Summer Gear Preview 2012

11 great new fishing gear products for to watch out for this year

June 21, 2012
_No matter where you hail from, summer means outfitting time, and there’s no better season for searching out new gear. To that end, we editors at SWS have rounded up 11 great choices to enhance your summer fishing fun.
Total Torque
Feast your eyes on the Penn Torque Star Drag 25, Penn’s newest addition to its legendary lineup of saltwater reels. With a machined aluminum body and side plates, a lightweight forged aluminum spool, stainless-steel main and pinion gears, and a live spindle design for flawless free-spool, the reel is destined to put the wood to the big boys. Once hooked up, the Versa-Drag system, with HT-100 washers, seven shielded stainless-steel ball bearings and instant anti-reverse, will manhandle any fish. This reel is offered in both gold and black. All Penn Torque reels are made in the USA. $475.95

Classic Costas

Costa puts a new twist on the classic aviator style with its new model Cocos sunglasses. Available with either palladium- or gold-colored M­onel metal frames, the new model sports adjustable silicone nose pads for a customized, forget-they’re-on fit. The Cocos glasses feature Costa’s signature durable co-injected temples, sturdy integral hinges and heavy-duty eye wire, so they are nearly indestructible. Fitted with Costa’s lightweight, impact-resistant, color-enhancing, glare-eliminating 580P lenses, Cocos provide performance in an attractive and modern-looking metal. The shades are also available through Costa’s 580 Rx lens program through authorized retailers. $199 to $279. Scott Van Osdol 512.444.7376

Sweet Shirt

“You want to catch a fish, not smell like one.” That was the thought behind Columbia’s new line of Blood N Guts super-light long-sleeve shirts. Boasting an Omni-Shield Blood N Guts stain-resistant ultralight polyester fabric, the shirt features advanced repellency so you can clean your catch while staying spotless. The shirt is made of 50 SPF fabric to keep harmful rays off you, while a flip-up collar secures under the chin to keep the sun off your neck. Other functional details include a fully vented mesh-lined back for enhanced airflow, a rod holder, and two large hook-and-loop closure fly-box pockets at the chest. When you do get wet, the shirt is quick-drying, so your comfort will never be compromised. $60.

Electric Eels

Stripers beware. Hogy has mimicked the sand eel to perfection with its Hogy Sand Eel series of plastic baits. Comprised of ultra-soft plastic material, each hand-poured bait exhibits a translucent quality that mimics the delicate nature of the sand eel. At 41/2 inches long and 1/4 ounce, the Sand Eel baits are designed to accommodate a number of rigging options. Use one with a 1⁄2- to 3⁄4-ounce Hogy Swimming Tin, a 1/0 weighted or unweighted Hogy swimbait hook, or a 1⁄8 to 1⁄4-ounce Hogy jig head. $6.95.

Three’s a Charm

The 3-Wire Flash, from Bomber Saltwater Grade, allows you to cast a combination of three to six lures at one time to simulate a school of baitfish. A trio of spinner blades produce additional flash and the illusion of an even bigger school of bait. Castable 3-Wire is a derivative of the dredge used by offshore trollers. Discovered by largemouth bass fisherman, the configuration was adapted to freshwater fishing with great success. The 3-Wire is the latest development, modified for multi-lure casting, but back once again in salt water. The 3-Wire features three super-strong stainless-steel heat-treated wire lure arms, which have snaps at the ends and midsections, along with big willow-leaf blades on the upper snaps to create flash and vibration. Available in two head colors, citrus shad and mullet. $19.99.

Wide View

Steiner has announced the expansion of its Navigator binoculars line with the addition of the 7 x 50 Navigator, boasting a wide, 370-foot field of view at 1,000 yards. The new 7 x 50 features anti-haze optics for maximum contrast during the day and in low-light situations and Sports Auto-Focus, which eliminates the need to refocus at various distances. Once the binoculars are adjusted for your eyes, everything from 50 feet to infinity is clear and sharp. The 7 x 50 Navigator C adds an integrated illuminated HD compass. Both models feature a Makrolon polycarbonate body and are fogproof, shockproof and waterproof to a little over 61⁄2 feet. 7 x 50 Navigator $399, 7 x 50 Navigator C $549.

Fantastic Fluorocarbon

Berkley introduces its nearly invisible fluorocarbon leader for salt water: ProSpec. Made of 100 percent fluorocarbon, it boasts maximum invisibility and durability and is available in three tints, coral pink, gunsmoke blue and tannic brown, as well as clear. Choose a tint to match the fishing conditions, as it’s designed to reduce the reflection of sunlight. Available in 20- to 200-pound-test. 25 yards $11.99 to $34.99, 33 yards $44.99 to $64.99, 100 yards $29.99 to $69.99.

Redesigned Riptide

Minn Kota has always set the standard for bow-mount trolling motors, and a sleek redesign of the Riptide SE model is turning heads. The new motor mounts feature an extruded upper arm made from marine-grade anodized aluminum and built for years of trouble-free use. All Riptide SE motors are constructed to withstand the saltwater environment, and the upper arm is no exception. The motors also feature fully encapsulated electronics and a patented sacrificial zinc anode for added corrosion protection. Digital Maximizer technology provides up to five times longer run time on a single charge. The Latch & Door mounting system makes removing the motor for security and storage easy. Both models have a composite shaft that is guaranteed for life, adding unmatched durability. $649.99 to $779.99.

Performance Kicks

Rugged Shark’s Hampton is a serious piece of performance footwear designed for fishermen and featuring support, comfort and protection as priorities. The Shark Grip outsoles and cushioned EVA midsole deliver high performance, and the fully adjustable three-point Shark Fin harness system is made with hook-and-loop closures, leather, and padded nylon straps to ensure a snug fit on active feet when the boat is rocking and the action is hot. The Hampton is made with premium Crazy Horse leather in whole sizes 8 through 13. $60.

Terrific Tees

AFTCO‘s ultra-lightweight, anti-stain and ­anti-microbial Inshore Performance T-shirts were designed with inshore and flats fishermen in mind, with features crafted to protect anglers from the sun’s harmful rays. Long sleeves and a higher-in-the-back neckband help shade vulnerable areas from excessive exposure. Vented mesh side panels run up the torso and beneath the arms for air circulation and cooling. Raglan sleeves increase mobility, and the AFTCO fish logo on the chest adds a spiffy look. Available in white, light blue, aqua and yellow. $54.99.

Ande Adds Color

Ande Monofilament has added a new color to its premium Back­country mono fishing line, forest green. Backcountry is Ande’s softest monofilament, with exceptional tensile and knot strength. It is especially well-suited to smaller light-tackle reels, as it maintains very low memory. Formulated for when you need extremely accurate casts and a little extra strength to wrest a fish in tight to the boat, Backcountry comes in 4- to 80-pound-test in three colors to match any inshore fishing situation and water hue. It is available in slate blue, envy green fluorescent and the new forest green in 1⁄8-, 1⁄4-, 1⁄2-, 1-, 2-, 3-, 7- and 9-pound spools. $10.49 to $348.49.

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