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TackleTour Holiday Gift Guide 2006

Date: 12/12/06
Tackle type: Various
Manufacturer: Various
Reviewer: Team TT

This year before you hit the stores, check out our Editor’s picks for the best products in each of the following categories: Reels, Rods, Lures, Apparel, Fly, and Enthusiast tackle. Whether it’s a gift for your fishing buddy or a well deserved toy for yourself, these products are sure to usher in a little more color and excitement into your holiday season. Getting together to make our picks out of the many products we have reviewed or currently are in the process of reviewing is always entertaining. In fact it can get rather heated in our office as we put in our personal votes for the best gifts this season. We take into account performance, application, price, and even fun factor. Because you never know who that gift is for we make picks along a wide range of prices ($16.95 to $695.00), so there is something here for everyone.

Reels are the single most popular category on TackleTour, and anglers spend more on these “centerpiece” products than just about any category. So this year we split the category up to delve down to both freshwater and saltwater applications.

Freshwater casting reel: Abu Garcia Revo STX ($199.99) Abu Garcia certainly gets kudos for the most revamped casting/baitcasting lineup in the industry, and the new Revo series really elevated the company’s offerings to bass anglers. The STX is the flagship of the lineup and offers a range of features that rival even the most established baitcasters on the market. In fact when it comes to reels of this size the Revo’s drag is simply amazing, exhibiting 24lbs of drag pressure when locked down!

Freshwater Spinning Reel: Quantum Energy PTi (139.99) Still one of the slickest looking reel series’ on the market, the Energy PTi is sure to “wow” anglers that haven’t yet been exposed to the very cool titanium vacuum deposition coating found on these reels. This reel got even better this season, and features a thinner more compact body, all of which is constructed out of aluminum. The reel is smoother than the previous model, comes armed with 10 polymer/stainless hybrid bearings and extra hard PT gears. The reel also features the latest revision of the easy to use TiMag III bail and magnetic trip system….and of course lets not forget the Quantum Hot Sauce lubrication.

Saltwater Casting Reel: Shimano Curado 300DSV ($249.99) The first time that we have considered a non-round reel in this category…the new Shimano CU300DSV is designed to accommodate both freshwater and saltwater anglers. The reel isn’t all that much bigger that the 200 series, but features an extra deep magnumlite spool enabling it to hold 190 yards of 14lb line. The fast 6.2:1 retrieve coupled with Shimano’s High Efficiency Gearing make this one very versatile reel. In fact it is designed to handle some of the world’s most aggressive freshwater fish including peacock bass and golden durado. When anglers are not off fishing in exotic locales the reel will perform just fine when targeting saltwater species like snook, jacks, tarpon, yellowtail, calicos, and even albacore tuna….certainly not what you expect from a low profile baitcaster.   

Saltwater Spinning Reel: Van Staal VSB100G ($659.00) What do you give the saltwater angler that has everything? A Van Staal of course! No other reel on the market looks just as good on a mantle as it does in the pounding surf. The VSB100G is a winching machine, loaded with a sealed drag system, and ultra tough gearing capable of tackling fish many times its size class. The new titanium bail makes the reel even easier to use and with vertical jigging at a fever pitch the VB100G is a perfect gift for anglers that adore the technique. 

Enthusiast Reel: Shimano Conquest 100/101DC (~$550.00) Round reels just do not get enough respect. While for some reason, the larger sized DC reels from Shimano do not perform very well in pitching presentations, such is not the case 100 sized wonder. The 2005 SuperCast Shootout winner was the reel that Cal reached for most in 2006.

Fly Reel: Galvan Torque Reels ($280.00 - $470.00) The term “machined to perfection” comes to mind when you first see and hold Galvan’s high end Toque fly reels. These reels have just about all the aluminum gutted out of them, yet are extremely rigid and lightweight. From the first spin of the spool, the quality becomes apparent. Does form follow function, or does function follow form? In the Torque, it all folds into one.” The reel’s exotic appearance is matched by the reliable thermoplastic drag system that is completely saltwater safe, and designed to perform under the harshest conditions from the flats to secluded mountain streams.

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