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2012 Holiday Gift Guide

2012 Holiday Gift Guide

Put these on your list for a Merrier Christmas season.

Ion Electric Ice Auger by Eskimo

An on-board 40-volt lithium ion battery powers this silent and smokeless runner for drilling up to 40 holes through 24 inches of ice. It weighs just 22 pounds and couples with an 8-inch Straight Through blade that sheds ice and also allows opening iced-over holes. i


Powered by a Honda 35cc 4-stroke OHC engine, the StrikeMaster 4-stroke spins the company's flagship 8-inch steel drill through thick ice without the blue smoke of traditional two-bangers. VANDAR high-impact synthetic handles add to durability, while keeping the auger's total weight at 23 pounds.

Ultra IceArmor by Clam Outdoors

Waterproof, windproof, breathable, ultra warm, and distinctively designed, IceArmor Ultra Parka, Bibs, Gloves, and Mitts kick it up a notch for those who deal with extreme conditions on ice or in tough conditions on open water.

Apparel & Footwear

Columbia's AirGill Chill Zero shirt utilizes sweat-activated technology and strategically placed air venting to create a cooling sensation. When this 'Omni-Freeze ICE ' fabric contacts moisture, the temperature of the fabric drops (Retail: $110) Another essential Columbia product is the Drainmaker fishing footwear ($85). Designed to fit and feel like a light running shoe, yet shed water like a sandal, the Drainmaker has breathable open cell mesh with a durable toe cap, while the Techlite midsole has drainage ports in the heel and forefoot. Wet Grip rubber provides superior traction. Simms rainwear enhances its strong reputation with the Contender Gore-Tex jacket and bibs (Retail: $349.95 Jacket; $299.95 Bibs). With a 3-layer Gore-Tex Performance Shell, Contender suits sport are offered in several patterns, including exclusive 'Catch-Camo. ' They're 100-percent waterproof, windproof, and breathable, a lighter garment for milder climates.

Boating Accessories

To slow your drift, the Drift Paddle from JL Marine (Retail: $225) is a handy alternative to a driftsock. Installed onto a Power Pole, Drift Paddle can be adjusted to seven different settings for course correction. It deploys and stows with Power-Pole remote control. ­ Your trolling motor now communicates with Humminbird sonar and GPS, thanks to Minn Kota's iPilot Link (Retail: $799) — an integrated GPS trolling system operated with an intuitive LCD-driven remote control. Pre-program trolling routes on LakeMaster maps, specifying exact depth contours for the motor to follow. Or cast to a set depth line using the Contour Offset function. ­

Battle Combo

The Penn Battle Combo features the highly regarded Battle spinning reel with a one-piece composite Battle rod with stainless-steel guides with aluminum-oxide inserts. The reel features full metal body and sideplates, machined and anodized aluminum superline-ready spool, 7 stainless-steel bearings, oversized EVA soft-touch knobs on the handle, in retreive ratios of 6.2:1 and 5.6:1. Five sizes are available, from 2000 to 6000 (Retail: $119.99 to $129.99).


Few technologies created more buzz than Humminbird's 360 Imaging (Retail: [imo-slideshow gallery=26],999.99). Using a transom-mounted rotating transducer, the unit inspects the water and structure up to 300 feet around the boat, revealing gamefish, baitfish and objects in photo-realistic quality. Applications for this virtual 'underwater radar ' are being discovered, including scanning shallow water ahead of the boat for casting targets. It's compatible with all Ethernet-enabled Humminbird side imaging units. Though kept under wraps during ICAST, Lowrance has unveiled new HDS Gen2 Touch, a wide-format, touchscreen display with integrated navigational and fishfinding technology. Product options include the HDS-12 Gen2 Touch (Retail: $3,249), a 12-inch touchscreen unit with Broadband Sounder and enhanced StructureScan HD. Options abound, including a GoFree wireless module app. ­


View the water through Costa Del Mar's 580P optics and you feel like you're sightfishing in HD. Colors are brighter, underwater objects are clearer, espcially at dawn and dusk. The Sunrise 580P is a lightweight, 110-percent polarized lens that blocks yellow light from entering the eye, which cuts glare. It's offered in many of Costa's most popular frames (Retail: $149 to $249) Flying Fisherman tests each of its new lenses and frames in the crystalline waters of the Florida Keys, where radiant rays cast a continual glare across the surface. Their featured eyewear for 2013 is the Cameroon (Retail: $21.95 to $29.95), a rimless wraparound style sunglass with no-slip nose pads. Four frame/lens combinations are offered, including matte black/smoke and matte tortoise/amber. ­

Fishing Accessories

The Ultimate Line Winding System from American Premier Corporation is the neatest line-winder yet. A graphite frame accommodates spinning and baitcasting spools of any width, and a bushing provides ideal tension for spooling. Nifty is the fact that it turns the line spool as your crank the spinning reel, preventing line-twisting, which has been an eternal problem with spinning equipment (Retail: $39.95).

Fishmart Tackle

The SeaQualizer, an innovative release tool designed to help fish recover from the effects of barotrauma, which results from bringing afish to the surface from depths that prevent it from releasing air from its gas bladder. It's pressure-activated and can be attached to the line to lower fish back to appropriate depths, where the device releases the fish as it's recompressed. A Freshwater model releases at 20 feet; the Standard unit for saltwater can be set to release at 50, 100, or 150 feet. A heavy-duty version with larger jaws also is available (Retail $32.99 to $49.99). ­

Portable Boat

Hobie Cat has upped the ante on their Mirage Drive kayaks with the Mirage Pro Angler 12, which copped the top spot in the Boat category, as well as the overall Best of Show. This 12-footer has a 500-pound weight capacity and is loaded with features for anglers. Comfortable Vantage seats are easily adjustable. Or stand and fish, as the craft is balanced and stable. Tackle and rod storage are handy, with accessories for mounting sonar. Fully rigged, it weighs 120 pounds (Retail: gallery=26,849).


Abu Garcia's redesigned Revo Premier casting reel (Retail: $299.95) is even lighter (under 6 ounces) and more compact than previous Revos. Premier has 10 stainless-steel HPCR bearings within an X2-Craftic alloy frame and C6 carbon sideplates. ­ For torquing on muskies and other aquatic bullies, Shimano's TranX (Retail: $499) might be the last reel you ever buy. Amazingly smooth and light, TranX TX500HG has 6.6:1 gear ratio to wind 43 inches of line per crank. We're also impressed with the new Calcutta D series, the real deal for round reel freaks. For innovation, Megabass swipes the prize for their Retgraph FIII digital line counter reel. Using a microprocessor, it reports retrieve speed as well as distance of cast and water depth where the lure lands. A 4-channel controlled centripetal brake controls spool rotation speed for easy casting. Pinnacle's hand-tuning process has been applied to their Optimus spinning line, with all parts crafted of RCF2 Reinforced Carbon Fiber, a material that's said to be stronger and more rigid than aircraft aluminum.

Comfy Socks

These thick socks made with naturally moisture wicking Merino wool and special anti-microbial are very comfortable and warm.

Torch Light

This little bright efficient headlamp not only attaches to your head, but can be used as a flashlight or clip to your parka--a true 3-in-1 system. Remove the headlamp from the pivoting strap-on head bracket with ease and clip it back on when ready. Available in three sizes.

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