Looking for a Christmas fishing gift for a loved one? These top picks are sure to please, but the holidays are almost here so you'll have to act fast to get 'em under the tree.
Gamakatsu G-Case 7000
The moment you pick up a new Gamakatsu G-Case 7000, you’ll know it’s going to last. Pack it up with heavy tackle, pile gear on top of it, let your 300-pound cousin Bubba sit on it—whatever. Yes, it’s plastic, but it’s just about as thick and sturdy as any gear box you’ll ever see. Ditto for the swinging plastic handle. But the coolest thing about this box is the top. You know how it seems like every time you reach for your tackle or gear box, it’s facing the wrong way and you have to lift it up and spin it around? That’ll never happen with a G-Case 7000, because the top can be opened from either side — or popped off entirely — thanks to a creative pop-out, push-in hinge design. And at 19” x 13” x 13” this box has got plenty of room, too. The G-Case 7000 can also be complemented with accessories including rod holders and jig boxes, which clip into the molded-on mounting areas on each side. You want one beast of a box that’ll last for years on end? You’ve just found it. Price: $87. Visit Gamakatsu for more info.
Penn Battle III LE Combo
You want to get into a serious battle? Then you might want to check out Penn’s new Battle III LE combo. We had the chance to try slinging jigs and dropping soft crab at the Bay Bridges with these new set-ups, which go from the 2500 to the 8000 class (we used 3000 combos). Rod lengths go from 7’ to 10’ and from medium-light to heavy power. The most striking thing about these combos, however, may be their nostalgic look. With white blanks and blue wraps, they’re reminiscent of the old Penn rods old-timers used decades ago. They aren’t solid glass, of course (blanks are graphite composites), you can choose between full or split butts, and the reels are far more modern (with HT-100 carbon fiber drag washers and CNC gears), but at first glance you might do a double-take. We should also note that the rod guides are Penn’s Dura-Guides, which are one-piece stainless-steel. Some might say the look is downright classic, but don’t call it old fashioned — them would be fightin’ words. Price: $169.99. Visit Penn Fishing for more info.
Monzerna Boat Polish and Gloss
The angler you love will be looking for a winter project that will make his or her fishboat look better than ever before? If the gel coat is oxidized giving it a three-stage varying-grit oxidation remover treatment will do the trick, but there will be a huge amount of rubbing and buffing involved. Enter, Menzerna One-Step Polish. This silicon-free, water-based treatment uses “grain breaking” to eliminate the need for multiple stages. In a nutshell, the particles in it are designed to break down and become smaller and smaller as you use the polish. So while you begin the job with a heavier grit by the time you’ve rubbed and buffed one time, the gel coat has been hit with the full range of grit. Then, with your boat looking shiny and new it’s ready for a fresh coat of wax, right? Wrong! Instead hit it with Menzerna Premium Gloss, a polymer that Menzerna says offers six months of gleaming protection, wax-free. We can’t speak to the six-month claim as of yet because we just tested this stuff out. What we can tell you, however, is that we used the Polish and Premium Gloss and it did in fact make the boat’s gelcoat look like we had gone whole-hog on the traditional three-step process — with a single application. Price: $22/Polish; $20/Gloss. Visit Menzerna to learn more.
The Complete Scoop on Stowmaster Nets
We at FishTalk want to bring you the complete scoop on the gear we test, not just an informational blurb. To that end, this month we have an update on the StowMaster SS116Y cobia/bull-redfish-rated landing net, which we used through the 2019 season and then reviewed on these pages in the March 2020 edition. Since that review we’ve used the net to bring in 11 more cobia up to 50 inches (not to mention a slew of stripers, blues, specks, and mahi-mahi), and it performed admirably. The last cobia of the season, a 48-incher, was a true crazed beast. And when we got it into the net, it took berserk to a new level. With water flying through the air and chaos ensuing, the hoop broke in not one but two places. We find it hard to blame anything for succumbing to a large, irate cobia (we’ve had them smash rodracks out of fiberglass inwales, shatter tackleboxes, bend gaffs, and certainly break other nets in the past), but this net was cobia-rated and came with a lifetime guarantee. So after returning home (and tossing a pan of cobia chunks on the broiler), we emailed Norsmen Outdoors. No questions asked, that same week they honored the guarantee and sent us a replacement hoop. American-made and true to their word, we give three cheers for Norseman Outdoors! For more info on StowMaster nets, visit Norseman Outdoors.