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Holiday Gift Guide

2014 Holiday Gift Guide Part 2 : Swimbait Gear, Enthusiast Tackle and Value Picks


Date: 11/31/14
Tackle type: Various
Manufacturer: Various
Reviewer: Team TackleTour



Introduction: We pick right up where we left off with this season's picks in the swimbait, enthusiast and value categories. Whether you are looking for that piece of tackle for that enthusiast angler on your list or a reel and a rod that delivers plenty of bang for the buck we have you covered.


Swimbait Reel : Okuma Komodo - $199 at TackleWarehouse

Swimbait Reel (Okuma Komodo) : Okuma has been making great strides the last couple of years in terms of both quality and breadth of product offering. Their big bait slayer, as we nicknamed it in our review from April of last year, is the Komodo. With a nice average gear ratio of 6.4:1, this 300 sized reel is smooth and powerful and it even makes a good inshore saltwater reel! You can find the Okuma Komodo in both left and right hand retrieve at TackleWarehouse for the retail price of $199.

Swimbait Rod : Daiwa New Zillion 7'4" Heavy Swimbait Rod - $269.99 at TackleWarehouse

Swimbait Rod (Daiwa Zillion) : Daiwa has remade their Zillion rod series and the new rods add additional refinement around the proven SVF (Super Volume Fiber) technology which packs unidirectional graphite fiber into a dense form with exact resin control for a balance of strength, light overall weight, and excellent sensitivity. The "X45" blank construction process also prevents the rod from twisting under stress, and is designed to provide instant response and lifting power when there is pressure on the line. The Zillion swimbait rods are designed to handle braided line with Fuji SiC K-Guides with tangle free frames. The 7'4" rod features a full length ergonomically sculpted handle and is available now for $269.99. Don't be afraid to cast big baits with this rod as it comes backed with a Limited Lifetime Warranty.

Swimbait : Deps Slideswimmer 175 - $119.99 at TackleWarehouse

Swimbait (Deps Slideswimmer 175) : The Deps Slideswimmer 250 continues to be in hot demand for those in the know, but not everyone is willing or able to throw a 250 mm size bait all day long. Newly available is the downsized 175 mm (just shy of seven inches) Slideswimmer which may be an even hotter seller than the 250. Smaller bait, same great action, easier to throw means this bait is going to get a lot of attention from tournament anglers across the country. Need to get one for the big bait fanatic on your list? Try TackleWarehouse.

Freshwater Cranking Reel : Abu Garcia Winch - $199 at TackleWarehouse and Hi's TackleBox

Cranking Reel (Abu Garcia Revo Winch) : The Revo Winch seems to make it into our gift guide every year. Last year, it was our recommendation as a swimbait reel, but really, what it was designed for was cranking. The Revo Winch's old school, deep spool for greater line capacity together with its slow gear ratio makes a great companion to our freshwater hard bait recommendation Strike King's 10XD. The Winch sells for $199 and is available at both TackleWarehouse and Hi's Tackle Box.

Cranking Rod : Dobyns Rods 806CB - $259.99 at TackleWarehouse and Hi's Tackle Box

Cranking Rod (Dobyns Rods 806CB): Looking for the perfect rod to toss this year's Freshwater Hardbait Recommended buy, the Strike King 10XD? Dobyns Rods comes through with their Champion series 806CB. This stick is light, well balanced for an eight foot rod, has a nice soft tip and a moderate bend for easy loading and launching of the 10XD. This rod goes hand in hand with that bait and retails for $259.99 at TackleWarehouse and Hi's Tackle Box.

Enthusiast Casting Reel : Shimano Conquest - $549.99 - $569.99 at TackleWarehouse and Hi's Tackle Box

Enthusiast Casting Reel (Shimano Conquest): Rumors of the Conquest series demise were premature. Shimano Japan came through this past year with a reboot of their round reel flagship and boy, talk about a reboot. It's difficult to think they could have improved upon such a timeless design, but the new Conquest series from Shimano Japan really ups the game in performance while maintaining a lot of the classic, refined feel of the previous design. But what's even better than that? Shimano America Corporation has made this reel available Stateside alongside the Metanium and Antares, so now you can purchase this reel domestically and get warranty support!

Enthusiast Casting Reel : Shimano Conquest - $549.99 - $569.99 at TackleWarehouse and Hi's Tackle Box

Is that fisherman on your list into the highly refined, top performing products? Then consider a Shimano Conquest, available in two different sizes (100 and 200) and in both left and right hand retrieve. The JDM Conquest sells for between $549.99 (100 size) or $569.99 (200 size) and is available right now at TackleWarehouse and Hi's Tackle Box.

Enthusiast Spinning Reel : Shimano Stella FI - $789.99 - $819.99 at TackleWarehouse

Enthusiast Spinning Reel (Shimano Stella FI): For those anglers looking for the ultimate in spinning reel performance and refinement Shimano's new Stella FI is exactly what you expect from a flagship product. The new reel features an even sleeker form factor and comes packed with the complete spectrum of advanced Shimano features, including the new "G-Free Body" which moves the oscillation system below the drive gear, which is closer to the center of the reel to improve overall balance. The Stella FI is extremely smooth during retrieves thanks to the micro module gearing which improves alignment which also improves torque. If that wasn't enough the reel also boats a new drive system called "S-Direct" which directly screws the handle into the drive gear for immediate transfer of power. This system also eliminates the opportunity for backplay. Engineered with extremely tight tolerances this enthusiast-class reel is designed to deliver the very best spinning performance that money can buy. The Stella FI is available now for $789 to $819 dollars depending on size.  

Next Section: Enthusiast rods push the envelope









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