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  • Ken Perrotte

Rapid Fishing Solutions - Affordable, Useful 'Why Didn't I Invent That?' Products - Getting a Grip in Niagara Falls

smallmouth bass in landing net

Rapid Fishing Solutions. Why didn’t I invent that? A question I’ve asked myself many times over the years when fishing, hunting, doing simple outdoors stuff. Usually, these reactions surface when I encounter a simple solution to common practices that typically impractical, time-consuming and frustrating.

Rapid Drop Shot Keeper

Take, for instance, putting up a rod set up for drop shot fishing. A typical solution is to set the hook in the “hook keeper” near the base of the rod and then take the couple feet of line with the weight and wrap it around the reel handle or some other inconvenient storage system. Sometimes everything stays in place; sometimes it doesn’t. Either way, you have to unwrap, unroll, untwist the line and weight to get you back in business. Or, as Rapid Fishing Solutions, devised, you could invent a special, simple but effective way of securing the weight without all the wrapping and rolling. The company, based in Mechanicsville, Virginia, calls the product the Rapid Drop Shot Keeper. It’s a cylindrical, plastic device with a vertical opening running its length. You simply place the line between the hook and the weight in the plastic and snap it over the base of your fishing rod. Then, reel up your line until the weight is unable to swing and the line is tight. When you’re ready to fish, pop it off, bait up and get going. The tool is designed to fit the base of most rod blanks used with drop shot fishing. A set of three sells for $6.29. So simple!

Rapid line clips

Another Rapid Fishing Solutions invention is the Rapid Line Clip. What typically happens when you’re done fishing, and you know you’re going to change lures the next time you pick up the rod? You cut off the lure, stow it and then run the line back down to a guide and tie it off. Totally unnecessary with the Line Clip. This simple tool uses the same style of clip used in drop shot swivels or weights, the type where you slip the line in the eye and then snug it tight. The Rapid Line Clips feature small plastic balls, color-coded in case you have some sort of system you want to apply, that have the pinch clips embedded in them. You remove the lure from the end of your line, insert the line in the pinch on the pinch clip and then and reel it up to your rod tip. No tangles, no tying, no problems. Easy. They come in two sizes, micro and regular, each with a six-pack selling for $8.39.

The final item I’ll cover here is the Rapid Gripper ($14.99). Anyone who has done a significant amount of fishing has used gripping devices that hold fish by their mouth. The grips offer a way to avoid sharp teeth or gill plates and rakers and are sometimes touted as being easier on the fish (if you plan to release it) than grabbing it with your hand. The Rapid Gripper floats if you drop it overboard. It has contoured handles that easily open and close, but lock down securely, sort of like a good set of vise grips. A blunted point at the end is designed to help you coax open the mouth of a reluctant fish.

Beyond the simple ability to hold the fish, my favorite application is trying to remove a feisty fish caught with any bait with treble (yeah – trouble) hooks, especially jerk baits and others with at least two and often three sets of hooks. Trying to hand grab a fish out of net with these lures still in its mouth, or even trying to remove the hooks while the fish is still in the net, is a good way to get yourself hooked – something that is never fun. Using the Rapid Gripper, you can clamp it onto the fish’s lower jaw and then use it to immobilize or, at least, lessen any thrashing around of the fish while you remove the lure from the mouth and net. And it’s made in the USA.

The Rapid Gripper got a workout on that beautiful spring morning.

Rapid Fishing Solutions makes several other useful, innovative products, including a tool and small spinner (with four different blade options) that attaches to soft plastics, like Z-Man’s popular TRD lures, often used when Ned rigging. They also make a small spinner (also a four-blade selection) that you can securely attach to tube lure hooks. Rapid pro Patrick Duncan demonstrates how to set up these lures, plus shows how to use the Line Clip and Drop Shot Keepers in this short video, filmed near the mouth of the Lower Niagara River, near Lewiston, New York. We caught a bunch of smallmouth bass that day using the dressed-up lures. We also tossed a SPRO jerk bait that the smallies loved.

You can learn more about the wonderful fishing opportunities – salmon, smallmouth, trout and more -  all around the Niagara Falls area with these other Outdoors Rambler posts. Check ‘em out – and please subscribe. Happy fishing and be safe out there on the water.


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