional lift support, posture correction, and more comfort in day-to-day work. It's also highly customizable, with two available sizes and five different adjustments within those sizes. The end result is one of the easiest to use exoskeletons on the market that can also be remarkably cost-effective. That it makes you look like a superhero is an added benefit.

Electric Horse

A few years back we noted that you can't get a powerblock in the back of a Prius. You still can't, but soon you'll be able to buy a hybrid-electric half-ton 4-wheel-drive pickup ( to haul your gear.

This 15-million candlepower light can operate for 90 minutes on a full charge. Photo courtesy of Larson Electronics.

The all-new Workhorse W-15 is the first plug-in, range extended electric pickup built from the ground up. The design is based on the same platform technology used in the company's successful Workhorse N-GEN electric delivery van. Designed with input from fleets, the W-15 is powered by a Panasonic Li-ion battery pack, delivering 80 miles of all-electric range, while the onboard generator works to recharge while driving to get the job done. The new heavy half-ton W-15 comes equipped with an external 7.2 kw power outlet providing up to 30 amps directly from the vehicle battery pack.

With a payload capacity of 2,200 lbs. and towing capacity of 5,000 lbs., the new truck can carry most of what a commercial fisherman needs on the job, including that powerblock.

When not hauling gear, the truck will haul... well, let's just say it hauls. With 460 horsepower delivered to all four wheels, the W-15 is capable of 0 to 60 miles in 5.5 seconds, which is faster than a BMW 430i Coupe, into which you should not put a tote of iced fish.

With the goal of being the safest pickup truck in America for fleet operators, the W-15's safety features include an extra large front crumple zone and crash mitigation technologies, including automatic braking and lane centering. Once production begins, the W-15 is anticipated to have a $52,500 MSRP.


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