Yesterday I had a boat full of guys casting light tackle in the shallows for stripers. It was a great morning – we had our limit and then some of fish up to 26″ by 9:30 – but one of the crew had an awful habit of hooking rods and the net, all stowed “out of the way” in the T-top rocket launchers, on his back-casts.

The worst part was, I could see it wasn’t really his fault. My rocket launchers are angled back, which puts the tips of those elevated rods half over the cockpit. Stupid! Stupid! Stupid! And, why are they angled like this? Because some office-dwelling, non-fishing, land-loving designer decided they looked better cocked back like that. Gee, thanks. Just another example of boat designers putting form before function.

You want the most usable rocket launchers on the water? Then make sure they are angled aft as little as possible. No, your boat won’t look as sleek. But you’ll spend a heck of a lot less time un-tangling jig heads out of landing nets and un-used rods. And yo, designer guy: Get out from behind your desk and go fishing a little more often. You might just learn something that’ll help you make a better fishboat – like vertical rocket launchers that really are vertical.