We are frequently asked about fishing products we use and prefer. There’s tons of stuff on the market nowadays in virtually every category, and it can be tough to decide which brand, style, and model of various products might be the best fit for the types of fishing you do. We decided to begin running this presentation of tackle and related products that work for us, as a service to our readers. Hope it works as well for you.
Dixie Jet – The Legend Returns
We don’t hear so much about spoons these days, except the weedless variety, but ask old salts what they threw back in the day. Any lure that worked years ago will still catch fish; but you will never know that if you don’t use them. Here’s a modern-day twist on a lure that earned a reputation long before today’s soft plastics, swimbaits, and surface plugs were ever on a drawing board.
The original Dixie Jet spoons were produced in Houston, TX from the early 1960s until the early 1970s, when the owner passed away and production ceased. More than four decades have slipped by as spoon enthusiasts and collectors searched garage sales, the internet, and old tackle shops to obtain these fish-catching legends. Finally, thanks to Tom Murphy, Dixie Jet’s new owner, the spoons that earned legend status many years ago are once again finding their way into the hands of Texas anglers. The same attention to detail in manufacture as the originals, the same highly-polished solid marine grade brass blades, with state-of-the-art plating and painting, and VMC Round Bend treble hooks.
The Dixie Jet Pro Series Gizzard Spoon measures 3” by 1-1/4” and weighs 1.35 ounces; perfect for surf casting, even into stiff coastal breezes. It can also be used in vertical jigging around structure. Best of all, they’re still made right here in the U.S.A.
The Dixie Jet Talon gets its name from the three VMC Round Bend treble hooks that grab and hold on the strike like raptor’s talons. The Talon has the same fall and flutter as the original Flutter Spoon in a heftily-upgraded size. The Talon measures 6” by 2.5” inches and weighs 2.75 ounces. Great for casting and vertical jigging, it is especially effective when slow-trolled on a Carolina rig with 1- to 2-ounces of weight placed about three feet ahead of the lure. Kingfish, cobia, bonito, and other nearshore and surf gamefish eat ‘em up!
TSFMag writer Joe Richard covered the Dixie Jet spoons in a story that appeared in the September 2018 issue of this magazine. Joe’s story is available free (no subscription needed) in the archive section at TSFMag.com under the title Dixie Jet Spoons Return.
Learn more about Dixie Jet products and shop online at: DixieJetLures.com
Plano Edge Tackle Boxes – Your Edge For Becoming A Better Angler
Tackle storage options are a dime a dozen in today’s market but the Plano Edge Series has features that surpass any you have tried thus far. Having been in this game a long time and tried many styles and models, we say this with sincerity and honesty.
Tackle is expensive and we need to care for it properly. Being able to put your finger on exactly what you need in seconds while fishing can make you a better angler.
Several features jump out at first blush with the Plano Edge but the one-handed lid latch was a real eyecatcher for us. Next is the 100% waterproof O-ring seal. Being saltwater anglers, another huge feature is the Rustrictor™ technology that is infused into the material the boxes are molded from.
We ran a trial when Rustrictor™ was first introduced last year – two groups of four identical lures soaked in salt water and stored six weeks without rinsing – one group in a plain Plano box and the other with Rustrictor™. The lures in the untreated box rusted as expected. The lures in the Rustrictor™ infused box never developed the first speck of rust. How’s that for proof?
Here’s the full list of Plano Edge features you should consider when looking to upgrade your tackle storage:
- Water Wick™ divider with reusable moisture-wicking packet
- Dri-Loc® O-ring seal maintains waterproofing when closed
- Rustrictor™ technology delivers 360° of rust-preventative protection
- EZ Label™ system for quick identification of contents
- DuraView™ crystal-clear polycarbonate lid
- One-handed latch design
- Ventilated dividers improve airflow
- Recessed dividers prevent content migration between departments
- Ribbed lids and base for durability
- Stainless steel pin hinges
- Stackable lids and bases
Learn more at PlanoMolding.com
Penn Reels: Slammer III 5500 Spinning – Squall SQL 400LP Levelwind
Penn Reels have been around way longer than pretty near all of us, since 1932 to be exact. Penn was founded in Philadelphia, PA by enterprising German immigrant, Otto Henze. Henze had worked several years at Ocean City Reels as a machinist prior to fulfilling the dream of owning his own company. The Penn brand has been synonymous almost 90 years for high-quality and durability at affordable prices, and that reputation remains applicable to this day.
Slammer III 5500 – First up in this little review is the Slammer III 5500 Spinning Reel. This is a tough, heavy duty reel, well-suited to a variety of applications. It handles braided line very well, which qualifies for it for bottom fishing for red snapper and other reef species. It is very capable for casting and trolling for nearshore species such as tarpon, kingfish, cobia – when paired with appropriate rods. It is also very well-suited to surf fishing.
We have used our Slammer III 5500 on numerous snapper trips and it has also performed very well on bull reds and jackfish to 40-plus pounds at Port O’Connor’s Big Jetties. The ability to deliver lures with pinpoint accuracy is a must for sight-casting when tarpon and hard-fighting gamefish are hounding baitballs on the surface. Slammer III features include:
- Sealed Slammer® drag system with Dura-Drag™
- 7+1 stainless steel bearing system
- Sizes 3500-5500 have automatic bail trip
- Sizes 6500-10500 have manual bail trip
Penn Squall SQL 400LP Penn’s Squall Low Profile baitcast reels offer all the durability you would expect from Penn Reels. Don’t let the low profile deceive you, this reel is a little powerhouse, capable of whipping larger fish than you might guess at first glance. Thanks to the additional line capacity afforded by today’s high-strength braids, one piece all-metal frame, and magnetic casting brake, anglers can pitch lures accurately to large fish with confidence to land them. Pairing with a medium-heavy fast action 7-foot rod makes a very capable outfit for a wide range of coastal angling. Features include:
- 5+1 stainless steel bearing system
- HT-100™ drag system
- Magnetic Casting Brake
- Line Capacity Rings
- Machined brass gears