November 13, 2014
Give that special angler something to cherish on the water this year when you shop with our fishing wish list this season.
Rods, reels, GPS devices, apparel and more, any one of these items is sure to please the angler in your family patiently waiting for spring. Nothing says "Thanks for putting up with the in-laws" better than the gift of new fishing gear.
Here are our 2014 top picks for the angler on your list:
Airflo | Streamer Max
Sinking tips with aggressive front tapers like the Streamer Max
make it easier to cast air-resistant or heavy flies and to quickly begin the next cast — even after you've retrieved the fly back to the rod tip.
Using the tension of the line on the water, you can pull enough line beyond the tip to perform a roll cast and move right into a full casting motion. You can customize the Stream Max by cutting off portions of the 30' tip to find the perfect load for your rod and the distances you prefer to fish at.
Bauer | RX
The classic Oregon-made Rogue reels from Bauer
were sealed but the new-for-2015 Bauer RX takes it to another level.
Jon Bauer's objectives in designing the new RX sealed drag were to eliminate all exposed threaded components, make the hub one piece, and reduce rotating seal points to only one.
He also wanted a high top-end on the drag system, yet with a lighter weight. Both goals were achieved as RX 5, 6, and 7 (the largest) have twice the drag of the corresponding Rogue sizes, quicker line pickup due to larger diameters, and are lighter. The RX 7 has a 4.5" diameter, holds 450 yards of 30-pound-test Dacron backing, and weighs 9.3 ounces.
Orvis | Recon
Although Recon rods do not have the same kind of carbon fiber or thermoplastic resins as Helios 2 rods, they are designed with similar tapers and they have the same slim ferrule design.
The outside of the ferrule is thinner, with a deeper seating of the male end for a smoother transition of power, greater strength and lower weight compared to Orvis's
previous mid-priced rods.
Recon freshwater rods come in 3- to 6-weights with a black nickel reel seat and dark burl wood insert. Saltwater rods from 6- to 10-weight have EVA foam-and-cork fighting butts and salt-water-safe components.
Scott | Tidal
It's an easy-casting, workmanlike saltwater rod that is not sanded and painted, the reel seat is matte black, and the guides are chrome, not titanium.
In other words, if you want a showpiece, the Tidal
might not have the "bling" you're looking for. But if you want to stand up on the casting platform and show your guide a great cast — and do it for less than $500 — then this one is worth looking at.
Cortland | Trout Boss Line
Cortland says their Trout Boss line
is without question the best trout line they've ever made. Designed with a unique weight-forward taper and 64-foot head, the line excels at extreme-distance casting.
The longer head includes a 25-foot back taper that allows anglers to carry more line in the air without overpowering the rod and still maintain excellent control of your fly line on the water. It also features their PST™ coating material for reduced friction through the guides andan 18-inch high-floating Dyna-Tip. This trout line brings out the very best in medium-fast and fast-action rods. Available in WF3F - WF8F and DT2F - DT6F.
Yeti | Tundra 45
Yeti started this craze of beefed-up coolers in 2006 when it came out with the first in the Tundra line. This Tundra
is a durable, practical high-end cooler. At nearly $350, it's the most expensive of the ones we've tested.
The Tundra seems to bring together practical gear considerations but remains sleek and utilitarian. For example, the drain plug is practical in that it starts to drain well before you finish unscrewing it. Non-skid plates on the bottom really grip a truck bed. You get a number of features that seem to take the edge off the hefty price tag for the cooler.
This cooler kept ice for more than six days. The Yeti seemed to have a little ice left when the others had none.
25 1/2 inches L x 16 W x 15 1/2 H
19 inches L x 10 W x 10 3/8 H
13 Concept Fishing | KP
13 Fishing continues to innovate, bringing on the Concept KP Reel
. It's made of FeatherWeight Magnesium and Airfoil Carbon construction to scale at 5.14 ounces. A Bulldog Carbon Drag and Japanese Dead Stop anti-reverse give it power.
Abu Garcia | Fantasista Regista
Abu Garcia adds a new series, the Fantasista Regista
, with unique Tetra axial carbon construction, which increases strength and sensitivity while reducing weight (nine models range from 3.7 to 5 ounces). It has a Fuji skeletal reel seat and Fuji Titanium Alconite K guides.
Abu Garcia | Revo Beast
A low-profile puncher. The Revo Beast
is sized for bass at 9.35 ounces, but has 22 pounds of max drag to withstand the surges of stripers and muskies.
Aqua-Vu | Micro AV5c
Aqua-Vu's Micro AV5c
is a convenient tool to spy on your quarry in open water and below the ice, a thin, 5-inch package with color LCD screen and Micro cam on 100-foot cable. And their Trolling Motor Cam attaches to the electric's shaft so can be pointed beneath docks and other cover to reveal hidden fish.
Beaver Dam | Bucket Station
Hard and Soft Fishing brought another nifty item for the 'bucket brigade, ' the Beaver Dam Bucket Station
, a 6-gallon bucket with six of the company's exclusive Beaver Grips on the side. These Grips secure rods or tip-ups on the outside, leaving the interior for bait or tackle.
Costa Del Mar | Hamlin
is one of Costa del Mar's new models with the company's patented 580 mirror lenses, now available in super-light, impact-resistant polycarbonate.
Duckett Fishing | Micro Magic Pro
A top Duckett
series of 21 rods featuring top-quality micro guides, Fuji reel seats, and specially balanced Sensi-Touch blanks. Spinning models feature the MicroWave stripping guide designed by Doug Hannon for smooth line flow.
G. Loomis | Shortstix Series
Designed to make 80-foot-plus casts with less effort than traditional 9-foot rods. The Shortstix
7½-footers represent a breakthrough concept from designer Steve Rajeff. Four models are available.
Garmin | DownVu and SideVu
has incorporated CHIRP technology (short for Compressed High-Intensity Radiated Pulse) into their DownVu and SideVu scanning sonars to provide images of amazing clarity. This system emits a sweep of various sonar beam frequencies that are instantly interpreted for crisp screen images.
Humminbird | Onix
Four new models
in two sizes feature touch-screen menus, as well as AutoChart and SmartStrike technology, which allow users to create their own high-definition maps, without connecting to a PC, server, or cloud. The cross Touch feature allows users to navigate menus with a tap, swipe, or pinch.
Lew's | BB2 Pro Speed Spool
Lynn Reeves's revitalization of Lew's
continues to impress, offering several fine new models in mid-range prices, but packed with top features. Great gifts from Lew's would be the Tournament MB Speed Spool, Tournament Light Speed Spool, and BB2 Pro Speed Spool.
Madrone Headwear | Traverse
has turned heads with their excellent designs for fishing hats of all sorts. In addition to sun protection, the Flo-Thru venting system keeps you cool while the Protect Shield repels water. A floating Versa-Tec brim folds for storage and there's a special sleeve for sunglasses. The Traverse, with removable side shields is new for 2015.
Pelagic Gear | 4TEK Fish Finder Boardshort
shorts look like a winner for wet wading or if you want to make a fishing statement. The Quik-Dry fabric with 4-way stretch for comfort is imprinted with a sonar scene with bottom readings and fish, and has front and back zipper pockets.
Penn | Battle II
A revision of the 2010 model, with innovations based on new technology. The Battle II
has keyed carbon fiber washers in the HT-100 drag system that boost max drag 10 to 15 percent. Corrosion resistance also is improved with five sealed bearings and an anti-reverse bearing. Eight models from the 1000 to 8000 size.
Shimano | Curado
Few anglers don't have a favorite Shimano Curado
, as the brand goes back more than two decades. They're retooled for 2015, with choice of three gear ratios in five models, with SVS Infinity braking system, X-Ship frame, and Stabile Spool Design that reduces spool vibration.
Spot | GEN3
When your adventures take you beyond cell service, SPOT Gen3
lets family and friends know you're status or sends emergency responders your GPS location with the push of a button. The devise enables you to send Send S.O.S messages to emergency responders and predefined text/email from virtually anywhere on the planet. You can also choose the rate you want to track your adventure: 2 ½, 5, 10, 30 or 60 minutes, which saves on battery life.
The Bucket Grip | 5-gallon Bucket Grips
The Bucket Grip
is a simple attachment that fits on the bottom of a 5-gallon bucket to prevent it from tipping, slipping, or dripping. UV-resistant rubber won't mar surfaces.
Wiley X | Arrow
adds two new versions of Arrow, with matte frames in black or white with lenses polarized with the company's Filter 8 technology. Like all Wiley X models, they meet ANSI High Velocity High Mass Impact Safety standards.
Celestron | FireCel+
A 3-in-1 multi-purpose tool that warms your hands, charges your mobile device and serves as a flashlight, this rugged little gadget is the technological equivalent of your trusty multi-tool.
features a two-temperature hand warmer with dual settings, capable of providing continuous heat for up to 12 hours. The 5200 mAh rechargeable lithium ion battery can deliver two full charges to most mobile devices in the field, giving you the chance to take that extra victory photo at the end of a long hunt or make an emergency call .
An integrated flashlight features both red (ideal for preserving your night vision) and white LEDs and five modes, including SOS for unexpected emergencies.