Gear Up for Summer Fishing

13 great new gear items for 2013

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Summer is here, and with all the planning that goes into a typical outing, you’ll want to ensure that you’re outfitted with the best gear. Ranging from tools of the trade like rods, reels and line and the latest apparel to protect you from the elements to the latest safety tools, this collection of gear offers a great jumping-off point for equipping yourself for summer fun.
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Black Dog

Built tough to handle the biggest fish, the latest iteration of Daiwa's classic Dog Fight spinning reel gets updated with some of the latest Saltiga performance features in the Dogfight HDF. With a capacity of 550 yards of 80-pound braid, the new elite reel allows anglers to turn the screws up to 65 pounds of drag, and a gear ratio of 5.7:1 pulls in 54.3 inches of line per crank. The reel features Daiwa's Mag Seal technology, which uses a thin film of magnetic oil rather than a rubber seal to protect the rotor bearing, reducing friction and eliminating a possible failure point. The rotor itself is a lightweight carbon composite, impervious to corrosion. $1,399.05; daiwa.com
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Smooth Performance

Anglers continue to demand strong, small-diameter lines that can perform at the tournament level, and the new Trilene Braid from Berkley is a versatile option. It features the company's Dyneema radial braid construction that creates a round smooth line, and is designed for medium- to heavy-action casting tackle. The new lines are available in 20-, 30-, 40-, 50-, 60- and 80-pound-test sizes in 150-yard filler spools in low-viz green. $19.95 to $24.95; berkley-fishing.com
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On Board

Whether you're on the beach or in the cockpit, a comfortable pair of fishing shorts is critical, and Bluefin's new** fishing board shorts** are designed for ultimate range of movement and utility. The three new styles — Sailfish, Stand-Up Tuna and Camouflage (pictured) — are made of an ultrasoft, quick-dry material that stretches four ways. The shorts feature one back pocket and one side pocket with a drain to secure your gear. The new board shorts come in sizes ranging from 32 to 40. $59.00; bluefinusa.com
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By Your Side

Any angler worth his salt should know he's at a ­disadvantage without good pliers at his side, and Calcutta ­offers up a few new choices with its line of aircraft-grade ­aluminum pliers. Both the needle-nose and split-ring models feature carbide cutters suitable for both mono and braid, and the pliers have been extensively field-tested and proved suitable for saltwater duty. The split-ring model comes in silver, while the needle-nose version is offered in gunmetal gray. $29.99; calcuttafishing.com
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Inshore Performer

G.Loomis has expanded its popular NRX rod series with nine, one-piece spinning rods purpose-built for inshore use. Designed for anglers fishing braid, the lightweight and sensitive rods should prove strong enough to stand up to bull reds and gator trout, while still casting a country mile. Two types of guides are laid along the NRX graphite blanks to reduce weight and increase rate of recovery, and all models are made in the USA. The NRX inshore line ranges in length from 6 feet, 8 inches to 7 feet, 8 inches, and they are rated for use with up to 40-pound PowerPro line. $610 to $675; gloomis.com
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Chill Out

Proper foot protection is an oft-overlooked safety measure when on deck or wading, but Columbia helps chill you out while protecting you from spiky customers with the Powerdrain Cool PFG shoe. Featuring Columbia's sweat-activated Omni-Freeze ZERO technology in the lining, the shoes keep your feet cool while providing a lightweight, secure fit. The nonmarking, wet-grip soles drain fully and feature a cushioned midsole, and the quick-lace toggle system allows for a custom fit but eliminates the chance of loose laces. It's available in multiple colors in both men's and women's styles. $90; columbia.com
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Monster Mono

Anglers who want a solid shot at getting big fish to the boat should consider spooling up with Ande Monster monofilament this summer. Promoted as being the strongest mono the company has to offer, the line boasts a harder surface and increased tensile strength to increase your odds in prolonged battles with trophy game fish. The line comes in yellow or blue, in 20- to 125-pound-tests. A 1-pound spool runs $41.95 and a 2-pound spool is $72.95; andemonofilament.com
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Anniversary Shades

With a long tradition of keeping anglers both in style and protected from the elements on the water, Costa kicks off its 30th anniversary this year with the introduction of three new styles: the Tuna Alley, Cat Cay and Saltbreak. The Saltbreak features a large fit for full protection, and no-slip lining around the temples and bridge. The new style is available in tortoise, matte black, silver, white and the new Blackout (pictured) frame colors, with the angler's choice of award-winning 580 lenses. The new frame styles can also be fitted with prescription lenses. $179; costadelmar.com
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Morning Run

Keep warm on those early-morning runs to the fishing grounds with the Gage Fogbrow Hoody. Designed to be worn either as a stand-alone garment or under raingear, the 100 percent polyester material blocks wind and keeps you warm, while still wicking away body heat and providing SPF50 sun protection. Excellent breathability also helps to keep you cool during long battles. The sweatshirt comes in black and orange, and is available in nine different sizes from XS to 5XL. $75; grundens.com
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Pro Stick

The GoPro video camera has become almost ubiquitous in boat cockpits around the world in an amazingly short time, as have the many homemade contraptions anglers employ to capture trick and underwater shots. But now, AFTCO has you covered with the ­Gohandle camera stick. Available in 4- and 6-foot models, the Gohandle features the same durable fiberglass construction as AFTCO's gaffs, and it features a stainless threaded end compatible with the Go camera tripod knuckles. A gimbal-slotted butt cap allows the stick to lock into place and steady your shot when put in a rod holder, and both handles float. $114.89 and $135.23; aftco.com
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Perfect Spot

You never expect anything to go wrong on the water, but peace of mind comes with knowing someone is on call to bail you out. SPOT has you covered this summer with the new Gen3 satellite GPS messenger. This latest version of the popular tracker still features a push-button SOS, but now it also offers unlimited tracking of your adventures, customizable track rates, and double the battery life of the Spot 2. You can also pair the Spot Gen3 to your smartphone with Spot Connect, and send messages and GPS coordinates almost anywhere in the world. $149.99; findmespot.com
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Regiment Leader

Anglers looking for a lightweight and sensitive inshore stick should check out the new Penn ­Regiment line of spinning and casting rods. The Fuji K guides on the 36/30 graphite blank are tapered to combat wind knots, and Penn's Hybra-Cork grips blend rubber and cork to provide a more ­durable and stickier surface — wet or dry. The rubber gimbal that comes on certain models is designed to be easy on both a boat's gelcoat and an angler's side when fighting a trophy fish. The Regiment rods come in seven spinning sizes and four casting sizes between 61⁄2 feet and 8 feet long.** $149.95 to $169.96; pennreels.com**
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Color Change

Already one of the most popular high-speed trolling lures among blue-water anglers targeting wahoo, tuna and more, the Yo-Zuri Bonita gets a high-tech overhaul with the new Sashimi Bonita. Made to imitate the color flashes and vibrations of a panic-stricken baitfish, the dual patented technologies that go into the new Bonita should make it irresistible to predators. The Sashimi Color-Change Technology changes the actual color of the lure depending on whether it's coming or going, while the ribbed surface creates vibration in the water. The rugged lures sport ball-bearing swivels and corrosion-resistant hooks, and they're available in 63⁄4- and 83⁄8-inch models.** $49.99 to $59.99; yo-zuri.com**