Best fishing rods and reels of 2021

The best fishing rod and bait and bottom reel

Bimini Bay / Shimano outfitter

Tsunami Airwave Elite is a sturdy rod and the Shimano Baitrunner D series the reel is specially designed for casting live bait, but it is light and streamlined enough to cast lures.

Advantages: Every component of the Airwave Elite is high quality and built to last; the Baitrunner D series is stylish, versatile and spare parts (if you need them) are readily available through Shimano

The inconvenients: Not all Airwave Elite models come with a gimbal for safer storage in the rod holders; The Baitrunner D has a graphite frame rather than all-metal, which is fine, as long as it doesn’t suffer a catastrophic drop, in which case it’s much more likely to break.

The Tsunami Airwave Elite was a new rod for me this year, but friends who are passionate about fishing have been swearing by it for two years, and I quickly understood why. Despite its light weight, it is sturdy and the silicon carbide (SiC) guides held in place by a sturdy titanium frame prevent them from bending or breaking during transport.

I’m also a huge fan of the Airwave Elite’s diamond-textured retractable vinyl grips, which are a nice surprise on a relatively budget-friendly rod. While most fishing rods come with a soft EVA foam or cork grip, both of these materials chew quite easily over time.

But after two years of general wear and tear along the New England coast, the vinyl grips on the Airwave Elites I tested last weekend weren’t even showing a scratch – far from most grips. my rods, all of which at least have a good notch or two. I’m always curious what could damage, let alone break one of those rods.

There are many solid live bait reels that include a lighter, more finely tuned secondary drag to allow a fish to strike without sensing stress, but my favorite and oldest reel is the Shimano Baitrunner D series. It is sturdy. , sure, but it’s also streamlined and light enough to be used for applications other than sit and wait bait fishing, which is why it gets my praise.

I’m just as comfortable casting lures or even doing a bit of trolling with this reel, especially when paired with the Airwave Elite. It also has no difficulty handling the braided line, which, being thinner than traditional monofilament or fluorocarbon fishing line, has a penchant for getting stuck and unraveling or cutting into crevices or cracks. snags that arise. This reel is definitely smooth, and the oversized handle makes it a lot more comfortable than most, especially when fighting bigger fish or scavenging lures all day.

If that’s a surf rod you’re after, Tsunami’s Airwave Elite 11’4 “spinning rod will do most surfcasting, and the Shimano Baitrunner D Series reel will still perform well, but if you want to forgo the function of As a secondary gear, the Okuma Azores series has been one of my favorites, mainly for its large spool and grip, which you appreciate when you have a football field worthy of a winding wire.

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