Save your money for these items

No matter what the product, whether we’re talking about cars, stereos, computers, or hockey sticks, there’s always the best of the best.
Usually these high-end products are the most technologically advanced—and the most expensive.
In fishing, there are super high-end products in every category, whether you want to talk about boats and motors, rods, reels, tackle, electronics, and even clothing.
This column isn’t about telling you that you need to buy the best fishing rod on the market or you aren’t going to catch any fish. We all know that isn’t the case, although none of these products will hurt your chances.
It’s simply about informing you that technology continues to make big strides in the fishing industry.
When I think high-end, the first thing that comes to mind is the line of G. Loomis NRX fishing rods. Gary Loomis started this famous fishing rod company in the early 1980s, and it has produced premium fishing rods ever since, but the newly-released NRX rods in 2010 are their best yet.
With a $500 price tag, they certainly are not cheap, but pick one up and you’ll be amazed at how light they are. They also come with a lifetime warranty and they are super tough.
I did get to fish with these rods this past summer and one thing for sure is that you will cast farther with more accuracy, and you’ll feel a fish if it so much as breathes on your lure.
If you buy a $500 fishing rod, you might as well buy the reel to match. The Shimano Stella is far and away the best money can buy.
With a $700 price tag, the Stella is like a piece of jewellery. The all-metal reel looks really good and is machined to last a lifetime. You can kiss line twists goodbye with these reels and you’ll impress your buddies.
Can you imagine paying $30 for a lure? Well, walk into Figure 8 Baits in Kenora and you’ll be faced with a wall of Japanese-made Megabass lures that come with such a price.
The interesting thing is the store barely can keep them on the shelves.
I know you’re asking how can you justify paying $30 for a bass lure and I understand. They have a great finish and look incredibly life-like. They also cast like a bullet and they come with premium components.
Are they any better than a Rapala? Probably not, but I bought a few because I just had to try them and I caught some bass on them.
But I also had a couple bit off by pike so that hurt.
When it comes to clothing, the Frabill Snosuit will allow you to fish outside in any conditions this winter. The Cadillac of ice-fishing wear comes with a $500 price tag for the suit, but it’s built super tough and it is warm.
No expense is spared on this suit, with soft fleece in all the locations where it makes contact with your skin and a water-repellent shell. It even has padded knees so if you like to kneel down beside your hole to jig, you can do it in comfort.
What I believe is the most essential item on this list, I have on my boat—a Humminbird 1198 GPS, sonar, and side-imaging combo unit. Coming in at about $3,000, this big-screen unit is easy-to-use and very effective.
I can navigate different screens easily with pre-set buttons so I’m really efficient and, most importantly, I have a pile of confidence in the sonar to show me fish and the GPS to get me there and back safely.
If you are not using a colour sonar unit on your boat, you should make the investment to get one because they really do perform much better than the old grey screen models.
These products certainly are not necessary to catch fish when you head out, but they definitely will make things easier.
Remember, you get what you pay for.

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