Checking out new gear at AGLOW 2021

Each year the Association of Great Lakes Outdoor Writers meets for its annual conference, and outdoor communicators, travel professionals, and manufacturers converge on a location to network and enjoy the camaraderie that a once-a-year meeting can provide.

Every year after the conference I wade through all the information I collected at the product showcase and the shooting demonstrations and pick my five favorites to share with those that read this blog. I just returned from the conference that was held in Gaylord, Mich., with a lot to share.

FX Airguns 

FxThe evolution of air rifles has been faster than Clostridium perfringens bacteria. Well, maybe not that fast, but it is incredible how quickly the shift has been from gunpowder to compressed air.

Brad Bonar from FX Airguns says the hunting world has jumped on the bandwagon as many states are now allowing the big-bore air rifles for deer. Predator hunting is one of the fastest growing segments of airgun hunting due to their quiet nature. These rifles can generate up to 900 feet per second in a 30-caliber bullet, more than enough for a clean kill.

Where air rifles shine is for target shooting. Pellets are inexpensive and readily available compared to gunpowder cartridges. While everyone else is hoarding their bullets, air rifle shooters are out on the range punching holes in paper.

To check out the many models available visit:

Outdoor Edge RazorSafe Knife

OutdooeedgeI love a good folding knife and I sharpen mine often, but it is a real pain when you are afield and that blade gets dull. No one carries around sharpening equipment, but you don’t have to with the Outdoor Edge Razor Safe knives that have interchangeable blades. Blade gets dull – just put on a new one. I can’t count the number of times I’ve been halfway through a gutting job on a big buck and the knife has hit just enough bone to turn it into a hatchet. Or maybe you want a gutting blade instead of a straight blade. With the Razor knife, you just slap one on.

There are a lot of options for handles and blades for these knives and you can buy extra blades in the style that suits your needs. When they get dull in the field, no worries. Slip on a new blade or two as needed and sharpen them when you get home.

To check out blade handles and options go to:

Real Avid Vise

RealavidDustin Sanchez, the marketing manager from Real Avid likes to build rifles. He says the popularity of this pursuit has been building and took a real fast swing upwards in the last few years. To accommodate the “garage mechanic” who decides to build his own AR rifle in a basement or on their garage bench some manufacturers have been creating and selling the tools that are needed to make the job more efficient. According to Sanchez the one piece of equipment that should be a top priority for gun builders is the vise.

The Real Avid vise which will soon be released to the market allows positioning at any angle. A leveling knob is handy for scope mounting. Gun-Fit jaw sleeves and a Torq-Lok pin for heavy force make this the ultimate vise for building, repairing, or cleaning any firearm. Check it out at

Bow Spider

BowspiderDavid Merrill is the founder of Recreational Archery Development and The Bow Spider.

In 2015, during a back-country hunt with a friend he spotted the trophy of his dreams but his bow was strapped to his backpack and beyond his reach. By the time his buddy got the bow released, the bull elk was gone. Merrill swore he would never miss that moment again. He went home and started creating prototypes until he had a product that would fit every bow and every backpack, enabling hunters everywhere to grab their bow and go whenever the opportunity arose. It was the catalyst for the Bow Spider, a revolutionary set up to allow hunters to carry their bow and have it ready to shoot immediately. Check out this amazing bow-packing system at:

 Spypoint Trail Cameras

SpypointYou can have 20 megapixels of high definition in a setting where there is no cell signal and check the camera every so often to see what you’ve been missing. This will cost you around a hundred bucks. Or, you can set up a camera with a cell-phone link and get your images as soon as the photo is taken. Fortunately today there are cell signals pretty much everywhere. The cell cameras will cost you around $200 to $300.

But won’t there be a cost for the cell link? Maybe. Spypoint has a basic plan that includes 250 images for a cost of zero. That is correct. Costs you nothing if you join their club, but that is a hundred bucks. There are plenty of other perks that go with the membership. A free cell plan is just one of them. And, if you want more images than 250 the price goes up, but it’s minimal and the cameras provide loads of information.  Do the homework at

I saw a lot of great new products at the conference I recently attended. These were my favorites. All indicators point to lots of great new stuff for outdoor users to make life just that much more fun when you go outside.

Categories: Tim Lesmeister

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *