No matter what you’re fishing for it all comes down to having the right equipment, the right bait and the right conditions. If one of those important pieces of the puzzle are missing you’re in for a rough day on the lake. They say a bad day of fishing is better than a good day at the office… and we couldn’t agree more. The Busted Wallet crew is an avid bunch of fishermen and women who love to get out on the lake and catch for sport and for dinner! Fishing for bass, trout, salmon, pan fish and pike are among our favorites.

Recently we teamed up with some of the finest brands in the business to test and review their latest and greatest equipment and tackle on the crystal clear waters of Michigan’s Great Lakes. It’s no surprise, we took our time with this one, but with Summer coming to a close soon it’s finally time to share with you what we discovered. From Equipment to Lures, here’s the essentials we played with in 2015….

– Equipment –

Frabill Hiber Net

How cool can a net be? Well, the boys at Frabill just made it much cooler! Don’t believe us? Check out the embedded video below to see the Hiber Net in action…

We’ve been using the Hiber Net all Summer and it is fantastic. It is easy to stow away and quick to extend. We haven’t missed a fish yet and with this net on-board we don’t plan to anytime soon. If you’re in the market for a new net you should make it a Hiber Net, you’re fishing buddies will be jealous!

Buy Now: $89 – $169

XPS Stalker Front Loader Tackle Syste

xps-tackle-systemThe Bass Pro Shops XPS Stalker Front Loader Tackle System is constructed of heavy-duty, 600-denier, water-resistant polyester and capable of carrying five 370 utility boxes in the main compartment and two 360 utility boxes in side pockets. Besides its convenient front-loading design, it has a padded top compartment for bulk storage plus a heavily padded shoulder strap and handles. There is also built-in storage for tools, sunscreen, scent, and the like. Available in your choice of a bag only or a system with four 370 utility boxes this tackle box is truly functional.

When fully loaded this tackle system is capable of carrying a ton of tackle! Mine is stuffed to the gills and weights in at nearly 25lbs. That’s a lot of gear, but it’s organized! And that makes all the difference when you’re out on the lake.

Buy Now: $79 – $99 or to learn more, go to:

Aqua-Vu Micro Plus with DVR

av-microDelivering 8gb of on-board memory, the Aqua-Vu Micro Plus with DVR not only lets you see fish, but now you can record all the action. This tiny underwater camera is small yet mighty. The 3.5” LCD Screen is 30% brighter than previous models and has a 3x digital zoom. With infrared mode you can even see in the dark. When not in use the unit is small enough to fit in your coat pocket or tackle box.

When fishing you’re flying blind 90% of the time. What Aqua-Vu allows you to do is send the camera down to see what type of vegetation might be in the area as well as see the conditions at the bottom (rocks, sand, etc…). It will also allow you to see if there are fish where your setting up. Surprisingly fish are not weary of this little camera. When we first dropped the camera into the water we thought we might see an occasional fish, but to our delight many fish haven’t the slightest worry about the Aqua-Vu. In some instances it even seems like they come over to investigate it.

We can’t tell you how great it is to know whether there are fish where you’re dropping your bait. There’s been too many fishing trips spent sending line down for hours and hours without even a bite. We could move, sure, but not knowing if we’re moving to better water – what’s the point? With the Aqua-Vu you can actaully see whats happening underwater and choose to stay or go. And with 50 feet of wire, there’s not too may fishing holes you can’t investigate.

We feel that the Aqua-Vu Micro Plus with DVR will change your fishing experience for the better, no questions asked. After testing it out over the past few months you won’t catch us leaving home without it.

Buy Now: $499.99 or, to learn more, go to:

Magellan 310 Pro Angler Edition

Magellan-eXplorist-310-Angler-outdoor-handheld-gps-devicePre-loaded with the World Edition map, the eXplorist 310 from Magellan will make your time on the water more rewarding. Fishing Hot Spots maps are complete with extensively researched Fishing Points of Interest, Lake Profiles and lake specific Fishing Tips & Techniques.

A few key features we absolutely fell in love with during our time spent testing this GPS were its ergonomic housing, 18 hour battery life (on 2 AA’s), its very easy to read screen, the simple to navigate user interface and its ability to mark hot spots on a map. This GPS is great for anglers accessing new lakes and rivers or heading out on trips into unknown areas. We found the user interface to be extremely easy to navigate – a big improvement over GPS units we’ve tested in the past. If an angler who loves to explore, this GPS is an incredible tool.

PRO TIP: while this unit does boast an 18 hours batter life, it is smart to keep an extra set of batteries in your tackle box in case they decide to die on you in the middle of nowhere.

Buy Now: $199.99

Frabill Min-O-Life Personal Bait Statio

71780m3_tsThe results are in! in a recent national survey, four dozen out of four dozen minnows chose Frabill’s min-o-life as their favorite live bait aeration system. It’s no wonder why; all min-o-life aeration products feature whisper drive technology. No more headaches from listening to the drone of buzzing bubblers. Maintain your peace of mind and keep the “live” in your bait with min-o-life live bait aeration station. Superior insulation features hard shell cooler design (8 qt. Capacity) keeps water and bait cooler, lift-out net liner eliminates need for a minnow dip net; just lift and select your bait.

This is truly the only way to keep your minnows alive for extended periods. We use this for perch fishing and have kept our minnows strong for up to 5 days. When we’re working with live minnows, there’s no question… we’re bringing the Min-O’-Life along.

Buy Now: $52.99

Predator XL Kayak

Predator XL Kayak Review

The newest innovation from Old Town comes in the form of a 13ft, 92lbs, Minn Kota powered, beast of a kayak, they’ve dubbed the Predator XL. This kayak is for serious anglers who want to spend less time paddling, more time fishing and impressing the hell out of every other angler on the water.

The Predator XL is by far the most innovative kayak on the market this year. We’ve yet to test another kayak that is as stable, angler-friendly or down right handsome. If you’re in the market for a high-budget angler kayak that is sure to get you on the fish from sun up to night fall, we highly recommend test driving a Predator XL Minn Kota from Old Town. Once you do, you might never look back!

Buy Now: $2,699.99

– Rod & Reel Combos –

Shakespeare Wild Series

1347935_ISEach rod in the Wild series features a 100 percent graphite rod, lightweight, stainless-steel guides and Hybrid Tech Grips (HTGTM). Reels feature a five-bearing system that is silky smooth. Adding to the adventure-packed Wild Series’ lightweight, functional features, the reel has a durable aluminum spool and handle with soft-touch knob that performs under the most rigorous conditions. Salmon/steelhead and catfish models offer a carbon-fiber drag system while other models have the reliable multi-disc drag system. Fly reels are prespooled with backing and weight-forward line.

Buy Now: $49.99 to $59.99

Bionic Blade XPS Micro Guide/Bionic Plus Baitcast Reel & Rod Combo

downloadThey say that once you go Bionic, you’ll never go back! From our experience this Summer they are right. This rod and reel combo delivers smooth and efficient casting on the water. Perfect for delicate casting and all day fishing.

The Bass Pro Shops Bionic Plus Baitcast Reel features a rock-solid all-aluminum frame and a handsome white finish. The experts at BPS have also added their proven, externally adjustable Smart Cast anti-backlash system which allows anglers to adjust settings at the beginning and the end of the cast to virtually eliminate backlashes. Other advanced features include a smooth six-bearing system; Powerlock instant anti-reverse; forged, double-anodized aluminum V-grooved spool; smooth, powerful drag system; comfortable ribbed grips; Recurve handle, and drag star.

Not to mention the revolutionary IM8 blank is created with Bass Pro Shop’s innovative ArmorCore Technology—a stronger-than-steel aramid fiber core that is wrapped with ultra-light, super-powerful IM8 graphite to make this one of the most powerful, lightweight rods you’ll ever fish. EVA split grips add to your control and fishing comfort.

Buy Now: $139.98 or to learn more, go to:

Ugly Stik GX2

1314552_ISThe new Ugly Stik GX2 rod and reel combos deliver in all aspects of performance and offer the best value and toughest low-profile, spinning, underspin and spincast combos on the market.

And for the ladies, the Ugly Stik GX2 utilizes the same toughness and durability and is available in both rods and combos. Using subtle pink accents throughout the rod and reel, the GX2 Ladies rods and combos are ideal for any lady angler wanting something that will handle any fishing situation. The Ugly Stik GX2 Ladies features two casting rod models, four spinning rod models and three combos.

Buy Now: $49.99

Abu Garcia Orra SX Low Profile Combo


Inspired by the Revo lineup, the Orra series of reels from Abu Garcia deliver proven performance and durability in a compact package. Advanced engineering and precision components make the Orra series a perfect choice for anglers that demand the most from their equipment. The Orra SX weighs in at just 7.3 ounces with an X-Cräftic alloy frame and graphite sideplates. For anglers, this means a more corrosion resistant reel. The combo is precision balanced thanks to a 24 Ton graphite rod that features comfortable high density EVA handles and micro guide system. Combos are available with either a 6’6″ medium or 7’0″ medium heavy rod.

This is one of our favorite combos we’ve tested. The reel delivers amazing feel and control. Casting accurately is never an issue with this bad boy in the boat.

Buy Now: $129.99

Eagle Claw Packit Telescoping Combo

Packit-Combo-LineDesigned for ultimate portability, the Packit combo is the rod & reel you keep in the Jeep, at-the-ready for fishing at a moments notice. Its super durable glass construction makes it perfect for the trail, trunk or turbo-prop. Available in 4 piece versions and of course, the ever popular telescopic models that have been a fan favorite for years. The combo features a lightweight aluminum reel with quick folding handle and is already spooled with line. It might not be the most impressive combo in your arsnal, but it will quickly become one of your favorites.

Buy Now: $26.95

– Gear –

Dragon Alliance SeafarerX Sunglasses

dragon allinace

The Dragon SeafarerX combines classic styling with state of the art innovation to perform in all water activities. Features include Dragon’s signature floatable frame, interchangeable and fully integrated Aqua Leash lanyard system, and Dragon Performance lenses. For water environments with intense light such as off-shore fishing to water environments with variable low-light such as fresh water fishing. The SeafarerX provides maximum protection from sun, UV, and corrosional elements such as salt water, sun block, fish guts, and equipment impact.

I keep a pair of these in my tackle box, but many times forget to put them back because they are so damn comfy. They’re lightweight and amazing for scoping the water for fish!

Buy Now: $220

Frabill F1 Storm Jacket & Hybrid Pants

frabill f1 strom jacket and pants

Built for anglers that know all about overheating. Coastal and freshwater bass anglers are subjected to some of the worst weather imaginable. When it’s pouring rain, but the thermometer still reads 80-degrees or higher, you can get drenched on the inside even if your raingear keeps outside moisture out. Frabill developed F-Series raingear with the specific purpose of keeping you dry inside…and out.

After fishing in several downpours this Summer there is no fear of rain or heat for that matter any more while out on the lake. The F1 jacket and hybrid pants are incredible at stopping wetness from finding your skin and clothes underneath. Whether you’re in the middle of a downpour our you’re sitting on wet seats, the F1 series of rain gear from Frabill will keep you dry and cool even in peak of Summer.

Buy Now: Jacket – $124.99 & Hybrid Pants – $124.99

Adventure Medical Kit’s Steelhead First Aid Kit

4bd1f8e93e11c053a6650b656bed0a77c3bb4336A first aid kit is something every angler should have in the boat. Luckily Advneture Medical Kit specifically designed the Steelhead Kit for sportsman operating in wet environments whether it is hunting waterfowl from a duck blind or fishing from your skiff in wet weather. Featuring proprietary ultralight and watertight two layer system you won’t need to worry if you find this kit floating in the water at the bottom of your boat at the end of a great day of hunting or fishing. This kit has everything you need for the most common injuries, including an irrigation syringe for cleaning wounds, wound closure strips for closing wound edges, trauma pads for bleeding and much more.

Buy Now: $25.00

Clearwater Fillet Knife

0023RDS-BThis flexible fillet knife has a comfortable and safe rubberized handle, and an injection molded sheath with drainage holes for easy carry and stowing. The full tang blade features a triple edge design with backside edging for breaking down fish during non-fillet cuts. A great fit for both freshwater and salt water anglers alike.

This has quickly become one my favorite fillet knives. The top edge is sharp just like the normal blade which helps with plunge cuts and detail work with smaller pan fish. I always keep this fillet knife close by when prepping for a fish fry!

Buy Now: $57.00

YETI Hooper 20


100% leak-proof, tough-as-nails and completely rugged, the Hopper 20 from YETI Coolers is a soft-sided beast. This cooler utilizes a Hydrolock zipper and U-Dock too keep your beer, food and catch cool for days. YETI has been known for years for their nearly bomb-proof rotomolded coolers. Recently they introduced their take on the soft cooler. Available in the Hopper 30 and now 20, the Hopper series of coolers are ideal for day trips to the beach, fishing or weekend camping.

Since the Hopper is lightweight (unlike most of their rotomolded models) this cooler only takes one person to carry and has a few handy straps to configure it any way you want for transport. Holding 12 cans of beer (or soda) and 20 lbs of ice, this is the ultimate soft cooler on the market. We’ve been able to test the Hopper 20 on our own over the past month and couldn’t be happier with its performance and durability.

Buy Now: $299 or to learn more, go to:

Burton Beeracuda

10999102201_1_1091x2100_300_RGB-531x1024Say hello to the over-the-shoulder beer holder. A liquid lunch box that stores a vertical stack of cold ones in the insulated sleeve, plus a bonus can on the koozie-enhanced shoulder strap. This IS the beer cooler you never knew you needed!

After testing the Beeracuda for more than 3 weeks now, I’m not quite sure how I made it to my 30’s without ever having one! The Beeracuda (single-barrel version) holds up to 5 cans of your favorite beer and keeps em’ cold for a couple hours. The shoulder strap is adjustable and can be slung over your back making it ideal for fishing, hiking, riding, or absolutly ANYTHING else you might need to bring along a bunch of beers for. And just look at that lure-print. Just look at it!

Buy Now: $29.95

– Tackle –

downloadXPS Toad & Mouse Kit:

This Toad and Mouse Kit includes 6 of the hottest terrestrial topwater lures. Including 3 of the popular Lazer Eye Tender Toads and 3 Floating Mouse baits. Incredible body detail produces tremendous results, while the snagless double hooks ensure you’re able to work Lilly pads without worry. The kit also includes a high-quality Plano 3455 utility box. Buy Now: $18.99

download (1)XPS 5-Piece Square Bill Kit:

The XPS 5-Piece Square Bill Kit includes five top-performing colors. The XPS Square Bill burns in a wide wobble, depending upon retrieve speed, so you can crawl it across the top as a wake bait, or rip the crankbait in a deadly arc over submerged weed beds. The square bill deflects off of cover consistently. This crankbait proved time after time to lure in the pike and bass. Buy Now: $15.99

download (4)XPS 5-Piece Topwater Kit:

Lure ’em to the top with five different baits designed for explosive action. The Bass Pro Shops XPS 5-Piece Topwater Kit includes two 4″, 7/16-oz. Slim Dogs and three 2-7/16″, 1/5-oz. Z-Pops in our most popular colors. I personally love this lure for fishing around the lilly pads and on days when the bass are being really stubborn. The action and sound these topwater lures create is almost impossible for monster bass to resist. Buy Now: $15.99

download (5)XPS 5-Piece Rattle Shad Kit:

This 5-Piece Rattle Shad Kit includes five top-performing colors. The slab-sided, deep-bellied vibrating Rattle Shad features specially tuned rattle chambers filled with small beads to call in feeding fish from all directions. The Rattle Shad produces a tight-wiggling action that sends out a continuous loud signal that fish can’t ignore. Rattle Shads are great searching lures that are designed for long casts and can be retrieved at any depth. Size: 2-3/4″; 3/8 ounce. Buy Now: $15.99

download (6)BPS 455-Piece Crappie Kit:

This crappie kit is packed with 430 premium plastic baits in all, including 100- 2″ Squirmin’ grubs, 100- 1-1/2″ mini tubes, 45- 1″ crawfish, 75- 2″ minnows, 50- 2″ Tripple Ripple™ grubs, and 60- 1″ frogs. Plus, the kit includes 8- 1/32 oz. round jigheads, 8- 1/16 oz. round jigheads, 8- 1/16 oz. tube jigheads, and a Bass Pro Shops 360 utility box. Buy Now:  $24.99

download (1)Baby King Shad:

At 3 inches in length, the Baby King Shad has a life-like action and bait fish profile that is effective pretty much anywhere. The single jointed body gives the bait a remarkable swimming action and flash while tracking perfectly through the water. Outfitted with premium hooks and components, this flat-sided hard body swimbait is available in a variety of great colors. Buy Now: $14.99

download (3)King Shad:

Much like the Baby King, the King Shad delivers incredible life like action and baitfish profile draws the attention of the biggest of largemouth bass, striper, musky, pike, peacock bass, etc… The King Shad is 4″ long and is flat-sided for a unique fish-like swimming action. Buy Now: $19.99

imagesWake Shad:

Identical to the King shad in every which way with the exception of the front lip which we turned down to create a “wake” and to move water excessively was the design premise behind the Wake Shad. Designed to be reeled slowly or burned across the top of the water, the Wake shad is the best and easiest to use. No special retrieves or anything, simply throw it out and reel it in. Change your retrieve speed to get dialed into the fish and catching a monster should be no problem. This 4″ single jointed body design creates an awesome swimming motion and has the right amount of wiggle and flash all the while tracking true on each cast. Buy Now: $15.99

download (4)Lucky Shad – Walleye Elite:

By using the same research and development that’s behind their Bassmaster Classic-winning baits and incorporating the needs of top walleye anglers, Strike King created the revolutionary Walleye Lucky Shad. With heavy-duty plastic construction, the realistic, rattling minnow body with three-dimensional eyes effectively mimics live baitfish. Effective when trolled or cast, this lure dives down to 8-ft. Available in a range of colors to match delicious baitfish. Chip-resistant paint stands up to years of use. Black nickel hooks. Buy Now: $7.49

download (7)Bonsai Shad:

With heavy-duty plastic construction, the realistic, rattling minnow body with three-dimensional eyes effectively mimics live baitfish. Effective when trolled or cast, this lure dives all the way down to 12-ft. Available in a range of colors to match conditions. Buy Now: $7.49

banana shadWalleye Elite Banana Shad Crankbait:

The Walleye Elite Banana Shad Crankbait from Strike King® is among the first walleye lures from this manufacturer. The Banana Shad emits a wide tail action from its large profile that’s sure to trigger a strike from trophy-size walleye. Available in a wide range of walleye-catching colors. Buy Now: $6.99

images (1)Sexy Spoon:

Previously a ”sexy secret” known only to the pros, Strike King®’s heavy-duty Sexy Spoon is now available to bass anglers everywhere! Its seductive wobble and curvaceous body draw a bass’s lusty eye like nothing else! Just let it sink to the bottom, rip it up a few feet, and let it flutter back down. Buy Now: $9.99

download (5)Popp’n Grass Frog:

The Strike King Pop’n Grass Frog produces loud fish attracting popping sounds when pulled through the water. It features durable Strike Hyde foam, Eagle Claw lazer sharp hook and trailer hook. The Pop’n Grass Frog has unique leg action which serves as a weedguard for the trailer hook. It also feels lifelike to fish. Buy Now: $7.25

Mr. Crappie Baits (ShadPole & Thunder):

landing-thunder landing-shadpoleThe Mr. Crappie ShadPole is designed with the darting action of Threadfin Shad and a squigglin’ tail like a Tadpole. Great for flippin’, dippin’, skippin’, or shootin’!

The Mr. Crappie Thunder is designed with a solid ripple body and a tail that flares out at 90 degrees. Great for vertical, casting, long line trolling, tight line trolling and catching crappie in all types of cover! Buy Now: $3.29 & $3.79 per 15 pk.

download (6)Slab Hammer Tooty Fruit Tubes:

When the crappie bite slows, it’s time to tempt and tantalize with the Slab Hammer Tooty Fruity Tubes by Strike King. Heavily salted, the Tooty Fruity Tubes have everything slab seekers need to open locked crappie jaws. Sporting remarkable color combinations and highlighted by their incredible dancing action, the Tooty Fruity Crappie Tubes are your ticket to a basket full of crappie this season. Buy Now: $2.89 per 8 pk.

dsimage (1)Mepps Basser Kit:

The Mepps Basser Kit features a variety of #2 and #3 dressed and plain Mepps spinners. These lures are ideal for largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, walleye, pickerel, or northern pike. The dressed spinners present a larger profile and will attract larger fish. Buy Now: $38.20

dsimagePanfisher Kit:

This is Mepps most popular 6-lure panfish kit. It is designed for the panfish angler who prefers fishing spinners and spoons with a plain treble hook. These lures will allow the panfish angler to fish almost any water under most fishing conditions. They are perfect for bluegill (bream), sunfish, crappie, perch and rock bass. This kit is ideal for the hiker or backpacker who needs a good selection of proven panfish lures in one handy kit. Buy Now: $28.55

dsimage (2)Crappie Kit:

Here’s the perfect lure kit for the crappie fisherman. Five Mepps spinners proven to catch slab crappie, plus an assortment of six Mister Twister Curly Tails. This kit is perfect for both the experienced or novice crappie fisherman as it takes the guesswork out of selecting the “right” spinner. The lures in this kit weight anywhere from 1/12 to 1/8 oz. They provide tremendous action when fished with light spinning gear. These also are great panfish lures. Buy Now: $33.55

dsimage (3)Salmon Kit:

Salmon fishermen from the Great Lakes, Pacific Northwest and Alaska all agree you won’t find a better selection of lures for tackle busting salmon than Mepps has to offer. We selected six of our very best for our Salmon Kit. Big kings (chinook) and silvers (coho) can be brutal on tackle. Any salmon angler will appreciate the quality built into these rugged lures. Beginning with solid brass components, each lure is specifically designed to handle big fish with an attitude Buy Now: $39.70

dsimage (4)Walleye Kit:

Walleye, by nature, are night feeders but don’t be lulled into thinking this is the only time to fish them. Water color has a definite effect on the feeding habits of the walleye. Many lakes are dark water lakes. High noon is a good time to fish for walleyes in these waters. When fishing from a boat, anchor on either side of a channel and cast into it. Walleyes are basically bottom feeders, but don’t ignore those fish that suspend over drop-offs in deep lakes. Some of the best summer walleye fishing is provided by suspended fish. Try trolling for them with the #0 Syclops, #2 Aglia Long Mino or #3 Comet Mino in this kit. Don’t lose patience. Walleyes are a schooling fish and can move in at any time. Buy Now: $40.55

dsimage (5)Piker Kit:

When it comes to getting the attention of big pike, you can’t beat the thump of a spinner or the flash of a spoon. Big pike are tough on tackle. Any pike angler will appreciate the quality built into these durable lures. Just like the salmon kit this each lure has solid brass components, and is specifically designed to handle big pike, cast after cast. Buy Now: $37.95

download (9)Berkley Flicker Minnow:

The Size 7 Flicker Minnow can be trolled in the 14- to 17-foot depth range, depending on line choice and speed, with a dive curve that is unmatched by similar minnow baits. The Size 9 (3.5 inches) model can easily reach the 18- to 23-foot zone when cranked while both sizes of the Flicker Minnow feature a big, aggressive roll when retrieved or trolled. The Size 7 model has a casting weight of 1/4 ounce while the Size 9 Flicker Minnow has a casting weight of 1/3 ounce, with both models featuring an internal rattle as well as Mustad Ultra-Point treble hooks. The Flicker Minnow is tank and tourney tested, giving anglers the confidence of knowing that the baits are tuned with precision. Buy Now: $5.95download (10)

Berkley Flicker Shad Pro Flash:

Trolling with 10-pound Fireline, anglers will see greater depths of 2 to 15 feet out to 150 feet back with the size seven. If anglers choose to troll with 10-pound Trilene XT, they can expect a dive curve of 2 to 14 feet up to 150 feet back. Average retrieval depths can range from 2 to 6 feet. Exact figures can vary based on the model selected and trolling/retrieval speed, but anglers can be confident when selecting the Berkley Flicker Shad Pro Flash as their next trolling or casting lure. Each Flicker Shad Pro Flash is individually tank tested to give anglers a precisely tuned lure. The Mustad Ultra-Point treble hooks ensure nothing gets away while the action brings fish in on a string. Available in two sizes.  Buy Now: $4.95.

download (11)Rapala Shadow Rap:

The Shadow Rap® combines a horizontal struggle with a vertical fade that perfectly mimics a minnow in trouble. Rapala has perfected the natural minnow action in this new jerkbait that triggers fish in three ways: on the kick, on a slow fading fall and on the snap back to life. Most jerk baits continue on a forward plane with each jerk. Not the Shadow Rap®. It kicks almost 180 degrees right then left, so it can be fished nearly in place with very little forward travel, keeping the flickering fade of the Shadow Rap® right in a fish’s strike zone. That’s when things really get interesting. Buy Now: $9.99

download (12)Rapala Ultra Lite Rippin’ Rap:

Built to dive and rip, the lipless, deep-bellied Rapala Ultralight Rippin’ Rap is ideal for both ice-fishing and open-water applications. Skinny sides create a fluttering motion on the drop, while the hard-vibrating action accented with a loud BB rattle system is sure to catch the attention of unsuspecting fish. Textured scales and gills, as well as 3D holographic eyes provide a realistic appearance that draws the monsters in close, while super-sharp VMC® black nickel hooks seal the deal with ease. Buy Now: $6.99

– Fishing Line & Hooks – 

Eagle Claw Circle & Long Shank Hooks

ECCIRCAEagle claw, the Brand that started it all, remains the staple of today’s value conscious fisherman. Eagle claw hooks are the only hooks made in the USA and are built with integrity, honesty and 85+ years of hook making experience and heritage. The eagle claw Brand remains the face of the company, and one of the most widely recognized Brands in all of fishing.

This Summer we put their Lazer Sharp Circle Hooks and Long Shank Hook Kits through the paces. These all purpose hooks are great for a variety of species and setups. When you need a hook Eagle Claw is a great choice, and a brand we trust!

Buy Now: $15 – $20

Spiderwire Stealth Glow-Vis Braid

download (7)Spiderwire has taken the most popular braid, Stealth, and created the new low-vis green color which is a slightly lighter green than the original moss green. This gives the line a less visible look especially underwater, very helpful when the fish have become “line shy” as found during heavy fishing pressure situations. But, the low-vis line is also a high-vis Glow when exposed to sunlight to aid the angler in watching the line.

Available on 125-yard and 300-yard filler spools in line tests from 6 to 80. Bulk spools with 1500 yards of line are available in 10-pound test to 80. The MSRP ranges from $14.99 to $184.99.

SpiderWire Ultracast Fluoro-Braid

download (8)The braid that sinks like a fluorocarbon! Fluoro-Braid combines the sinking properties of a fluorocarbon with the strength and castability of SpiderWire® braided fishing lines. A breakthrough Gore® fluorocarbon and Dyneema® fiber blend provides a more direct line profile from rod tip to lure. The result is less slack in your line for ultimate sensitivity and faster hook sets. This line is great for power casting with crankbaits, trolling when extra lure depth is needed, pitching soft baits in heavy cover and windy days when you need to get your line down fast. Also ideal for Schooling Rigs. Buy Now: $20.99 – $234.99

Sufix 832 Advanced Superline

download (14)Designed to be the strongest, most durable small diameter braid on the market. R8 Precision Braiding and fiber technology provides superior strength, roundness and line consistency. Patent-pending construction of 8 fibers (7 Dyneema® plus 1 GORE® Performance Fiber) and 32 weaves per inch. GORE® Performance Fibers improve abrasion resistance, increase casting distance & accuracy and reduce line vibration. Dyneema® fibers provide high strength & sensitivity, hydrophobic water-repellent protection and small diameter. Buy Now: $21.99 – $449.99

Buy Now: $20.99 – $239.99

Sufix Elite Mono

51ahDmwaBmL._SX300_Sufix Elite has unbeatable strength and easy handling. Superior tensile and knot strength due to Micro Resin Technology. It handles better and casts with ease due to a proprietary extrusion process. With G² Precision Winding™ (330 yd. spools) it has virtually no memory. 25 and 30 lb test only available in 250 yards. Buy Now: $9.49 – $85.49


And there you have it… some truly amazing equipment, apparel, gear and lures to put in your arsenal for fresh water fishing. While yes, it’s true, we weren’t able to cover every exciting product on the market this season. There’s simply too much to talk about! That’s why you’ll just have to check in next year when we plan to bring you much more too drool over.

About The Author


Busted Wallet’s resident testing and review specialist, Josh has a keen eye for all things tech, booze, and sports-related. After working closely with brands such as Nike, The North Face, EA Sports, Beam Global, Burton, HP, Oakley, Sony, Cannondale, Confluence Watersports, Taylormade Golf and many others over the past several years he’s grown to become one of the most reliable reviewers in the business.

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