U.S. Reel 230SX
Spinning Gear
Editor's Pick
U.S. Reel 230SX
¿¿ $150 ¿¿ 314-962-9500 ¿¿ usreel.com This company's spinning reels don't get a lot of media play compared with other brands, but I give them huge points for daring to be different. The spool on their new 230SX and on some older models is much shorter and wider than those on comparable spinning reels. This means several things. The larger diameter produces longer casts. Also, more line is retrieved with each turn of the handle, so twist is reduced. -Because the spool is shallower (from top to bottom), the main shaft moves up and down less while you're reeling, which allows for a smaller reel body. As a result, it's easy to feather the spool's upper lip with the index finger of your casting hand, giving you better control over your cast. Finally, the spool has a removable arbor. The unit holds 138 yards of 10-pound mono when it's in place and 221 yards without it. If you're a bass fisherman, you know line ¿¿capacity is seldom an issue. Over time, using the arbor will save you money on line. No one else to my knowledge does this, and it's a great idea. The 8.9-ounce 230SX has a molded carbon-fiber rotor and side plate. More Top Spinning Gear
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Scott G2
Flyfishing Gear
Editor’s Pick
Scott G2
$595-“$615 ¿¿ 800-728-7208 ¿¿ scottflyrod.com As the pursuit of pressured, wary trout becomes ever more technical, rods that can handle small flies and long, light leaders become ever more important. Scott’s G2 series is ideal for this delicate work. With a gentle, easy casting stroke, these moderate-action rods are perfectly suited for precise casting at normal distances of 10 to 60 feet. The original Scott G series was hugely popular for this sort of fishing during the 1980s. Now the company’s rod makers have tamed newer, high-tech graphites to emulate that original signature feel. The spigot-style ferrules on these rods are still hand-fitted one at a time-“which, along with other detail work, commands the high price. Fifteen four-piece models for line weights 2 through 7. More Top Flyfishing Gear
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Abu Garcia Revo STX

Baitcasting Gear
Editor’s Pick
Abu Garcia Revo STX
$200 ¿¿ 800-228-4272 ¿¿ abugarcia.com This is the sweetest-casting baitcaster I’ve fished in a long time. It’s widely regarded as being a home run for Abu Garcia, which hasn’t had a major hit for some time. Key is a newly designed magnetic braking system that provides a true linear adjustment range from full-off to full-on. Most other magnetic systems (including those on other models from this company) offer limited adjustment at lower settings, which means casting is less efficient. With the Revo STX, you also get an oversize main gear for cranking power at retrieval rates up to 7.1:1, 11 bearings, and an exceptional carbon-matrix drag. At 8.8 ounces, the reel holds 140 yards of 12-pound mono. The aluminum frame is nicely die-cast rather than fully machined, which is partly why this premium reel is such a bargain. More Top Baitcasting Gear
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Humminbird 997c SI
Electronics Gear
Editor’s Pick
Humminbird 997c SI
$2,000 ¿¿ 800-633-1468 ¿¿ humminbird.com Side-imaging sonar is getting most of the buzz in fishing electronics this season, and for good reason: For finding gamefish, baitfish, and likely structure, these units have no equal in the consumer market. A function in some of Humminbird’s new units, side imaging works via a transducer mounted low on a boat’s transom. It sends a narrow sonar beam out to each side, and the resulting echoes are displayed in extraordinary detail on the split screens of certain 900- and 700-series units. What you’re seeing extends from the surface to the bottom and as far away as 320 feet on each side of the boat. The 997c SI unit provides both side-imaging and downward-looking color sonar, as well as GPS chart plotting, on an 8-inch screen. For about $800 less, the 797c2 SI unit has similar functions on a 5-inch color screen. The larger screen is easily worth the price difference. Humminbird’s website offers a download of the owner’s manual, which will answer the questions posed by most potential users. More Top Electronic Gear
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Lip-Stick Wacky Worm Hook

Lures and Baits
Editor’s Pick
Lip-Stick Wacky Worm Hook
$3.40 for an unweighted five-pack or weighted three-pack ¿¿ 800-786-3474 ¿¿ northlandtackle.com Wacky worming, the technique of fishing a soft-plastic worm or Senko-style bait that’s hooked in the middle, is extremely productive and popular among bass anglers. Trouble is, most people use regular, long-shanked worm hooks, which are too big and aren’t weedless. Northland’s weedless Lip-Stick hooks are just the right size and work much better. They come in 1/0 and 3/0, unweighted and weighted. More Top Lures and Baits
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Lippa4Life Release Tool
Random Stuff
Editor’s Pick
Lippa4Life Release Tool
$16 ¿¿ 801-582-6387 ¿¿ risingfish.net With curved, rounded jaws, this clever product will help you get hold of any fish’s lip. The 51⁄4-ounce Lippa comes in stainless steel (shown), $26; and aluminum, $100. The companion Crocodile pliers on the left are perfect for flyfishing. More Top Random Stuff
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