This is it, fellow bass anglers. Christmas time finally gives us an opportunity to irritate our family and friends with not-so-subtle hints regarding the latest and greatest fishing gear. Whether you’re desperately searching for gift ideas for a loved one or an angler looking for new ways to catch more fish, we hope you find our personal wish lists both helpful and convenient.
I can easily remember my college days when I didn’t have any money to spend, but still wanted to provide my “fishy” family members with some great gear. As a result, I constructed this list with a mixture of both my favorite budget and higher-end items of the year.
Lew’s BB-1 Speel Spool Casting Reel, $159.99
If you’re a crankbait fisherman, this bad boy is a “must have” this year. I know you hear that a lot, but hear me out on this one. The BB-1’s worm gear is a much greater distance from the spool compared to most baitcasters on the market today. The result? This reel will cast larger crankbaits a country mile while offering anglers the ability to easily tune it for smaller crankbaits as well. No more finicky reels that take an entire fishing day to dial in””give it about three casts and you’ll be good to go. The Lew’s BB-1 also has no anti reverse, and although some may raise an eyebrow at the concept, you’re going to fall in love with it. When a big bass eats your crankbait, the reel gives it just a small amount of line to ensure a good, solid hookset every time. The BB-1 is a world-class cranking reel at a fair price.
After testing out the new Missile Baits D Bomb, it quickly became one of my favorite flipping baits. You always see new flipping baits emerging, but there’s one small problem””they’re no different than the rest. The bass haven’t seen anything like a D Bomb, and that will work to your advantage. With a thick head to ensure the bait stays on the hook and a thin body to aid in successful hooksets, these baits are truly one of a kind. The oily coating of the D Bomb allows it to fall through cover well and slide up the shank of the hook without any ripping or tearing whatsoever.
We have been catching a ton of good fish this year on an Abu Garcia Revo SX30 spinning reel. All too often, anglers feel like they lose control over big fish with spinning reels, but that is not the case with the SX30. Reliable, smooth and lightweight, this reel has stayed on the front deck of my boat in all conditions. Until I got my hands on an SX30, the thought of fluorocarbon on a spinning reel made me shudder””you may as well fish with a slinky. This reel handles fluoro with no problem at all, keeping it tightly packed onto the spool in even the windiest conditions. The Revo SX30 makes short order of big bass and casts like a dream, and that’s saying a lot for spinning gear.
Sunline Super FC Sniper Fluorocarbon, $26.99
When your jig is hung in a brush pile and you have to max-out your trolling motor to break the line, you know it’s good stuff. The most important aspect of shallow water flipping equipment is an angler’s line. While a quality rod and reel are also important, the only thing separating you and that huge bass is a single strand of line. I’ve been flipping a jig on 16-pound Sunline Super FC Sniper Fluorocarbon, and I have been extremely impressed. There’s nothing worse than coming off the floor with a big hookset and having your line pop, and this line will not let you down. Flipping with this super strong line has allowed me to use a smaller test, resulting in more bites and an increase in confidence.
Talk about comfortable””the entire Wired2Fish crew loves these shoes. I don’t like wearing shoes while I’m in my boat, but had a major change of heart after wearing my Zekos. With vented soles and a fast-drying, breathable microfiber upper, it’s as close as you can come to being barefoot. The most attractive characteristic of these shoes is their weight, or lack thereof. Weighing in at a mere 5 1/2-ounces, you’ll be light on your feet and, most importantly, feel better after a long day of rough water fishing.
Eco Pro Tungsten Flick Head, from $3.29
If you get your hands on a Flick Head, you will be a believer. I’ve fished with lead finesse jigs a couple of times since testing Eco Pro Tungsten’s Flick Head, and it’s a noticeable difference. Tungsten is much harder and denser than traditional lead, which translates to unparalleled sensitivity in every condition. Not to mention, you will feel a lot more bites with this jig. I’ve caught some bona fide tanks on the Flick Head and they continue to hold up to the abuse from big bass.
Stanford Lures Old School SSR, from $17.99
The Old School SSR is one heck of a crankbait. Made from 100-percent natural cedar from the northwestern United States, it possesses a violent shimmy and hunting action that is very difficult to find in today’s crankbaits. In both windy and calm conditions, this crankbait casts like a rocket, giving anglers access to hard-to-reach areas. Even better, the Old School SSR comes through cover very well, drastically reducing the number of frustrating hang-ups. Every shallow fisherman needs one of these in their tackle box.
Frabill Rainsuit Jacket, $119.99
All bass anglers need a good set of rain gear. While most rain gear is hot and severely limits your range of motion, the Frabill Rainsuit series eliminates these problems. Seemingly tailor-made to fit every size and shape of fisherman, this jacket won’t ride up on the angler while fishing. Frabill’s innovative mesh lining maximizes airflow to keep you cool as its DuPont Teflon treatment ensures durability and longevity. Perfect for cutting a crisp breeze and keeping you bone dry, the new Frabill Rainsuit series is the most comfortable rain gear I’ve owned, making it a perfect gift for every serious fisherman.
Berkley Havoc Scott Suggs’ 4-inch Rocket Craw, $2.99
It’s no secret that crawfish baits catch big bass, but the Rocket Craw separates itself from the competition. This bait is one of the best crawfish soft plastics I’ve used, as it has outstanding action in the water while also proving to be quite durable. When the bait is at rest, the pinchers float, perfectly emulating the defensive posture of a threatened crawfish. With several great colors to choose from, the Rocket Craw is great for both deep and shallow water presentations. At such a reasonable price, you’ll be able to stock up for the upcoming season without emptying your bank account.
Duckett White Ice Cranking Casting Rod, from $199.99
Light, powerful and supremely balanced””what else could you possibly ask for in a cranking rod? Designed by some of the most notable crankbait-loving professionals in the industry, the Duckett White Ice Cranking Casting Rod will change your standards for cranking rods. With a parabolic bend and American Tackle Micro Guides, this rod offers outstanding sensitivity and ensures a solid hookset on treble-hooked bass. The entire Wired2Fish crew has been very impressed by this rod, making it a great addition to any angler’s rod arsenal.