The following information on sponsors products is my own opinion. If you want to increase your fish catching abilities, add these sponsors products to your arsenal.
I have been sponsored by Pure Fishing for the past 33 years. Pure Fishings has many brands under their umbrella which you can check out here. Here are the Pure Fishing brands that I routinely use:
Ambassador - I use Alphamar line counter reels.
Berkley - I use 20lbs and 30lbs XT line and 14lbs Fire line.
Penn - I use Penn Squal line counter reels.
Sebile - Magic Swimmers body baits.
Stren Super Braid.
One tip I will pass on when selecting line, is use the smallest diameter line your rod will allow. Longer, more flexible rods let you select smaller diameter lines. Due to zebra mussels cleaning the lakes, you need the smallest diameter line your rod will allow you to run, to get more fish to hit.
I also recommend the use of Fluorocarbon leaders, which the fish cannot see. I use Berkley ProSpec fluorocarbon leader for every species I fish. Berkley has 20-60 lb ProSpec fluorocabon that works great. It is worth trying if you use that size of line.
The bomber products we use are 9A, Deep Diver, 14, 15, and 16 Shallow run diver, and 24, 25, and 26, which are Moderate deep divers. We help bomber with color and product development.
Luhr Jensen makes a wide range of quality products. The ones we use are the powerdive, which is a moderate diver, 1/2 oz. And 3/4 oz. Hot Lips, and the fingerlings, which are deep diving baits. Luhr Jensen has a wide range of colors to tempt your wallet.
This is a fairly new product with three body baits, the little ripper, The deep ripper, the ripstick,and the reef runner. We have helped our sponsor with colors and product development. If you do not have this product already, you are missing a great fish catcher!!!
From their large selection of baits, we use only Junior Thundersticks, and Thundersticks. When fish are at the depths of a Thunderstick, very few baits will do.
With all baits, tuning is very important. One thing that we have found out is, the bigger the lip, the more tuning is required. Check to see that the lure is running true after each fish.
Loke comes in many sizes 6”, 8”,10” and 12” Jointed and straight.
Ziggie Is a fairly new bait to the market but very effective. They are made in Marine City and also come in a wide assortment of colors. This is only bait I have not had to tune it works from the package. Ziggies come in different sizes (6", 8" & 10") straight and jointed and are a must to have if you fish Muskie.I use other baits that include, Nils master and Jakes. One last very effective bait is the Mason bait made in Detroit again coming straight and jointed.
Over the years, I have used many different spoons with positive success. I have settled on six spoons. The ones I use are Pro King, NK - 28, Silver Streaks, Michigan Stinger and Fishlander. An old spoon to make a new come back is the Northport Nailer. They make a spoon called the Kaleidoscope this spoon has a finish that stays on the spoon very well, even after many fish. One tip on spoons is to run ones together that work at the same speed. Every spoon has a different shape and size causing different action at different speeds. When fishing Lk. Erie for steelhead and walleye don’t be afraid to try small spoons like the Scorpion and Stinger and Jr Streaks and Mini Streaks.
I use Mustad hooks which provide a solid hook set.
I am sponsored by Traxstech who make track and rod holders, as well as other accessories. The track was custom made to wrap around the stern of my boat, and is capable of holding all my rod holders and downriggers.
This type of set-up has a moderate initial cost, however upon examination you will find the quality built into every piece.
These swivels cost more than others, but when it's your trophy on the other end, cost is forgotten!!
There are all kinds of releases on the market today. We started years ago using Offshore Tackle Releases, and found they were the easiest, simplest, and the most reliable to use. Offshore Tackle makes releases for every application.
Super Skis are my planer board of choice, and I've made an adjustment to them. Now they will pull five Hot Lips in eight foot seas without a problem. A problem with these boards is I think they don’t make them any more.
I use four Walker downriggers. These riggers are very smooth, fast and reliable. I also have an Strike vision camera for my boat. If used and under stood this camera will help increase your fish catch. Walker also makes a full line of divers in many hot colors. These are going to be very effective, you might want to check them out.
I use four Trinity Industries tackle boxes in sizes 5", 8" and 13".
Dickies Clothing is a line of clothing you might want to check out. I did and was very surprised at the quality built in every article. They also have a line of Camo clothing that is also water proof in my line of work this is very important. Warm and dry is something I like.
For my photo enlargement I used Kwik Copy in Sarnia. I was very pleased with the quality of their service and the work they supplied. The price was also great. They made my buisness card for me I was very impressed how it turned out. If you are looking for this type of service I would recommend Kwik Copy.
I get asked many times which is better, a full skin mount, or a reproduction. My answer is the same. Remember the thrill you had when that big fish surfaced behind the boat? If you keep your fish, no other person can ever have that thrill from that fish again. Released, it will live to fight another day and make someone else just as happy as you. On lake St. Clair a 50” muskie is about fifteen years old. How many 50” fish will survive if they are not released?
If your are going to get a replica done I suggest using Advanced Taxidermy. They are one of the best in the business. Get a very good picture of the fish, a length and girth, and let them do the rest.
REMEMBER, let them go so they can grow. Get your trophy and let someone else get theirs.