After all my spring tourneys, it’s finally time to get back to Lake Erie and catch some walleye for no other reason than the love of fishing. Which means I installed my latest piece of equipment on the boat, the Planer Board Caddy from Traxstech. We put it through the test this past Saturday on the lake with my TX-22 planer boards from Church Tackle, and I liked everything about it!
The hardest thing about the install was carving out the flotation foam under the gunwales of the boat. Crestliner really knew what they were doing back in the day! Once I did that it was fairly easy to place the washer, locking washer and nut onto the bolt to install the mounting track to the top surface. The caddy itself is light in weight, and didn’t require a backing plate under the gunwale.
Quick note about the backing plate, I would use your best judgment on whether you need one or not. The aluminum on my Crestliner is pretty thick and rigid. Some materials on today’s newer boats may be thinner and will require a back plate. Also, consider what you are mounting to your boat, if I was mounting one of the trees available from Traxstech with its higher center of gravity, I would definitely want a back plate underneath to provide extra support.
Positioning your own Planer Board Caddy is your decision, but make it wisely, you only get one shot at it. What I mean by this is consider where it will be the most effective for you while you fish, and will it still be handy, but not in the way at the same time. Also, if you are using rod holders like my Scotty’s or a similar product, I placed my trolling rods in the holder, to make sure I could easily remove the rod while not catching my Daiwa Sealine’s handle on the caddy itself.
Let it rip, your boards aren’t going anywhere. When your drift is done, and its time to pick up and go back to the hot waypoint on your GPS, leave your planer boards in the caddy, and get back to that hotspot as fast as your boat and mother nature will allow. I was impressed by how well the TX-22’s rode in the caddy. Sidenote: You can used a variety of makes and models of planer boards, they will all work in the caddy. I choose Church products because I believe they are the best and they have a model for all my fishing needs. Which means for you, if you run Walleye Boards which are slightly bigger than the TX-22, or if you run the smaller TX-12’s, they all fit in the Traxstech caddy.
Why did I get the Planer Board Caddy? Convenience was certainly a factor, you bring your board in with a fish on, or to simply check your lines, the caddy is right there to hold your board securely while you do your business. The other factor, is the pin cushion effect…you have no idea how many times somebody in the boat has sat down on one of the seats, only to jump up from having sat on a board, more specifically, the tow arm! In addition, you don’t need to worry about stepping on them if they land on the floor or sliding around while fighting a fish. Organization is a key here, not only for your fishing experience, but the longevity of your equipment also.
Besides holding your boards, the Planer Board Caddy holds a variety of additional items. On this last trip, I stored pliers and jaw spreaders in the caddy’s. To help keep track of the walleye going in the box, a fish counter can be hung on it, as well as used lures. Also, a good place to clip in, or zip tie some fish towels to keep them close by if you need to wipe your hands for any reason.
One last suggestion, I would definitely get the end caps for your tracks. I can already see where I would be leaving the cap on the backside of the track permanently so the caddy doesn’t slide off. Yes, the caddy itself does have set screws to prevent sliding, and after fishing all day long, and traveling pretty fast on the water, my caddy’s never budged. But in my mind, it’s a inexpensive product that will further protect your investment.
Now for my next Traxstech product purchase, I have two more tracks on the boat where I mount my handline reels in the spring for fishing the Detroit River. A beverage holder would certainly save drinks being spilled on board. Or, to get the beverage holder, with additional tool storage, that will be the next question. I am quickly learning just how much Traxstech has to offer when it comes to rigging a boat out for making fishing easier and more enjoyable!