Hook, Line & Sinker: Secure Electronics Are Harder To Steal

by Steve Chaconas

As bass fishing electronics costs increase, attempts to steal them are going up. Stolen in as little as 20 seconds, anglers are finding ways to secure them.    

   Years ago, dash and bow units were flush mounted and difficult to remove quickly. They were cheaper, only $500, and up. Today, boats can have six units costing up to $30,000!   

   Triton Mercury pro and BASSMASTER Classic Champion Randy Howell protects his Lowrance electronics. Touring for 32 years Howell only stays in houses, cabins, and Airbnb in locations near lakes in good communities. No hotels. He says anglers depend on data stored to locate and catch fish. “Losing units would make us feel blind, in a lot of trouble.” 

   Vinyl wrapped tournament boats and trucks are rolling billboards for sponsors and targets for thieves. Organized theft rings use tournament schedules and target popular motels. Insurance bears the brunt of the loss with $500 deductibles, red tape, and replacing units. “Once it’s gone, it’s gone unless cops catch them right away.” 

   Boat covers discourage would-be thieves. Proactive in preventing electronics theft, Howell removes them. Putting in hotel rooms or locking in boat compartments worked until thieves started breaking into those safe places. Howell headed them off with the TH Marine Loc-R-Bar rod locker security system, but this still required removal of electronics, adding more tournament day set-up time. His boats went untouched while those next to him were targeted.

   To keep his increasing electronics investment safe, while not having to remove them, Howell noticed fellow pros using visible aluminum locking devices that discourage them. A little over four years ago, BoatEFX began manufacturing boating accessories and eventually GraphLOX. 

   BoatEFX mills and assembles everything in-house except anodizing, assuring a consistent made in the USA product. GraphLOX are machined from heavy duty aluminum to be solid, secure, and compatible with every make and model graph. To make better products better looking, GraphLOX come in black, red, and blue creating a visible theft deterrent. Packages include directions and hardware: bolts matched with existing gimbles, washers, and spring pin. Once bolts are screwed into place, lock covers slide into position. Depressing lock buttons secure electronics. BoatEFX can key all units with the same key. 

   Secure electronic locks eliminate the inconvenience of removing electronics at gas stations, stopping for a bite, or staying at a hotel. This also prevents wear and tear on electronics connections. 

   With over 10,000 sold, BoatEFX backs their products with service after the sale, a recognized weak point in the boating industry. Owner Justin Fries applauds boating industry customer service leader. “I wanted to produce a level of service that stands up to Power Pole. We try to provide the best experience before they buy and after the sale with any issue no matter how long they’ve had it.” They’ve received over 5,000 five-star customer service and products reviews. 

   Touring pros like Howell think ahead, whether making fishing decisions or securing electronics. He believes thieves move to easier targets when they see his GraphLOX. 

Author Capt. Steve Chaconas is Potomac bass fishing guide & freelance writer. Potomac River reports: nationalbass.com. YouTube video channel NationalBassGuide

Author Capt. Steve Chaconas is Potomac bass fishing guide & freelance writer. Potomac River reports: www,nationalbass.com. YouTube video channel NationalBassGuide.

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