New saltwater fishing gear for this spring and summer

New saltwater fishing gear for this spring and summer

It has long been said that fishing lures are made to catch fishermen. That’s pretty much true, but there are a lot of lures and angler gadgets out there that are new and useful. And right about now, when the urge to go fishing for trout and reds is peaking, is the time to check out what’s new for 2012.

In the world of lures, there’s a new plug out there that has been introduced by Egret Baits, and it’s called a Kick-A Mullet. It goes without saying that mullet imitation lures have been around for decades and will be here until the Gulf of Mexico goes dry. The Kick-A was designed and built by Ken Chaumont, who was the driving force behind the world famous Rat-L-Trap lure company.

“The Kick-A is a jointed lure with two VMC treble hooks that looks and moves just like a mullet,” said Chaumont. “It’s got a ball in the tail that kicks and rattles on a slow and fast retrieve. I developed this lure for catching big trout. It’s done that and is absolute death on redfish.”

I’ve used the Kick-A Mullet quite a bit lately and can say for sure that it’s a proven big trout lure. The thing about this lure is that it’s a slow sinker but can be fished like a swim bait on the surface.

“It’s also idiot proof,” said Chaumont. “It’s got enough built-in action so that you can cast it out and reel it in like a spinnerbait. The tail will kick back and forth and cause quite a bit of action in the water.”

The Kick-A comes in all the right colors and can be purchased online at all day long.

As water temperatures heat up, trout will focus on eating smaller baitfish like glass and mud minnows. The very popular 3-1/2 inch Wedgetail was taken off the market a couple of years back but is back to due to high demand. This small baitfish-looking lure is made of soft plastic. When rigged on a 1/8 or 1/16 ounce lead-head jig, it looks just like a minnow or finger mullet moving across a shallow flat. The wedge-tail design gives off a lot of vibration. If you’ll be fishing at the jetties, rig ‘em on a 1/4-ounce jig head. One of the best color combinations is glow with a chartreuse tail. Another one is the LSU color pattern.

There is no way you can talk about what’s new on the fishing scene without hitting on rods and reels. Shimano has come out with three new reels for 2012. The most popular is the Core 100Mg7. It’s the latest high tech creation from Shimano. It’s lighter and more effective for casting lightweight lures. I used one last week for the first time; it’s compact, easy to cast and has a silky smooth drag.

Each year rods seem to become more hi tech than ever before. Among the newest and very popular are the Laguna rods. The Devil Stick and Texas Wader are two of the rods folks at Laguna make. I’ve used them and they are a work of art. The Devil Stick is a 6-foot, 9-inch rod with a medium-light action. It’s extremely versatile and lightweight. This rod is perfect for those who like to fish soft plastics, but it can handle topwaters just as well. Laguna rods are all custom built. Because of that they are a little pricey and start at about $300.

You might have noticed that a lot of new rods are made with split grips. By that I mean they have a butt section, then the rod and the reel seat. That’s how a lot of the Laguna rods are made. It’s a grip that’s comfortable to use all day long.

I was recently talking to Banning Collins with TFO rods. They have come out with an all-new line of rods called Gary’s Tactical Series. They are built with the specs engineered by Gary Loomis, a world-famous rod builder.

“They are built with TFO’s high modulus carbon fiber blank material,” said Collins. “The idea behind this line of rods is to save weight and increase sensitivity without sacrificing strength. They are made with a split grip and complimented by a two-piece reel seat and a natural cork ring split grip.”

The all-new line of Gary’s Tactical Series rods sells for $150. They are made for both bait casting and spinning reels.

That’s a look at just some of the new fishing lures, rods and reels available for you to test drive on the water this year. Give them a try; I think you’ll like what you see.

Robert Sloan can be reached by e-mail at sloan288 [at] aol [dot] com.