2017 Holiday Gift Guide
(Part1): Reels and Rods
Introduction: It is that time again, when we are challenged with
thinking of the many creative ways to repurpose leftover turkey and our
attention turns to the winter holidays. The holiday buying season is only
further jumpstarted with the madness that is Black Friday and Cyber Monday and this year marks the return of our
Holiday Gift Guide with picks across the wide array of product categories for
that special angler on your list, or that well earned reward for yourself. Let's kick things off with our HGG 2017 picks across the reel and rod categories with some help from Riley.
Riley introduces this year's Casting Reel Pick : Shimano
Reel (Shimano Curado 200K) :
There is no more recognizable casting reel in the Shimano
baitcasting lineup than the venerable Curado. This series has become the
workhorse reel for generations of anglers and the current iteration, the K
Series, is arguably the best ever. You might not recognize the matte black
finish but the Curado 200K ushers in a new level of performance and refinement
for the series including the latest in MicroModule gearing and X-Ship technology
to improve retrieve performance and durability. The series has dark green and
gold highlights on the spool tension knob and spool to channel previous
generations but the performance offered by this $179 dollar reel is more akin a
premium reel than a mainstream offering.
looking for an everyday baitcaster that delivers performance well beyond the 200
dollar price point should definitely consider the new Curado.
The 200K is available in a wide range of retrieve speeds
ranging from 6.2:1 to 8.5:1 at
Finesse Casting & Workhorse Reel : Daiwa Tatula
Casting Reel (Daiwa Tatula SV TWS) :
To say that we like the Daiwa Tatula SV would be an
understatement. This reel brings all the goodness from Daiwa's latest generation
T-Wing system and aluminum SV spool together in an affordable package that makes
this reel perform so well across the spectrum that it really does encroach on
Delivering an excellent blend of features, performance, and just the right
amount of "bling" styling with that gorgeous finish, the Daiwa Zillion SV TWS
feels just at home working big baits as it does fishing finesse presentations.
The Tatula is available now at
TackleWarehouse for $199 dollars each. Choosing between this reel
and the Curado 200K is tough, but you can't go wrong with either option. If you
haven't given a modern Daiwa T-Wing reel a try yet this is a great one to jump
Cranking Reel : Shimano Chronarch MGL
Cranking Reel (Shimano Chronarch MGL):
Given the lowest gear ration available is 6.2:1, traditionalists (including Cal)
will likely balk at this year's choice in cranking reel. But part of what we
look for in a cranking reel is the ability to launch a bait and the power -
regardless of retrieve ratio - to work that bait back to the boat or your place
along the shoreline cast after cast after cast. With those qualifications in
Shimano's Chronarch MGL, with its micro-module brass gearing and
coveted MGL spool, answers that call and more.
Still made in Japan, this reel remains one of our favorites from the 2017 review
season and is available at TackleWarehouse
Swimbait Reel : Abu Garcia Revo Toro Beast
Swimbait Reel (Abu Garcia Revo Toro Beast):
Big bait reels are all about line capacity, castability, and raw power and among
our favorites in this category remains
Abu Garcia's Revo Toro Beast. Available in two gear ratios and
shipped with three handle options, it makes an incredible big bait combo when
Abu's Fantasista Beast FB79-6 and can double as a reel for inshore
conquests as well.
The Revo Toro Beast retails for $349.99 at
Reel : Shimano Tranx
Saltwater Reel (Shimano
Though the original Tranx was designed for saltwater use the
series has undergone a major upgrade and has now been re-sized for both
saltwater and freshwater use.
The Tranx is all about power, more power than you will ever likely need, but the
kind of raw power that you are glad you possessed when that apex predator
explodes on the end of your line.
The Tranx reels come loaded with X-Ship, HEG gearing, and all
within an all metal (HAGANE) frame to translate every bit of winding power into
results. Designed for everything from largemouth to Peacock Bass this reel is a
big bait angler's dream. At the same time it can easily still pull double duty
as an inshore or big iron reel. Retailing for $279-$299 dollars at
TackleWarehouse the Tranx is a great choice for anglers looking
to do battle with big fish.
Value Casting Reel :
Value Casting Reel (Lew's
American Hero) :
Why are all these reel picks so expensive? The Lew's
American Hero bucks that trend delivering solid performance at a great price.
This low profile baitcaster features a composite frame and sideplates but still
feels solid and confident in hand, and comes loaded with five premium double
shielded stainless steel bearings, a forged aluminum spool, and even an
externally adjustable magnetic cast control system. That is a lot of reel for
only $59.99 and as an added bonus you can feel good knowing that
Lew's pledged a portion of the profits from each and every reel sold goes to
select programs that benefit the mind, sprit, and body of American Veterans, so
that they too can experience and enjoy the great outdoors.
Freshwater Spinning Reel : Abu Garcia Revo X
Spinning Reel (Abu Revo X) :
Looking for a spinning reel that successfully blends style
and performance together in an affordable package? Your search can end with the
new Revo X, a stealthy looking murdered out reel that features a carbon body
Revo X spinning reel likes like it should cost nearly twice as much and delivers
excellent casting and line pickup with the company's Rocket Line Management
System which combined spool design, oscillation system, and bail angle design to
improve control for all types of line.
So what will the Revo X set you back? Try only $99 dollars at
TackleWarehouse, making it a great gift for any angler in need of
a quality spinning reel.
Saltwater Spinning : Quantum Smoke S3 Inshore
Saltwater Spinning Reel (Quantum Smoke S3 Inshore):
When Quantum introduced their
EXO series of reels over five years ago, they demonstrated to us that they
were serious about upping their game. At this past year's ICAST, the
manufacturer reinforced this commitment with the introduction of
Series 3 (S3) - a re-engineering and re-imaging of their entire
lineup. Highlighted within this re-imaging was their popular Smoke series of
casting and spinning reels and the one that really caught our attention was the
Smoke S3 Inshore spinning reel. Available in three different sizes, this little
powerhouse showed a lot of promise and is in our queue for closer inspection
post ICAST. In the meantime, at $179.99, it easily makes our Gift Guide list
for Saltwater Spinning Reel and is available right now at
Reel : ONE3 Creed K
Spinning Reel (ONE3 Creed K) :
It may not be the fanciest reel out there but the ONE3 Creed
spinning reel from 13 Fishing is certainly among the best values available. It
isn't hard to make a cheap spinning reel, just keep stripping away the features
or downgrade the materials.
The ONE3 is not one of those value reels that you fish a few times and isn't
worth the line you spool on. No, the ONE3 Creed K is a reel that is still built
with quality materials and tight tolerances, and a decent drag capable of doling
out over 10lbs. smoothly, all of which adds up to a spinning reel that is more
than just functional, but something you will actually want to fish.
Retailing at only $49.99 at
TackleWarehouse for all sizes (1000-4000) this series enables
anglers to tackle everything from trout and panfish to largemouth and steelhead.
Not bad for under 50 bucks!
Next Section: Great rod options for 2017...