For those that don’t know, I also run the website CountryHookers.com. I’m an avid fisherman and go through tons of different pieces of fishing gear every year trying to find things to recommend on both sites.
Here are some of my favorite fishing gear selections from the past year. With Christmas coming up, they all make great gifts for your favorite fisherman; or heck, they make even better gifts for yourself!
I’ve been using Okuma reels for a while now; they are one of the top brands on the market and are on top of my list whenever I’m looking for a new reel setup. While many of their reels can be a bit pricey, their new Trio series gives you the same quality you expect from a pro series Okuma reel, at a price point that isn’t going to break the bank.
I’ve been using this reel for the last couple of weeks, and it easily matches up with reels that cost double, or even triple what this one costs. The reel is extremely smooth with 9 BB + 1 RB stainless steel bearings and the drag on this thing is amazingly strong for a reel at this price point. I have it on a St. Croix rod, set up for Bass Fishing, but it easily has the power to handle some of the large striped bass that I go for down on the Colorado River.
Field & Stream® Tec-Spec Arsenal Spinning Rod
I just started fishing with this Field & Stream® Tec-Spec Arsenal Spinning Rod, so I haven’t had a ton of time to put it through the wringer. The main reason I added it to the list was because of how well it casts for a spinning rod. It really feels more like a bait caster than a spinning rod; the tiny guides and fast action really help this rod compete with some of the top of the line rods that I’m used to fishing with.
It’s light-weight, handles extremely well, and feels great in my hand. I’ve added it to my primary collection of rods that I take with on all my trips.
I’m a big fan of Kleen Kanteens (check out my full review here). The 64-Ounce Classic is made from high quality 18/8 food-grade stainless steel — no lead, no BPA and no leeching chemicals to worry about. The great thing about this bottle, at least from a survival perspective, is its ability to be thrown right on a fire to purify any questionable water that you find out in the wild.
These Muck boots are great for hunting or fishing cold backwater locations in the winter. They’re waterproof – I’ve spent many hours standing in streams while wearing these and I have always come out warm and dry – and they are comfortable from +50 degrees F to -20 degrees F.
These new Pursuit Shadows are some of the most comfortable, supportive, lightweight boots that I’ve found on the market. I’ve had a number of Muck boots in the past; they’re always solidly made and can really take a beating.
Fishmasks are hand-sewn in Denver, using materials made in the USA. I do a lot of fishing out in the desert Southwest, so these UV blocking face masks are a must have. They are rated at UPF 50+ sun protection, and they are extremely breathable compared to some of the other masks that I’ve tried.
Another must have, especially when fishing out in the desert, is a good pair of polarized sunglasses. The Under Armour Storm Hook’d sunglasses are light-weight, resistant to oils & salt water, and give you awesome clarity when sight fishing.
These are great Jerkbaits! I’ve been using Rapala lures for years, and these new Husky Jerk Minnows are one of my favorite go to striper baits. When the stripers are schooling up top, these always seem to be very productive.
The new Triumph X Series rods are available in both spinning and casting rods; they are high-end St. Croix rods being sold at a medium price point. I’ve been using the 7ft (TXS70MF) medium power, fast-action spinning rod and have been extremely pleased with the results. It’s a great rod with a good amount of hook-setting power, and awesome sensitivity.