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Talkin' Fishing- 'Tis sportshow season; fishing stuff for 2008

As ice-fishing season starts to wind down and open-water season gets closer, it's a good time to start thinking about what new products are being offered for fishing. Sportshow season is in full swing, and sportshows are a great opportunity to check out new products. The retail events, such as Cabela's Spring Outdoor Days and their Walleye Classic Weekends are also outstanding chances to check out new stuff and to get the low-down on how these products will help you catch more fish or enjoy your time on the water even more. Here are just a few ideas on things you might want to investigate in the next few weeks.

Sonar has come so far in the past few years. The Side-Imaging feature that Humminbird has incorporated into several of their units is amazing. Side-Imaging looks out to the side of the boat and draws an incredibly detailed picture of what is on the bottom off to the side of your boat.

However, let's not forget about some of the Humminbird units that are more traditional. The Humminbird 383c Combo is packed with features but is very affordable. It has a brilliant color screen, GPS, and chartplotting. It is easy to use and draws a great picture. You don't need to spend lots of money to get a great value with the 383c Combo unit.

Anyone who spends much time outside needs good rain gear. GuideWear from Cabela's is as good as it gets. It costs a little more, but it's worth it. However, if you want to save a few dollars and still get good rain gear, check out the EXV rain stuff that Cabela's has. It does a really good job and will fit most budgets.

If you're in need or want of a new casting reel, the Revo series from Abu Garcia is a "must-investigate". These reels are so smooth. I threw lightweight bulky baits into the wind lots of times last year with no problems, and throwing lightweight bulky baits into the wind can be a tricky deal. Some Revo reels were a little hard to get last year, and there's a reason why the demand was so high. Try one and you'll find out for yourself why they were hard to get.

Need a net? Frabill makes the strongest, most durable nets, and they're also packed with innovation. The Pow'R Lok feature makes it simple to quickly telescope the net handle into position, while the catch and release nets enable you to get the fish safely out of the net and back into the water.

There have been so many developments in fishing and boating products in the past few years that sometimes we wonder how anything new can be created. But as long as people want to go fishing, someone is going to develop something that will help us catch more fish, and that's a good thing. Being outside and enjoying the wildlife and your fishing partner's company is a good thing, but it's even more fun when we catch a few -- or a bunch of fish. The products we just talked about will enable you to catch a few -- or a bunch of fish more often.

(For more fish-catching information, visit