Tackle Torture Test

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With Day 1 of the 2011 Outdoor Life Tackle Test behind us, Day 2 was dedicated to testing new spinning tackle. One team took new reels from manufacturers such as Shimano, Pflueger, Abu, Pinnacle etc. while the other team grabbed all the new rods, which were all set up with control reels. At midday, we swapped gear and continued working the redfish. Click HERE to check out the Day 1 action
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But when we spotted a flock of birds working over some popping shrimp, we felt compelled to hit a school of trout.
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The specks, although not big, were certainly ravenous.
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Within an hour or so, we had our fill of specks and white trout.
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Why choose to test new gear on redfish in Louisiana? If this gear can stand up against reds, largemouth bass should be a piece of cake. The beauty of Louisiana lies in the variety of test conditions. After fishing for reds in the marsh on Day 1, we decided to sight-cast to beach-combing bulls on Day 2. It didn’t take long to find the fish.
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Meanwhile, the B team which consisted of Terry Lambert (left), Jamie Harris (right), Todd Kuhn and Ross Matt also tried their hand at sight-casting to beach bulls.
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The first of several double hook-ups.
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After landing his fish, Ross grabs the net to boat Kuhn’s bull.
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Ross’ was a stud.
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Harris somehow enticed the smallest flounder in the world to eat a jig almost as big as it was. Not necessarily the ultimate test for the Duckett Micro Magic spinning rod. There would be more.
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We, of course, released the big bull reds and kept a few to bring home.
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Kuhn and Matt with the last two bulls of the day.
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Two days down and one to go. The Outdoor Life Tackle Test team headed for one last day of testing in Buras, Louisiana. As per usual, the redfish cooperated.
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Outdoor Life Gear Editor John Taranto tied into the first red. We were again sightcasting to fish that were cruising the beach feeding on pogeys.
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Matt (l) and Taranto quickly thumped a pair of slot fish–Taranto on a Kistler and Matt on a Loomis NRX
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Nice parabola bend on the Quantum Smoke as Ross Matt lands another.
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Talk about “smoke?” The young guide easily smoked Taranto and I in the catching department.
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Probably one of my coolest hook-ups ever! This bull prowled the beach with about 100 of of his buddies ravaging schools of baitfish along the way. We could see them coming from 100 yards away as they welled up water en route. Once within casting distance, I tossed a paddletail jig and it was game on.
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Down the beach 1/4 mile or so, Harris and Kuhn were into fish of their own.
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Harris, a Floridian and no novice when it comes to reds, was stunned at the quality of the fishing in Buras.
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We all went to great lengths to gently release all the bulls, gently resuscitating them at boatside.
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Kuhn gives one of the test reels the twice-over.
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Then he proceeds to hook up with one of his best reds of the trip.
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At the end of our intensive three-day new tackle torture test, the Outdoor Life test team headed back to the Cajun Fishing Adventures lodge to begin the long process of tallying up the scores, which will take several weeks. Look for the complete results in the March issue of Outdoor Life and at Outdoorlife.com.