Fads come and go in the fishing world where anglers are always on the lookout for advantages in their quest to catch more.
New gadgets, lures and tackle burst on the scene every year. Some of the products flourish, but many fade into the sunset once the fishing public weighs the items' performance.
In recent years, the tide of new stuff has swelled.
Following are four of the more useful developments in fishing, things that you ought to try if you haven't already:
Tubes -- The simple-looking tube lure is probably the most versatile soft-plastic bait in the business. Rigged on a jig head, tubes work great on deepwater smallmouth bass. Texas-rigged tubes are excellent for flipping into brush and other cover.
Smaller varieties are super producers of crappies. Four-inch versions are the choice of bass anglers. Tubes also trick walleyes, saugers, muskies and northern pike.
Fluorocarbon line -- More costly than conventional mono line, fluorocarbon offers several advantages. It sinks, it's virtually invisible underwater and it's less stretchy.
While fluorocarbon is not for every application, it's particularly useful when you need to get a bait deep in a hurry or when you are around line-shy fish.
GPS -- Navigation aids that employ global satellite positioning technology are smart additions for anglers who need to know exactly where they are on the water. They make special sense for those who fish the Great Lakes, where getting lost is a real danger.
But they also are very helpful on inland waters. For example, GPS will enable a Mosquito Creek Reservoir walleye angler to find the exact place on the water where he caught fish in the past.
Tungsten weights -- Lead was the weight of choice for generations of anglers. But as environmental concerns mount, sinker makers started looking for alternatives and tungsten has emerged as the best.
Heavier than lead, tungsten sinkers can be slimmer in profile and smaller in size than lead weights, which provides advantages. Tungsten costs more than lead, but the difference is well worth the money.