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Event Article

TackleTour 2011 Holiday Gift Guide (Part 1)


Freshwater Spinning Rod (St. Croix LES76MLXF2): Something we did not know about this stick in Calís review of it back in October is that it is actually available as a two piece! In an era where quality travel rods are growing increasingly difficult to find, hereís a two piece version of one of our favorite sticks from this past yearís What the Finesse campaign.


St. Croix's LES76MLXF is actually available in a two piece!

The two piece configuration increases the utility of an already quality rod by giving you the flexibility to pack it away in your trunk, on the side of your back pack, or even in your undersized rod locker, with the reassurance that when you pull it out, you’re fishing with zero compromises because this Legend has “IT”! The St. Croix LES76MLXF2 can be found at Hi's Tackle Box.

Still Zander's favorite drop shot rod of the year, the NRX822DSR


Freshwater Spinning Rod (NRX822SDSR): Of all the finesse spinning rods we have reviewed this year there is one that has caught more fish than any other and that is the "Ultimate Enthusiast Award" winning G.Loomis NRX 822DSR. This ultra-sensitive rod allows you to feel every tick and land fish holding deep below. This rod may not be cheap at $475.00 each but after fishing the NRX DSR it will be hard fish any other drop shot rod, yes, it is that good. This rod and the rest of the NRX spinning rod lineup is available at Tackle Warehouse.  


Winner of our Editor's Choice and Ultimate Enthusiast Awards - the Megabass F6-72X4 Destruction, enough said.

Swimbait Rod (Megabass F6-72X4 Destruction): What? A Megabass rod recommended as a good buy in a non-enthusiast category? That’s right, least you forget, Megabass’s Orochi X4 series of rods were built with the US angling audience in mind and while priced at close to premium for a US domestic product, they are the entry level sticks for Megabass and the world of JDM bass fishing rods. Don’t let this categorization fool you, these sticks are still exquisitely detailed, feature top end components, and a blank technology that is taking over Japan ‚Äď cross weaved fibers delivery blanks that are thinner, lighter, and stronger than normal. Daiwa’s SVF (Steez Rods), Evergreen’s Kaleido, and Shimano’s Final Dimension blanks and sticks all feature a similar technology. Although not a true swimbait stick in the three to five ounce baits sense of the category, the F6-72X4 Destruction is a phenomenal stick for the type of swimbait fishing that has truly taken over, fishing paddletails in the mold of Rago, Optimum, and of course, Basstrix. So if you’re looking to get something special for that swimbait angler on your list, and simply destroy him or her for anything else, Megabass’s Orochi X4 Destruction is the ticket. This enthusiast class swimbait rod is available at Hi's Tackle Box.

The PX68SPR is the latest Pixy variant to hit the stores in Japan.

Enthusiast Casting Reel (Daiwa PX68 SPR) : Just when we thought all things were finally settled in the world of Daiwa finesse baitcasters and the discrepancy between the JDM and USDM markets, out pops the abomination that is a Pixy with centrifugal brakes! Seriously? Yes, seriously. While magnetic brakes are generally preferred for slow spool speed presentations, centrifugal brakes generally lend themselves better for long casting situations. These are general rules of thumb (pun intended). Hence the utility of the Daiwa Pixy in casting lighter than average baits in a baitcasting reel profile. So when Daiwa Japan debuted their SPR version of this long coveted reel, we were left to wonder, “what’s up with that?”. On initial tests, pitching performance of this reel was worse than the standard Pixy or PX68 or PX Type R ‚Äď whichever your preferred name for this series of reel. But upon further inspection, tying on small, lightweight plugs and letting them fly, the PX68 SPR is a small plug casting machine. While we’re still fishing this reel and trying to get the full scoop on what it’s all about, fortunately, you can just go out and get one today! Daiwa PX68 SPR is our 2011 Holiday Gift Guide recommendation in the Enthusiast Baitcaster Category and available at Japan Tackle.

Can this be right? A Daiwa reel with centrifugal brakes? What the Finesse?!?!

Enthusiast Casting Rod (Evergreen Kaleido TDC-66MLBF-Pro Stingray 66) : This product may just win an eventual award for the longest name in the Enthusiast Category, but if our finesse focused year did anything, it was to bring our attention to a very intriguing stick now being produced by Evergreen International. The Stingray 66 is a finesse casting rod in the same mold as Daiwa’s Steez Megatop, but taken to yet another level in Enthusiast madness. This stick is positioned in Evergreen’s Kaleido series, a line we’ve already established as the cream of the crop in the JDM category, and is supertuned for finesse applications. Not only does it feature a similar, but slightly less flexible, and even more sensitive tip than the Steez Megatop, but this rod features something we predict will become commonplace in the very near future on all baitcasting rods, a trigger less reel seat. We intend to explore the benefit of this design in our future review of this rod, but for now, in our WTF themed year, Evergreen’s Stingray 66, superTTuned finesse baitcasting rod is our recommendation in the Enthusiast Casting Rod division!

Who needs that trigger anyway? Evergreen's Stingray 66 could be a trend setter.

Enthusiast Spinning Reel (Daiwa Exist Hyper Branzino Custom) : Two years running, the Exist Hyper Branzino Custom has made our Holiday Gift Guide list and still no review from Cal? This reel is taking an unusual amount of time to make its way through our testing regimen but maybe because Cal just isn’t quite ready to put it down. Now with a price tag of over $1,250 (95,000 JPY) thanks to a lousy exchange rate, this reel is even more insane and exotic than when we coveted it in last year’s Gift Guide, and with gearbox featuring 3000 sized components cut from material similar to the Saltiga Z, you can be sure this reel is built for some heavy duty fishing. Is the angler on your list tough to please? Daiwa’s Exist Hyper Branzino Custom, if you can find it, might be just the ticket.

The Megabass F1-66zKS and Daiwa Exist Branzino make for a deadly combo.

Enthusiast Spinning Rod (Megabass F1-66ZKS Kirisame Limited) : The “magic wand” as we referred to it in our review of this stick back in May managed a very rare TackleTour double, winning both Editorís Choice and Ultimate Enthusiast honors. That is just about the highest praise we can give a product, well, aside from having Ms. Casey show it off in our Holiday Gift Guide that is. If you’re looking for a stick to please that angler on your list that has just about everything, a stick that is just about the perfect blend of exotic and performance without sacrificing either, get on the phone or email right away and contact Megabass USA to order yours now.

Were not done yet, stay Tuned for Part 2 where we get into our picks for saltwater, lures, lines, electronics, apparel and more









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