Line management on the front of a flats skiff (or any other fishing boat, for that matter) is often a comedy of errors, even when a skilled angler is making the shots. Wind, currents and other factors have a way of grabbing the line, bunching the line, or causing knots and kinks at the least opportune times. You can have a partner play “caddie” and try to manage the slack for you… you can use a stripping basket or a bucket, but nothing is foolproof.
This LineTack system by Carbon Marine, however, is pretty darn close to perfect. They’re essentially rubber “spikes” that you can mount via their adhesive bases around the edge of the bow. Space them every 6-8 inches or so, and as the caster strips line in and piles it at his/her feet, the line ultimately finds the tacks, and gets collected there, without falling off the side of the boat, and into the water, where it could slip under the boat or into some other mess. Don’t worry, the tacks are soft, so they’re not going to hurt you if you step on one. They’re aero-efficient, so they’re not going to affect the performance of the boat. They don’t collect water. They just kind of make a line-safe perimeter around the caster. And when you go to fire the next cast, they serve the line right back up without any snags or tangles. The genius: you don’t even have to think about managing line (much) as you cast, and can focus 100 percent on the target. It makes you a faster, more accurate, shooter of line, and after the hookup it gives the line back to the fish without a hiccup. The down-side: Well, your boat looks like it has teeth, which might bug some people. You can always take them off. Easily one of the best and brightest solutions for a common angling challenge we’ve seen in a long time.