For professional anglers, their boats are their offices. They make their livings out of them and rely heavily on the boat, trolling motor, electronics and the outboard. They have to work right every time, and each component works in concert.
Their tow vehicles have become a big part of their craft and marketing power. Many who see them may think some options are overkill but actually form follows function with their tow rigs as well.
Elite Series angler Britt Myers, owner of CS Motorsports, is the tow vehicle guru, mechanically inclined and knows a thing or two about trucks and accessories. He was the first angler to bling his ride and his boat on the trail. Matching 20-inch rims for both the truck and the boat, lift kits and bed boxes and high performance add-ons to allow him to cover many miles of travel for his job.
His “Fishing Tactical Vehicle” showcases his sponsors and endears him to his fans.
“It is way more than bling; it is an essential part of my brand,” Myers said.
Unless you have an unlimited budget or a rich uncle willing to foot the bill, setting priorities for your tow vehicle probably makes more sense. Myers gave us some advice on the essentials and ways to not only add pizzazz to your truck or SUV but also increase fuel economy and functionality. His truck is every bit as important to him as his fishing boat.
“A must on every one of my trucks is air bags,” Myers said. “I have had excellent success with Air Lift brand, and they are relatively easy to install. They also can be equipped with their own compressor and wireless remote for filling and air removal. It makes my Toyota Tundra ride like a car and reduces squat when towing my boat.”
The air bags can be inflated for loads and the air released for comfort when not towing. Leveling your tow vehicle can effectively balance the aerodynamics for better fuel economy too.
“Another vital part of my tow vehicle package is my topper, and I chose A.R.E.,” he said. “Since we are always on the road, sometimes weeks at a time, I have to be able to take a lot of gear. Everything including coolers, tackle and clothes goes into my truck, and I want the peace of mind to know all of it is protected and organized.
I have an electric keyless locking and entry system as well as a security system that includes door sensors. Once I put it in there I want it to stay in there, until I decide to take it out.”
Viper Smart Start may seem like an add-on that might not make sense but for a professional angler it can be essential for super cold mornings to warm up the truck or when wanting to locate your truck in a crowded parking lot.
SMART START SYSTEMS
“Since most of us have a fishing partner or a marshall park our trucks when unloading, Smart Start allows me to find my truck virtually anywhere with the use of a smart phone. Smart Start adds another layer of security too.”
“I built the first rod tubes for my truck a few years ago and they have been invaluable for spare rods or ones for a technique I found out about while on the water. They attach easily to the topper rack and allow me to carry extra 6-8 foot rods with zero issues. They lock and when used with rod sleeves protect the rods running down the highway as well.”
Another essential for road warriors is a good lighting package. Typically boat ramps and camp grounds offer poor lighting but equipping your truck with some Rigid Lighting can change all of that.
“I find that great lighting is like having my garage on the road. Lighting both inside the topper and the roof rack facing towards the boat allows me to work on tackle and the boat and do so without using a flashlight or a headlamp that can be cumbersome.”
A custom drawer system is essential in pros tow vehicles to secure both tackle and safety gear. Britt designed his to be a bit larger and deeper than factory models and can house 3700 style boxes as well as his boat cover and tools.
IMPROVE FUEL ECONOMY
A few tips Britt mentioned is our discussion to increase fuel economy are:
- Always properly inflate tires to manufacturers suggest air pressure.
- Adding a high performance exhaust system can help.
- A cold air induction system will get 3-4 mpg more.
- Utilizing a Super Chip programmer really helps on most tow vehicles by adjusting fuel flow and rpms.
- Fender Flares can help keep the truck looking better but can aid aerodynamics too.
- Less aggressive yet functional tire choices like General Grabbers can help with fuel economy but also reduce noise in the cab. They look great but also are functional.
Elite Series anglers utilize their tow vehicles as part of their branding, so they may accessorize a bit more with extra lights, brush bumpers, Weather Tech floor mats and big tires like General Tire and rims, but a weekend angler can do a little at a time to increase fuel management and performance. Little things can make a huge difference.