My Confidence Products and Sponsors

Like any hardcore angler, I prefer to use products I have confidence in. I believe they make me more successful due to their design, quality and my confidence level when I use them. Since I discontinued fishing bass tournaments about 10 years ago, I’m no longer actively seeking sponsors. These are just some of the products I’ve used for years, and would feel reduced without them. If you are looking for a product for yourself or someone, I hope the info here helps your search.

Product Highlights

Technical Information on Lake St. Clair from Combat Fishing and Xtreme Bass Tackle

Xtreme Bass Tackle Combat Fishing logosWayne Carpenter not only puts out high quality bass fishing information, but he’s been my friend for a long, long time. His Combat Fishing, No Secrets on Lake St. Clair philosophy has helped thousands of anglers. Check out his unique products on Xtreme Bass Tackle.

Maybe you need specific detailed information – including GPS waypoints – on a favorite or new part of Lake St. Clair. Maybe a particular chapter of the No Secrets on Lake St. Clair Volumes 1-5 contains details that could help you catch that huge smallie, or win your next tournament.

2005 Michigan BASS federation state champion Dan Posey says the No Secrets Volume One was a key to his win on Lake St. Clair. This information will help you too.

Previous Product Highlights Archive

My Confidence Products

Ranger Boats logoMy boat I use to survived brutal Great Lakes bass tournament fishing is a Ranger 492VS– a great rough water hull that always gets me there and back despite being made in 1993! Talk about toughness!! Long years on the truly BIG water and still in one piece. That and unsurpassed fishability are just two reasons Ranger Boats is my boat!

Dan Kimmel's truck and Ranger Bass boat

The 520 Comanche series including the awesome 521, and the new revolutionary Z Comanche Series are much faster and drier, with extremely improved rough water handling. Wish I could upgrade, but I did get my long-time fishing partner Derek to get a new Ranger 521 just a few seasons ago. It’s an exceptionally sweet right, but I still love my dependable 492VS. The boat has brought me safely back through waves taller than me more times than I can remember!

Ranger Boats are manufactured at their huge facilities in Flippin, Arkansas using many unique processes such as their patented pultruded fiberglass. Ranger creates and manufactures many of their own machines and boat parts onsite (often out of necessity since they’ve originated many processes).

Check out my boat-manufacturing pages updated with photos from the 2004 factory tour. I’ve learned a lot about the making of bass boats thanks to all the folks at Ranger Boats – click here to see my Building Bass Boats pages.

Yamaha outboards logo blue

Yamaha VMAX HPDI outboard



Every high performance bass rig needs a matching outboard. My Yamaha 225 HP V MAX HPDI outboard has powered my boat to the hot spots and everywhere in between flawlessly since the 2004 season. When Yamaha says ‘turn the key reliability’ they mean it! Over 130 hours so far with no problems at all!!

It’s loaded with great standard features that include many innovations – the kinds of special touches any bass angler or boater expects from a major investment that is critical to our enjoyment of the outdoors.

Some of the great features of the latest Series 2 include:

Six individual sensors constantly provide vital atmospheric and engine conditions to the Engine Control Mode (ECM), which instantly makes the precise adjustments for optimum performance and efficiency.

Water intakes are now front-mounted and lowered on the big Sixes for increased cooling efficiency, enhancing durability for today’s wide array of bass, bay, and flats boat setups. The VZ300B models also feature additional, independent side-mounted water inlets.

Six individual throttle intakes feed six individual cylinders, allowing the precise amount of air to enter each cylinder for any given running condition. Combined with the equally precise amount of fuel provided by the High Pressure Direct Injection system, this configuration maximizes performance while achieving outstanding fuel efficiency.

The unique curved design helps reduce steering torque, enabling the lower unit to track straighter during acceleration, top end speed, and decelaration conditions. Straight tracking reduces drag and improves performance, while reducing operator fatique. The design was specifically engineered for high performance bass boat hulls.

Stronger is Better
The shape of each forged piston has been redesigned to optimize its contact with the cylinder sleeve for increased durability. Forged means that the aluminum alloy is compressed in molds under extreme pressure, making them much more dense than cast aluminum pistons. Their higher tensile strength increases resistance to fatigue, high temperatures, and wear.

With 37 amps at 1,000 rpm and a full 50 amps from 3500 to 6000 rpm, V MAX® Series 2 engines offer the kind of charging power needed to help operate today’s wide array of onboard electronic devices.

All V MAX® Series 2 engines feature a large, on-engine water separating fuel filter with a water sensor. This sensor provides both visual and audible warnings should water be detected in the fuel. Used in conjunction with Yamaha’s 10-Micron Water Separating Fuel Filter, it helps separate water and contaminants from the fuel before they can reach the engine’s other filters and fuel injectors.

Yamaha makes awesome products with great people behind them. I love my outboard and unlike the other two brands that ‘came off’ my transom at unexpected times, I plan on keeping this one! I’m extremely happy that one of my friends David Simmons, winner of the first 6th Man award in 2002 when he was with Yamaha, helped me into the Yamaha family.

Yamaha has taken multiple JD Power & Associates Customer Satisfaction awards. With award-winning products, high performance and innovation,Yamaha should be your power of choice for a lifetime. It is mine!

Combat Fishing logo

Xtreme Bass Tackle logo




Some of you may remember Wayne Carpenter’s Lake St. Clair Combat Fishing Newsletter and the Special Reports, Pre-Fishing Edition and Marked Map Series of Lake St Clair. The company is Fishing Information Services HQ (F.I.S.H.) which includes the Combat Fishing products above and Wayne’s Xtreme Bass Tackle™.

Wayne Carpenter show booth

I’ve used all the Combat Fishing products for many seasons, and find them extremely helpful. I don’t necessarily fish all the spots covered, but use all the information provided to fish Lake St. Clair more successfully. When I was still tournament fishing, Wayne’s info helped me plan for practice and tournament weekends.

Wayne’s Pre-Fishing and Combat Fishing Newsletters helped me concentrate on the most likely sections – which was very valuable to my bottom line.

Wayne is also the author of the book series No Secrets on Lake St Clair, now up to Volume 5.

Another of Wayne’s great specialty products is the toughest underwater caWayne Carpenter Seaviewer boothmera on the market. Seaviewer has been in the business for a long time. Their customers include many major government agencies and water-related organizations. The Kevlar cable has a 1,000 pound test pull so you don’t have to worry about cable failure. Check out all the other great features:

(If you use this link may receive a commission on any purchase.)

Through Xtreme Bass Tackle, Wayne and staff provide a great assortment of hot tackle including the most impressive assortment of custom-designed salt tubes, X-worms, gobies, twin tails and drop shot tubes!

To order tackle or Combat Fishing products, visit or call now Toll Free: 877-485-2223.

You can also snail-mail: F.I.S.H., P.O. Box 275, CLAWSON MI 48017.