Shimano topped the list of fishing reel brands sold in the United States during 2007, according to a new report, while Shakespeare’s Ugly Stik took top honors among rods. That’s the word from Southwick Associates, a consulting firm that surveyed 16,258 American anglers on their buying habits last year.

Rapala was the top hard-lure brand with nearly 26 percent of all purchases. Zoom led the soft-bait category with about 16 percent. Various Berkley line brands combined for a leading 38.5 percent share.

Those are good products but by no means the only ones. For example, the Lucky Craft Pointer (below) is an effective minnow-type plug that will sometimes outscore Rapalas. If you don’t happen to fish with all of those brands, you needn’t despair. Maybe you’re just more discerning and highly skilled than the average angler. Be sure to measure tackle by results instead of marketing hype.