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,
CRANKBAITS RAPALA FLAT RAP
'œMy favorite lure,' said PJ Bouroncle. 'œColor, 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.
TOPWATER RAPALA X-RAP POP
Rapala X-Rap Prop, 22 percent.
Chug'™N Spook, 14 percent.
Storm Rattlin'™ Chug Bug, 13 percent.
BRAIDED LINES SPIDERWIRE ZILLA BRAID
'œI 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.
FLUOROCARBON LINES SUFIX-CASTABLE_FLUORO
Berkley ProSpec, 29 percent.
Seaguar Tatsu, 14 percent.
WIREBAITS TERMINATOR T-1 ORIGINAL-TITANIUM
Lucky Strike Closed Loop Spinner Bait, 26 percent.
Strike King Tour Grade
Night, 15 percent.
Sebile ProShad, 8 percent.
TREBLE HOOKS MUSTAD ULTRAPOINT STANDARD EXTRA
Mustad Ultrapoint Standard, 21 percent.
Mustad Ultrapoint Short Shank Ultra Strong,
TroKar Wide Gap, 17 percent.
MONO/COPOLYMER LINES TRILENE XL
'œBerkley 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.
SINGLE HOOKS TROKAR 110 EWG
Mustad DoubleWide Dropshot,
Mustad Grip-Pin Max, 14 percent.
TroKar 130 Tube, 8 percent.
FLUKES ZOOM SUPER FLUKE
PowerBait Power Twitchtail Minnow, 19 percent.
Havoc Subwoofer, 12 percent.
Zman StreakZ, 7 percent.
SPINNING REELS PFLUEGER PURIST
Anglers liked the Pflueger tradition for quality. 'œDependable 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.
ARTIFICIAL WORMS HAVOC 8-IN JUICE WORM
'œThese 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
'œIt'™s the original and innovator,' according to one angler.
Berkley Schooling Rig, 30 percent.
YUMbrella FlashMob, 24 percent.
BAITCASTING REELS ABU GARCIA REVO SX
'œSeems to retrieve smother and faster,' said Glenn Chase. 'œWhen 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.
BAITCASTING RODS BASSPRO JOHNNY
Doug Isaacs said the price matches the
quality. 'œI 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. 'œIt'™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.
JIGHEADS BERKLEY GULP! JIGHEAD
VMC Stand Up Shaky Head,
VMC Hammer Hear, 18 percent.
YUM Pumpkin Ed, 17 percent.
RAIN GEAR CABELA\'S GUIDEWEAR BASS ANGLER
'œThe cost and effectiveness are a good combination,' said Eugene V. Lenarz.
Frabill Stormsuit, 25 percent.
Simms Contender, 18 percent.
SUNGLASSES COSTA DEL MAR DOUBLE HAUL
Dan Caison, like most voters, liked the features of the model and his past experience with the company. 'œThey will always protect your eyes, and you can see the fish when sight-fishing.'
And for some, their vote just runs in the family. 'œBecause my Uncle Casey wears them,' said young Conner Byrd.
WileyX Rout, 38 percent.
EYEKing Hobie Rockpile, 19 percent.
SPINNING RODS ABU GARCIA VOLATILE
'œGood established brand,' said J. Risner. 'œI 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. 'œYet it also has great sensitivity, so you never miss a bite.'
'œNice 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.
ELECTRONICS HUMMINBIRD 1198C
Kyl Cabbage said the 1198c 'œgives 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.
Most fish mono/copolymers (64 percent); about half fish fluoro (47 percent), and a good amount fish braid (38 percent). — John Geiger