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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Fourteen spinning and casting models cover all smallmouth techniques, and feature premium SCII graphite, hard aluminum-oxide guides, Fuji reel seats and more.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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’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.
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.
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.
The new HDS Carbon adds a high-performance, dual-core processor, multi-touch screen and dual-channel CHIRP.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Deadly for topwater walking maneuvers, this bait is a great choice for luring smallies out of weeds or off the rocks.
Rebel Lures fills the midsize niche in its Wee-Crawfish family with this crawbait. Armed with size 8 trebles, in four colors.
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.
Stuffed with water-soluble scents and flavorings, this succulent softbait exudes 400 times more scent than standard plastics. Nine colors.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.