Fish and Wildlife Economics and Statistics

Top Fishing Equipment Brands for 2012

For Immediate Release:  February 27, 2012


FERNANDINA BEACH, Fla. – Southwick Associates’ announced the brands and products anglers purchased most frequently in 2012. This list has been compiled from the 15,819 internet-based surveys completed by anglers who volunteered to participate last year in polls.


The Top Fishing Equipment Brands for 2012 include:

  • Top rod brand: Shakespeare (10.0% of all purchases)
  • Top reel brand: Shimano (21.1% of all purchases)
  • Top combo brand: Shakespeare (18.3%of all purchases)
  • Top fishing line brand: Berkley Trilene, PowerPro (each 11.2% of all purchases)
  • Top hard bait brand: Rapala (23.5% of all purchases)
  • Top soft bait brand: Berkley Gulp, Zoom (12.8%, 12.6% of all purchases)
  • Top spinner bait brand: Strike King (18.5% of all purchases)
  • Top jig brand: Strike King (7.6% of all purchases)
  • Top hook brand: Gamakatsu (24.7% of all purchases)
  • Top sinker brand:  Eagle Claw (11.0% of all purchases)
  • Top swivel brand:  Eagle Claw (24.6% of all purchases)
  • Top rigs brand: Eagle Claw (11.8% of all purchases)
  • Top bobber brand: Thill (19.4% of all purchases)
  • Top leader brand: Seaguar (19.0% of all purchases)
  • Top fly rod brand: Sage (23.1% of all purchases)
  • Top fly reels brand: Cabelas (19.2% of all purchases)
  • Top fly combo brand: Cabelas (18.5% of all purchases)
  • Top fly line brand: Scientific Angler (3M) (15.4% of all purchases)
  • Top fly leader brand: Rio (38.7% of all purchases)
  • Top fish finder brand: Lowrance, Humminbird (43.0%,42.9% of all purchases)
  • Top tackle box brand: Plano (44.0% of all purchases)
  • Top landing net brand: Frabill (34.9% of all purchases)
  • Top fishing knife brand: Rapala (28.2% of all purchases)


* Largemouth bass remain the number one targeted species of freshwater fish, with 55% of fishing activity targeting largemouth bass, followed by pan fish 38% and smallmouth bass 25%.

* Saltwater anglers were more varied, with 31% of trips targeting redfish/red drum, followed by flounder (25%), and striped bass (19%). Please note these refer to species targeted on trips and not the number of fish actually caught.

The marketing data presented here is a summary of a 135-page market report just released by Southwick Associates that details consumer behavior including what products and brands are purchased, where they are bought, how much customers spend, and demographics of freshwater and saltwater anglers broken out by each product category. Current information about what gear and brands anglers prefer, how many days they spend on the water and what type of fishing they enjoy most is vital to businesses trying to build their customer base.

You can stay abreast of consumer buying patterns and overall market trends by purchasing an annual subscription to Southwick Associates’ monthly reports. Reports are available for specific product categories including fishing rods, reels, line, lures, tackle, electronics, apparel, fly-fishing and ice fishing gear, and more. To purchase a report or subscription, contact John DePalma at

About, and Launched in 2006,, and help the outdoor equipment industry, government fisheries and wildlife officials and conservation organizations track consumer activities and expenditure trends. Conducted by Southwick Associates, survey results are scientifically analyzed to reflect the attitudes and habits of anglers and hunters across the United States. Follow them on Facebook at and or on Twitter at!/AnglerSurvey and!/HunterSurvey.