Van Staal VR50

This is the reel they’ll want for delivering small lures to big, strong fish in adverse conditions. Think Wicked Tuna Jr., magnum tarpon in the minnows, huge snook hunkered in the raging inlet. The VR50 offers 300 yards of 20-pound braid capacity, and backs it up with hardened stainless steel main gear and pinion and 25 pounds of drag. The machined aluminum reel shrugs off saltwater—in fact it’s waterproof, a kayak- or jetty-fisherman’s dream. Weight is 8.9 ounces.

    Retail price $489.