Bass fishermen love gear, so if your favorite angler already has a $50,000 boat, dozens of high-end rods, thousands upon thousands of lures, and basically seems to own everything they need, it can make holiday shopping a bit challenging. The trick is to find them something they haven’t seen yet. To help, we’ve combed through all the latest and greatest bass-fishing gear and picked out a few items that will surprise and put a smile on the face of that special bass fisherman this holiday.
Every bass anglers needs quality polarized sunglasses. For years, Costa has produced some of the finest shades for fishermen, and the Pescador is their newest arrival. The frame is part of the company’s new Untangled collection—a lineup of glasses that include a conservation component in the manufacturing process. The frames are built entirely from recycled fishing nets, which helps keep the waterways we all fish, a little cleaner and safer. The Pescador frames are black and available with or without side shields. The lenses are Costa’s 580G (glass) material and are available in several tints.
Fitzgerald already has a reputation for making high-end fishing rods. This year, the Florida-based company decided to enter the reel market with a quality product at a great price. The Stunner spinning reel has an all-aluminum body built to endure saltwater conditions and withstand years of hard use by bass anglers. It has six total bearings with a 6.0:1 gear ratio and holds 175 yards of 6-pound test. A carbon fiber drag produces 20 pounds of stopping power to muscle the biggest mossback from the thickest slop.
Last year St. Croix shocked the fishing world by stuffing all of their state-of-the-art, rod building technologies into a fiberglass blank, and they are the lightest, most responsive and sensitive glass rods you can find. This year, the family-owned company from Wisconsin added a spinning model to the series that is as close to a “must have” rod as there can be. The 7-foot, 2-inch long rod weighs 5.3 ounces, which is extremely light for a fiberglass stick. The Legend Glass Spinning Rod can load and cast even the smallest soft-plastics with ease. If you’re looking to buy that special bass angler a truly unique and highly functional fishing rod this year, this is it.
GoPro began, and still leads, the revolution of mountable high-definition cameras, and the HERO7 Black is by far their most advanced device to date. This latest GoPro rendition is waterproof and offers unmatched image stabilization—perfect for a bass angler who wants to film their adventure. But the best feature is a virtual gimbal in the camera that reduces camera shake when water conditions are choppy or an angler isn’t holding still when a fish strikes. The HERO7 Black films in 4K HD, has a full viewing screen on the back, and requires no underwater housing.
If there’s one thing every bass angler has a lot of, it’s lures. While massive collections of baits are normally fixtures in boat storage compartments and car garages, it’s often necessary to pack a bag for a shore excursion or a trip on a buddy’s boat. Having ample, well-organized, transportable storage is a must, and that’s where the Flambeau Coastal Series 5000 fits in. The soft-sided tackle bag holds four 5005 Waterproof Ultimate Tuff Tainers and features pockets on the sides and front. The overall package provides enough storage space for baits and gear without being cumbersome.
Everyone loves tools, and bass anglers are no exception. There’s simply nothing better than a multi-tool that serves a number of functions on the water. Pliers help dislodge hooks, scissors cut line, a wire cutter can snip light hooks or assist in a quick electrical fix, and the cross and flathead drives can help with any number of reel repairs or boat issues. The compact NXT measures on 4 1/4 inches (closed), making it easy to keep in a pocket for easy access. It bears the quality Gerber name and comes at a modest price point for a multi-tool.
If you want to pass out baits or lures for gifts, get something that both the angler and the fish will appreciate, consider Berkley’s New PowerBait Sick Fish. This year, Berkley re-launched the proven Havoc swimbait design and incorporated its signature PowerBait attractant. The PowerBait Sick Fish has the same life-like shape and swimming motion of its predecessor, comes in a wide variety of colors, and is available in 3- and 4-inch models. And at only $4 each, you can buy plenty to stuff a stocking.
Quality foul-weather gear is essential for any serious bass fisherman with the grit and drive to keep fishing in nasty conditions. Bass Pro Shops is continually innovating and producing great outerwear for hardened anglers. Their newest suit, the 200 MPH is no exception. Loaded with features like a 100% nylon shell and lining, a Gore-Tex waterproof/windproof/breathable membrane, and waterproof zippers, the 200 MPH parka and bibs enables anglers to fish in a hurricane, although we don’t recommend it.
With thousands, of rods on the market to choose from, picking just one can be complicated. However, Abu’s new Ike Signature Delay Rod is a crisp crankbait rod any bass angler would love to own. Throw in the rod’s wildly creative flare and color you’d expect from gear adorned with Elite Pro Mike Iaconelli’s signature, and you have a great gift any bass angler would appreciate. The Ike Delay Rod is a technique specific member of the 21-model lineup Mike Iaconelli Signature Series that Abu Garcia launched at ICAST 2018. The Delay Rod is constructed of high strain glass (HSG) and it has a parabolic action, making it ideal for casting and retrieving crankbaits of various sizes.
For more gift ideas, see our Holiday Gift Guide.
If there’s one casting reel to buy this year, it’s the new Shimano Curado 150 DC—the reel that took home the best freshwater reel honor at ICAST 2018. The new, technologically advanced incarnation of Shimano’s venerable Curado is hard-wired with an internal microcomputer to apply digitally-controlled braking. The result is a smooth, trouble-free, ultra long-distance casting piece of gear. The Curado 150 DC is available in 6.2:1, 7.4:1, and 8.5:1 gear ratios in both right and left-handed models. The compact caster weighs just less than 8 ounces, has 7 total bearings for fluid operation, and holds 110 yards of 12-pound test.