Saint Nick’s Best Picks
  |  First Published: December 2008

For all keen anglers Christmas is a time when we hope to get some awesome angling additions to compliment our ever-growing arsenal of tackle. We can get by wearing any old jocks or socks when we go fishing but we can’t cope with having old or outdated tackle to use.

Having the latest and greatest fishing tackle, apparel or gadgets to use will quickly get you a lot more invites to go fishing. As we can’t be rude and refuse an invite, we get to go fishing more instead of staying at home and mowing the lawn or washing the mongrel dog. New fishing tackle for Christmas? Bring it on.


Now we all know that the fish don’t care what we look like, unless you are one of those poor species that get a big sloppy kiss from Rexy, however looking the part can definitely make you appear to know what you are doing to your mates. Since tournament angling boomed in Australia a few years ago, anglers who have been influenced by the American scene have turfed out the beanies and flannos and become more fishing fashionable. Logos on caps, hats, beanies, sunglasses, shirts, stickers, shoes, wallets and even wet packs have become desirable for those wanting to look the part.


There are a lot of caps on the market from most of the major tackle companies and unlike the cheap crappy cap giveaways of years past, these are high quality items with embossed and embroidered logos. Brands such as Loomis, Daiwa, Jackall, Saltiga, Squidgy, Sunline, Berkley Gulp, Shimano and Abu Garcia all have quality caps available from most major tackle outlets. Expect to pay anywhere from $10 to $40 for one of these.

UPF Protection

Apart from being fabulous fisho fashion, shirts serve another important part in an anglers life, keeping the sun off bare skin and hopefully avoiding a future case of skin cancer. Many fishing shirts have a UPF 30 or higher rating and come in an array of brands with colourful logos from companies such as Loomis, Squidgy, Shimano, Daiwa, Berkley and others. These brands are not just limited to shirts either, as many have shorts and even shoes emblazoned with their logos, as well as sunglasses and other items.


Once stickers were those giveaway items that tackle companies gave you in hope that you would put them on your boat or car, giving them some free advertising. These days the quality of stickers has improved remarkably with high quality sun resistant vinyl decals, however they also cost now. Some of the bigger selling ones are from Jackall, Loomis, Shimano, Berkley Nitro and Sunline, and most major tackle companies have a few different ones to choose from.

Another quality item are the AFN fish species decals which sport images of your favourite fish species including marlin, snapper, bream, tuna etc. Stickers and decals for your boat can cost between $7 and $25 but will probably only be available from your specialty tackle stores.


This year, like most preceding ones, there is a huge array of new plastics on the Australian market. In the following are some of the more popular ones that have had tackle store registers ringing this year. However, there are a lot of others available and you are best to ask advice at your tackle store if chasing an offering for a particular species or fishing style.

Mister Twister Exude

Remember the Mister Twister plastics? Those great little curl-tail grubs were one of the main brands on the market up until the plastics boom several years ago. These archaic offerings have now been complimented with some new Mister Twisters sporting water-soluble stimulants that trigger feeding responses in many species of fish.

The Mister Twister Exude range comes in several styles including 4” Swim Shads, Aussie Prawn and Sandworm. These are around $9 a packet.

Strike King

Sick of donating one plastic for every decent hit you get from toothy critters. Try some of the Strike King Soft Baits, which are made from a highly tear resistant material, yet remain soft and buoyant. The range includes the 4” Glass Minnow, ZTOO Stick Bait, and the 4” Grub. They retail for just over $10 a packet.


The impoundment barramundi fishing scene spawned a new technique that has become a craze this year – frog fishing. The popular offerings have been the Zoom Horny Toads, Ribbits 3.5”, Squidgy Boof Frog and Manns Hardnose Frog.

Each brand comes in an array of colours and retail for between $10 and $12 a packet. Most anglers are fishing these on the TT SWS 6/0 worm hooks. If you want to know more about fishing these lures successfully then check out the segment with Jason Wilhelm and Shannon Watson on The Fishing DVD Volume 11.

Atomic Guzzlerz

The popular brand name Atomic has added a new range of highly scented plastics to their existing Ripperz Range. The Guzzlerz are highly scent-impregnated offerings that come in several different styles. The most popular have been the Prong (prawn profile) 2”, 3” and 4” and Jerk Minnow 3” and 6”.

There are several other styles to check out and an array of great new and revamped colours. Cost is around $10 a packet.

Berkley Hollow Bellies

Berkley are forever adding something new to their Aussie range and the latest hot offering has been the Hollow Bellies. These baitfish profiles are available in 3”, 4” and 6” and look very much like a pop-eyed mullet. You will catch everything from bream to barra on these guys and the 6” has already proven itself as a stand out plastics on Awoonga and Monduran Dams with the first shipment selling out fast.

These vary between $9 a packet for the 3” to $15 for the 6”.

Skinny Bear

A new, boutique-style soft plastic available at some retailers are the Skinny Bear 5” Kick Tails. These are all hand poured plastics with a thin gar style profile and paddle-tail. They are of a soft consistency which helps increase their action and vibration in the water.

Their colour range is awesome with many natural finishes that look good enough to eat yourself. Whilst a three pack of these will cost you around $10 the quality definitely justifies the purchase price in my books.


Speaking of books, there are several interesting new ones available this year that will interest all keen anglers.

Queensland Dams – Fishing and Camping

Queensland Dams – Fishing and Camping has been a popular offering due to the huge array of information it offers to those travelling to any of the states major impoundments, weirs and freshwater systems.

Apart from comprehensive maps for each of these waters, it also offers information on campsites and facilities, fish stocking details, permit requirements and bag and size limits. This is an informative publication for around $25.

Hooked In Paradise

The 9th edition of Hooked In Paradise is a must for beginner anglers, those new to the area, as well as seasoned old salts. It contains aerial photographs of all the major coastal fishing areas between Cooktown and Tweed Heads. Major boat ramps, navigation beacons and buoys, as well as other useful information for both the boating and land-based angler are marked on each map.

In each region, the best spots to target prominent species, such as bream, flathead, whiting, mulloway, mangrove jack and many others, are marked and will give you a heads up when visiting a new area. This is a very useful mapping book to use for planning trips to a region or for navigation when on the water. It retails for $27.50.

Places to Paddle

Kayak fishing is becoming a very popular pastime for anglers and makes good sense considering the cost of fuel these days. Places to Paddle is a great read for those new to kayaking and gives a lot of information on safety and various techniques for both kayakers and canoeists.

As the name suggests, it details 50 South East Queensland canoeing and kayaking destinations in lakes, creeks and open water areas that are friendly to watercraft of this nature and paddlers of various skill levels. The facilities available along the way are also listed to make planning your trip a lot easier. At only $24.95 it is a good investment for those keen on kayaking and canoeing.

AFN Anglers Journal and Almanac

The AFNAnglers Journal and Almanac is packed with info for the serious angler and novice alike. Inside you will find solar and lunar fishing charts, tidal charts for all states with local variations, essential fishing regulations for all states as well as bag limits, closed seasons, basic knots and rigs and boating regulations.

Other useful info and hints are also given along with a diary to record all your details of any day on the water, so that you can successfully plan future trips. At $24.95 it is a good gift for the fisher who has almost everything.

How to Use Depth Sounders and GPS

Fred Studden’s book, How to Use Depth Sounders and GPS provides some awesome information on understanding your electronics, interpreting the data they give you and how to operate them more efficiently.

Follow the information and you will find it much easier to locate fish with the use of your electronics as well as finding new potential hot spots to target. There is a lifetime of Fred’s electronics knowledge in this publication for around $20.


There have been a lot of new tackle storage items on the market this year but most have just been clones of previous products. The few that stood out from the pack in my mind have made it into this article. They may not be the perfect bag for you but stood out for me due to quality and ingenuity.

Plano 3374-25

The Plano 3374-25 is constructed from heavy-duty, water-resistant PVC tarpaulin exterior and sports corrosion resistant zippers and Velcro closures. The three front pockets have clear faces so you can easily see what is in them and all side and back pockets are heavy-duty mesh. This allows for items such as pliers, knives, leader rolls and dehookers to be easily washed at the end of the day without having to empty the bag.

There are two 3700 size stowaway boxes included, however by removing the separate PVC internal cooler bag you can add another three boxes for a total of five.

This is a serious, no-nonsense, saltwater-friendly tackle bag that will hold a huge array of tackle and will also stand the test of time for the serious angler. The only thing I would change is the white exterior colour, which marks easily. But it is still a very good buy at around $100.

Shimano Squall bags

Another standout product for me was the Shimano Squall bags that come in medium (4x360 stowaway boxes included) and large (4x370 stowaway boxes included). These boxes are designed for all weather conditions and are made from 420D Rip-Stop Polyester and have a PVC backing to repel moisture. The non-slip bottom of the box can sit in up to 5cm of water and still keep the contents dry.

This box is a little like an old style doctors bag and features water resistant zippers on the main opening and side pockets. It is designed for use in wet conditions, as the name suggests, and features a pull out rain cover for 100% protection.

The large one retails for around $140 and the medium for around $100. Both bags come in a royal blue and black colouration with the Shimano logo on the side.


Again there have been a lot of quality rods on the market this year, so again it is hard to select just a few. However, the products chosen below were selected based on either quality, price or being designed for a specific purpose.

Innovator Nitro range

The Innovator Nitro range of rods are forever growing and are fast becoming favourites with many anglers due to their quality, purpose-built designs and unconditional $60 expeditor sectional warranty. There were several new models added to their range this year and all are awesome.

The Gulfstream is a 6ft PE3-5 (30lb to 50lb) overhead jig rod made in the Japanese through butt two-piece design. It has a lot of grunt for prising serious pelagics and demersals from the depths.

The Fuji Alconite guides and high modulus graphite construction make this a high quality yet reasonably priced specialist rod at around $370.

Also from Innovator Nitro are a range of multi-piece travel rods. The OO7 range includes a six-piece 6’6” 2-4kg Spin, a five-piece Magnum Butt (7’6” 4-6kg) and a five-piece Undertaker Classic Barra. Line ratings on these rods are fairly under-rated in my opinion and I have found them exceptional casting and fish fighting tools – light in the hand yet powerful when it counts. All come with a lightweight triangular travel tube and possess exceptional actions for multi piece rods.

Awesome offerings for the travelling angler, these rods retail for less than $400.

The Bear range

Local rod manufacturer Eric Grell has added several new models to the forever expanding range of Egrell and The Bear rods.

Spin4Barra is in The Bear range of spin rods with a tip designed for casting plastics, hardbody and surface lures and a butt with enough power for dictating to serious impoundment barramundi and other tropical species. At 6ft in length it is a little shorter than many other rods in this class, which improves casting accuracy and allows for comfortable use in tight situations, such as thick impoundment timber or northern mangrove creeks.

Spin4Barra sports Eric’s custom-shaped cork grips and winch. The minimum size 12 guides allow trouble-free casting when using heavy leaders, which naturally come hand-in-hand with bulky leader knots. At less than $380 it is a purpose designed fishing tool for the serious angler.

Diablo rod range

Renowned American tackle company Berkley, have a long reputation of producing reasonably priced quality tackle. The Diablo rod range consists of seven models of spin rods, from 2-4kg that would be ideal for flicking finesse lures for bream, to the 15-37kg Jigspin that can handle deepwater jigging for large pelagic and demersal species.

The Diablo range is built with high performance graphite blanks that deliver crisp actions. They are all built with quality Fuji reel seats and guides plus smart bindings. The counter-balanced, tournament style split butts allow great feel and balance throughout the rod.

The one that really caught my eye was the 7’0” 6-10kg model which possesses a powerful butt ideal for putting some serious wood on quality fish, yet a fast taper, creating a tip that is light enough to cast mid sized plastics and jigheads for snapper and similar.

The 6”0” version with the same line rating would be a good one for anglers wanting to cast plastics and lures for impoundment barramundi and mangrove creek dwellers. These rods are well priced at well under $200 and are a welcome change from the many factory built rods in this price range that generally possess much slower tapers.

Shimano range

Shimano are always bringing new and exciting ranges of rods onto the market and their recent addition has filled a gap that has been in the Australian tackle market for quite some years. There are plenty of cheaper quality telescopic rods around, including Shimano’s Technium series, but the recent addition of the Shimano’s Speedmaster Tele Vibralock has filled the void for quality telescopic spin rods. There are three models currently available: 2.1m versions in light and medium, and a 2.4m model in heavy, and each comes with a compact travel tube. These rods are built with Shimano’s BioFibre Technology, which reinforces the carbon fibres in all directions, increasing strength, shock resistence, lightness and power. They are fairly fast tapered, as most telescopic rods are, and cast very well with an array of weights. Retailing for less than $200, the Speedmaster Telescopic range will easily fit into the Christmas stocking.


Gamefishers are forever looking for new trolling lures to try. And now there are plenty on the market to choose from.

Bahama Lures

Although they are one of the most reputable lure brands in the USA, Bahama Lures have only just recently been imported into Australia by ZFT Tackle. With around ten head shapes, six sizes and eleven pelagic-promising colours, the Bahama range of lures offers options for anglers fishing line classes from 6-60kg.

These lures have a lot of runs on the board and the quality is evident with realistic 3D ground-shell eyes, shell insert heads (some models) and twin Ocean Lure Concept skirts. I just love slant face lures for exciting hesitant billfish and other pelagics into striking, and the Bahama range has several of these that probably excited me as much as they did the fish.

Bahama Lures will only be available from stockists of serious gamefishing equipment and retail for between $60 and $150.

Bubblemax Lures

Another new addition to the skirted trolling lure range hanging on some tackle store shelves are Bubblemax Lures. Their machined-metal, chrome-plated, hexagonal heads create an enticing smoke trail when trolled at between 8-15 knots, attracting the attention of wahoo, tuna, mahi mahi, mackerel and a host of other pelagic species. Bubblemax Lures come ready rigged with 316 stainless steel, 49-strand wire leaders and twin stainless steel game hooks. They sport double-layered Yozuri skirts in an array of popular colours and retail for under $40.


All tackle manufacturers have released some quality reels this year however the ones I have chosen here have made my short-list based on being a little different, better designed than others or specialised fishing tools for specific situations.

Daiwa Catalina 4500H

The Daiwa Catalina 4500H is a high quality, high-speed retrieve reel (108cm per turn of the handle) that has a list of quality features as long as your arm. It can be used for high-speed spinning, deepwater jigging and plastics, and work as well as most forms of bait fishing.

It sports Daiwa’s Digigear Drive system, full metal body, machined aluminium handle, nine stainless steel ball bearings (including 3 CRBB) and a sealed Hyper tournament water-resistant drag system. The 10kg of drag pressure allows some serious hurt to be exerted and it will easily handle PE line to well over 50lb.

This is a super tough and serious reel that will withstand the harsh offshore fishing environment for years to come and it retails for around $600. Seriously, if you aren’t still using this reel in 10 years time then your envious mate has stolen it.

Shimano Tyrnos

Gamefishers and bottom bashers alike have warmed to Shimano’s range of Tyrnos lever drag overhead reels. The single speed reels come in six sizes (8, 10, 12, 16, 20 and 30) and possess A-RB (anti-rust bearings), oversized gears, aluminium frame, ratchets, twin-pawl anti-reverse system and many other features.

The oversized handle shank with ergonomic power handle makes for easy winding on reels that possess high gear ratios (6:1 for 8 and 10; 5:1 for 12, 16, 20 and 30), which reduces the strain on your arm during the fight.

The two smaller models possess 8kg of maximum drag whilst the four larger models exert 15kg of maximum drag and all reels can be used with either braid or monofilament line. The single-speed Tyrnos reels are hovering around the $300 mark each.

All the above Tyrnos sizes come in two speed models as well, obviously with the addition of a lower gear ratio, but they retain the same specifications as the single speed models. There is also a 50 size in the two-speed models, which has a maximum drag of 19kg and 4:1 and 1.5:1 gear ratios.

The Tyrnos two-speed reels are between $400 and $520 approximately. I like the Tyrnos range because they are serious fishing tools at an affordable price for the angler who likes things to last. Champagne tastes on a beer budget, you might say.


Alvey are definitely an Australian tackle icon and are always coming up with new no-nonsense ways to improve their already impressive range of reels. Recently they added a new winch fitting to all the graphite-backed reels in the 600 size (6”) range of reels.

The Turbo-cast fitting replaces the old stainless fitting and is made from glass-filled nylon, which is actually stronger. It makes turning the reel a lot smoother when casting and sees the spool of the reel sitting another 6mm lower on the rod, which naturally reduces line slap on the blank from the large coils of line during the cast.

The operation of the cast mechanism is a lot easier to use than the metal one, which is great for juniors, older anglers who have arthritis or anyone with cold, numb fingers. Reels with the new Turbo-cast mechanism retail for the same as the old models, which are also still available.

Another addition to the Alvey range this year is the 600BXLTP reel. This is basically the popular 600BXL reel with the addition of the Turbo-cast mounting and a hot pink spool, which will appeal to those keen lady anglers. This reel will suit most 10ft to 12ft surf rods and many estuary ones and retails for less than $90.

Shimano Curado 200E5/7

Impoundment barramundi anglers have quickly seen the shortcomings in many reels sporting inferior gearing and drags. Whilst any half decent reel will withstand the punishment handed out by bass, flathead, jacks, cod and the like, impoundment barramundi possess the body weight and pure strength to reach the nearest cover, putting any drag to the test.

Shimano’s Curado 200E5 (5:1) and 200E7 (7:1) are as physically small and lightweight as any other low-profile reel on the market, yet possess the strength, gearing and drag to put serious hurt on any inshore fish species. The Curado’s power for lightness is created by using high-quality materials, machining, and components in its construction, including Dartainium drag, aluminium frame, Magnumlite spool, Superfree bearings and Titanium IP line guide.

The Shimano catalogue states their maximum drag to be around 4kg, however I know many anglers who are getting around 7kg of smooth drag out of them on a consistent basis. There is a larger 300 size, which has a slightly higher maximum drag and line capacity, and each size also comes in a left-hand model. Expect to pay around the $300 mark for this little gem.

Daiwa Saltist LW

Daiwa have filled another gap in the market with the recent release of the Saltist LW (level wind) series of star drag overheads. These little powerhouses were designed for deepwater jigging, however they are also suited to float-lining and trolling. Their compact design power, promotes them to be spooled with braid instead of monofilament, and the level wind is considered a must by many anglers.

There are six different models of varying sizes and retrieve speeds and each sports five stainless steel bearings, rigid one-piece aluminium frame, CRBB spool bearings, dual position power handle, 10 element drag with up to 11kg of pressure and dual anti-reverse, just to name a few features.

Whether you are a serious offshore angler or a new chum to the sport, you will find the heavy-duty level wind handy for easily distributing the line on the spool in a cross wrap method that prevents braid biting down into the spool.

Quality jigging reels with large capacity drags can be taxing on the hip pocket but the Saltist LW series offers quality, power and function for around the $350 mark.

Lamson range

Lamson have been an institution in flyfishing tackle for many years. Recently, Australian tackle importer, Mayfly Tackle re-introduced them onto our domestic market. I have been suitably impressed with all the models so far and believe they offer good value for money for a reel of such quality.

The Lamson Litespeed Hard Alox is both lightweight and tough. The Hard Alox coating, which is about the toughest on the market, is formed during a process whereby the aluminium surface is converted into aluminium oxide. This provides enhanced resistance to abrasion, impact and corrosion and is also quite smart.

The drags on these reels are also suitably impressive and the lightness means they will compliment even the highest modulus rods. They come in a range of sizes to suit two weights for trout to 10wt for tuna and retail between $450 and $600.

Lamson also make many other great ranges of fly reels that start at less than $200 for the Konic.

Daiwa Sealine Bull 4500/6000

Another addition from Daiwa that impressed me this year was the Sealine Bull 4500 and 6000. These reels have a large capacity (15kg) drag and a high-speed retrieve of 5.7:1. This makes it great for jigging as well as high speed spinning for pelagics.

Their Hardbodyz aluminium body, machined brass spool, machined aluminium handle and stainless steel main shaft prevent them being the lightest reel around but they are one of the most rugged. The 4500 and 6000 will retrieve 123cm and 137cm of line per turn of the handle respectively, which makes them suitable for high-speed spinning for mackerel, tuna, queenfish, trevally and other pelagics.

The Sealine Bull reels also suit shallow water jigging applications but you may find them a little tiring to fish in depths over 80m due to the high retrieve speed. They have a spare spool and a washable construction, making them ideal for all saltwater applications from surf to bluewater.

They have the construction, drag capability and features you often see in reels three times their price, but they are very affordable at around the $200 mark.


Although Santa has been sitting around all year working on his beer belly, he still has got a hardbody or two to show you. There has been an enormous range of new hardbody lures again this year, many of them are Japanese designed and manufactured and are in demand by anglers who like to target spikey little silverfish called bream. The hand full I have chosen here appealed to me for some reason or another and are desirable for several different forms of fishing including bream, barra, saratoga, bass, jungle perch, and many many more.

Atomic Hardz range

Anglers have been using Atomic soft plastics for many years now with great success on a range of species. This year Atomic released five hardbody lures that stand out due to performance for a reasonable price. With most of the finesse-style Japanese lures retailing for well in excess of $20 mark, the Atomic Hardz range is well priced at under $15.

The Shad 40’s are two 40mm suspending lures with diving depths of 0.6m and 1m that have a tight wobbling and rolling action. The Crank 38 range consists of three models of 38mm floating lures with diving depths of 0.3m, 0.7m and 1.2m. These possess a wide wobbling and rolling action that has proved itself to be very productive for bream as well as bass and other species. Each model of lure comes in 10 colours.

Halco Nano

Every year Halco Tackle, an Australian company, manage to come up with some new and exciting lures to get anglers drooling. This year they added a lot of new colours to their range but they also added some new lures, including the Nano.

This small surface walker style lure really impressed me with its action. At 4cm long and with a 3.5g cast weight it will be ideal for species such as bass, bream, saratoga, trout, whiting and many other estuarine and freshwater species.

Smith Tachi Deep 95SS

Japanese tackle company Smith, have an impressive array of lures available, including the recent Australian release of the Tachi Deep 95SS. This slim minnow style lure is a sinking version of the popular Cherry Blood with a dive depth of around 1.5m and a good cast weight of around 12g.

One of the unique features I liked was the fact that two of the four ball bearings are designed to slide along the internal chamber to the back of the lure during casting, which aids in both distance and direction. Once the lure lands, give it a quick twitch and the bearings will roll forward again where they are trapped by a small plastic ramp in the body of the lure. This will see the lure sink in a slightly head down manner that has proven popular on a host of tropical and southern species, especially mangrove jacks.

There are some really impressive finishes in these lures, which, combined with the their awesome action and slow sinking feature, make them ideal to fish around vertical structure and mangrove snags. Like most of the high quality Japanese lures the Tachi Deep 95SS retails for around the $25 mark.

Shimano Lucanus

Over the last few years, Shimano have had more and more lures for Aussie anglers. Apart from their various plastics and hardbodies, they now also have some deepwater jigging lures in the form of the new Lucanus Jigs.

Over the last year there have been a lot of these Japanese inspired Octopus type jigs of varying qualities coming onto the Aussie market, however this offering from Shimano stood out for me due to the quality, price and long term option due to availability of replacement parts.

The Lucanus Jigs are available in five sizes (60g, 80g, 100g, 150g and 200gm) and seven colours to cover a broad array of water depths and fishing situations. The aerodynamic head design allows the lure to reach the strike zone quickly where the jig is then worked in a slow lift and shake fashion that gets the skirts and trailers flaring and wobbling. This enticing action has been dynamite on many demersal species such as snapper, pearl perch, tuskfish and cod.

Shimano also produce a special Lucanus reel and Lucanus rod for fishing these jigs more effectively. Although produced with high quality materials, it is obvious that the various rubber trailers and skirts on the Lucanus jigs will get torn with repetitive strikes and the hooks may need replacing at times. With all the other jigs I have seen this is not an easy task, however the Lucanus Jig system allows the readily available parts to be replaced quickly and easily within a few seconds, with no need to do any binding or tie any knots. This also allows you to change the skirt colours on your jigs for your own personal customisation if you wish.

The large glowing eye and dual attachment points are other features that make the Lucanus Jig stand out from the crowd. I think these are a damn good buy at under $20.


Everyone needs a few stocking stuffers or cheaper items for the kids to purchase for gifts so here are a few I have chosen to tell you about. Obviously there are a lot of cool items available down at your specialist tackle store that any budding angler or tackle rat would be rapt to get on December 25.

Citer Crab Pot Kit

The warm months are great for setting a few crab pots in hope of a tasty feed of mud or sand crabs. Correct labelling and setting of pots is not only sensible, it’s the law.

The Citer Crab Pot Kit contains all the stuff you will need in addition to a crab pot. There is a length of rope, a 6” Styrofoam float, crab bait clip and a pot ID tag. At less than $10 for the lot, the crustaceans will be nervous.

Daiwa Hookout Gun

I bought one of these great tools earlier in the year for use on my kayak and now find it in my pocket whenever I go fishing. The Daiwa Hookout Gun is a small stainless steel tube with an inner spring-loaded gripper tube that allows you to easily hold and manoeuvre a hook for removal from a fish.

It easily fits in your pocket, is simply to use, and is a handy addition to any tackle arsenal for less than $25.

Sea Dog Rod racks

Are you sick of fishing rods leaning up against a wall or getting damaged from incorrect storage? Check out the new Sea Dog Rod racks. These are designed to attach to a wall or other flat vertical surface where they will hold six rods in a vertical, upright manner.

They are of a nylon construction and are more suited to baitcasters and light spin rods than heavy offshore tackle, however they will hold larger rods without the reels attached. At around $20 they are a great idea that will keep your rods organized and protected.

Shimano Fightin’ Buddy

The Shimano Fightin’ Buddy is a new age theme on an old idea. Once we would slip a tennis ball over the butt of a rod to protect our pelvis when a gimbal belt was not practical or handy.

The Fightin’ Buddy slips over the gimbal butt of your rod, just like the normal gimbal cover, however it has a much bigger surface area. This distributes the pressure more evenly and therefore prevents bruising. It provides greater manoeuvrability and ease of use, especially for those anglers not accustomed to fighting when using a traditional gimbal belt with pin.

This is a great stocking stuffer for any angler at around $20.

Stick Jackets

Stick Jackets are a fishing rod cover made using a unique braiding method out of tough polythene filament that is breathable, impervious to salt water and resistant to mould and mildew. They are designed to just slip over your rod (even when it is rigged providing the lure/hooks are adjacent the reel) so that the rod can then easily be slipped into a rod locker or tube without the possibility of rods tangling or guides and blanks being damaged by rubbing together.

They come in a couple of sizes to fit most rods and several colours, which is great for tournament fishers. Stik Jackets are made of an expandable material much like an enlarged version of Gudebrod Butt Leader and have a looped eyelet at the rod tip end. As the bag will gently grip the rod, this allows rods to be hung from a hook on a wall or ceiling by this loop, which makes a safe and convenient storage solution.

The Stick Jackets retail for around the $20 mark.


For anglers who travel offshore in their boats, especially over coastal bars, the possibility of losing a rod overboard can be fairly high if they are not stowed correctly. Even when trolling, rods sometimes have the innate ability to dislodge from the rod holder and into the drink.

Kayakers and small boat anglers also face the chance of having their tackle drowned through numerous unfortunate circumstances. Attaching a rod lanyard like the Retain-A-Rod by Master Baiter Custom Tackle can easily fix this problem. They will attach to all overhead reels with lanyard attachments or gimbal harness attachment eyelets as well as all Shimano Baitrunner reels. Even rods without these attachment points can still be secured by looping the 220kg rot-resistant cord around the rod above the reel and then hooking the stainless steel cast snap back onto the main cord. The other end is previously attached to the rocket launcher, bollard or pin in the bottom of the rod holder.

This is a simple idea that could stop your tackle from drowning for around $15.

Surehold Plastic Surgery

Soft plastics are all the rage these days and whilst they solicit a lot of strikes, the price of some of the better brands almost makes you cry when one gets torn enough to render it out of action. Many of these can often be repaired with the Surehold Plastic Surgery, a glue product that will work quickly and efficiently on tears in most brands of plastics.

It can also be used to glue plastics into the keepers on many brands of jigheads which prevents them sliding off in strong currents or when a predatory fish takes a hesitant strike and just grabs the tail. This neat little stocking filler will repair heaps of torn plastics and is a bargain at less than $10.


Well there you have it. A lot of new and interesting items that will definitely be better than the usual jocks, socks, toffees and other crap that you accumulate over Christmas. Getting someone to buy these for you can be as simple as circling the best ones with a highlighter and leaving this article somewhere conspicuous so that family members and friends can’t miss it.

These are only a few of the great new products on offer this year so get down to your local tackle outlet and check out what’s on offer. You can either get someone to buy the desired items for you or entice them to purchase a gift voucher so you can choose the perfect addition to your fishing addiction yourself. Either way, Christmas will be a lot merrier with a happy fisho in the house.

Seasons Greeting and piscatorial productiveness to you all!

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