By Tim Carini
BassFan Advertising Account Executive

The first year after I relocated from New York to Georgia, I decided not to go home for Christmas. Instead, I spent Christmas day on Lake Lanier from sunup to sundown. Surprisingly, I wasnít the only one out on the lake!

That was the first and only time Iíve caught a Christmas bass Ė pretty special, for sure. However, I did miss the family and decided to never miss another Christmas with them. They all know how important fishing is to me. In fact, most of my gifts are usually fishing related. Typically, itís those great fishing shirts, like the one that says, ďCatching bass and burning gas, thatís how I roll."

This year, I hope to find something a little more useful under the tree Ė possibly something from the list below.

TABU Tackle Open Water Jig

TABU, which stands for Tournament Approved By Us, is another small company founded by a few pro anglers. Without question, this is my favorite jig on the market. No matter where I go fishing, it is always tied onto one of my rods.

The head is uniquely shaped and comes through grass and bounces along deep rocks very well. To me, that is important because in Georgia, I can go from largemouth fishing to spotted bass fishing during the day.

The thin-wire hook is great for hooking those smaller spots, but strong enough to bring in any lunker largemouth from Guntersville. With a hand-tied skirt to give more flair than rubber collars do, this jig will satisfy any jig-fishing aficionado.

Jackall Lures
Photo: Jackall Lures

The Muscle Deep 10+ runs true out of the package and provides a smaller profile, which comes in handy when targeting finicky fish.

> Price: $3.99 to $4.39 (available in 5/16, 7/16, 9/16 and 3/4 ounce)

> To learn more, click here.

Jackall Muscle Deep Crankbait

Jackall needs no introduction to BassFans, as Iím sure we all have a few of the company's products in our tackle collection. One of the things I like best about the Muscle Deep series is the lure body is smaller in size than most, 2.5 inches for the Muscle Deep 10+, the middle in the series of three that also includes the 7+ and 15+ versions.

At times, when the baitfish are smaller or the bass are getting pressured, I feel this smaller size gets me more bites. This bait is perfectly tuned out of the package and I can crank it as fast as possible and itíll still track straight, making it a great search bait.

As with all Jackall products, this crankbait has some of the highest quality finishes and components available. Hopefully, Santa leaves a few (or 10) for me under the tree this year.

Jethro Baits
Photo: Jethro Baits

The SnugITZ will prolong the life of soft plastics, especially while Texas-rigging.

> Price: $14.99

> To learn more, click here.

Jethro Baits SNUG-ITZ

While the SNUG-ITZ from Jethro Baits is a small product, it is big on applications. Jethro Baits is a Florida company that knows the intricacies of fishing submerged vegetation.

The SNUG-ITZ is nothing more than a lightweight, rubber, bullet-shaped soft bait protector that goes on the line in front of any soft plastic lure. The benefit of this is it helps prevent the plastic bait from getting torn or pulled down the hook when working the lure in vegetative cover. The SNUG-ITZ works great on any fluke-type lure or soft plastic swimbait, as well.

By accident, I also found it works wonders when used with a Senko or similar bait, even when fished in open water or skipped under docks. When it comes to extending the life of your Texas-rigged baits, the SNUG-ITZ is a must have.

> Price: $3.99 (package of 8)

> To learn more, click here.

Quantum Smoke PT Rod

Every angler needs one big gift under the tree, so for me it might as well be a Quantum Smoke PT rod. Itís extremely lightweight, sensitive and strong.

Quantum Fishing
Photo: Quantum Fishing

The Smoke PT Rod is the preferred rod used by Elite Series pros Gerald Swindle and Shaw Grigsby.

My first introduction to this rod was at the Arkansas River for a PAA tournament, where I was able to pitch the aforementioned TABU jig all day for multiple days with no fatigue.

Iím somewhat of a traditionalist when it comes to rods, so this was my first foray into the micro-guide craze and EVA foam. My casts are certainly longer due to the micro-guides and the EVA does feel better than my old cork grips. I can say this rod has me thinking of changing my old ways, yet I can still keep some of my traditionalist attitude because this rod carries the traditional color. I donít like to see the rods on my front deck looking like a rainbow.

The rodís best attribute, though, is its modest price tag. When paired with a Quantum Smoke reel, the combo weighs in at around half a pound.

> Price: $149.95 (casting and spinning models available)

> To learn more, click here.

> To check out part 3 of the BassFan Holiday Gift Guide, click here.