John Merwin: The Best New Baitcasting Reel of 2010 (So Far)

Our fishing expert explains why the Shimano Core 50Mg7 baitcasting reel is the best he's used this year.

Increasingly confronted with bass made cagey by fishing pressure, many anglers are resorting to smaller baits and lighter lines. The new Shimano Core 50Mg7 ($370; fish.shimano.com) is perfect for such finesse fishing. At only 51⁄2 ounces, it may be the world's lightest, full-function baitcast reel. A magnesium frame and a perforated aluminum spool reduce overall weight. The reel, which holds 105 yards of 10-pound mono, has a 7:1 gear ratio. I field tested a prototype last fall and found its light weight made the reel just plain fun to fish. That, plus precision construction, will make the hefty price tag bearable for bass enthusiasts.