2013 Fishing Gear Preview

A Roundup of Cutting-Edge Tackle and Accessories

December 20, 2012

Hobie Mirage Pro Angler 12 — ICAST Winner, Best of Show, Best Boat

The 12-foot Pro Angler sports a 36-inch beam and all the must-have fishing features, including MirageDrive pedal propulsion, Vantage Seating, Lowrance Ready fishfinder installation system, pivoting tackle management in the center hatch, rod storage for six, and dual steering. It weighs 120 pounds fully rigged and accommodates 500 pounds of weight. Options include a livewell and electric motor. Available in dune, olive or yellow, it costs $2,849. Call 760‑758‑9100 or visit** hobie​fishing​.com**.

Power-Pole Drift Paddle — ICAST Winner, Best Boating Accessory

An accessory to Power-Pole’s shallow-water anchors, the Drift Paddle provides control over boat speed and direction on a drift. The 46-inch paddle features seven positions that alter the bow angle and slow the boat up to 50 percent. It attaches to the Power-Pole anchor, operates remotely and works for boats up to 4,500 pounds. A single paddle costs $225, and a pack of two paddles costs $399. Call 813-689‑9932 or visit** power-​pole​.com**.

Raymarine a-Series MFD

As little brother to Raymarine’s recent e-Series HybridTouch units, the new a-Series packs versatility into a smaller package with a 5.7-inch, fully touch-screen display. One of the two models — the a67 — comes with ClearPulse dual-frequency sonar as well as a 50-channel internal GPS and Navionics Silver cartography. The units feature an Ethernet port to connect other Ray MFDs, radar or sonar modules. Pricing was unavailable at press time. Call 603‑324‑7900 or visit raymarine​.com.

Daiwa Lexa 300

Daiwa’s Lexa 300 low-profile baitcasters hold 240 yards of 40‑pound braid with 22 pounds of max drag to battle all kinds of inshore saltwater gamesters. Available in three -standard (6.3‑to‑1) and three hyper-speed (7.1‑to‑1) versions, Lexa 300s feature an aluminum frame, spool and side plate, seven bearings, tournament carbon drag system and Magforce cast control. Price is $199.95. Call 562‑375‑6800 or visit daiwa​.com.

Okuma RTX

The Okuma RTX spinning-reel family offers long-strand carbon-fiber framing with aluminum gears at a price below $100. Rather than using a standard resin with powdered filler for the RTX frame and rotor, Okuma employed interwoven carbon-fiber strands to enhance strength and reduce weight. The four high-speed models feature a 6‑to‑1 gear ratio and Japanese oiled-felt drag washers and cost $99.99. Call 909‑923‑2828 or visit okuma​fishing​.com.

Penn Spinfisher V — ICAST Winner, Best Saltwater Reel

Penn’s Spinfisher debuted 50 years ago; today’s fifth generation embodies the company’s light-tackle legacy, plus cutting-edge materials and technology. The full-metal body, with its watertight design (six seals; nine on the rear-mounted Live Liners) and sealed HT-100 Slammer Drag system, was built for salt water. Gear ratios range from 4.2‑to‑1 to 6.2‑to‑1; max drag varies from 20 to 40 pounds, and prices run from $139.95 to $199.95. Call 215‑229‑9415 or visit penn​reels​.com.

Quantum Smoke Inshore

This popular Quantum offering has officially graduated to salt, though coastal anglers were already using these Smokes with added precaution. The spinner and baitcaster models now employ Saltguard 2.0, which contains an exclusive alloy coated against corrosion. The spinner’s carbon-stainless-ceramic drag system resists heat, and its rotor is made from long carbon-fiber strands. The baitcaster comes with eight polymer-hybrid bearings. Spinners cost $179; baitcasters cost $219. Call 800‑588‑9030 or visit quantum​fishing​.com.

Shimano Talica 20 BFC

Shimano optimized its new Talica 20BFC (Billfish Concept) to offer precise drag control for 20-pound-mono–designated tournaments targeting sailfish and white marlin. The BFC retrieves 60 inches of line per crank with its 6.7‑to‑1 gear ratio and features Shimano’s High Efficiency Gearing and a cold-forged aluminum frame and spool. It holds 640 yards of 20-pound test, with 15 pounds of max drag. Price is $799.99. Call 877‑577‑0600 or visit fish​.shimano​.com.

Rapala Clackin’ Magnum

Rapala has brought its Clackin’ Cadence Rattle to salt water with the 6¼-inch, 2¼-ounce Magnum. Magnum’s single BB transmits a pulse, complementing the wounded-minnow action. The Magnum’s lip takes it down to 20 feet; troll it at speeds up to 15 mph. The translucent body features 3-D eyes and internal holographic foil. It comes in 10 colors with No. 4 Perma Steel VMC hooks. Cost is $19.99. Visit rapala​.com.

Savage Gear Real Eel

Stripers and cobia love eating eels, so Savage Gear combined actual scans of real eels with computer modeling to produce its lifelike lures. Savage Gear incorporated a non-lead weight and steel ball into the Real Eel’s head for casting, vertical fishing and trolling. Eels come rigged or unrigged in 6-, 8-, 12- and 16-inch lengths and weigh from 1⁄3 ounce to 6 ounces. Prices range from $7.99 to $12.99. Visit savage-​gear​.com.

Sebile Fast Cast

Sebile designed the Fast Cast lure for long casts and for jigging. Tie the leader to the nose, and the lure sinks quickly and swims on the retrieve. Tie to the tail (and move the hook forward), and the bait flutters on the drop. Fast Cast comes in 10 models weighing half an ounce to 11 ounces and in six colors. Cost is $10.60 to $25.70. Call 855‑792‑3234 or visit sebile​usa​.com.

Shimano Orca

Orca top-water pencil baits -incorporate Shimano’s proprietary internal-weight system, which imparts an erratic pop-and-dive action on the retrieve. The 6.3‑inch Orca 160 weighs 2 ounces, and the 7.5-inch 190 weighs 3 ounces; both come in six colors, including blue sardine and green mackerel. Shimano recommends using Orcas with its Stella SW and Sustain FG reels on Terez Orca popping rods. The plugs cost $24.99 and $29.99. Call 877‑577‑0600 or visit fish​.shimano​.com.

Spiderwire Zilla Braid

Spiderwire combined Dyneema and Cordura to give its Zilla Braid 67 percent more shock strength and stretch than standard braids. Zilla has a higher density than polyethylene braids, so it casts longer and recovers to its original length after stretching. Available in moss green, Zilla comes in pound tests from 20 to 100 and in 125-, 300- and 1,500-yard spools. Prices range from $14.99 to $219.99. Call 877‑502‑7743 or visit spiderwire​.com. Staff

Williamson Live Swimming Ballyhoo Combo

Pre-rigged with a paddle-tail ballyhoo, Williamson’s latest offering gives trollers a new option. The 5½-inch lure-ballyhoo combo trolls up to 8 mph, surfacing and diving while the tail vibrates and the pusher-style head emits a smoke trail. Rigged with a 3/0 VMC Perma Steel hook on 5 feet of 80-pound Sufix monofilament, the combo comes in six colors and costs $9.99. Visit williamson​lures​.com.

Yo-Zuri Sashimi Bonita

The ever-popular Yo-Zuri Bonita now comes in the company’s patented Sashimi color-change finishes with wave-motion ribs. The ribs create vibration in the water, and the color-change finish mimics a panicked baitfish. Two sizes — 6¾ inches (45⁄8 ounces) and 83⁄8 inches (10 ounces) — target wahoo, yellowfin tuna and other offshore species. Available in eight colors, the lures cost $49.99 and $59.99. Call 888‑336‑9775 or visit yo-​zuri​.com.

Costa 580P Sunrise Lenses — ICAST Winner, Best Eyewear

Costa’s high-contrast Sunrise lenses — made from a lightweight, impact-resistant plastic — allow lots of light to reach the eyes while enhancing depth perception in early-morning, cloudy or late-afternoon conditions. The 100 percent polarized 580s block yellow light, boosting colors and improving visual acuity. Order Sunrise lenses with 10 frame styles — including Corbina, Fisch, Fathom and others — in black or tortoise. Prices range from $159 to $179. Call 800‑447‑3700 or visit** costa​**.

Humminbird 360 Imaging — ICAST Winner, Best Electronics

Humminbird’s 360 Imaging sonar accessory gives anglers an underwater view around the entire boat. The product’s Transducer Deployment System bolts to a transom or jack plate and lowers a transducer into the water, where it pings 360 degrees. Paired with any of Humminbird’s side-imaging-equipped displays that are Ethernet-capable, anglers can see 150 feet in every direction, including ahead. 360 Imaging costs $1,999. Call 800‑633‑1468 or visit humminbird​.com.

Pelagic Eclipse Guide Shirt

Made from a super-light, MicroTEK, mechanical-stretch, polyester fabric, Pelagic’s Eclipse Guide Shirt features 360-degree vented mesh panels and UV 50+ sun protection. The guide shirt also has been treated to repel water, stains and odors. Available in aqua or ice and in sizes M through 2XL, Eclipse shirts cost $69. Call 949‑642‑0646 or visit pelagic​gear​.com.

Berkley Gulp! Heads! — ICAST Winner, Best Terminal Tackle

Berkley’s lead-free Heads! — Darter JiggHead, Minnow JiggHead and BDS (bait-delivery system) — feature Gulp! Grip Bait Keepers, 3-D eyes and black-nickel-finished hooks. BDS Heads! use a controlled-density -technology that allows anglers to choose how fast or slow the bait sinks. The four sizes range from 1⁄8 ounce (1½ feet per second) to 5⁄8 ounces (three feet per second). Packages of two BDS or three Darters/Minnows cost $4.99. Call 800‑237‑5539 or visit berkley-​fishing​.com.

St. Croix Legend Inshore — ICAST Winner, Best Saltwater Rod

St. Croix’s high-modulus SCIV graphite Legend rods boast 33 percent greater strength than their predecessors. The company uses a Fortified Resin System that combines a special resin with new curing ovens to keep carbon fibers in proper alignment. The five spinning and four casting rods feature zero-tangle guides with zirconia rings and titanium frames, Fuji SK2 split reel seats and cork handles. Prices range from $270 to $350. Call 715‑762‑3226 or visit stcroix​rods​.com.

Shimano Tallus Blue Water

With 12 conventional and 10 spinning models in blue or brown, Shimano’s Tallus Blue Water rod series offers a wide choice of light, powerful TC4 blanks. Conventional models measure 6 feet 6 inches, 7 feet and 8 feet and come in a range of actions. Spinners include 6-foot-9-inch, 7-foot‑2‑inch and 8-foot versions. All feature Shimano reel seats, Fuji aluminum-oxide guides and EVA handles. Rods cost $149.99 to $169.99. Call 877‑577‑0600 or visit fish​.shimano​.com.

Penn Rampage

With its new boat rods, Penn focused on power and durability. The one-piece tubular-glass blanks employ solid-tip technology, virtually eliminating tip damage, Penn says. Rods feature stainless-steel guide frames, aluminum-oxide inserts, triangular EVA foregrips and an HD Pac Bay reel seat. Models include three 7-foot spinners and seven casting rods from 6 feet 6 inches to 7 feet 6 inches. Rampage rods cost $59.95 to $69.95. Call 215‑229‑9415 or visit penn​reels​.com.

Columbia Airgill Chill ZERO — ICAST Winner, Best Apparel

Columbia engineered ZERO clothing to literally cool you as you sweat by concentrating a cooling agent into little blue rings within the fabric. And although the Airgill shirt won the ICAST prize, Columbia will release ZERO technology in multiple garments for spring 2013, including the Airgill, Terminal Zero Long Sleeve Woven, PFG Freezer Zero Short Sleeve/Long Sleeve/Polo and the women’s Ultimate Chill Zero Long Sleeve. Prices vary. Call 800‑622‑6953 or visit columbia​.com.

Okuma Cruz

Okuma’s new Cruz popping rods feature a blend of carbon fiber and fiberglass with moderate actions. The two-piece spigot ferrule allows removal of the blade from the handle for transportation. ALPS 316-grade stainless double-footed guides with hard Zirconium inserts are braid-ready. ALPS aluminum reel seats are flanked by EVA grips. Three spinning models measure 7 feet 6 inches and 7 feet 9 inches. Cost is $179.99. Call 909‑923‑2828 or visit okuma​fishing​.com.

More Photos