This month brings exciting news on top new muskie gear for 2013. From new innovations in reels to hot new lures, there’s something to give even the most wizened muskie hunter the fever. While space doesn’t allow every, here’s a few of the top gear you’ll want to make this season the year to land that monster.
The new Daiwa Lexa 300 is built to hold 240 yards of 40-pound braid, yet is easily palmed with its low-profile design. The high-speed 7.1:1 model lets you burn a double-cowbell spinner with 32” of line take up per handle turn.
“With a 22-pound drag max, the new Lexa 300-sized reels are built for strong lines and big fish. Salmon, Muskie, Striper, Steelhead, and most flats and saltwater inshore tasks…”
The power handle is swept inward which makes the reel power efficient with less wobble during reeling. Plus, there are several left-handle models to choose from. Be forewarned! It may take a little detective work to find one on a dealer’s shelf. They’re selling faster than Daiwa can make them!
“Vibrations Tackle designed the 8-ounce Magnum Echotail™ specifically to target fish such as musky, northern pike, lake trout, and other big game species. The free-range motion of a soft plastic tail dancing behind large vibrating blade bait is a perfect combination for maximizing action and water displacement.”
The Magnum Echotail™ is a very heavy jigging bait and is designed to hold in heavy currents like the St. Clair River. It can be deadly during post frontal and post turnover conditions when big game fish seem to be a little more sluggish. Along with using the bait as a jig, the Magnum Echotail™ makes an excellent crankbait.
Like the smaller Echotail models, its ability to make long casts while fishing both shallow and deep water makes the lure and excellent search bait. Multiple pulling holes allow the angler to easily adapt to most depths of water and when rigged properly it can troll twenty-feet deep.
Any muskie hunter knows their gear needs to be able to stand up to the trophy of a lifetime; otherwise it’s in the next garage sale. That won’t be the case with RaZr Rods new 7’ extra-heavy casting muskie rod. The rod comes with stainless eyes designed for use with braid. Did I mention all their rods are made in Oklahoma, USA and have an unconditional lifetime warranty? That matters to me.
Okay, you caught me! The Tranx isn’t new for 2013. What is new? You can actually find them in stores this year. Production has finally caught up with demand.
If you’re looking for the best in heavy-duty muskie gear, this has got to be it. The revolutionary design and shape provides the comfort of a low profile with the capacity of a conventional reel. What does that mean? The Tranx holds an amazing 420 yards of 50-pound PowerPro braid, has 25 pounds max drag, and the high-gear version has a blazing 43” of line recovery per crank!
This reel is made for bringing in big fish and it’s built like it. I strongly recommend you try one of these bad boys out and see if it fits your needs.
Anyone that watches the fishing channels on TV knows Joe Bucher is the muskie king. His extensive line of baits are designed from his years of experience on the water. JBO has several new releases this year with the most promising looking model being the new ShallowRaider Red Eye “prism” series. Since the bodies are clear plastic, light hits the holographic core and flashes back a life-like scale pattern sure to attract big fish. The red eyes and bleeding red hooks give that “fish-in-distress” look that can really trigger a hit.
And due to popular request, JBOs ShallowRaider series is now available in Tennessee Shad pattern. Anyone from the southern muskie fisheries like Indiana, Illinois, and Kentucky know shad are an important musky forage. “But this pattern simply has a strong pearl-like flash that triggers strikes from all large predatory gamefish – even in waters without shad. It is bound to be a big fish catcher in a wide variety of waters from North America to Europe and beyond.”
Long days on the water casting for muskie can really take a toll on a muskie hunter. Ask any serious angler about his aches and pains from throwing big muskie baits thousands of times a day and you’ll hear about tennis elbow, carpal tunnel, and other ailments. Quantum has taken a major leap, (get the pun?) in relieving that.
The new EXO 300 is designed with the philosophy "Metal Where It Matters." By removing unnecessary metal the reel is significantly lighter, which adds up to hundreds of less pounds of casting stress each season. But, less weight doesn’t mean less quality.
“We gave our engineers a simple challenge: design the lightest possible fishing gear without any sacrifice in performance. The EXO 300 series features a solid-brass PT main gear and crank shaft for added strength, as well as an oversized line guide opening for leader knot clearance. The EXO 300 series comes with a standard double paddle handle and an oversized power handle to customize for your technique.”
The EXO PT 300 reel comes in high-speed 7.3:1 retrieve, high-power 5.3:1 retrieve, and left-hand models. Seriously, if you want to last longer on the water, this reel is almost a third the weight of some other big-game models.
Frabill Rainsuit Jacket and Bibs www.frabill.com
Any muskie hunter knows the big monsters seem to love the nasty days that make most men roll over and go back to sleep. From the cold winds of ice-out to summer monsoons, we can’t pick the weather that they will be hitting in. That’s why Frabill made the Rainsuit. Like’s it heavier cousin, the FXE Stormsuit, the Rainsuit is made to take whatever the elements throw at you, but in a lighter and cooler fashion.
Like Frabill’s other garments it’s built to dominate as the King of Rain Gear. “Waterproof, windproof, and DuPont Teflon®treated to be tough as nails, this suit of armor still breathes thanks to its innovative mesh lining that draws air through it. Whether spooling line in the springtime sun or spin-casting in a downpour, you'll stay dry and comfortable, meaning you spend more time fishing and less time worrying about sweaty, soggy britches.”
For those colder mornings the suit has room for additional layers of warm clothing.
In all honesty I could just about put every lure Savage Gear makes in this new for 2013 line-up, because they are that new to the US market. But don’t let that give the impression that they are untested. Savage Gear is a huge name in the European market and the monster esox that our brothers and sisters on the other side of the big pond are astonishing!
New for 2013 is the Real Eel which is being touted as the most realistic eel lure ever designed. The Real Eel comes pre-rigged or loose in a wide range of colors from June Bug to Fire Tiger and in sizes from 6” to 16”. As expected with a name like Real Eel, the tail produces a tantalizing action at any retrieve rate.
Another new entry for 2013 is the Alien Eel. The shape and action of Savage Gear’s Alien Eel is very familiar on the muskie and pike lure market. It is one of the most versatile lures on the market. Basically it’s chuck it out, let it sink, start reeling, and hang on. The side fins and tail provide plenty of action and any speed retrieve and colors range natural forage to high-visibility Fire Tiger and Golden Ambulance.
It wasn’t long ago when Humminbird made common depth finders obsolete with their side-imaging fishfinders. And now they’ve blown the doors off the fishing electronics market again and won “Best In Show” at the 2012 ICAST.
The Humminbird side-imaging units show the lake bottom in remarkable detail, including structure, baitfish pods, and the predator fish themselves. As cool as the new side imaging units are, they have the same limitations as the old fish finders. Basically they only show what you’ve already boated across, or in the case of the side imaging, what’s off to the sides. That’s like going deer hunting by walking backwards!
The new Humminbird 360 is a new type of transducer that when used with Humminbird’s existing side imaging units, such as the 798, 898, 998 and 1198 models, itsweeps the area 360 degrees!
“The Humminbird 360 is the first technology to offer anglers complete around-the-boat underwater imaging. In a single sweep around the boat, 360 reveals high resolution images of structure, bait and FISH long before anglers get anywhere within casting range. Now you can eliminate unproductive water and find fish easier and faster, giving you a home lake advantage wherever you fish. And the stealth advantage is unreal. Spot and stalk fishing up to 300 feet away is now within reach.”
Think of how this can improve your game! Seeing bait pods and the muskies stalking them before they see you! I’m thinking you’ll need a new log book.
So there you have 10 picks for top new muskie gear for 2013. You can only wonder what records will be broken by 2014!
By Alan J. Garbers