Luhr Jensen Kwikfish Xtreme 

MSRP: $8.29-$9.29

Need even more from your Kwikfish? We continue to love the Kwikfish Xtreme, which feature the same full-throttle, aggressive actions and are available in eight sizes to target different depths and species.


Hot Spot Medium Agitator Flasher 

MSRP: $13.95

Need more flash to bring in those traveling kings? Well, then look no farther than the Hot Spot Agitator when you’re gearing up for next year’s trips, which begin this month with the search for winter kings from Homer.  


Worden’s Hawg Nose Flatfish

MSRP: $8

Tested on the Kenai, Nushagak and Togiak with staggering results, the Hawg Nose Flatfish hit the shelves of Alaska tackle shops this year and turned out to be a big, big hit for the state’s biggest kings. Put one to work in 2013 and see for yourself.


Silver Horde Sonic Edge Spoons

MSRP: $4.99

We were looking for an edge on occasion when the kings and silvers were playing hard to get, and we found it in the Sonic Edge spoons from Silver Horde. 


Eagle Claw Salmon/Steelhead Jigs 

MSRP: $3.99

With the right tools for the technique, there might not be a more efficient and successful method for fishing Alaska’s salmon and steelhead with artificial lures, especially in many of the state’s skinnier streams. Well, here’s one tool to make sure you pack. A couple of our favorite producers were the 1/8- and 1/4-ounce jigs in pink or pink-and-purple.


Blue Fox Vibrax Shallow 

MSRP: $3.09

Now the Alaska favorite is geared to target skinny water as well, with a 60-degree blade that keeps the spinner from running deeper than two feet. We like them when fishing over shallow structure or when the fish are feeding near the surface, most likely chasing baitfish or out-migrating smolt.


Big Fish Tuff Tackle Tru-Trip Deep Divers

MSRP: $10.99 for 40-foot model, $11.99 for 50-foot model

These divers are built to take tackle to 40- or 50-foot depths and then remain consistent in the water column until a salmon latches on to the bait. Instantly upon hookup, the Tru-Trip cruising mechanism releases and the unit aligns with the fishing line for a near friction-free retrieval while fighting the fish. 


Luhr Jensen Coyote Rotating Flasher 

MSRP: $14.49-$16.49

If you’re looking to bring in more deep-water targets—whether fishing lakers in the Interior or kings in the salt—you’d be hard-pressed to find a better attractor. 


Mack’s Lure Sonic Baitfish

MSRP: $2.89-$4.89

The Sonic Baitfish is an extremely versatile lure that can be cast, jigged, swam or trolled and attached to the line in three different places, which yields a range of different movements in the water. It comes in six sizes and six colors, and was a hit with everyone from the salt- and freshwater silver contingent to our hardy ice-fishing friends.


Luhr Jensen Laxee Spoon 

MSRP: $6.19-$7.29

This 3-inch long spoon trolled in migration lanes off a downrigger, with or without a flasher, will help produce king fillets for the grill. Available in two sizes and many colors, we used it for both casting and trolling applications.


Yakima Bait Maxi Float

MSRP: $4.75

It doesn’t matter if you’re fishing with jigs or with bait, the Maxi Float rigs easily and floats high, helping you detect the slightest of bites. 


Mepps Aglia Tandem 

MSRP: $11.90

A scaled-down model of Mepps’ classic bucktail tandem, the #5 Aglia Tandem offers a large profile and proved ideal for targeting pike across the lakes of southcentral Alaska. 


Blue Fox Strobe Tear Drop Spoons 

MSRP: $2.09

Sometimes with all the new gear out there every year, it’s easy to overlook the tried-and-true colors and designs, so we’re happy we remembered to fish the Strobe Tear Drop spoon again this season, as it was responsible for as many fish as any other and proved more versatile than most.


Hawken Aero Floats

MSRP: $3.79

Does one size fit all when it comes to fishing beneath floats for steelhead or salmon? Of course not, which is why we used four different sizes of Aero Floats this summer, depending on water depth and speed, species and the weight of our jigs. The high-riding double-stem floats of the AF-2 series were particular favorites.


Luhr Jensen Krocodile Spoon 

MSRP: $4.19-$13.39

It doesn’t matter if we were fishing for trout, Dolly Varden, lake trout, salmon or even grayling—a Luhr Jensen Krocodile could get the job done. Available in 10 sizes and more than two dozen finishes, this old standby remains the standard.


Silver Horde Sam’s Pro Downrigger Release

MSRP: $12.95

Sam’s Pro Downrigger release is a fully adjustable device that will accurately release the line from the downrigger, using a unique trigger release arm that can be set to release with more or less pressure at the bait.


Spinner Dave’s Beads

MSRP: $11.50/pack of 150

In Alaska, you’re eventually going to need beads in your fishing arsenal, whether using them to enhance your conventional riggings or as egg imitations for trout and char. One of our favorites this past year was the 8mm Bead/Washout Pink from Spinner Dave’s—just perfect for simulating late-stage sockeye salmon eggs.


Storm WildEye Live Herring 

MSRP: $11.99

We loved the realistic action provided by the internally-weighted body. The outer body proved tough yet soft and the flash foil helped bring in the fish. A superior soft bait for steady saltwater action.


Silver Horde Sam’s Terminator

MSRP: $5.59

In 1989 Sam’s Terminator provided a revolutionary way to attach a downrigger cable to the snap and weight, using no tools or crimps and improving the cable’s strength. Over 20 years later, it remains just as effective.


Owner Dancing Stinger Hooks

MSRP: $7.49

First popular for use with the Shimano Butterfly Jigs, these are now proving effective with any preferred jig, as well as several types of lures. The standard rig features a flexible braided Technora connection between the hook and your line, helping to prevent the fish from using the weight of the jig as leverage to throw the hook.