Top Picks for Bass Fishing Gear 2017

Top Picks for Bass Fishing Gear 2017
Bass Pro Shops Signature Platinum is a slick, long-casting baitcaster.

Game & Fish Magazines published Gear Issue 2017 for July and August, its third annual look at the gear that will help you be a better hunter or angler. In the coming days, gafmag.com will share focussed info on a number of hunting and fishing species. In this article, we look at some of the top gear for bass fishermen this year.

RODS

Abu Fantasista Regista

Abu Fantasista Regista

Abu's top-of-the-line rods use Japanese-market-inspired styling and a robotically optimized casting system to combine sleek design with performance. Soft-touch reel seats make them a joy to fish with all day.

$499

Cabela's XML Casting Rods

Cabela's XML Casting Rods

These sticks incorporate a number of modern features, including tangle-free Kigan guides and tacky-but-not-sticky Winn Grip handles, to deliver a tournament-ready package at a reasonable price. They're tailored to specific techniques for expert anglers and have a lifetime guarantee.

$149

Fenwick Aetos

Fenwick Aetos

The newest iteration of this popular line is more sensitive and lightweight. A blank through-the-handle design lets anglers feel the lightest bites and vibration. Baitcasting rods are available in medium- to heavy-action.

$199

Quantum Prism

Quantum Prism

The new Prism series includes four spinning and three casting models in lengths from 6 foot, 6 inch to 7 foot, 6 inch and a variety of actions. Hard-chrome line guide inserts and custom handles are standard.

$99

St. Croix Bass X

St. Croix Bass X

Fourteen spinning and casting models cover all smallmouth techniques, and feature premium SCII graphite, hard aluminum-oxide guides, Fuji reel seats and more.

$100-$110

Also ...

Enigma Titanium

Enigma's newest rods, available in eight actions, are built to the specifications of three-time Bassmaster Angler of the Year Aaron Martens. They use Japanese carbon fibers to keep rods light and responsive, and employ the award-winning MicroWave guide system to maximize casting distance.

$149

REELS

Bass Pro Shops Signature Platinum is a slick, long-casting baitcaster.

BPS Signature Platinum

Features include solid, machined-aluminum frame, aluminum side plates with titanium finish, double-anodized aluminum spool, Duralumin powertrain, 11 bearings and Powerlock instant anti-reverse.

$199

Lew's SLP

Lew's SLP

The small-diameter 32mm spool starts and accelerates fast, while the compact design easily handles light lines and lures so common for smallies. With 11-bearing system and Winn knobs.

$179

Quantum Smoke

Quantum Smoke

It sports seven bearings, an aluminum frame, oversized 95mm handle and seamless drag. Plus, the large 200-size spool swallows 180 yards of 12-pound mono. Available in 7.3:1, 6.6:1 and 5.3:1 gear ratios.

$139

Shimano Tranx

Shimano Tranx 300

The Tranx 400 was so popular among big-game anglers that Shimano brought out a bass-sized model, perfect for oversized swimbaits, monster crankbaits and heavy-line bass applications. Gear ratios from 5.8:1 through 7.6:1.

$279-$299

Abu Garcia Revo Rocket

Abu Garcia Revo Rocket

The speed formerly available only in baitcasting reels is now available in spinning models, with these deep red speedsters offering not just smoothness (10 bearings) and strong gears, but also a blazing fast 7.0:1 gear ratio.

Also ...

Team Lew's Speed Spool

Weighing in at only 5.8 ounces, these reels boast a one-piece aluminum frame with carbon sideplates in a super-low-profile body shape. Each model has 11 stainless steel bearings and a rugged carbon-fiber drag system to battle big fish.

$259

BOATS

BassCat Advantage SP

BassCat Advantage SP

The "SP" in the Bass Cat Cougar Advantage SP stands for special package, and Bass Cat has combined this 20-foot wave-beater with a 250-horsepower Mercury and list of top features, like double Power Poles and big Humminbird depth finders.

bass fishing gear 2017

Ranger Z520CI Intracoastal

Take a tournament-caliber rig built for the rigors of big lakes and give it a non-skid foam deck and aluminum trailer and this is what you'll get: a 20-foot, 9-inch hull that can live up to the rigors of both bass fishing and skinny saltwater environments.

bass fishing gear 2017

Crestliner 1850 Sportfish

This is the perfect family-fun boat, one you can ski or wakeboard behind, but also has fishing features to make a serious angler happy. The 18-foot, 9-inch hull can handle big water, and it's rated for 200 horses. It'll also slip into little back-waters where the big fish hide.

Also ...

Stratos 176VLO

For the same price as an aluminum boat, it's possible to get into this quick little 17-foot, 6-inch rocket paired with a 60-horse Merc Four Stroke. It has all the standard features of its bigger brothers, just in a package that gets you into shallow water.

OUTBOARDS

bass fishing gear 2017

Mercury Pro XS 250

This is Mercury's top tournament model. It's 250 ponies with great torque and top speeds. The 3-liter, V6 beast has proven its worth in reliability and remarkable fuel economy.

Honda BF 150

Honda's 150 horsepower four-stroke is also remarkably reliable, just like their cars, and it provides big-engine performance in one of the quietest power plants on the market today. You won't need to mix oil, so you're on the water ASAP.

Yamaha F90

This midrange four-stroke outboard is economical to purchase and even more cost-friendly to run. It'll get you to your hotspots quickly and reliably. Whether you're dodging stumps on the river or making a long run across open water, this lightweight dynamo will get the job done.

ELECTRONICS

Garmin Panoptix screenshot

Garmin Panoptix

This unit presents fish, cover, structure and boat position in a 3D manner, making it easy to interpret exactly what you're looking at, how far it is off bottom, and where everything is in relation to the boat.

$1,000-$1,500

Lowrance Cabon HD

Lowrance HDS Carbon

The new HDS Carbon adds a high-performance, dual-core processor, multi-touch screen and dual-channel CHIRP.

$1,250-$3,150

Also ...

Humminbird Solix

This just-released new unit has sonar, imaging and mapping capabilities. There is a 12- and a 15-inch unit. Other new tech includes CHIRP digital sonar, and connectivity to i-Pilot Link.

$1,299-$3,500

LINE

Suffix Nano Braid

Suffix Nano Braid

This new superline offers smallmouth anglers a long-casting, sensitive micro braid that works well in wind, boosts hookup ratios and doesn't require any special knots to hold fast.

$19

Vicious No-Fade Braid

Vicious No-Fade Braid

Sickly looking faded braids are a thing of the past when you spool with this moss-green premium superline. With 010- and 300-yard spools in 20- to 200-pound breakstrengths.

$40

RAINGEAR

CABELA'S Guidewear PARKA

Fully seam-sealed Gore-Tex-laminated fabric shrugs off precipitation while providing a windproof yet breathable barrier between anglers and Mother Nature. Articulated elbows, zippered underarm openings, neoprene cuffs and vented, three-piece hood.

$400-$420

Bass pro shops 100 MPH

This classic rain gear features include laminated 300Dx150D polyester shell, full Gore-Tex membrane, roomy zip-off visor hood, nylon satin lining, articulated elbows and dropdown hip cover.  

$250

Frabill i-Float

Frabill's innovative and ultra-durable I-Float keeps you warm in foul weather and may save your life. It's a Coast Guard certified PFD.

$300

CRANKBAITS

LIVETARGET Yearling

LIVETARGET Yearling

Deadly for topwater walking maneuvers, this bait is a great choice for luring smallies out of weeds or off the rocks.

$10

Rebel Middle Wee Crawfish

Rebel Middle Wee Crawfish

Rebel Lures fills the midsize niche in its Wee-Crawfish family with this crawbait. Armed with size 8 trebles, in four colors.

$6

STORM Arashi Vibe

STORM Arashi Vibe

This new lipless wonder shimmies and shakes, even at slow speeds, to trigger solid strikes. Its soft-knock rattle serenades nearby smallies with a unique single-cadence, low-pitched thump. Includes No. 3 Premium VMC Black Nickel trebles.

$8

SOFTBAITS

Berkley Gulp Minnow

Berkley Gulp! Minnow

Stuffed with water-soluble scents and flavorings, this succulent softbait exudes 400 times more scent than standard plastics. Nine colors.

$4-$6

Cabela's McClelland Competition Series Swimmer

Cabela's Swimmer

Designed by touring pro Mike McClelland, this swimbait has a hard-thumping tail action and realistic profile. In 3.4- and 4.4-inch sizes.

$5

Storm 360GT Searchbait

Storm 360GT Searchbait

This bait features a phthalate-free, boot-tail soft body with a 3D holographic eye and a single-ball rattling jighead. The VMC Coastal Black hook has an extended "leg" for extra action, and it offers a 60-degree hook angle for better hookups.

$5-$6

JIGS

Bass Pro Shops Tube Head Pro

BPS Tube Head Pro

With a 3/0 VMC 60-degree turned-eye hook and precision-molded body, this head is a perfect fit for smallmouth tubes, and tough enough to hold bronze brawlers fast.

$5

Northland Inner Tube

Northland Inner Tube

This sturdy tube jig has a super-strong sharp hook for sticking and landing trophy smallies, capped with a 60-degree eye, perfect for bottom dragging and tube-twitching routines.

$3

Rapala Slab Rap

Slab Rap Rapala

Some call it a lipless crank but the Slab Rap excels as a slow-falling swim jig over rocky bottoms where smallmouths feed. Comes in 10 colors, with twin size 12 VMC Black Nickel hooks.

$6

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