Black Friday has come and gone, but the sale prices on most fishing gear remain. Last time, I talked about picking up some fishing gear for the young, novice angler for the holidays. This time, let’s talk about stepping up to the much more seasoned angler. It is possible to go out and find rods and reels that cost anywhere from $40 to $400, so how does a shopper decide? Let’s start with the simple idea that you will get what you pay for.

 Don’t misunderstand this. Anglers will catch fish with a $40 rod and a $40 reel. The difference will be how many more they could catch with a more expensive rod and reel. For those out shopping, the right price point as far as we are concerned is about $200 or less for  a rod and reel together. The difference in the rod at that price point will be how light, how well made and how sensitive it is compared to the less expensive rods and reels. Two makes of rods in this category would be the Shimano SLK series bait casting rod, and the St. Croix Bass X series. Two reels to match up with these rods are the Daiwa CR80 bait caster and the One 3 Fishing Origin TX. These pairings will provide years of performance and won’t wear out the arm of an all-day fisherman.

Those who put together a new rod and reel might want to try the new Fire Line Ultra 8 braided line from Berkeley. It will add distance and accuracy to casts and is unmatched on windy days. Good shopping this Holiday season.

As for fishing today, the ice is  pretty thin on most of our area lakes, and those who can handle cold air will find there is still some good fishing on Lake Geneva and Big Green Lake. On Lake Geneva, anglers are catching smallmouth bass in schools down at 17 to 20 feet of water using large live chubs and large tube baits. There is still open water for shore fishing at the Skokie Lagoons as well.

Until next time…keep a tight line.

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