We know that many of our readers are hard-core bass anglers. So we weren't surprised by the passionate responses we received to the recent online survey for our annual fishing Readers' Choice Awards.
In the survey, we asked readers to select their favorite bass-fishing products — all introduced within the past three years — from a list of items in various categories. You responded by flooding us with answers, comments and opinions concerning your favorite gear.
Here are the winners, as chosen by you, our readers. We've included some of the comments that you submitted, as well as other interesting information from the survey. The winning gear companies will receive special recognition at the ICAST industry trade show in July. — John Geiger, gear editor
SOFT PLASTIC SWIMBAITS
POWERBAIT SPLIT BELLY
Storm WildEye Pro Curl Tail,
Storm WildEye Pro Paddle Tail,
Storm WildEye Live Yellow Perch,
Sebile Magic Swimmer Soft,
RAPALA FLAT RAP
'My favorite lure, ' said PJ Bouroncle. 'Color, size and shape for every occasion.
I also find these guys deadly on everything. While bass fishing I've hooked lakers, pike and football-sized rainbows. Can't beat a Flat Rap, especially in the spring time. '
Rapala Clackin' Minnow,
Storm Deep Rattlin'
Flat Wart, 24 percent.
TriggerX Probe, 8 percent.
RAPALA X-RAP POP
Rapala X-Rap Prop, 22 percent.
Chug'N Spook, 14 percent.
Storm Rattlin' Chug Bug, 13 percent.
SPIDERWIRE ZILLA BRAID
'I use this brand almost
exclusively when I'm fishing heavy cover and around rock piles that demand the strength €¦ to both pull through and pull out the big ones hiding
in cover, ' said Herb R.
Sufix 832, 26 percent.
Sufix Performance Braid, 16 percent.
Seaguar Kanzen, 7 percent.
HARD PLASTIC SWIMBAITS
STORM SWIMMIN" STICK
Lucky Strike Live Series 3-Inch, 26 percent.
Storm Kickin' Shad, 19 percent.
Cabela's RealImage HDS Forked-Tail, 17 percent.
Sebile Magic Swimmer, 11 percent.
Berkley ProSpec, 29 percent.
Seaguar Tatsu, 14 percent.
TERMINATOR T-1 ORIGINAL-TITANIUM
Lucky Strike Closed Loop Spinner Bait, 26 percent.
Strike King Tour Grade
Night, 15 percent.
Sebile ProShad, 8 percent.
MUSTAD ULTRAPOINT STANDARD EXTRA
Mustad Ultrapoint Standard, 21 percent.
Mustad Ultrapoint Short Shank Ultra Strong,
TroKar Wide Gap, 17 percent.
'Berkley has a good reputation and this is a great line. Very tangle-free and responsive to a bite, ' Jerry W. Manweiler.
Sufix Elite, 14 percent.
Berkley NanoFil, 12 percent.
Sufix Siege, 7 percent.
Seaguar Senshi, 5 percent.
TROKAR 110 EWG
Mustad DoubleWide Dropshot,
Mustad Grip-Pin Max, 14 percent.
TroKar 130 Tube, 8 percent.
ZOOM SUPER FLUKE
PowerBait Power Twitchtail Minnow, 19 percent.
Havoc Subwoofer, 12 percent.
Zman StreakZ, 7 percent.
Anglers liked the Pflueger tradition for quality. 'Dependable while moderately priced, '
said Jack Sarcona.
Abu Garcia Cardinal, 20 percent.
It didn't win but it's got a lot of fans.
Mitchel Avocet Gold IV, 16 percent.
Abu Garcia Revo SX, 15 percent.
Daiwa Ballistic, 14 percent.
HAVOC 8-IN JUICE WORM
'These worms have my favorite type of tail. I think that action is a classic that gets those hard-to-resist fish to bite, ' said Mark Dillon.
YUM MightEE Worm, 24 percent.
TriggerX Paddle Tail, 13 percent.
TriggerX Spadetail, 12 percent.
CASTABLE UMBRELLA RIGS
MANN'S ALABAMA RIG
'It's the original and innovator, ' according to one angler.
Berkley Schooling Rig, 30 percent.
YUMbrella FlashMob, 24 percent.
ABU GARCIA REVO SX
'Seems to retrieve smother and faster, ' said Glenn Chase. 'When it comes to reels I'm fussy. I want a strong reliable reel and the BassPro brands have not failed me yet, ' said Kris Plamondon.
BassPro Johnny Morris
Carbonlite, 22 percent.
Shimano Calcutta D, 14 percent.
Quantum EXO, 12 percent.
Doug Isaacs said the price matches the
quality. 'I cast right-handed and I like to keep
my rod in my right hand. This rod is light yet strong enough that I have caught walleye
on it, too, and I am happy
with its strength. '
Anglers most often said the Carbonlite is strong yet sensitive. 'It's light and flexible, and I can feel the fight on the end of the rod better, ' said Todd Rains.
G-Loomis GLX, 34 percent
Fenwick Aetos, 13 percent.
Cabela's Platinum ZX, 12 percent.
Pinnacle Perfecta John Crews, 5 percent.
BERKLEY GULP! JIGHEAD
VMC Stand Up Shaky Head,
VMC Hammer Hear, 18 percent.
YUM Pumpkin Ed, 17 percent.
CABELA'S GUIDEWEAR BASS ANGLER
'The cost and effectiveness are a good combination, ' said Eugene V. Lenarz.
Frabill Stormsuit, 25 percent.
Simms Contender, 18 percent.
COSTA DEL MAR DOUBLE HAUL
Dan Caison, like most voters, liked the features of the model and his past experience with the company. 'They will always protect your eyes, and you can see the fish when sight-fishing. '
And for some, their vote just runs in the family. 'Because my Uncle Casey wears them, ' said young Conner Byrd.
WileyX Rout, 38 percent.
EYEKing Hobie Rockpile, 19 percent.
ABU GARCIA VOLATILE
'Good established brand, ' said J. Risner. 'I bought one this year and absolutely love it. For the money it is a real contender. '
Andrew Byington said he likes the backbone in this rod. 'Yet it also has great sensitivity, so you never miss a bite. '
'Nice action, good quality, light. High quality line guides, ' said Pat Duncan. Another voter especially liked the
sensitive tip for drop-shotting.
BassPro Johnny Morris Carbonlite, 22 percent.
Shimano Calcutta D, 14 percent.
Quantum EXO, 12 percent.
Kyl Cabbage said the 1198c 'gives me all the buttons, whistles and bells I need. I am confident in the GPS system and really like side view. '
Lowrance Elite-5 DSI, 35 percent.
Garmin Echo 550c, 16 percent.
LX7 MarCum Sonar System, 2 percent.
Besides asking you about your fav tackle, we were also curious about you.
If you can be believed — you are fishermen after all — you fish a lot! Don't worry, we won't tell your wives. In fact, on average you spend nearly 40 days a year on the water. More than a full month a year. Nice.
And when it comes to catching, some of you are really excelling: more than a third catch more than 50 bass a year. We figure you're only counting the ones over minimum size, of course.
About half of you consider yourself Intermediate anglers (52 percent). But 40 percent of you think of yourselves as Advanced.
The 3 Top lures you use most often are No. 3, Spinnerbaits, No. 2, Crankbaits, and No. 1, Artificial Worms.
Most fish mono/copolymers (64 percent); about half fish fluoro (47 percent), and a good amount fish braid (38 percent). — John Geiger