FISHING FOR DEALS
A guide for the best fishing gear
You know what they say -- there are a whole lot of fish in the sea. But today, the only fish we're thinking about are the ones in a lake and, well, how to properly catch them. In order to get the job done, unless you have a set of bear claws that you've managed to secretly grow, you're going to need the right fishing equipment. And just like anything else, with so many options, you'll need to weed through the junk and pick out the winners. So here are the top-rated must-haves.
1) Something to get out on the water. You'll need a skiff (otherwise known as a small boat, primarily used for fishing or hanging out). Boating Magazine rated Carolina Skiff as one of its top brands for 2014 -- and based on various ratings, this company seems to be a favorite among avid fishermen.
2) Fillet knives. While catching and releasing fish is a pretty standard way of taking care of the ecosystem, many fishermen also appreciate the gift of being able to consume some of what they've caught. Different types of fish require different types of knives, and In-Fisherman shares its favorites at http://www.in-fisherman.com/recipes/cleaning-care/top-10-fillet-knives, with Rapala, Swiss Army and Berkley Fishing brands all making the cut ... pun completely intended.
3) Rods and reels. Before you catch the fish, you need to have your basics covered. Let's start with rods and reels. Tackle Warehouse says on its blog that you get what you pay for when it comes to both of these guys. It does an excellent job reviewing the best reels and rods you need for the type of fishing you'd like to do, and it reports that the winner for the 2014 ICAST show in the "Best of Show -- Fishing Combo" category was The Lew's American Hero Baitcast Combo.
4) Fishing line. World Fishing Network takes us to the next important item to take fishin' with you -- the fishing line itself. It's a big fan of the ICAST 2014 winner for "Best Fishing Line," The Berkley IRONSilk. It also mentions, "This opaque green line is tough as iron but smooth like silk."
5) Bait. You can't even begin to think of catching a fish before knowing what's going to get its attention in the first place -- the bait. Since (similar to the other equipment) different styles of bait are designed in mind with catching different types of fish, Outdoor Life put together a thorough review of the best baits to catch nearly any fish. The Curly Tail Grub, the Spro Hair Jig and the Hedon Zara spook were among its list of the top six.
6) Hooks. You've got me hooked! Among Wide Open Spaces top-rated picks are Eagle Claw, Gamakatsu and TroKar.
And of course, don't forget your sunblock, a good pair of shades and a hat to make sure you avoid a red nose for the next few weeks!