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Holiday Gift Guide

2014 Holiday Gift Guide : Freshwater and Saltwater Reels, Rods and Baits. Bring on the Tackle!


Date: 11/28/14
Tackle type: Various
Manufacturer: Various
Reviewer: Team TackleTour



Introduction: It is that time again, winter is upon us and while it may be a little harder to go out and brave the elements to catch those fish we know many anglers view this period as an opportunity to land the "big one" as pressure on the water eases up. Whether you are looking for that perfect gift for that special angler in your life, or getting ready to splurge on a well deserved piece of tackle for yourself, tis the season to refresh that tackle box, and this year we lured Ms. Casey out of retirement to help highlight our picks in our 2014 Holiday Gift Guide. Bring on the tackle!


Freshwater Spinning Reel : Daiwa Ballistic EX - $199 - $209 at TackleWarehouse

Freshwater Spinning Reel (Daiwa Ballistic EX): Looking for a mid to high end spinning reel to help that fisherman on your list fill a niche? Daiwa's Ballistic EX spinning reel is full of high end features like a Zaion rotor, body, and side cover, an aluminum spool, 10 bearings, waterproof drag and Daiwa's proprietary "Digigear" system yet it doesn't come with a super high end price tag. Available in four sizes, the Ballistic EX is a good candidate for a tournament fisherman's workhorse, a serious weekend angler's finesse reel of choice, or a beginning angler's crown jewel in their lineup. It's available now with a price ranging from $199.00 - $209.99 depending on the size.

Freshwater Baitcasting Reel : Concept A from 13 Fishing - $169.99 at Tackle Warehouse

Freshwater Baitcasting Reel (13 Fishing Concept A): The mainstream baitcaster market got a lot more competitive this year and newcomer 13 Fishing mixed things up in a very good way with the introduction of their Concept Series. These sleek low profile reels are surprisingly refined for a first offering, and boast a quality drag, good overall winding power, multiple retrieve ratios and a reliable 6 way centrifugal braking system. Perhaps best of all is that they exhibit some enthusiast appeal with details like an aggressively machined handle, uniquely shaped "Arrowhead" line guide and branded cork handle knobs. Entry into the Concept Series is also reasonable at only $169.99 at Tackle Warehouse for the Concept A.

Freshwater Spinning Rod : Jackall Poison Adrena - $399 at TackleWarehouse and Hi's Tackle Box

Freshwater Spinning Rod (Jackall Adrena): Shimano and Jackall hit the mark with their new Adrena rods and the spinning versions offer anglers everything that we like about the casting rods in a lighter more finesse friendly form factor. These rods also make use of Spiral X blanks to create a lightweight thin walled construction that is reinforced for extra strength. This design also helps facilitate improved transfer of vibrations which improve overall sensitivity. The rods pair nicely with lightweight spinning reels and make for a deadly combo when fishing superlines or ultra light fluorocarbon. They look and feel just like a rod that you would normally have to import, and the "Carbon Monocoque" butt section gives these rods additional sensitivity without any added bulk or weight, as well as lend to their signature styling which is very JDM-esque. These slick looking rods are available now for $399 each.

Freshwater All Purpose Rod : Kistler Helium 3 6'9" Medium Heavy - $249.99 at TackleWarehouse

Freshwater All Purpose Rod (Kistler Helium 3): It is hard to believe that it has already been a decade since Kistler first introduced the world to their Helium Series of rods. Since then the rods have become only further refined and the new rods now make use of Hybrid High-Intermediate Modulus North Fork Composite graphite blanks that are built by Gary Loomis and make use of his Raw Carbon Design with a glass scrim and proven resin system. These rods are loaded with Fuji Alconite Macro-sized Guides which are larger than micro guides but smaller than conventional guides, and Fuji's comfortable graphite exposed blank reel seats. There are a lot of good rods in this series but the 6'9" rod in particular is the one stick that can pretty much do it all. This multi-purpose rod handles weights from 1/4-1oz. and can sling anything from a plastic worm to a reaction bait without breaking a sweat. As an added plus, this rod and all of the Kistler Helium 3 rods, are all entirely made in the USA. The Kistler Helium 3 rods retail for $249 to $289 dollars at Tackle Warehouse.

Freshwater Creature Baitcasting Rod : Daiwa Tatula TAT721HFB - $149 at TackleWarehouse and Hi's Tackle Box

Freshwater Creature Baitcasting Rod (Daiwa Tatula TAT721HFB): Daiwa has practically re-invented themselves with their mid-tier Tatula lineup. From their suite of casting reels to their TackleTour Best Value Award winning casting rods, Daiwa's Tatula brand continues to grow in popularity. The previously reviewed TAT721HFB (7'2" heavy powered casting rod), was a no brainer for our 2014 Holiday Gift Guide and would make an excellent choice for that aspiring tournament angler on your list or that busy weekend warrior. You can find it now at TackleWarehouse and Hi's Tackle Box for the great, value price of $149.99.

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