Battle Stations

Calcutta's CFPB-1 offers basic protection and excellent comfort.

Fighting fish with stand-up gear is fun — until you shove a metal gimbal butt into your gut. That’s why a good fighting belt and harness is a must-have. But a full setup is expensive, so most anglers carry only one belt. What happens when there’s a double hookup?

Calcutta's 12-inch CFBP-1 makes a perfect backup belt because it offers basic protection (a stainless-steel gimbal pin, high-impact polymer face and cup, and foam padding underneath), yet it's also inexpensive and small enough to stow easily. The belt fits waists up to 50 inches and attaches via hook-and-loop straps, which means it goes on and comes off in a flash. With a monster mahimahi on the line, my rod didn't rock around on the pin (as happens with some inexpensive belts), and I thought its comfort level was excellent. $25; fishingheadquarters.net.