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The Boga Grip

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Paul Arden
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The Boga Grip

#1

Post by Paul Arden » Fri Jun 11, 2021 12:45 pm

Hi folks,

I see a lot of images of fish being held by the boga grip, even weighed this way. So I know what I think, what do you think?

Thanks,
Paul
It's an exploration; bring a flyrod.

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Mangrove Cuckoo
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Re: The Boga Grip

#2

Post by Mangrove Cuckoo » Fri Jun 11, 2021 2:44 pm

That is kind of a dumb question, Paul!

In what situation, on what kind of fish, size of fish, etc?

They are slowly falling out of favor (around here), generally speaking, but there are a number of legitimate situations where they are practical (or even necessary) and actually more fish friendly than other options... like gaffs.

Not all fish can be netted, or even "thumbed", so assuming you want to revive the fish or get your fly back - what are your options?

Even small snook or tarpon, which theoretically can be somewhat easily handled, will damage your hand on a good day. One of my more frequent fishing partners unhooks every fish by first inserting a Boga grip (his hands are how he makes a living). And I believe his survival rate on released fish is probably close to 100% because he does everything right.

Personally, when necessary, I use a plastic lip-gripper that locks like a pair of vice grips since I have no interest in weighing fish, but my tool functions essentially the same. Besides, the plastic ones are about 10% of the cost of a Boga. On the other hand I have to admit the Boga is on another level when it comes to durability, and for weighing they are impressively accurate... which is why they seldom fail to verify when the IGFA checks them.

Having to weigh a fish, and hanging it from its lower jaw to do so is definitely bad... but that is on the "angler" not the Boga grip.

Isn't that what you meant to disparage?
"Technique is the proof of your seriousness"

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George C
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Re: The Boga Grip

#3

Post by George C » Fri Jun 11, 2021 3:47 pm

The actual answer is unclear.

I'm pretty sure there is a study that suggests supporting snook by the jaw can cause isthmus damage (the fibrous 'throat" below the gill arches) and this in turn effects the fish's ability to eat thus increasing mortality.

I've also seen a study in muskellunge where doing the same while weighing large fish (some 40+ lbs) lead to no increase in mortality.

It is typical to support fresh water large mouth bass by the lip and I'd guess this has been studied and found to have no major adverse effect......but can't attest to for certain.

I use one sometimes to control small striped bass while I unhook them usually at night and when wading deep over bad footing so that return to shore is difficult. With large fish (20+ lbs), if I use one, I try not to lift (or weigh) the fish with it. I don't see much difference between doing so, using a lip gaff (which I also have used on large fish), or pinning them with my thumb in their mouth or hands under a gill plate which is my usual method.

It is known, I believe, that netting fish is not benign either although apparently certain rubber net materials can reduce trauma. I don't use nets at all (the fish I target ( 40-50") are too large for a size net I could reasonably carry and delayed release from lure entanglement is a bigger concern).

I have used plastic grippers but don't advise this for larger fish. I've had them slip and result in very angry 10-15lb fish attached to my hand or waders with painful and ugly results.

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Paul Arden
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Re: The Boga Grip

#4

Post by Paul Arden » Fri Jun 11, 2021 4:31 pm

Sometimes the best questions are the dumb ones, Gary! It was intentionally left open-ended. :p

I have one - several in fact. It’s an absolute must here for retrieving flies out of the mouths of snakehead. Otherwise it’s almost a completely impossible game.

What I don’t like to see is these fish held up by the grip. An observation I would make with Snakehead, is that held by the grip they often struggle. A snakehead that is cradled like a trout doesn’t struggle. That suggests to me that snakehead are not comfortable being held aloft with a boga grip (there are many cheap Chinese rip-offs in Malaysia that cost about 12 bucks, so they are widely used here).

I know of a few situations where when releasing snakehead with the grip, it kicks at the last minute and swims off with the grip. That’s a disaster. Fortunately never happened to me or anyone in my boat, but I never use the grip at any time apart from when removing the hook.

Are there any studies on its use?

Nets – I agree George. Most are far too small! My nets are all sufficiently large that they act as cages.
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Cheers, Paul
It's an exploration; bring a flyrod.

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