Introduction: 2011 is quickly drawing to an end with the global economy continuing to spin in uncertainty. Nevertheless, the day many consumers and retailers alike view as the kickoff to the Holiday Season, Black Friday, a day retailers take the opportunity to cast their umbrella rig of special prices and deals in search of big sacks of sales, quickly approaches. Once again doing our part to guide you in this madness, we've asked Ms. Casey to come in, suit up, and share with you our hot bites for the holi-daze. Presenting the 2011 TackleTour Holiday Gift Guide!
Let's kick things off with reels and rods.
Freshwater Baitcasting Reel (Quantum EXO PT): Quantum debuted their EXO-skeleton baitcasting reel at ICAST this past year but made the unprecedented move of not submitting it into the New Product Showcase competition so it was not eligible for any awards. Seems like a rather bold move by a company caught in the shadow of the two headed monster that is Shimano and Daiwa, but as Bob Bagby explained to us, this reel is so new, and they feel, such a game changer, they wanted the opportunity to share in the surprise and astonishment by each person who handled the reel for the first time. The only way to do that at ICAST was to hold the reel back and force people to come into their booth to see the reel.
Quantum's EXO PT promises to change the way fishing reels are constructed.
Their strategy paid off. Whispers and murmurs were all over the ICAST floor akin to, “have you seen that new reel from Quantum?” When we finally made it over to the booth, no one’s smile on our team was brighter than Cal’s, a fan of light reels that perform. His only disappointment? The Quantum PT EXO is not yet available in left hand retrieve. But Casey is here to alleviate some of those concerns as the brand new Quantum PT EXO shares center stage of our 2011 Holiday Gift Guide recommendation in the freshwater baitcasting reel category.
Daiwa's T3 casting reels switches up traditional
casting with the T-Wing system
Freshwater Baitcasting Reel (Daiwa T3):
Sharing the spotlight in the baitcasting category is the Daiwa T3 Series reels.
These new reels flew a little under the radar at ICAST but were among the most
innovative and exciting reels of the show. These Zaion Carbon based reels are
lightweight and corrosion resistant but it is the T-Wing casting system that
makes this reel so great for both long distance casting and pitching. Boasting
exceptional casting distance and feel these reels are a blast to fish. The
higher end "T3" is more refined and features a higher bearing count, the only
catch is that it retails for a premium price of $429.95 which positions it right
under the Daiwa PX Type-R. Luckily for anglers that want to fish the T-Wing
system but don't want to shell out over 400 dollars Daiwa also offers the T3
Ballistic version for $249.95. Both reels are available at Tackle Warehouse.
Shimano's Stradic FJ brings back a lot of what we
loved about the original and soups it up with modern day features like S and SR
Concept design and X-Ship
Freshwater Spinning Reel (Shimano
Stradic FJ): The Stradic is back, not only does the FJ mark the return
of the nostalgic pearl white finish it delivers in all the performance
categories and is the best performing Stradic to date with Shimano's S and SR
Concept features and the company's new X-Ship design which is
a double supported pinion
gear in the heart of the reel which locks the pinion in place with two S A-RB
bearings and significantly reduces movement in the pinion gear and rotor flex,
resulting in a very smooth yet powerful retrieve. The Stradic FJ is available in
sizes from 1000 all the way 8000 which can accommodate everything from Panfish
to top of the food chain saltwater Species. Most freshwater anglers will go up
to the 4000 size and the good news is the reels range from only $179-$199 each.
All of the freshwater sized reels are available now at Tackle Warehouse.
Looking for a great reel to fish right out of the
box? How about the 30 dollar Silvercast-A which has basically no learning curve
Freshwater Spincast Reel (Daiwa
Silvercast-A): Looking for a reel for the kids this holiday season? The
Daiwa Silvercast reels are ideal for anglers looking for a easy to fish reel
right out of the box. With almost no learning curve whatsoever the Daiwa
Spincast-A reels are available in a range of sizes that can handle everything
from Panfish to Striped Bass. These reels feature a aluminum alloy construction
and come pre-spooled with line so all anglers need to do is strap them onto a
rod and tie on a lure to start fishing. Perhaps best of all is the price, the
Silvercast-A reels retail for only $29.99 and is available now at retailers like
Want the best bang for your buck? The new Phenix Recon series rods are going to be tough to beat.
Freshwater Baitcasting Rod (Phenix Recon): Hot off the heels of our on the water introduction of these sticks with Vince Borges out on Clear Lake, California, just a few weeks ago, the Phenix Recon rods are on fire at every authorized retailer and why not? We’ve been saying for years, build a rod on a good blank, with high end components, add some JDM style detailing and bring it in at a good price and consumers should respond. Several manufacturers are already doing this, but Phenix has really hit the sweet spot with their Recon rods and just in time to make our Holiday Gift Guide as
one of two recommended buys in the Freshwater Baitcasting Rod category.
The Shimano Crucial has been redesigned for the
new season and makes use of a no exposed thread reel seat design
Freshwater Baitcasting Rod (Shimano New
Crucial Rods): At ICAST this year Shimano introduce the completely
redesigned Crucial rod series. With styling cues from the Cumara series these
new rods feature clean styling with IM-10 blanks and Fuji Alconite guides. One
of the things that help set these rods apart are the newly designed custom reel
seats which fasten below the reel or a sleeker no thread look. Chances are there
is a Crucial rod for your application and the new series includes reaction,
swimbait, crankbait, drop shot, flipping, and spinnerbait rods. The complete
range of new Shimano Crucial rods is available at
Tackle Warehouse and retail for $149 to $179 dollars.
Dobyns now makes a
mainstream rod with
Savvy is a great
choice for a
Micro Guide Casting Rod (Dobyns
Custom rods don't
have to break the
bank and the Dobyns
Savvy casting rods
retail for $149-$159
dollars and feature
Kigan guides with
alconite inserts and
Fuji reel seats. New
for this season
Dobyns Rods also
offers a number of
these rods with
micro guides at the
same price point.
all of these rods
come with a Limited
Gary Dobyns knows
how to build a
quality rod and
delivers a lot of
what we like in his
higher end rods but
at a price point
well within reach of
most anglers. Both
the original Savvy
rods and new Micro
Guide Savvy Series
Rods are available
at Tackle Warehouse.