Fancy Faux Ballyhoo Baits: Finding fresh ballyhoo (garfish) when you're angling for yellowfin, sailfish, marlin, kingfish and mahimahi is vital. But on those occasions when your bait supply has run low, reach into your tackle box for Calcutta Baits' Bully Hoo, an artificial that looks, feels and swims like the real thing. Rigged just like live bait, they are available in three sizes for different species, and seven colors for varying light conditions. Available from many fishing specialty stores. Price: $9 (rigged) to $6 (unrigged).
High-Speed Cranker: Combining high-speed line retrieval (22 feet per second) that's best for king mackerel and wahoo and the cranking power needed to fight big saltwater fish, the new Trinidad series of reels from Shimano is offered in three sizes, all with 6.2:1 gear ratios. The gearbox is integrated with one side plate, illustrating Shimano's expertise at cold forging, and the aluminum frame is machined from a single piece of metal. The TN-16 ($380) holds 460 yards of 16-pound test, the TN-20 ($400) holds 430 yards of 20-pound test, and the TN-30, above right, ($420) holds 350 yards of 30-pound test. Contact: (800) 833-5540; www.shimano.com.
Live-Bait Bomber: Live-bait casting gets a tough new tool in Penn's 113HN Baja Special, their latest addition to the acclaimed Senator line. With a one-piece open-top aluminum frame, heat-treated stainless steel main gears, and five aircraft grade sealed stainless steel ball bearings, this high-strength reel is designed for casting large baits, trolling or bottom fishing. A 4.25:1 gear ratio gives anglers faster retrieval speeds, and the oversized soft-grip handle helps take some of the pressure off your winding hand. Holds 375 yards off 30-pound test. Price: $250.
Big Fish Fighter: From the machined, gold-anodized one-piece frame, spool and contoured side plates to its distinctive lever drag, few reels are as instantly recognizable as the International V series. Legendary for their strength and performance, International V Deluxe Two Speed reels like the 30VSW have a powerful double-disc, 150-degree drag quadrant to help slow down the big fish, and four aircraft grade sealed stainless steel bearings to keep line retrieval smooth. The 30VSW holds 900 yards of 30-pound test. Price: $520. Contact: (215) 229-9415; www.pennreels.com.