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Let’s keep it real, folks—bass anglers love collecting gear. If we have five fishing rods, we want ten. If we have one closet full of soft plastic baits, we’d rather have several storage units full. It’s a guilty pleasure that most of us share. To make it worse, our hoarding issues are only facilitated by the awesome products that companies keep pumping out each year. If it will help us catch a few more fish, why not sell the minivan and buy some more fishing lures? Seems like the only logical thing to do, right?

Whether you’re looking for gift ideas for that special “fish head” in your life or you’re like us and nobody has a clue what to get you this Christmas,we’re going to help you with that. Here are some of our favorite lures from 2013 and some new ones for 2014.

Terry’s Picks

As the resident “boat geek” at Wired2Fish, many of the items I see as important involve boats and the “bling” that is associated with them. My boat often doubles as my office, so I want it to have all of the amenities that not only make it more comfortable to fish out of, but also aesthetically pleasing.

Just about every waking moment I hang out at the Wired2Fish ManCave that is not directly involved with sales or Wired2Fish business, I am piddling on my boat. My wife calls me the “King of Piddlers” and believe me— I take that title willingly. I get amped up working on my gear and my holiday wish list revolves around that passion.

Lucas Slick Mist, $8.95

lucas slick mist sprayed on boat
I believe this little blue bottle is mandatory for those who want to keep their boat in showroom condition. When I am not installing equipment or organizing tackle I can usually be found wiping down my boat. I have used it on fiberglass surfaces but have found it equally effective on aluminum boats too. Keeping a good layer of Slick Mist Speed Wax on your boat keeps the slime line from getting on your boat. One of the neat things about Slick Mist is you cannot use too much. The work you put into keeping it coated cuts down the work when you pull your boat out of the water.

Blue Water LED Lights, from $42.99

bluewater led lights on boat trailer
I can’t tell you how many people recognize my boat for the lights I have on it, in it and under it. They are not only cool-looking but also provide a functionality of being seen and seeing better too. Early morning take-offs or long days on the water are enhanced with Blue Water lighting systems. I currently have a trailer package, a Cyberlite on my truck and compartment lights on my boat. I utilize switches on all installs so that I can control when they are on and love the function they provide on dimly lit ramps or while working on tackle at blast off. I am currently installing a Deluxe Trailer Kit on my trailer too.

ATX Wheels

atx wheels on chevrolet truck
I just added some new ATX AX192 Blade wheels to my 2012 Chevrolet Z71 and it was like I got a new truck. Stopping at a gas station or putting in at the lake gets double takes from other anglers and even better, they’re easy to maintain. I am a stickler for a clean vehicle—it’s the sign of a clean mind in my opinion—and having intricate wheels can be a nuisance if they cannot be cleaned easily. A soft cloth and some soap and water and they look like new. The finish is outstanding and ATX is engaged in fishing, which are two things that put them on top of my list.

Mustang Life Vest, $257.99

mustang hit pfd
Since I run a small boat I have limited storage. I want to maintain safety and comfort without taking up tons of storage room. That is why I have chosen Mustang HIT suspender style lifejackets. I keep 3 in my boat—one for me and my passenger and one in case someone has forgotten theirs at the ramp. Mustang talks about “saving lives for a living” but having that piece of mind with storage functionality is why I choose them.

Bassaholics Lifestyle Wear, from $17.99

bassaholics hoodie for fishing
I come from a rural background and most of my relatives were or are farmers. I kid them all the time about only having clothes with seed corn company’s logos on them. Truthfully though, I am a fishing clothes junky and have one room in my house that my wife hates—it’s filled with hats, hoodies, jerseys and jackets all with fishing company logos proudly displayed. I have become a Bassaholic and wearing Bassaholic t-shirts and hoodies says it best whether at work or on the lake. Honestly if a company had logoed underwear I would probably have a pair. I am absolutely known as an angler and wear fishing clothing proudly just about every day. I am a Bassaholic!

EGO Nets and Gear, $65.99

EGO net for fishing
With limited boat space I want a net with functionality but also one I can store easily. I have chosen the EGO S2 Slider bass net in my boat for that reason. Compact when stored but durable and extendable when I catch that fish of a lifetime, the S2 Slider also floats. I also use the EGO Ultra Grip Tool on toothy critters. The UGT as I call it, not only doesn’t hurt the fish but also has a scale built in. EGO has a 25 and 40-pound model. I also utilize the Tournament Culling Beam by EGO on those days when I catch more than a limit of bass. It makes culling quick and easy.

Humminbird 360 Imaging, $1,999.99

humminbird 360 for bass fishing
On the Ranger 106 project I utilize a Humminbird 1198C SI with 360 Imaging and a 998C SI on the dash. They are networked using an Ethernet cable and the five-port Humminbird Ethernet Switch. I recently added 360 Imaging on the trolling motor and am totally impressed with ease of use and their clarity. The cool part of 360 is you don’t have to have an 1198 or a 998 to utilize it. It works equally well on other select units too like the 700 and 800 Series with down imaging and side imaging. The new trolling motor bracket was the difference maker for me due to the ease of install and being able to image from the front of the boat versus the rear. I installed it in 45 minutes and am amazed at the advantage this unit provides.

Bob’s Mini Manual Jackplate, from $164.95

bobs mini manual jackplate for fishing boats
Even though I use a small boat I want as much performance as possible. One mile per hour can be huge on a small boat and adding the Bob’s MMJ allowed me to raise the motor to handle more weight and increase the RPMs to factory specifications for best performance to tax the motor less and get more speed. This plate only weighs 12 pounds and will work on motors up to 40hp. Because my motor is a clamp mount I utilized Bob’s Stackable Spacers. This set-up definitely increased the efficiency of my little boat.

T&H Oxygenator, $129.99

oxygenator for bass fishing livewell
I have had Oxygenators in many of my other larger boats but it was an important add-on my Ranger 106 project to eliminate the need for an additional pump and switch for a recirculation aerator in the livewell. I fish tournaments out of this boat too and want to do everything I can to help keep my fish alive. I also utilize GJuice/U2 Livewell treatment in my livewell and have never lost a single fish. I would recommend an Oxygenator in every small boat.

Hydrowave, $389.95

hydrowave unit for bass fishing
I put the Hydrowave on every boat I own. I am a believer and even though it won’t make fish jump in the boat, I have enough evidence that it activates the curiosity instinct in bass and baitfish and can make them more aggressive. Learning how and when to use it is the key and it’s not magic. It is analogous to using scents on baits in my book and it certainly doesn’t hurt. It’s a great gift for the die-hard angler. Hydrowave also just introduced their Mini model that we are testing now. It works great for kayaks, canoes and is a great addition for those that like to ice fish.

As you can see I love boat toys and any of the aforementioned items work great for any size boat and are great gifts for the angler on your Christmas list. The purchase is dependent on the pocket book but having the best is important to me. Even though fishing is fun, I love the catching part more and want my equipment to aid me and make my time on the water more pleasurable. Happy Holidays!

Jason’s Picks

I’m a conflicted man when it comes to fishing tackle. I’m a minimalist at heart. I could live in a house with a comfortable bed, a chair, a table. However when it comes to fishing tackle, 5 of 1 productive lure is never enough. My garage is like a mini Tackle Warehouse (pun intended).

So when you say I like tackle, you have no idea. And I’m always on top of what is new and interesting in the world of fishing tackle. But more importantly I make a point to fish a lot of new tackle every year. So for 2013 and the upcoming 2014 fishing season, here are some of my favorites.

Keep in mind that everyone has different budgets. For some folks, $300 is nothing for a reel that will last 5-10 years. For others $8 for a lure is a lot. So I tried to include products that fit multiple budgets.

Strike King Rage Blade

Strike King Rage Blade, $5.79

Folks that fish with me a lot, know I love a vibrating, bladed jig. The folks that owned the original company that created the Chatterbait have now worked with Strike King to build a better bladed-swim jig, the Strike King Rage Blade. There is no denying these are fish catchers. I caught bass the first day I threw one.

Most vibrating jigs do well except around wood cover. They can be pretty snaggy. But the new Rage Blade fixed that problem with a unique weight on the blade design.

Koppers LiveTarget BaitBall jerkbaits

LiveTarget BaitBall Jerkbait, $14.99

I really like these new BaitBall Shiner and Jerkbaits from LiveTarget. The looks of them are awesome. There have been times on some clear water fisheries where I knew the bass were keying on very small shad and baitfish and wished I could throw a real tiny minnow but still be able to cast it. This profile answers that problem.

I’ve not got to fish them much but I’m anxious to get them wet in the next several months, when jerkbait fishing is at its very best.

Duo SpinBait80

Duo Spinbait80, $12.99

I was given a Spinbait80 at ICAST by the folks at DUO. The next week I was vacationing on Table Rock Lake with my family and it was one of the first times that a single lure out fished everything else I threw in a week. I lost the lure while fishing, but the Spinbait80 had me hooked for clearwater fishing.

Basically you throw it out, count it down and then just very slowly reel it back. It’s just a subtle little bait but the bass really seem to react to it in clear water. I’ve caught a bunch of bass on it and I’ve seen guys like Casey Martin posting their giant catches on it. Pretty neat deal to say the least. One I look forward to exploring more in 2014.

Heddon Chug'n Spook

Heddon Chug’n Spook, $6.99

The Heddon Chug ‘n Spook isn’t new and I was fishing it a lot last fall as well. But it became such a staple for me this year that I put it on the list. Not to mention, Heddon just released a smaller version this year at ICAST that should do really well. These baits are fairly inexpensive and work wonders on big bass on shallow flats. I absolutely love this bait. It casts a mile, walks easily and makes a big commotion even in relatively choppy waters.

Booyah Boo Rig

Booyah Boo Rig, $6.99

Is the Booyah Boo Rig an umbrella rig or a spinnerbait? I say it more resembles the latter than the former. I believe it’s a much more natural presentation to the spinnerbait than having the blades spin around a single arm. I think it has a lot of flash and vibration and coupled with a swimbait looks like a small pod of baitfish.

What is really intriguing about the Boo Rigs is that you can add it to the front of a lot of different lures and the weighted head might help get them down deeper than they have been before. I like that flexibility in this package.

Megabass Ito Shiner jerkbait for bass fishing

Megabass Ito Shiner, $25.99

The new hard-plastic Ito Shiner jerkbait is based off of a hand-made jerkbait that was kept secret for many years in Japan and offered in very limited supplies to pro staff in tournament circles. This is the latest to an extremely popular line of suspending jerkbaits. The body is quite a bit bigger than the standard Ito Vision jerkbait. It’s said to have a wider darting action. I’m looking forward to throwing this jerkbait a lot in the next three months for big largemouths and smallmouths on various lakes.

Rapala Fish N Game Cleaning Station

Rapala Fish N Game Cleaning Station, $67.25

My family loves to have fish fries. For that reason, I love the Fish N Game Table from Rapala. I use it all the time. I can hang a bucket from the bottom of it, put a trashbag in the bucket and just slide the fish remains in there as I blow threw the fillets with a Rapala cordless electric knife. It folds in half when it’s not in use to be stored easily in no space. The top is a huge cutting board. It’s a great gift for an angler that cleans a lot of fish.

Daiwa-tatula

Daiwa Tatula 100 Reel, $149.99

I bought this reel a few months ago at Tacklewarehouse.com and immediately got attached to it. It has a great smooth drag, good braking system and smooth retrieve. But the real draw is the T-wing system that Daiwa improved with the release of these reels. For $149 it’s a great looking, functioning and long-distance casting reel. I will definitely pick up a few more as time goes by.

Lowrance-Point-1-Antenna-GPS

Lowrance Point-1 Antenna, $199.99

Probably the best electronic item I’ve added to my boat in a few years. Don’t get me wrong, I love the new Lowrance HDS Touch units but the Point-1 antenna is a very good investment for anglers that fish away from the bank more often than not. The 10 updates a second coupled with a rate compass to always keep on top of your direction and maneuvering. Now when you are spinning around with your trolling motor, you can lock directly on a waypoint or marked piece of cover like never before. It really helped my fishing this year being able to make pinpoint casts thanks to a better updating antenna for GPS.

Plano 3610 StowAway

Plano 2-3610 ProLatch StowAway Box, $3.79

By far my new favorite for small ProLatch StowAways is the new 2-3610. It has removable dividers so it can be one large day box or a 6 tray box or any combination in between. It’s really cool how much it will hold without taking up too much room. So if I only have 6 of a certain crankbait, it’s the perfect box. Hands down this is my favorite StowAway ProLatch box from Plano.

Jason with the St. Croix Mojo Glass Target Cranker

St. Croix Mojo Target Cranker rod, $110

A great crankbait rod isn’t always easy to find. Especially a specific rod for casting to shallow targets. You need a rod that flexes, has good sensitivity but can make the casts you need to in tight quarters without missing by more than an inch because you’ll be snagged if you do.

The St. Croix Glass Mojo Target Crankbait rod combines the right length, right action and enough power to drive hooks and move bass out of cover.

Walker’s Picks

Below are some of my must-have products for 2013. I’ve fished with them all and I’m crazy about each one. I’ve sprinkled in some more expensive items along with some more affordable pieces as well. I hope you enjoy—let the games begin!

Dobyns Savvy Spinning Rod, from $159.99

dobyns-savvy-spinning-rod-balanced-on-one-finger
I beat the living tar out of my fishing gear. I’m not necessarily careless, but I just use it all the time. It’s tough to find a high-end spinning rod that isn’t built like a noodle and is able to withstand the abuse serious anglers are known to dish out. I got my hands on a Dobyns Savvy Spinning Rod, however, and it’s going to stay in my boat for a long time.

I’ve tested it while guiding on big lakes, fishing from the bank and in serious tournament situations and it has exceeded my expectations. It’s built well, extremely well-balanced and can handle big bass with ease. Whether you’re using it for light crankbaits, weightless soft plastics or shaky heads, I absolutely recommend it. My girlfriend even caught a 5-pounder with it from my back deck.

Click here to read my original product review.

Zoom Z Hog, $4.59 per 8-pack

Zoom Z Hog catches nice bass
When I first heard about the release of the Zoom Z Hog, I couldn’t wait to try it. Without even using it, it seemed like it would be the perfect profile for flipping and pitching heavy cover and vegetation. After using it throughout the summer and fall, I can confidently say it’s one of my favorite flipping baits when I’m in the thick stuff.

It doesn’t rip to shreds after a single fish catch, which makes it an economically feasible option for anglers on a budget. When you pitch or flip it into cover, it finds its way to the bottom easily and is thick enough for a big 5/0 flipping hook. Durability and good hook penetration is definitely something to look for in your pitching and flipping soft plastics.

Click here to read my original product review.

Rapala Scatter Rap, $8.29

Rapala-Scatter-Rap-Bass1
This year’s prespawn period was very good to me. I was on solid fish and some great opportunities to put some new lures to the test. There was a huge buzz surrounding the Rapala Scatter Rap this year and I was able to experience it for myself.

It took me a while to learn to fish it correctly, but it was super-easy once I got the hang of it. With a slow retrieve and a medium-action rod, it darts and dashes every way imaginable throughout the retrieve. If you’ve ever seen schools of shad being chased by a bass, you’ll realize they never swim in a straight line. Rapala took notice of this and created a one-of-a-kind crankbait that hunts with ease. It’s available in a bunch of popular colors, works well on pressured fish and holds up very well to collisions with cover.

Click here to read my original product review.

Lew’s BB-1 Inshore Speed Spool Casting Reel, $199.99

lew's bb-1 inshore casting reel manages all line types well
If you or your loved one likes to fish in whatever type of water they can find, I’d recommend checking out the Lew’s BB-1 Inshore Speed Spool Casting Reel. I’ve used it with every line type and it has done an excellent job with line management and castability—a backlash is a rare thing with this reel. It’s also totally saltwater-proof, allowing you to bass fish with it all year and take it on your family beach trip.

It handles big fish well because of its powerful drag system, doesn’t squeak or screech during use and I’ve caught a lot of big fish on it this year.

Click here to read my original product review.

Abu Garcia REVO LTX Casting Reel JDM, $379.99

abu-garcia-revo-ltx-in-hand
I know—the Abu Garcia REVO LTX Casting Reel JDM an expensive reel but it’s pretty darn sweet. I can remember picking up the box for the first time and it almost felt empty. This dude only weighs 5.4 ounces. How’s that for lightweight?

I’ve fished with it a bunch this year and simply stated, it’s just a dream to fish with. The drag system is extremely sensitive, allowing for very small adjustments when fighting big bass. It fits perfectly in my hand and performs as smooth as butter. It was actually designed for light-line finesse techniques, so it has a pretty shallow spool. I don’t do much finesse fishing with a casting reel so I spooled it with 60 yards of fluorocarbon and flip with it. With a 7.9:1 gear ratio, you can yank ‘em out of the crud with no problem at all.

Click here to read my original product review.

SPRO Baby Fat John 50, $10.99

spro-baby-fat-john-50-bass-mouoth
There’s nothing I love more than crashing a crankbait into shallow cover and I am very glad I found the SPRO Baby Fat John 50. Since discovering it, I’ve relied on it for both guide trips and tournaments and have enjoyed a ton of success with it.

It only dives about two feet but you can wind it in as fast as your arm will move and it will never spin out or helicopter during the retrieve. It comes through cover better than many squarebills I own and it’s a flat-out fish catcher. Even on a steady retrieve, it hunts wonderfully and always returns to center. If you’re a cranker, this thing can be your best friend.

Click here to read my original product review.

13 Fishing Omen Black Casting Rod, from $99.99

13 Fishing Omen Black Casting Rod catches bass
This rod company is fairly new, but you wouldn’t guess it by using this rod. I’ve been using the 7-foot, 1-inch medium-heavy 13 Fishing Omen Black Casting Rod and it’s been a great rod to flip and pitch Texas rigs and smaller jigs with. It’s very lightweight but it has plenty of power when it’s time to set the hook. There have been several instances in which I’ve sent 2-pounders flying to the opposite side of my boat.

Even when the bass aren’t thumping my soft plastics, I’m able to feel the slightest bites and bottom composition changes. 13 Fishing also paid a lot of attention to detail with a strategically placed hook keeper and a EVA foam butt section to avoid cork stains on your light-colored shirts or fishing jerseys. This rod is likely to replace many of your more expensive fishing rods.

Click here to read my original product review.

Missile Baits Baby D Bomb, $3.99 per 7-pack

missile-baits-baby-d-bomb-in-hand
Measuring just 3.65 inches long, it may seem like the Baby D Bomb targets small fish, but that’s definitely not the case. When the fishing is tough, this bait has bailed me out many days and turned bad days into great ones.

It’s very durable and holds up well to fish catches and bream pecks, which is always something I look for in a soft plastic flipping bait. When you take it out of the package, it’s very slick-feeling which aids in cover penetration and rigging. The Baby D Bomb slides up the hook shank without any tearing or ripping whatsoever.

If you’re a finesse angler, don’t write this bait off. It works very well on a 1/4-ounce shaky head and comes through deep brush piles very well, too. It’s been a staple in my boat for several months and will continue to be throughout next year as well.

Click here to read my original product review.

Snag Proof Bobby’s Perfect Buzz Frog, $9.99

snag-proof-bobbys-perfect-buzz-frog-with-bass
I wasn’t sure what to think when I first saw the Bobby’s Perfect Buzz Frog. Being a combination of a buzzbait and a topwater frog, it looked odd but it didn’t take me long to build some confidence in it. It comes through cover exceptionally well when you hold your rod at the 9 o’clock position, allowing the blade to pave a perfect path for the body of the bait.

I’ve caught dozens of big bass on this bait and it still looks as good as the day I got it—no ripping, tearing or body separation to speak of. The Bobby’s Perfect Buzz Frog also offers a great hookup ratio, but you have to train yourself to wait one full second from the time the bite occurs until you set the hook. If you can do that, you’ll have a lot of success with this frog—even in open water.

Click here to read my original product review.

Plano 5 Tier Shelf, $60.95

plano five tier shelf holds fishing equipment
Remember the hoarding epidemic among anglers that I talked about? The Plano 5 Tier Shelf has honestly been a lifesaver for me. Like many anglers, I had a bunch of stuff without having anywhere to put it. I finally got tired of tripping over things in my office and decided to give this shelving unit a shot.

It holds up to 200 pounds on each shelf, which equals 1,000 pounds per unit. I have small tackle shops on each of the shelves and I haven’t had any issues with bending or warping. They don’t take long to assemble and you don’t need any tools to do so—it took me a whole 45 seconds to put together an entire unit. The units also interlock with one another, which is perfect if you have a big wall in your garage or basement that could accommodate additional shelving.

Since owning these shelves, I have become a much more efficient angler. It doesn’t take me long to rig for tournaments or guide trips and now I know where everything is located.

Click here to read my original product review.

So that’s it—those are some of my must-have items for 2013. If you’re an angler, I believe they’ll help you catch more fish in one way or another. If you’re a spouse or significant other of an angler, I’ll go ahead and apologize for fueling the addiction.

I hope you and your loved ones have a very blessed Christmas season and a safe and prosperous 2014. As always, I greatly appreciate your readership and thoughtful interaction and I look forward to hanging out with everyone for many years to come.

EDITORS NOTE: We will be adding more picks to this piece little by little throughout the month of Decemeber. We’ll repost and reshare when we’ve added more to the mix.

8 thoughts on “2013 Wired2Fish Editors’ Picks for Fishing Tackle

  1. I just purchased a Humminbird 360 Bow Mount unit for $1,499.00, not $1,999.00 as noted above… That price is for the stern mount unit.

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