Reels | Rods | Lures | SwimbaitsBFS Lines | Terminal Tackle | Tools | Storage | Apparel | Enthusiast | Watercraft | Interviews | Events | Autopsy




Event Article

TackleTour 2011 Holiday Gift Guide (Part 1)


Date: 11/21/11
Tackle type: Various Categories
Manufacturer: Multiple
Reviewer: Team TackleTour

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 Tackle Warehouse.

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 standard or micro-guide configurations, the Savvy is a great choice for a workhorse rod


Freshwater Micro Guide Casting Rod (Dobyns Savvy): Custom rods don't have to break the bank and the Dobyns Savvy casting rods retail for $149-$159 dollars and feature stainless steel 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. Though affordable all of these rods come with a Limited Lifetime Warranty. Gary Dobyns knows how to build a quality rod and Savvy Series 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


Next Section: Spinning Rod and Enthusiast Tackle Picks









Copyright 2000-2022 TackleTour LLC All rights reserved.
Privacy Policy information