Musky Upgrades: 10 Accessories We’d Rather Not Live Without

Musky Upgrades: 10 Accessories We’d Rather Not Live Without

Jodie Paul February 17, 2023

Once you’ve started musky fishing, you might as well start throwing money in the air, because the urge to by the next new toy or upgrade can really hurt your pocket book.  It almost feels like every time you turn around, the fishing industry is introducing a hot new item that will “guarantee” you catch and release the biggest musky on the planet, but we all know it’s just a tactic.  Once you have the basics in  baits, rods, reels, and a net, everything else is really just a splurge.

Even though some extras are unnecessary or redundant, we’re all allowed to binge buy now and again to keep our musky kit feeling fresh.  So here are a few accessories to gussy up your fishing gear collection that you may not need, but your heart will definitely desire.

Rod Glove by VRX Fishing

Such a simple accessory goes a long way when it comes to the Rod Glove.  Musky Anglers are notoriously persnickety when it comes to rod function.  It seems all 15 rods on the boat serve a very specific purpose which cannot be intermingled.  It’s because of our fine collections that the folks at VRX Fishing invented this little doozy to keep our rods from tangling whether they’re on deck or in storage. 

Pausing to pull your trolling setup from your hatch is a lot easier when each rod is nicely tucked inside it’s Glove.  Giving yourself the gift of this accessory is like having cake after dinner.  It just makes fishing go a little bit smoother and we honestly curse a lot less.

Folbe Rod Holder Mount

In this scenario, we aren’t even talking about Folbe Rod Holders, but more focusing on the mount.  If you already have Folbe’s, you’ll understand exactly what I mean when I say, what can’t they do?!  Folbe makes a ton of accessories that fit their Rod Holder Mounts; and if Folbe doesn’t make it directly, there are a million after market companies that make products designed to fit.

From rod organizers and cup holders to tie-off cleats and pulleys, you can really solve a lot of issues by having a Folbe mount on your boat.  They might cost a bit more than other brands, but in versatility and ruggedness they just can’t be beat.

The Blade Planer Boards

Introduce in 2022 The Blade Planer Boards are taking over in trolling.  Of course, you can troll until your heart’s content with rod tips in the water, but a little splurge and you’ll thank yourself later.  The added ease of these planer boards will keep your lines from tangling and keep you on task at any trolling speed.  The simplicity of these boards is definitely helpful and their weighted skeg keeps them upright and running smoothly in all types of chop.

Power Handles

Regardless of your reel, all companies now either make an option with or provide after-market upgrades for Power handles.  If you have a little extra cash burning a hole in your fishing provisions pocket, why not use those bucks to upgrade your favorite reel.  Many folks prefer the school of double handles, but the difference in grip can really change the game for hard core angling.

Power handles provide a single, larger grip that greatly reduces hand fatigue and technically helps with understanding of gear ratio.  One turn of the handle is easier to understand when there is only one handle.  We highly recommend this little upgrade to make your cranking game a bit more comfortable!

Daiwa Rod Wrap

Though this is quite the cheap upgrade, it’s a maximum output.  Daiwa makes a Velcro padded rod wrap that is perfect for keeping travelling rods from flying around.  We like this small upgrade for many reasons, but mostly because it keeps us organized.  The wrap comes with a 12” tip and 18” butt wrap great for musky rods that generally cannot be cased due to their excessive length.

Best use for this wrap is during travel or storage.  You can carry tons of rods together or store them inside a boat locker without worry.  It’s a simple and effective product for sure.

Musky Shop Rod Handle Wrap

Going in a different direction, this wrap is a great upgrade that serves many purposes.  The Musky Shop Rod Wrap is geared toward protecting, padding and adding grip to your existing or newly purchased rods.  Many musky rods come with a cork handle that dirties easily and can get slick and honestly smelly with repeated use.  The Musky Shop Rod Wrap masks these issues and keeps your cork in brand new condition. 

Unlike other wrap, there are no sticky residues or damages should you wish to remove the wrap down the road.  The cork will stay well preserved, while giving your hands the much-needed grip for tossing heavy weighted lures.  This wrap is a heat shrink so it is super easy to apply.

Outdoor Grips Jig Ripper

This product has been around for a while and has the salute of musky anglers across the nation for solving a problem that we never knew we desperately wanted solved.  The Jig Ripper is an accessory devoted to those who love jigging structure.  Functionally, it adds a perpendicular jigging handle to almost any rod, which helps to prevent wrist fatigue.  When your hand holds directly on the rod, it creates an odd angle to fatigue your arm after extended use.

The Jig Ripper is definitely the light bulb in the brain moment saying, “there’s got to be a better way”, and this is IT!  Though its performing talent is limited to specific techniques, it can be attached and worked around for standard casting.  It’s light weight and doesn’t add any difficulty to other fishing routines should it be left in place.

Engel Live Bait Cooler

This product is not for everyone but it is a big step up from the bubble buckets of yesteryear.  We might go as far to say that this product is like the Yeti of the Bait Box systems.  There are those of us in the world that hate the smell remaining after using our built-in live wells or those that don’t have live wells at all.  The Engel Live Bait Cooler is a great upgrade if you’re looking to turn up your fresh bait game.

Engel Coolers can run off a 12V charger and keep your bait well aerated and fresh.  The cooler is a breeze to clean, and for the record it looks pretty sophisticated too.  If you want a nice looking upgrade to your bubble bucket game, you should look no further.

Daiwa Lure Catcher

If you’re like the rest of us, retrieving snagged lures has always been a headache in musky fishing. 5/0-7/0 hooks mean big hard snags.  This little upgrade is easy to store in your boat, and gets the job done without much fuss.  It has weighted chains that smoothly sail down to your lure and with a little shimmying will bring it back up in no time.

My favorite part about this retriever is that there’s no pole attached which can generally become a tripping hazard or space taker.  This little guy fits down in a small compartment and never makes a peep until you need it.  Give it a whirl for a great low-cost upgrade.

Xuron Split Ring Pliers

If you know, you know and I can talk all day along about Xuron Split Ring Pliers, but in my experience, they just speak for themselves.  You might be thinking to yourself, how is this an upgrade?  The answer is simple.  They are some of the best and least bulky split ring pliers, that for some reason work better than 90% of the other pliers on the market.  They also come with a Lifetime Guarantee!

They are easy to use.  They are small and well made.  There are no crazy hand grips, so you might be shaking your head, but they are perfect for quick and painless split ring changes.  The sharp tooth on the end has a great angle and makes changing hooks a zip.  When it comes to split ring pliers, it seems like you can get your hands on 1000 variations, but this little tool just never disappoints.  The price point is definitely worth every penny for a long lasting and well-made tool.

We could indefinitely add more tools and accessories to this list and the upgrades can go on to infinity.  If you are a user of any of the above mentions, you might already be persuaded.  If you haven’t tried something and you want to present yourself with a little treat for a job well done, by all means grab one of these upgrades and try it out for yourself. Musky Fishing is an intense hobby sport for dedicated anglers and if you’re seriously trying to improve your gear stash, then look no further than some of these optimal upgrades.