The new Ugly Stik Elite rods dominated in the annual survey of the latest fishing gear. The budget rods won both categories over top-shelf brands like G. Loomis and St. Croix.
Shakespeare recently upgraded the Ugly Stik, and the change painted a pretty picture for the thousands who voted.
Editors at Game & Fish/Sportsman have written about the rebirth of Ugly Stik and specifically the improvements to the rod guides. They noted that the now-reliable rods offer good quality with a price tag under the $50 mark.
Voters noted this, too. More than 600 offered comments about the rods. Reader Simon Foret said he voted for Shakespeare’s rods because they had solved an ugly issue: “I had a problem in the past with the ceramic rings falling out of the guide rings. They fixed that and I’ve seen no other problems.”
A majority of the respondents considered themselves expert or advanced bass anglers. The survey also revealed that about half of the respondents caught more than 50 fish and 1 in 5 fished more than 30 days last year.
Complete results of the voting are in the March issue of Game & Fish/Sportsman magazines, on newsstands now. Award trophies will be presented to winners at the 2016 ICAST show in Orlando.
Game & Fish/Sportsman conducts two gear-related surveys each year: one for fishing and one for hunting. Voting in the hunting survey begins soon. Manufacturers can e-mail nominees, plus one high-resolution photo of the product, to [email protected]
Another fishing-survey surprise was a statistical tie in the Soft Baits category. Terminator’s Walking Frog tied with Cabela’s Go-To Swim Minnow and left many new softbaits behind. The swimbait took 18.4% and the frog bait got 18.3%. The margin of error was 1.7%.
Despite new, innovative coolers, like Pelican’s ProGear and Cabela’s new Polar Cap, YETI still got more than 1 of every 2 votes cast in the category. But there may be hope for the challenger: In our previous Readers’ Choice Awards, YETI took 68.7%. This year, YETI got 58.3% of the votes.
Game & Fish/Sportsman conducts two Readers’ Choice Award votes each year. Results from the fishing survey are published in March while hunting results are published in July. Be alerted to future votes by signing up for an e-newsletter at gafmag.com.
Game & Fish/Sportsman, a nationally distributed magazine with more than 400,000 monthly subscribers and newsstand sales, had asked manufacturers to submit new gear nominees in 12 categories, from rods and reels to boats and stand-up paddleboards. To be considered “new,” the products must have been introduced in the last three years. The magazine then queried a large sampling of readers, subscribers and e-newsletter recipients to determine favorite picks.
Winners in each category:
FAVORITE SPINNING ROD
Shakespeare Ugly Stik Elite, 38.7%
Runners-Up: St. Croix Legend Elite, 16.6%
- Loomis E6X, 10.5%
FAVORITE SPINNING REEL
Shimano Stradic FK, 36.9%
Runners-Up: Pflueger President Limited, 19.7%
Abu Garcia MGX, 17.0%
FAVORITE BAITCASTING ROD
Shakespeare Ugly Stik Elite, 37.1%
Runners-Up: St. Croix Mojo Bass, 12.6%
- Loomis E6X, 11.6%
FAVORITE BAITCASTING REEL
Abu Garcia Pro Max, 31.1%
Runners-Up: Shimano Curado 200, 28.1%
Quantum Tour MG, 17.2%
FAVORITE HARD BAIT
Rapala Shadow Rap, 40.3%
Runners-Up: Rebel Bluegill, 13.7%
Booyah BossPop, 8.8%
FAVORITE SOFT BAIT
Cabela’s Go-To Swim Minnow, 18.4% (TIE)
Terminator Walking Frog, 18.3%
Runners-Up: Zoom Z-3 Swamp Crawler, 13.5%
YUM! Christie Critter, 12.9%
Lowrance HDS Gen3, 47.2%
Runners-Up: Humminbird Helix 7, 41.1%
Garmin Panoptix, 11.7%
YETI Tundra, 58.3%
Runners-Up: Pelican ProGear Elite, 13.3%
Cabela’s Polar Cap Equalizer, 13.4%
Mercury 115 Four Stroke, 43.2%
Runners-Up: Yamaha VMAX SHO 115, 19.3%
Honda BF100, 17.0%
FAVORITE BASS BOAT
Alumacraft Competitor 205, 30.9%
Runners-Up: Ranger RP190, 28.8%
Triton 21TrX, 23.8%
Cabelas Guidewear Angler Jacket, 44.5%
Runners-Up: Simms ProDry, 19.8%
Columbia Force 12, 16.4%
Smoke Venom, 40.3%
Runners-Up: Costa del Mar Rooster, 31.6%
WileyX Tide, 28.1%
About Outdoor Sportsman Group – Integrated Media
As a premier destination for the most avid outdoors enthusiasts, Outdoor Sportsman Group’s Integrated Media division is widely recognized for its strong special-interest multichannel brands, including Petersen’s Hunting, Guns & Ammo, In-Fisherman, North American Whitetail, Game & Fish/Sportsman and 10 other leading magazines that reach more than 28 million readers. Outdoor Sportsman Group’s network of websites, including BassFan.com, Outdoorchannel.com, Sportsmanchannel.com and WFN.com attracts more than 78 million annual unique visitors, and OSG TV produces hundreds of TV episodes of original branded hunting, sport shooting and fishing programming that airs on Outdoor Sportsman Group’s broadcast entities. Visit http://outdoorsg.com for more information.