Full Metal Jacket
We spooled a new Penn Affinity AF4000 with 12-pound test and put it to work casting topwaters to busting fish. The high-performance drag could be fine-tuned with a few clicks without locking or freeing the spool, and the heavy-duty bail turned over effortlessly. The Affinity Series features full-metal construction and an extra-thick bail arm not found on other inshore spinning reels. The waterproof drag knob keeps salt water out, while a techno-balanced rotor ensures smooth operation. The Affinity Series reels start at $120. Penn Fishing Tackle; (215) 229-9415; www.pennreels.com
MirrOminnow Suspending Twitchbaits from MirrOlure are designed to mimic small forage and tempt inshore predators from seatrout to striped bass. To achieve a natural look, MirrOlure added a luminescent insert to the baits and kept the body slender. Measuring 31¿¿4 inches, MirrOminnows are made to fish on or just below the surface. Created to match rain fish and glass minnows, these lures also resemble northern spearing and bay anchovies. The lures are available in 11 colors and sell for $7. L&S; Bait Company Inc.; (727) 584-7691; www.mirrolure.com
We’ve logged enough time in rubber boots to know that while most models will keep you dry, they typically offer no support, especially when you’re hammering through five-footers at the end of the day. Thankfully, Rugged Shark Great White Deck Boots have built-in arch support and removable insoles that contour to and cradle the foot. The outsoles are non-marking and feature channels that pump water away, which means no slips and a sturdy grip on wet boat decks. Rugged Shark Great White Deck Boots sell for $64. Rugged Shark; (954) 782-3200; www.ruggedboots.com
What’s My Line?
Performance Braid from Sufix is made with the Y6 Digital Braiding Process that allows more weaves per inch, resulting in a stronger line with a thinner diameter. We tested the braid while drifting live eels off Montauk, New York, and, as advertised, felt even the slightest nudges from fish. Among others, bottom fishermen chasing tautog or grouper will also benefit from the sensitivity. Available from six- to 130-pound test, Sufix Performance Braid comes in lo-vis green and hi-vis yellow. Prices start at $15. Sufix; (800) 554-1423; www.sufix.com
Bushnell Stableview Binoculars feature two modes that compensate for three degrees of motion caused by heavy seas or one degree to eliminate motion caused by shaking hands. Perfect for spotting diving birds or breaking fish from far away in rough seas, Stableview Binoculars are water- and fog-proof and provide 10X magnification. The binoculars are compact and easy to stow in a tackle bag or boat storage compartment. Bushnell Stableview Binoculars sell for $900. Bushnell; (800) 423-3537; www.bushnell.com
Sea Grip Tooth Proof Gloves are made with material that resists punctures and tears from the wrist to the fingertips. Steel leader, braided line and the spines and teeth of fish are no match for Sea Grips. One Inshore glove sells for $25, and the Offshore style costs $70 a pair. Hi-Seas; (800) 824-9473; www.hiseas.net