Four must-have angler Christmas items

I’m the easiest person in the world to buy for, bass fishing gear and tackle is all I need to be satisfied. A rod, a reel, some baits an accessory or two would be a perfect Christmas for me. With so many new items coming onto the market each year, I have narrowed it down to my top four items for the serious bass fisherman this holiday season.


St. Croix Avid X Series

Retail $200-210

Recently, I looked through my rods and discovered I have rods from 15 different brands, proving I am not loyal to just one. With that disclaimer, St. Croix is right up there among my favorite brands, especially the Avid series. Recently, they added another family of rods with the new Avid X. Retailing for around $200. This is an excellent price range for an American made rod with the St. Croix pedigree.

St. Croix has been usually been conservative with their traditional lines, but the new Avid X features some bold style and the same popular Avid blanks. The new Avid X series features Kigan Z micro-guides, Fuji reel seats, and cork split-grip handles to further reduce weight.

The Axid X comes in 18 different models in both casting and spinning. They look great, are excellent quality and are made right here in the U.S.


Abu Garcia Revo Beast

Retail: $349.99

Anything named “The Beast” should be built tough and the new Revo Beast baitcast reel definitely is. The newest Revo reel was designed for heavy baits like swimbaits, castable umbrella rigs and whatever else you need a big reel for.

The Beast is slightly larger than most low-profile reels and features oversized handles and a deeper spool for bigger line capacity when using heavy line. It also has 22lbs of drag, a 7.1:1 gear ratio and weighs in at 9.35oz. Abu Garcia has also added some things for added durability like High Performance Corrosion Resistant bearings, beefed up brass gearings and Titanium-coated side plates and line guide. All of these features should ensure that the reel lasts for years to come.

I’m excited to use the Beast for swimbaits because I want to have the low profile design but still have the power to throw large baits. The Beast should be a hit for anyone looking for a new heavy-duty reel.


Costa Hamlin

Retail: $169 to $249 depending on lens

Costa Sunglasses needs no introduction and explanation of their quality, so to me it comes down to which frame style, lens types and colors I am looking for. Costa has a long history of impressing anglers with frames and technology as shown by their long list of ICAST awards. The latest to win the award is the Hamlin and the award is well-deserved – they are awesome.

The Hamlin has a look similar to the latest sunglass styles, a more flat front and big lenses. Beyond the look, these are excellent sunglasses designed for those who love being on the water. Costa offers the Hamlin in five different frame colors, eight lens colors and three different lens types.

Depending on your budget you can choose between the 480 glass, the 580 glass and the 580 polycarbonate, with the polycarbonate being the lowest price and 580 lenses being the most expensive. You can’t go wrong with any of them and they all feature a lifetime warranty.

Soft Baits

Yum Drop-Shot Baits

Retail: $2.99 per package.


All of us on the West Coast drop-shot and I would venture to say that our most popular drop-shot baits are all made in the west or Japan. With that being said, it’s refreshing to see the new line of drop-shot baits from Yum; the Kill Shot, Warning Shot and Sharp Shooter. They work and I have personally caught several fish on each of them. They come in a good selection of colors and feature hand-poured quality and action from a mass produced, inexpensive bait. Here’s a rundown of each one:

The Sharp Shooter

The body of this bait looks very similar to many of the straight tail finesse worms we all use, but the tail section is the key difference. It features a thin, spear like tail for added action. This one is really cool.

The Warning Shot

The warning shot is a compact, ribbed worm that measures in at 3.75 inches long. It has a flat side and basically gave away one of my best kept secrets, cutting a beaver-style bait in half. The tail adds a great tail action and perfectly imitates a small baitfish.

The Kill Shot

Like the Warning Shot, this one has a compact size, ribbed body and flat side. The tail has a very slight action when rigged on a drop-shot and works great. The Kill Shot is my favorite of the three based on my success with it.