Keeping fish alive in your boat can be a costly and fiddly exercise, but it doesn’t have to be!
Whether you’re keeping bait alive, hoping to upgrade a fish destined for the dinner table or doing your best to weigh in a big bag of fish in a tournament, the guys at Rapala have you covered with this very handy and very affordable floating aerator. With a reputation for quality that is renowned the world over, Rapala has been making just about every fishing product imaginable for almost a century, and with each year they add some impressive lines to their catalogue. The 2016 Australian Fishing Trade Association show on the sunny Gold Coast saw Rapala unveil this aerator among a host of other products, and it was no surprise when it was announced as the winner of the best Fishing/Boating Accessory category by the tackle retailers attending the AFTA Show.
The clever folks at Rapala have put plenty of time and effort into the design of this device. It floats easily across the top of the water, and penetrates deep enough to distribute the air thoroughly and evenly, but not so deep that it becomes obstructive to the fish you’re trying to preserve. It’s compact as well, measuring approximately 10cm wide by 18cm long, and has stainless steel fittings for saltwater use. Inside the watertight housing you’ll find a fairly simple mechanism and one switch. You can set it to continuous flow or on a 15-minute interval setting where it will run for five minutes every 15 minutes. This is the mode I went for.
The on/off switch itself is triggered by immersion in water, which completes the circuit between two nodes on the outer casing. It’s clever technology, but also incredibly simple to use and hard to get wrong. I make enough complications for myself without my gear making it harder for me. The unit’s sleek, modern design is only enhanced by its actual performance. It’s able to run for up to 36 hours on three ‘C’ sized batteries blowing 1.5L of air per minute, and it’s much quieter than I had expected. That’s not something you can say about some of its competition in the market.
As soon as these units became available, a few of us here at the Fishing Monthly office put orders in and eagerly awaited their arrival. In the six weeks or so since the aerators arrived on our doorstep, we’ve put them through their paces on a mixture of fresh and saltwater situations, and have successfully kept alive a multitude of species. Retailing at under $60, this little ripper is a fantastic investment for any angler looking to keep their fish healthy, whether that’s a live mullet for your jewie bait or a donkey bream or bass in an ABT tournament. We all know that keeping your catch happy either leads to a successful release or, if you intend to keep them for a feed, better quality flesh when it hits the table. If you’d like to get your hands on a Rapala Floating Aerator, visit www.rapala.com.au to find your local Rapala stockist. – Rupe