Fishing Gear photo

We may earn revenue from the products available on this page and participate in affiliate programs. Learn more ›

You were extra good this year, right? Of course. Then make sure everyone knows that you deserve the very best—as chosen by F&S. Here’s the list.

maven field scope
1. Maven S.1 25–50x80mm Spotting Scope $2,100 (in-stock models) • • You can buy a new stock S.1, straight or angled, from Wyoming’s direct-to-­consumer optics manufacturer or choose from a seemingly infinite array of options. The ­magnesium-​and-​polymer frame is light yet strong. A sharp, bright extra-low-­dispersion fluorite objective lens brings faraway objects into sharp focus. And the scope has a smooth, knurled focus wheel and firm power ring. —Thomas McIntyre Maven
Waterworks-Lamson reel
2. Waterworks-Lamson Force 2SL Series II $500 • • This new version of the Force embodies W‑L’s design signature—superlight, impeccably machined, large-­arbor fly reels. A skeletal chassis and spool bring this reel in at 3.31 ounces, while the integrally machined frame, foot, and drag housing provide strength. The spool takes in almost 13 inches of line per revolution; the sealed conical drag is smooth. It’s perfect for today’s feather­light rods. —Ted Leeson Waterworks-Lamson
loomis rod
3. G. Loomis Crankbait Deep Diving Rod $315 • • This heavy-action, extra-long casting rod shines with big, deep-diving cranks. It’s made of a graphite blend but has the flexibility of fiberglass. That deep bend helps it outcast similar rods. It also combines fine sensitivity with plenty of power. As always with Loomis, you get a top-quality, handcrafted, American-made rod. But you pay for it. —Mark Modoski G. Loomis
Browning A5 Sweet Sixteen
4. Browning A5 Sweet Sixteen $1,700 • • Heretical to say, but the new Sweet Sixteen may be sweeter than the original Belgian Auto 5. At just 5 pounds 13 ounces, this perfectly scaled down version of the A5 is a joy to shoot and carry. Other than size and weight, it’s the same gun as the 12-​gauge A5, complete with its five-year or 100,000-round ­guarantee. —Phil Bourjaily Browning
13Fishing Inception 8.1:1
5. 13Fishing Inception 8.1:1 $120 • • Performing way above its price tag, this baitcaster is lightweight, compact, and well built. It casts great, and its drag is as powerful and smooth as that of reels costing three times more. The centrifugal brake is easy to adjust, and the reel is beautifully finished. —M.M. 13Fishing
Kawasaki 2016 Mule Pro FX EPS
6. Kawasaki 2016 Mule Pro FX EPS $12,999 • • The Mule Pro will muscle through any mud hole while carrying a 1,000-pound payload. Its welded box frame is stronger than many found in light trucks. The pièce de résistance is the four-stroke three-cylinder 812cc engine, which has earned its spurs for long-term performance. —Peter B. Mathiesen Kawasaki
Federal Fusion MSR 6.8 SPC
7. Federal Fusion MSR 6.8 SPC $25, box of 20 • • Early on it seemed the 6.8 SPC might displace the .223 as the premier hunting cartridge for MSRs. But its popularity has languished because of inadequate big-game bullets. Federal’s new Fusion MSR 6.8 SPC loads, with 90- and 115-grain Fusion bullets, should change that. Their high weight retention and double-­diameter ­expansion offer a lethality level yet unseen from the 6.8 SPC. —Richard Mann Federal
Shimano Stradic 2500FK
8. Shimano Stradic 2500FK $200 • • The latest Stradic is smooth and powerful, packing 20 pounds of stopping power with a silkiness that almost guarantees against ripping lips. Constructed with ­Shimano’s new bulletproof Hagane composite body and gears, the Stradic is loaded with cutting-edge technologies, such as X-Ship, which increases gear efficiency and power, and Dyna-Balance, which elimi­nates wobble during the retrieve.—M.M. Shimano
B-14 Woodsman
9. Bergara B-14 Woodsman $945 • • Affordable and damned near perfect, the B-14 is a classic wood-stocked big-game rifle based on Bergara’s own glassy-slick bolt action. It is pillar-​­bedded, comes in a choice of six calibers, and is guaranteed to produce sub-MOA groups with match-grade ammo. I’ve shot it; Bergara is not blowing smoke about those groups. —D.E.P. Bergara
Mathews Halon 5
10. Mathews Halon 5 $1,099 • • The Halon 5 is the com­pany’s fastest bow ever, thanks to its new Cross­centric Cam system. The dual-​bridge riser is a tad bulky and makes the bow a little heavier than some prefer, but it helps the Halon light up the chronograph and still shoot lights out. The draw cycle blew us away for such a flamethrower. In short, it’s superfast and ultra­smooth. —Scott Bestul Mathews
Wolverine Crossbuck LX
11. Wolverine Crossbuck LX $185 • • Here’s what puts this boot a step ahead of the rest: The Vibram Arctic Grip Outsole allows a hunter to truly get a grip on icy surfaces. The manufacturer says the “secret sauce” is a “specialty rubber compound that uses fillers.” All I can tell you is, it’s a game changer. —P.B.M. Wolverine
TenPoint Carbon Nitro RDX
12. TenPoint Carbon Nitro RDX $1,819 • • At just 10 inches axle to axle when cocked, the RDX is one of the handiest crossbows we’ve ever tested. It’s accurate, too, with .75-inch average groups. Add plenty of power, a crisp 2-pound 4-ounce trigger pull, and impeccable fit and finish, and the numbers add up to Best of the Best honors. —W.B. TenPoint
13. Morakniv Garberg $100, synthetic sheath; $110, leather sheath • • Morakniv’s first full-tang knife is versatile to the nth degree. The blade is razor-sharp premium-grade Swedish 14C28N stainless steel. Very light and virtually indestructible, the Garberg is an indispensable tool for any bushcrafter. —D.E.P. Morakniv


Holiday Gift Guide 2016

Forty presents that any sportsman would love to unwrap

Holiday Gift Guide 2016