What's Biting: Jump Start the 2017 Fishing Season
Buying an avid angler a surprise Christmas gift is usually a futile effort. Most of the time, that angler has already procured the latest and greatest tackle on the market.
However, it can be done with a little work. If you have a chance, slip into the place where the tackle is stored and take a quick inventory. Don't linger or you might get caught.
Then start the search for the latest gear with spinning reels, the favorite for saltwater inshore anglers. Here are a few ideas for new equipment.
The Abu Garcia REVO Rocket Spinning Reel is named that for a reason – the blazing fast 7.0:1 gear ratio. Abu Garcia's AMGearing system and COG Computer optimized gear design combine forces to provide precision-machined gears in one of the most efficient gear systems ever created. A number of innovations add to the feature set. It retails for $199, so I hope the angler in the family has been good in 2016.
A more mainstream option is the Shimano NASCI Spinning Reel, which combines durability with a decent price point of around $100. The NASCI reel has Shimano's HGN gearing and X-Ship technology for improved power, functioning and durability, not to mention an upgraded drag system. Important for saltwater anglers, Shimano's new Coreprotect technology improves corrosion protection.
Now let's talk about those anglers who have had exemplary behavior this year. We're talking really nice spinning reels with the Shimano Stradic CI4+ and the Daiwa Certate spinning reels.
Shimano made some key upgrades to the Stradic, including the new Magnumlite rotor and advanced Hagane Gearing that improves power on the retrieve and the smooth operation.
Daiwa consider the Certate Spinning Reel in a league of its own with the new Magsealed technology around both sides of the drive gear, the main shaft and the line roller, as well as, two of the bearings. Magsealed technology creates a barrier from water, salt and debris. The Certate also features a Harbodyz aluminum body and body cover and the Zaion Air Rotor.
When it comes to fishing rods, if you're my age, you remember Lew's Fishing of Lew Childre fame that was located in Foley for many, many years. While that era of Lew's is gone, the name lives on with a series of new equipment, including spinning rods. The Lew's TP-1 Speed Sticks have new Winn Grip handles and premium American Tackle Microwave Guides. The lightweight, premium IM8 graphite blanks deliver the sensitivity and backbone needed to fight a variety of inshore species. make solid hook sets and take control of the fight.
For a step up, consider the Team Lew's Pro Speed Stick LFS-X5 Spinning Rod, which combines lightweight construction for sensitivity but power for a solid hookset thanks to the proprietary LFS-X5 graphite blanks.
Every inshore angler is familiar with the G. Loomis name as one of the top rod brands around. The Pro Green Series is a special set of inshore saltwater rods designed for small jigs, soft plastics and other artificial baits, including topwaters. The rod series has four power-ratings and three different rods lengths.
The latest in safety equipment is the MOB+ (Man Over Board) wireless kill switch. The base unit takes the place of the standard kill switch. A transponder fob is worn as a lanyard, snapped into a wristband or slipped into the pocket. If the operator gets more than 50 feet from the receiver, it shuts down the motor. If the operator falls into the water and is submerged under 6 inches of water, the engine shuts down.
If you prefer a hands-on approach, head to J&M Tackle, the Rod Room, Sam's Stop N' Shop and Top Gun Tackle to check out the latest equipment. While you're there, grab some stocking stuffers, like Gulp Shrimp (place in a separate freezer bag to keep from giving away the gift by the odor), Vudu and DOA Shrimp, Gotcha Plugs, Sabiki rigs and other small items.
Any inshore angler should have a merry Christmas with any of the above gifts.