Boat Rigging 101

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Owning a boat opens up a world of new fishing possibilities. No two boats are quite the same, and the ability to customize your setup to match your exact fishing style will help put more fish in the boat and provide a better overall experience. There are all kinds of new tools these days and we will touch on the basic groups of options to make your boat perfect for you. When you are out on the water you want to spend more time fishing and less time worrying about your boat setup. When everything is in place and easily accessible you can focus your energy on finding and catching fish. Everyone has their own preferences on how they want their boat set up, but rest assured that SCHEELS has everything you need to customize your boat set up to perfectly match your fishing style.

The advancements in boat electronics over the past few years have been nothing short of amazing. Gone are the days where all you can see is the depth and a little blip on the screen shaped like a fish. Lake mapping, down scan, side scan and 360-degree viewing gives us a view of the bottom like never before, and the ability to link electronics with your trolling motors allows you to find fish and stay on them. Choosing the right tool for the right job is the most important part of determining what electronics to go with. Some offer a very simple to use interface that is easy to lean. Others offer many advanced features that when used properly can dramatically improve your ability to find and catch fish, while some may offer a combination of both. Another option to explore is having electronics in multiple locations on the boat. A great way to utilize this is by having GPS and navigational tools on the screens where you are driving your boat and a forward-looking sonar on the bow that lets you see exactly how fish are relating to nearby structure. This lets you find fish initially from the drivers seat and then catch fish from your fishing position on the boat. Our SCHEELS Experts are here to help with any questions you may have on choosing the proper electronics for your fishing goals.

Just like electronics, trolling motors have come a long way in recent years. The ability to connect with electronics to lock onto a single spot or follow a contour line allows you to stay where the fish are at or search areas while staying at the desired depth range. Many trolling motors can now be controlled through foot pedals, remotes, or even through your electronics. Deployment has been made easier as well, with some models using cables to aid in deployment and others that will deploy automatically. 

When it comes to fishing, you can never have too much tackle. Unfortunately, there comes a point where you can have too much tackle in your boat at the same time. Being able to efficiently store all of your tackle is key when setting up your boat. Designating specific compartments to store your tackle and housing them in large tackle boxes and stowaways helps keep tackle safe and ready at a moment's notice. 

RAM mounts will assist in putting your electronics and trolling motor in the perfect spot and keep them from bouncing around while moving. Often times you will need a little extra clearance on your dash when using larger screens or multiple screens, and RAM mounts will help find the perfect position. For trolling motors, RAM mounts connect to the shaft and assist in stabilization while the boat is moving. This will prevent any unnecessary wear and tear on the motor or the side of your boat.

Cables and accessories provide the finishing touches on comfort and fishability for your boat. The ability to connect everything and have the whole boat work together as a single unit is a thing of beauty. Combine that with perfectly placed rod holders, downriggers, drift socks, anchors and planer boards to be ready for any scenario.

Batteries are often the most overlooked piece of equipment on a boat yet are the most vital. Not only do they power the engine and electronics, but also the bilge pump, livewell, lights or any other electronic accessory. It's a good idea to keep your batteries in a tray or box if they are in the back of the boat or near any area that may potentially hold water. Another thing to keep in mind is that many of the new trolling motors are now using 24 or 36 volts to power the units, so connecting the batteries in the proper sequence is key to get the full power out of your motor. Batteries will need to be charged to keep your boat running smoothly, and an on-board battery charger can be a huge time saver. An on-board charger allows you to link all of the batteries in the boat together and allows charging from a single source without the need of moving around your batteries or dragging out a charger when you get home from a fishing trip. The important factors to consider when choosing the right charger for your boat are the number of batteries on your boat and the rate in which they need to be charged.

Conditions can and will change when you are out on the water. Having the right clothing and the ability to layer is critical for having an enjoyable time on the water. Anglers will need to be ready from head to toe for sun, wind and precipitation while on the water. Not to be forgotten are life jackets. SCHEELS now offers life jackets that will auto-inflate when submerged and also has a cord that will inflate upon pulling. This allows a life jacket to be comfortably worn at all times while retaining a full range of motion.

Article By: SCHEELS