Tackle Tips

How to Best Spend Your Bass Fishing Gift Card

Shaye Baker

A fishing gift card from somewhere like Tackle Warehouse is the absolute best Christmas gift an angler can receive. Some non-anglers might think cash is king but if you received the exact same amount in cash, you'd be tempted to spend it on something frivolous like bills, gas or groceries. Instead, with a Tackle Warehouse gift card you have absolutely no choice but to buy fishing gear and that's what makes it the angler's equivalent to Ralphie Parker's Red Ryder carbine action, 200-shot, range model air rifle… with an even lesser risk of shooting your eye out.

So if you're an angler who's received such an awesome gift, we thought it would be a good idea to help you spend it. Here are a few ideas on how to make that gift card go a long way and a few ways to use it to knock a big chunk out of the price of a larger item. The most common TW gift card amounts are $25, $50 and $100. So that's how we'll break this down.

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$25 Tackle Warehouse gift card

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Shaye Baker
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To begin with, let's see if we can get 5 quality items in the bundle for $25. Starting things off, the VMC Tokyo Rig. I think this presentation kind of came and went as far as some of the media's limelight goes. And that's how most things are these days. But for any angler who has picked it up along the way, you know it's a stellar fish catcher in a bunch of different situations. So if you haven't tried it yet, let's throw in a pack at $4.69.

Next up, Gamakatsu's Micro Split Ring Pliers for $7.79. These little dudes are perfect for their designated task of opening up both big and small, very annoying split rings. Anyone who has tried to swap hooks with a regular pair of needle-nose understands exactly how frustrating and sketchy such an endeavor can be. These pliers make short work of it and have a great line cutter as well, even for braid.

Another great tool for just $3.99, the Rapala Super Line Scissors. Great for cutting mono, fluoro and even braid but also capable or handling other tasks like bait modification and opening packaging. Not really much you can say about scissors, but a very good pair here for the price. So we're up to $16.47 with three items so far, $8.53 left to spend on two more.

The Ark MiniDiver Crankbait has to be included in this list. This is a ridiculous little crankbait for the price. I recently reviewed this bait and was extremely impressed. This crankbait has a weight transfer system to help with casting and comes stock with Mustad Triple Grip Hooks. It could very reasonably be priced at $15 compared to other crankbaits in that price range, but is only $4.99. A fantastic bait for that price and one I highly recommend checking out.

So we only have $3.54 left to spend. Not a lot you can buy with that these days, right? Wrong. This next product comes in at $2.99, so we're going to leave you with a little room to spare. The Z-Man ElaZtech Split Tail TrailerZ are some of the best trailers on the market, for one particular reason in my opinion. I frequently use these on my spinnerbaits, ChatterBaits and buzzbaits, all of which I also like to use a trailer hook on. The frustrating thing about using a trailer hook and a trailer is that when your trailer is torn off, you have to remove the trailer hook to add a new soft plastic- not with these. The ElaZtech material is super stretchy and almost impossible to tear. So I spend more time fishing and less time rigging. 

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$50 Tackle Warehouse gift card

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Shaye Baker
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We stretched that $25 gift card to the max and gave you some budget-minded products that you could also buy with that gift card, so for this section let's focus on just a few larger items you could pick up for under 50 bucks. The Storm Arashi Glide is one that quickly came to mind. At $37.99, this swimbait has a lot of the same characteristics and qualities of the custom-made ones that will run you a couple hundred or more. A great glide bait with fantastic and effortless action. If you're looking to make a bigger purchase with a $50 card but still want a lot of bang for your buck, the Arashi Glide is a good direction to go in.

If you've never tried a quality fluorocarbon line, now's the time. While you have a little free money, I recommend investing it in a 200-yard spool of Seaguar InvisX. Ranging from $17.99 to $22.39 (4- to 20-pound test), you could also pick this up with just the $25 gift card. Either way, this is a fantastic fluorocarbon line that I have used now for 7 or 8 years. It lasts a long time, has little memory compared to cheaper fluoro and is fairly abrasion resistant. A quality fluorocarbon line can be the difference a lot of days between getting bit and getting a fish into the boat.

Another product that you could pick up with either card at $11.99, the 13 Fishing Jabber Jaw Hybrid Squarebill Crankbait. This bait is... different. In the interest of full disclosure, I haven't even held one in my hand yet and I'm guaranteeing it's a certified buy. This thing has a metal bill that swings side to side and hammers on metal cheeks to create a sound similar to a ChatterBait while keeping the profile of a squarebill. So now you have a bait with a proven sound and vibration that can be fished in stickier situations where a ChatterBait is more likely to get snagged. I don't often get sold on something sight unseen, but listening to 5 seconds of underwater footage of this bait was all it took. 

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$100 Tackle Warehouse gift card

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Shaye Baker
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Now you're getting into some real money, basically at high roller status. Obviously the ideas we've given so far could all be picked up with a $100 gift card as well. So now we're going to focus on a few big ticket items that the hundred bucks would either cover, or at least make a dent it.

Here's one you could get and still have a little left over, the Bass Mafia Terminal Coffin at $54.99. I've had my eye on this box for a while now but haven't quite pulled the trigger. The main reason is these are pricey tackle boxes. But I've had their Deep Cranking Coffin for 5 or 6 years now and it's still going strong. The Bass Mafia boxes are durable and effective when it comes to protecting a treasure trove of baits. And, with as much as we spend on terminal tackle these days, having an effective way to organize and safeguard all of it in one place is worthwhile. So I'll likely pick one up at some point.

Next up is the Lew's Speed Spool LFS Casting Reel at $99.99. I have used this reel or a previous variation of it for around a decade now. I have gotten my dad and a couple buddies hooked on them as well. For the price, this is a fantastic reel that's hard to beat. I use a beefier reel for punching and a few other things, but 70 to 80 percent of what I do in the baitcaster realm happens with this reel in my hand. It's light, casts great, has a comfortable feel to it, I like the wide paddles on the handle, it's easy to adjust, has a quality drag system and the list goes on. Great reel for a hundred bucks, so something to definitely consider.

Now this last item obviously won't come in under a hundred, not even close, but what better time to finally bite the bullet on a big ticket item than while you've got a little free money to throw at it? Without further adieu, Garmin Panoptix. The price varies based on several available models and options but there's no debating the effectiveness of forward-facing sonar and the flagship of that realm's frontrunner, Garmin's Livescope. This is something I've had on my wish list for a while after having had Garmin's original Panoptix for about 6 months a while back. Definitely a huge investment, but also the wave of the future. 

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In conclusion

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Shaye Baker
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Whether you're trying to stretch your gift card as far as you can or you're looking to collect a few as a down payment on something big, hopefully this piece has started your wheels to turning and has given you a few good ideas to research. Regardless, enjoy! Relish in the fact that someone knows you well enough to know all you really want is fishing gear and to just let you pick it out yourself.