The use of fighting belts, fishing harnesses, and fighting chairs have been popular for years. These belts and harnesses gained popularity when stand up fishing gear was made popular by Marsha Bierman back in the early 80’s. Throughout the years, great advances have been made with harness and belt designs. These designs have evolved into the heavy tackle big game classes with valuable input from anglers who use standup fishing techniques on the California long range tuna boats. These guys put the pedal to the metal and crank up tunas from the depths using standup gear! AWESOME!!!
There are several different varieties of belts, some with gimbals that swivel, and some with a metal bar in lieu of an actual gimbal. The deciding factor with belts depends primarily on 3 factors:
Tackle Line Class
Game Fish Species
Fishing belts basically feature two different positions, around the waist and towards the front, riding higher, and around the waist and dropping down above the knees, resting on the thighs. The latter type is best for heavy tackle applications. When selecting a fighting belt, a padded back is essential. The last thing you want is a hard metal or plastic device getting buried in your groin, or muscles, therefore the padded feature is a nice touch. Buried items in groins, is not a nice thing.
When it comes to harnesses, there are kidney harnesses with and without a bucket “seat”, and the fighting jacket.
Kidney Harnesses: These are best for light to medium heavy standup applications
Kidney Harness with Bucket: These are best for medium heavy to heavy applications
Fighting Jackets: These may be used with light to heavy applications
Regardless of the harness type, a fishing belt is essential when a harness is used. The belt is imperative because the rod has to be anchored. Harnesses feature adjustable straps to allow the angler to snap the reel strap eyes to the harness, and then adjust the angle of the rod, the swivel gimbal belts provide an added advantage when making adjustments.
Louis, CEO BMC Tackle