For even more great new gear, also see the year’s best new rods and reels, accessories, fly tackle and gear for women.
The latest swimbaits, topwaters, soft-plastics, spinners, jerkbaits, and jigs for Canadian anglers
Best lure components
HEAD SHOT SERIES
These ultra-realistic components are a DIY-lure maker’s dream come true. Predators are known to target the head of their prey, and Head Shots (above right) make the perfect bull’s-eye. They move freely around the shaft of a spinner, but when retrieved, they swivel upright and wobble from side to side. The 11 hand-detailed shapes include pike, sunfish, walleye, chub and redhorse sucker. You can also purchase finished bucktails (above left).
Best finesse lure
At 2½-inches in length, with a slender, articulated 2¼-inch tail, the Mouse is tiny-and that’s the point. Spro’s hefty, award-winning BBZ-1 Rat lures were made for heavy baitcasting equipment and big predators, but the 5/16-ounce Mouse is a finesse spinning presentation for bass, crappies and trout. Retrieved at a moderate speed, it has a walk-the-dog action, but when slowed down, it shines as a sub-surface crankbait.
Best bass hook
When bass pros sponsored by competing companies are using VMC’s NK Neko, you know it’s a good hook. And here’s the really interesting part: While the hook is excellent for finesse Neko rigs, most pros are raving about their hooking success when using it for drop-shotting. Featuring a long shank, wide gap, offset point and very cool, patent-pending, resin-closed eye, the NK Neko is available in sizes 6, 4, 2, 1, 1/0 and 2/0.