Something like boat cleats may seem trivial and is probably something that most anglers wouldn’t put much thought into but they are an essential part of my catfish boat. I found these cleats about 15 years ago and installed them on my boat then and since I found them I have installed them on each and every boat I have owned. I consider these boat cleats to be essential equipment I install when rigging before my boat ever hits the water, right along with Bee Ready rod holders and my fish finder. Simply put, I consider them “essential equipment”.
Why are these so important? I use them all day long every day when on the water and The Gripper Boat Cleats are so much easier to use than any other boat cleat, they save a tremendous amount of time and frustration. I am so impressed with them I have even installed some of them in the bed of my truck over the years to use for truck tie downs.
Think of how often you use a boat cleat when fishing during the course of a day:
At the boat dock
When you tie up to docks, trees, or anything else when fishing
When anchoring your boat (see Digger Anchor review)
Every time you adjust your anchors
When using shallow water anchors
When drift fishing and deploying drift socks
Every time you adjust your drift socks
Attaching stringers or fish baskets to your boat
The list is really endless.
The big difference between these boat cleats and traditional boat cleats is the ease of use when attaching and removing the remove. This makes a huge difference when anchoring your boat and repositioning your boat (by letting out or pulling in anchor rope) and when deploying drift socks and adjusting drift socks.
When fishing in windy conditions, getting your boat set in just the right position or just the right location can be critical, and can also be a matter of safety as well. Often times a matter of seconds can mean the difference between having your boat positioned correctly and being in the right location to catch fish, or ending up on top of the bank or in water too shallow to operate. These boat cleats allow not only to set the rope initially quickly and easily but also allow you to make quick adjustments without the frustration of fighting with pulling a rope through a loop in a traditional boat cleat.
Again, this might seem like something insignificant but you would be surprise at what a difference they make and they are well worth the price, I would easily pay four or five times more than what they cost.
The product is manufactured by Sterns and is again called The Gripper Boat Cleat (you can purchase here through Amazon). They come in a metal/chrome plated model and a nylon version. I don’t recommend the nylon version because they break relatively easily if they get put under a lot of pressure, so spend the extra couple of dollars and by the metal ones so you have something that will last for the long haul.