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TackleTour's "Gear Up For Summer" Buyers Guide (Part 1)

Date: 5/02/09
Tackle type: Various
Manufacturer: Various
Reviewer: Team TackleTour

Spring is here and with Summer just around the corner we decided it was time to heat things up with our "Gear up for Summer" Buyers guide. There is no doubt that the economic downturn has affected anglers, and this season we look at some of the best values in tackle to get you on the water. Rather than introduce these products ourselves, we asked the TT Girls to help ring in the Summer early. Avid TackleTour readers are no doubt familiar with Ms. Casey, and it is time to meet her friends Ms. Mari and Ms. Shayla. Let's gear up!



TT Girl Ms. Casey is flanked by Ms. Mari (left) and Ms. Shayla (right) and they are here to introduce some great buys to gear up for Summer


We pick some of the best values in tackle this season, and all of these products are available now from the top e-tailers. Some of these products have been proven over the last six months, while others both fish and fishermen have only just seen. While price is a major factor all of our picks are not simply the cheapest products out there, as our criteria was to look for products that offer the best balance of price and performance. Let's kick it off with Ms. Casey and Ms. Shayla in the reel category.


Ms. Casey kicks it off with the aggressively priced Shimano Citica E


Freshwater Casting Reel: (Shimano Citica E) Though there were a number of very good baitcast reels introduced last year the Shimano Citica 200 E continues to be the best value in the category. For only $119.99 the Citica E offers near Curado E performance in a reel that is superior to many reels costing nearly twice as much. Built with the same tooling as the Curado E the Citica E comes in a 6.2:1 gear ratio which makes it a good choice for a "do it all" reel. The Citica E weighs a light 7.8oz. and still manages to squeeze in an enlarged gearbox and Shimano's HEG (High Efficiency Gearing) to muscle in those largemouth bass. For just over a hundred dollars the Citica E is hard to beat, and is available now at Tackle Warehouse


Daiwa's Advantage-A offers a lot of the performance of the company's higher end reels at a fraction of the price


Freshwater Spinning Reel: (Daiwa Advantage-A) Daiwa has a robust spinning reel lineup ranging from the affordable Regal to the premium Steez series. Not long ago Daiwa introduced an upgraded Advantage-A series reel which is very similar to the TD Sol spinning reel in profile and design. The TD Advantage-A retails for over 50 dollars less than the Sol at $149.99 and features a six ball bearing design which makes use of Daiwa's high end corrosion resistant CRBB bearings. The Advantage-A may only cost 150 dollars but fishes like a 200 dollar reel with Daiwa's "Long Cast X-Treme ABS System" which allows you to cast even the lightest baits without issue.


A spare spool is handy for different applications


When it comes to reeling in baits and fish the Advantage-A feels very smooth thanks to Daiwa's computer aided "Digigear" digital gear design which improves tolerance between the master gearing. Mixing it up for different applications is made easier with the inclusion of a duplicate spare ABS aluminum spool. The reel also makes use of a reliable sealed drag to provide consistent fish-stopping power. The TD Advantage-A is available now at Tackle Warehouse


The Abu-Garcia Revo Inshore is a great crossover reel for brackish to saltwater


Saltwater Casting Reel: (Abu-Garcia Revo Inshore) No other reel manufacturer has gained as much ground in recent seasons than Abu-Garcia, and the Revo series is the main reason why. Anglers looking for the best crossover reel from fresh to brackish to full on inshore applications need look no further than the cleverly designed Revo Inshore. Making use of a one piece XC alloy frame, the handle side plate, and stainless steel crank shaft are all corrosion resistant. The carbon matrix drag in this little reel has become legendary, and produced an amazing 24lbs of counter-pressure in our own lab tests. To top it all off Abu-Garcia bundles the reel with two handles, a power handle for inshore fishing and a traditional double barrel handle for bass fishing in brackish water. Though the reel retails for $229.99 it can be had for a special price at Monster Tackle.com and for a limited time Abu-Garcia is giving away a free pair of Wiley X polarized sunglasses (a $126.00 value) with each Inshore reel.  


The Stradic FI delivers to both fresh and saltwater anglers with a complete spectrum of sizes


Saltwater Spinning Reel: (Shimano Stradic FI) Priced similarly to the Daiwa Advantage-A the affordable Shimano Stradic FI series has everything that makes Shimano's latest spinning reel series so popular. While it may not be refined as the Sustain or the Stella it doesn't cost nearly as much either. Ranging in size from the ultralight 1000 size to the massive 8000 size the Stradic FI can accommodate just about every application ranging from the smallest creeks to jigging wrecks on the bottom of the ocean. The Stradic FI feels smooth yet powerful with the Shimano's Paladin gear durability enhancements. Casting has also never been better in a spinning reel at this price point as the Stradic makes use of the company's cleverly designed propulsion line management system, which includes the Propulsion Spool Lip, SR One-Piece Bail Wire, Power Roller III, Redesigned Bail Trip, and the S-Arm Cam. Retailing for only $159.99 the Shimano Stradic FI is a great choice for anglers looking for reliability and performance at a price that won't break the bank. The Stradic FI is available now at the Bait Barn.    


Next Section: Some great values in rods









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