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October 12, 2007

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The Worst Gear of All Time?

Last week, you may recall, we played a most excellent game whereby we nominated one or two items of the best hunting gear we've ever used. Now, we're going to do the reverse--the worst. As they say in Texas, "I'll take two o'them--one to s**t on an' t'other to cover it up with."
My first nomination: any poly underwear that is labeled "odorproof." Whose odor? Natalie Portman's? I am sure that if Natalie wore the stuff for a week in elk camp it would not smell too bad. However, when I wear it, dogs run off howling.
My second nomination: The last Winchester Model 70s produced in New Haven, CT. Guns built by people who had given up. It wouldn't have been so bad if they were another make or model, but these were Winchester Model 70s, and that name used to mean something.
Your turn.


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That was me ,Greg, with the FIE question. have that .22 revolver made by them. wouldnt trade it for the world but wouldnt buy it for a plug nickel!

Chad Love

Hmmm, I've got a couple.

Winchester Super Speed shotgun shells, the ones you see by the palletload at Walchinamart. I've always been an AA diehard but tried a flat of these things a few years back just because you could buy a box of them for approximately the same price as package of Twinkies.
Well, after shooting a few boxes I learned a hand-thrown Twinkie probably would have been just as effective at killing dove. No wonder so many weekend dove hunters burn up so many shells per dove harvested...

The early fiber-optic sight pins made entirely of plastic. i can't even remember the brand name. Back when fiberoptic pins first came out I foolishly spent a large wad of my grocery sacker earnings on a five-pin fiber optic sight made entirely of clear plastic (the better to channel every lumen of available light into the fiber, you see...)
I attached it and spent an afternoon getting the pins set in anticipation of the next morning's hunt. After a brush-busting walk through a blackjack oak forest the next morning I got up in my stand to await daylight, anxious to try out my super new sight. Only problem was, when I raised the bow for a practice draw all I could see was a clear plastic pin guard "protecting" five stubby fiber-optic stumps. Every pin had broken off on brush during the walk in. Went back to metal pins after that.


Gerber is a good name too! I didn't mean to slight them. Just the cheapo things; still have a scar from the corkscrew in my thigh.

Brian T

1. Gerber knives can't be sharpened. In a fit of generosity, I let my ex- keep them all. Older Kershaw is best.
2. Most of the popular camo patterns don't look like real forests so what's the point? Even a burlap sack with a few brown & grey lines looks better.

Oh, SA, didn't take it as a slight! I'm sure there are other good brands out there. Honestly, I'm not fond of Leatherman, but they are the "founding fathers" of the multi-tool. Well, maybe Swiss Army, but I always did think they were junk. Leatherman got a boost when, I think it was Texas Parks & Wildlife, employees were issued one upon employment.
Gerber, I expecially like the little Fiskars (sp?) scissors, amazing! My current set doesn't have them, the next one's will!



My grandfather bought some helicopter lures. It was a long time ago but I think Jimmy Houston sponsored them. Biggest piles of junk ever. Caught more weeds than bass. Has anyone else used these with success?


The helicopter lures were sponsered by Roland Martin If memory serves right. They were junk. Icant believe R.M. had anthing to do with them. Fiskars are the only siscors I'll use.

Matt Mallery

I'll have to jump on the lure bandwagon here. My tackle box is full of strange, bizarre lures that were endorsed by some pro bass fisherman. I have one that looks like a copperhead snake because someone said bass occasionally eat small snakes swimming across the surface of the water. Does anyone remember those mouse lures? Surface plugs that look like mice because the really big bass will eat them from time to time.

Chad Love

OK, off-topic a bit but I gotta jump in here on the whole celebrity endorsement thing. Early on in my journalism career I got a chance to cover professional bass fishing as part of my beat. It was fun, got to go to a few big tournaments, do the media observer in the boat thing (I actually made a bet with Ray Scott on the weight of one of my fish and ended up losing and having to pay up right there on the weigh-in stage. It was a hoot).
But one thing I learned very quickly was that professional anglers are business men, and if they can make money by endorsing a product they will do so without any regard whatsoever as to the effectiveness of said product.
Short of something like Dan Akroyd's "Bag 'O Glass" pro anglers will and do endorse some of the most patently ridiculous products known to man.
But that's just the nature of bass fishing. Every time I think I've seen it all, all I have to do is go back and open up an old Bassmasters magazine or Outdoor Life or F&S or Sports Afield from the late 70s or early 80s.
Fads come and go. Then they come and go again...
Ahhh, my formative years, when I thought advertising was the gospel.

Chad Love

Hey Matt, that would be the Snatrix, and I still have a few packages of them. The guy that invented them, Loren Hill, was a fisheries researcher here at OU in the 70, 80s and 90s. I think he's still here. He went on to invent a number of other iconic 80s bass fishing lures and gizmos: the Color C-Lector (yep, sacked a lot of groceries for that one, the Rebel Redneck, etc,
My senior year at OU I took an intersession class with Professor Hill at the OU Biological Station on Lake Texoma. An interesting guy, to say the least...

Chad Love

Geez, forgot rhe Ph meter. He invented that, too. Boy did I blow a load of minimum-wage dough on that thing...

The Eds.

Hey Chad, for whom do you write?

Dean J

Hands down, electric socks. I got them as a gift, and the batteries (at the top of the sock) pull the whole thing down. I pull them up. Wash, rinse, repeat.

Black Rifle Addict

How about those puffed-out pillow "hot seats"?
They find any little snag or stub of branch to get torn on then you end up leaving a trail of little styrofoam balls all over the woods!
How about the hunting knife set they introduced a few years ago cutting fish,deer,steel, then they slice tomatoes paper thin. They beat the handle with a hammer to show how durable it is..they are junk knives worth $1 from the local dollar store;where they should be sold.

Chad Love

Right now I'm a freelancer and I write primarily for our state magazine as well as our state newspaper. Features and photography for the magazine and straight news and photography for the paper. I'm also a sometimes reporter for (don't laugh, damn it! They pay well...) People magazine. However since the reorganization and elimination of the regional bureaus I haven't done as much for them in the past year or so. It's tough to get NY to look at story pitches from the wastelands without a bureau chief pulling for you. I was pretty active for People for a few years, though. I've also done other various and sundry stuff here and there. By necessity and like most hand-to-mouth freelancers I'm ambidextrous.
Prior to freelancing I was your average daily beat reporter, cops and courts, government, general features and as much outdoors and environment as I could convince my editors to let me write.
I actually started out writing for my hometown paper in Norman, Oklahoma while I was in college. I hadn't seen our sortakinda outdoors columnist in the paper lately so one day I called up the sports editor and asked what had happened to him. He replied (and I'm not making this up) "He quit. You want the job?"
So that's how I started writing. I wrote for them for a couple years. It was during that time I was able to cover the tournament scene since we had (still have, actually) a number of successful pros from Oklahoma.


I had the snake lures too. Mine were copperhead pattern. Actually caught a few bass on them, big ones too.

The Eds.

You mind emailing me your contact info? [email protected]


Only once did I let my former spouce pack my hunting stuff for me,..still wonder what the "h" I was thinkin then.

Happily married at the time,.. I trusted her.So asked her to please get me some blaze orange coveralls but also to make sure to throw in my Normal hunting coat,.. wool pants itc,.. This was not a huge task mind you,.. as I keep all my huntinmg cloths in a big trunk when not in season,. Should have said ,. just empty trunk ,.. but I delegated ,.. she exercized her autonomy and judgement ,..certain in her mind to inprove my hunt.
Something I find every woman will do at the absolute least opotunune time at least once and bought me new super duper
"guaranteed to get you a buck" by the local coverall gue rue..
Said coveralls having not only an inseem about four inches two short,..but of course were so dam big had to take two stes before they would start to move alomg with me AND she did not include my standard coat and hunting pants.

Needleas to say with me its coveralls ,..I HATE coveralls Especially onces that are so short in the crotch ,..they make your voice go up three octives just cussing the G6666d [email protected] prediciament.
Oh,.. and wool socks made in china that say will fit size 10 to 14 ,but dont say your calves need to be roughly similar in proportion of an anorexic,.. ballrina,..

Dr. Ralph

This is a most excellent blog. We have anorexic ballerinas, people posting their resumes, Western Auto, Banjo minnows, assorted knives and underwear but not enough guns! This is The Gun Nut and Dave led the way with late model Model 70's. I'm going to select my son's Remington 597 so called semi-automatic .22 rifle. It has never successfully fired a ten round clip without jamming... and usually more than once. I actually like my Walchinamart leafy suit.

Michael King

As a child I loved to fish and hunt. My grandmother purchased a bobber for me one time that had a spring loaded trip. The bobber was supposed to set the hook for you. The bobber was about as big around as a soft ball and with the spring trip it weighed about as much. I believe she purchased it after seeing Roland Martin endorsing it.

Dave in St Pete

You want the worst (and very pricey) 22 semi auto handgun made today? Buy a Sig Mosquito!
My GF just loved the feel and had to have it (just North of 500) when I kept trying to steer her to this sweet S&W K17 10 shot for 350 (GREAT deal).
Sent it back to Sig and it STILL won't do a mag without FTF and FTE problems (that is when it doesn't double feed). PURE JUNK!

Dave in St Pete

Need to add about the Mosquito, now I see them used every where for about 350. DON"T buy it. It is there for a REASON.


I can't believe there are people who think the topwater mouse lures are junk. I hooked a 6 pound bass on one yesterday in Florida; No Kidding! Also for really big bass those snake looking lures are excellent, if you know how to use them.

SD Bob

I had bought a Lyman electronic scale and powder measure that ran 300 bucks. First you had to wait 30 minutes for it to warm up, then you had to calibrate it, then after 10 charges it needed to be re calibrated. For my .223 it wasn't bad but to throw a 71 grain load of 4350 for my 300 win mag it averaged 54 seconds per charge. Once my good ole stand by of a manual powder measure and trickler were dialed in I could throw a charge in less than 5 seconds. Packed that rig up and sent it back. It worked exactly as directed but I want to shoot my guns, not get old waiting for a charge to be measured.


worst gear..where to begin?
the crap advertised on tv is certainly a prime candidate. Popiel's pocket fishermen, banjo minnows. they are marketed to hook the idiots who watch tv not outdoorsmen. an assortment of knives i've acquired over the years. might make good paper weights but worthless otherwise. my buck and kershaw handle deer, antelope and elk just fine. i nominate as the worst item, polypropylene underwear. never comfortable, rode up in the wrong places, just plain crap.

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