revo stxAs technology continues to evolve, so do the products that we use on the water. Each year, companies conduct hours of research, field testing, and surveys to create the best tackle for anglers. Some of these items fall short of their expectations, while others are home runs among the fishing community. Today, we’ll take a look at some of 2013’s best fishing products!

We’ll start with one of 2013’s best lures, the Rapala BX minnow. A perfect combination of new school innovation and old school design, the BX minnow is made from Rapala’s balsa and tough, flashy plastic shell found on but in the water it
has a noticeably different action than similar hollow-body baits on the market. For instance, when retrieved slowly, the BX rolls gently from side to side. When you pause on the retrieve, the BX offers a subtle wobble as it ascends to the surface, due to the buoyancy of the balsa wood. You can also rip the BX like a jerkbait, which causes it to dart wildly and float quickly like a wounded baitfish. ($10-$12)

Bass anglers are quite familiar with the quality performance and reliability of Abu Garcia’s Revo baitcast reels, and the updated STX raised the bar that much higher. A nearly 30% (2.5oz) reduction in weight over last year’s model, EVA grips, improved alloy frame that reduces corrosion, carbon sideplates, and even an 8.0:1 gear ratio model are some of the features that made the 2013 Revo STX a must-have this year. ($200)

The name St. Croix should be no stranger to any angler. The company’s Legend Xtreme rods made a big splash among fishermen this year, and with good reason. The Xtremes offer a protected handle that repels water, dirt and fish slime, dries quickly, and cleans up easily after a long day on the water. Their blank provides curved patterns for improved action with increased sensitivity, along with boosted flexibility. The rods are ideal for all types of line, and the sloped frame and ring eliminate tangles before they become a problem. The split reel seat also provides lightweight sensitivity, while the machined aluminum wind check, handle trim pieces and butt cap reduce weight further to allow for hours and hours of pain-free casting. On top of all that, you get a lifetime limited warranty, as well as the assurance that the rod was designed and handcrafted in the United States. ($350-$420)

For river rats, Patagonia’s Stealth gear bag was one of the year’s favorites. The bag’s wide opening provides quick access to large items, while the multiple interior and exterior pockets keep everything else securely in its place. Furthermore, the bag offers tough, highly water-resistant polyurethane-coated nylon with a water repellent finish and a molded, EVA foam bottom to protect your valuable items and keep the bag in good shape. Padded handles, removable shoulder strap, and exterior rod holder make hauling a load of gear a breeze whenever you hit the water. ($150)

Of course, there have been dozens of products released in 2013, but the gear outlined above represents some of the most popular and innovative of the year. Be sure to give them a second look the next time you head to your local outdoor retailer.