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Top fishing brands for 2013

These Smartbait crankbaits change color to represent a bleeding baitfish
These Smartbait crankbaits change color to represent a bleeding baitfish
by Johnson Communications

With the ice fishing season being one of the best in recent years, and with the trout opener just around the corner and bass season a few months off, avid anglers may like to know what tackle items are hot sellers and what other anglers are buying. Well Southwick Associates annual Angler Survey is out and they list the most popular brands per category. They are as follows:

* Top rod brand: Shakespeare (Ugly Stik, Sturdy Stik etc.)
* Top reel brand: Shimano
* Top combo brand: Shakespeare
* Top fishing line brand: Power Pro
* Top hard bait brand: Rapala
* Top soft bait brand: Berkley Gulp
* Top spinner bait brand: Strike King
* Top jig brand: Strike King
* Top sinker brand: Eagle Claw
* Top swivel brand: Eagle Claw
* Top rigs brand: Eagle Claw
* Top leader brand: Seaguar
* Top fly rod brand: Orvis and Redington (tie)
* Top fly reels brand: Orvis
* Top fly line brand: Scientific Angler and Rio (tie)
* Top fly leader brand: Rio
* Top tippets brand: Seaguar
* Top ice reel brand: Shakespeare
* Top ice rod brand: St. Croix
* Top ice combo brand: Frabill
* Top ice tip ups: Frabill
* Top wader brand: Hodgman
* Top clothing brand: Columbia
* Top raingear brand: Frogg Toggs
* Top landing net brand: Frabill
* Top bait bucket/aerator brand: Frabill
* Top fishing knife brand: Rapala
* Top fish scale brand: Berkley
* Top trolling motor brand: Minn Kota

The aforementioned are only a portion of al fishing categories, says Donna Leonard from Southwick Associates. Other information tracked includes percentage of sales occurring at different types of retailers, total spending per category, average prices and demographics for anglers buying specific products.

Additional information tracked includes total days spent fishing, type of fishing (fresh and salt and more), preferred species and where they fish.


Debuting at the 2013 BASS Classic were Smartbaits that change color in shallow or deep, warm or cold water.

Smartbaits are offererd in jerk, crank and vibrating style hardbaits and worms, grubs and swim soft baits.
The changing color is designed to incite bass to strike says its makers Mike and Leslee Dingman, who developed the exclusive chemistry that allows this unique process. The color changing imitates the injured, bleeding bellies of prey fish at different water temperatures and water depths.

To see a video of this go to


According to the PF&BC’s press office, due to the buildup of ice and snow, some trout stockings have been rescheduled. Because of this, volunteers who help stock should check the agencies website for updated information on stocking times and locations.


All area lakes like Ontelaunee, Minsi, Beltzville and Shohola are holding good ice and the fishing’s been good one day, slow another. But with additional snow cover, hardwater anglers may have to bring a snow shovel with them to remove this new snow before drilling their holes.

The consensus from area tackle shops is that at this time of year, the best baits are live, be it minnows, mealworms or waxworms. The fish want meat, not plastic or other imitations.

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