Both fish and wives have highly-evolved sniffers and to avoid repelling both, you need clean hands. But I have tried everything from crazy home remedies to scraping all my skin off with volcanic rock. I’ve used those funny silver bars and given just about every soap known to man a shot. All, I’m sad to report, have produced lackluster results.
I recently came across Odor-Off Hand Soap from Blue Pacific that promised to eliminate odors that you normally can’t shake: Stuff like all sorts of bait and baitfish, fish blood, slime, game animal blood and oil, and all even garlic and other smelly foods. The claim sounded pretty lofty, but if they could deliver, I’d be a fan for life.
The Science of Smell
What intrigued me was Blue Pacific’s claim that Odor-Off doesn’t mask the scent on your hands like so many other soaps do. Instead, it scientifically removes it. The soap’s key ingredient is activated carbon. It’s the same stuff that’s been used for years to purify water and clear up odor. The lipids and proteins that cause the stink on your hands chemically bond to the activated carbon and remove them. So, in theory, you have completely clean hands…not the flowery porporri with not-so-subtle sardine undertones smell you get with traditional soaps.
It all sounded like a great concept, but how would Odor-Off stand up to a real-world test? I aimed to find out…
After lubing up with sunscreen, I washed with Odor-Off. You start by dropping a shot of it in your hands. You can go with wet hands…or dry if you want a super concentrated cleaning session. You can see the activated carbon beads…
After a quick rinse, my hands were completely free of sunscreen scent. Pretty cool, but what about after filleting sardines, messing with oil pack tuna and various scents? Amazingly, I came away completely stink free! That part is impressive, especially when dealing with sardines on a warm day. That’s the one I really have a tough time getting off my hands and the stuff worked!
Then, there was the whole fueling up fiasco (long story). But basically, I had to use one of those stupid “no spill”jerry jugs they make us buy in California. You know, the kind that always spill? Yea, super bad design but I digress…Anyway, to my horror I did’t have any rubber gloves for the gas pouring and, of course, ended up with fuel all over my hands. The problem was, we weren’t done fishing and I was going to have to re-wrap my plugs a few more times. With gas-stained hands, you might as well forget about getting bit. I was blown away, however that the soap got that smell of my hands. I was so stoked I even jammed my fingers into the face of a client and had him sniff. Awkward, Party of 2! But he agreed there was no hint of gas smell.
That night I got home and ran my hands by the Chief Fish Stink Detecter…my bride…and holy mackerel! I passed with flying colors. No small feat there, folks!
So, then a couple nights ago the dog gets sprayed by a skunk. We gave him a three solid washings in a baking soda and hydrogen peroxide solution that the pet websites recommend. Anyway, he was smelling good but the next morning I noticed his face area was still skunky. Of course, we’d been a little less aggressive in washing that area with the peroxide mixture, so I decided to test Odor-Off against the worst of the worst….
I can hardly believe it, but no more Mr. Skunky Face! That was the thing that sealed the deal for me. If Odor-Off can go up against skunk, I’m in! I have since also tested after cutting raw onions and it was as advertised again. The stuff is pretty amazing!
In addition to getting you smelling human again after fishing, I think Odor-Off is an excellent tool for when you are out on the water as well. I now use it to rid my hands of any fish repelling scent before I handle my lures. And then, at the end of the day, I give my plugs a bath in the stuff to make sure they are fresh and scent-free for the next outing.
Finally…I’ve found something that gets rid of all the fishing odors! This is a pretty killer product and I’m very impressed. It’s a tad pricy at around $10 for a 6-ounce bottle but a little goes a long way I have found. Plus, it’s a huge time saver…one wash and you are done. You can go to the website (link above) or buy it here: Odor-Off Odor Removing Hand Soap.