Christmas Gift Ideas for Fishermen
Tis' the season to start fretting about what to put under the tree or fill that Christmas stocking with for the angler, hunter or general outdoors person on your list and, as you know, it's no easy task to come up with something they don't already have and will actually use.
What follows are some gift suggestions that would be appropriate for someone just new to the sport(s), or for that really hard to buy for individual.
When doing your shopping it may help to think in terms of "theme packages", such as a rod/reel/lure combo for a bass or walleye fisherman, a shore lunch kit (details below) or some lure or rod making materials.
All of the items suggested are likely readily available either on line or at most sporting goods stores, so the good news is that you won't hear those dreaded words - "Sorry, it's on back order." - or have to go on eBay and pay five times the retail price for an item that has been sold out in every store from coast to coast since October.
I would be more than happy to help you out with your choices, so if you have any questions just drop me a line on either Facebook or through this site.
Good luck and good shopping!
- The Mackenzie River Guide - A Paddlers Guide to Canada's Longest River by Michelle Swallow - This beautifully written and illustrated book would make a great gift for any paddler. At $34.95 it is an excellent value and you can order your copy by going to: www.mackenzieriverguide.ca
- Gift Cards - When all else fails get them a gift card from their favorite sporting goods store. They make excellent stocking stuffers, and who doesn't like going on a shopping spree.
- Outdoor/Sport Type Watch - Something every outdoors person can use. Regardless if they are a runner, cyclist, hunter or angler, with so many kinds available, you should have no difficulty in finding one with the features they will most appreciate and within your price range. One of the very best values in this type of watch is the Truglo Switchback.
- Sonar - No fisherman should be without one. There are plenty to choose from that should fit within everyone's budget. Check out, www.lowrance.com, www.humminbird.com or www.eaglenav.com to find the unit that would be right for your favorite angler. If you really want to make an impression, consider a sonar/GPS combo.
- Rods and Reels - Whether they are into fly-fishing, casting or spinning, a new rod or reel will never go amiss. You may want to think about putting together a rod and reel combo, and many stores have a number of combo's already made up to save you all the fuss and bother. On the other hand if you would rather do it yourself, go to any of these sites for specific product information: www.daiwa.com, www.shimano.com, www.stcroixrods.com, www.gloomis.com, www.sageflyfish.com and www.orvis.com.
- Optics - Consider a pair of binoculars, a spotting scope or a range finder for the boater, hunter or golfer on your list.
- Polarized Glasses - It really doesn't matter what sport you are into, a good pair of quality-polarized sunglasses are a must. Some of the better brands to consider are Oakley, www.oakley.com Costa Del Mar, www.costadelmar.com, Ray Ban, www.ray-ban.com and Bolle, www.bolle.com
- Rain Gear - It ‘s important to consider how often and under what conditions they will be using their rain gear. Does it matter if the material is breathable, or will something more basic do the job? Prices can range from as little as $50 for a very basic rain jacket and pants to well over $300 for the high tech stuff that will keep you dry in a typhoon.
- Rod or Lure Making Equipment - If they already make their own rods and lures then you can either order some materials or get them a gift certificate from their favorite components dealer. Otherwise this might be the right time to get them started on a new hobby, and to help them along most places that sell components have plenty of "how to" videos free for the downloading. My favorite store is the Mud Hole. Great selection, prices and fast shipping. Find out more by going to www.mudhole.com
- Line Stripper - One thing that is an absolute pain is having to strip the line from all of your reels by hand prior to re-spooling. Berkley makes two very good strippers, the Magnum Express and a smaller pocket size version that will even sharpen hooks. Usually selling for less than $20 it makes a great stocking stuffer. For more information go to www.berkley-fishing.com
- GPS - An invaluable tool for the hunter and fisherman alike. They come in a wide array of handheld and permanent mount models. You can get a very basic unit for around $100 or you can spend a lot more, depending on how much you like the intended recipient. Top brands include, Garmin - www.garmin.com, Magellan - www.magellangps.com and Tom Tom - www.tomtom.com . There are also topographic and hydrographic map cartridges available for many of the units.
- Plastic Utility Boxes - Versatile and cheap. Fill a couple up with lures and pop them under the tree.
- Lures - Remember, no one ever has enough lures, so sneak a peak into their tackle box to see what they like and then load up their Christmas stocking.
- Tackle Box - If you have gone out and bought them boatload of lures, they may not have enough room for everything in their old tackle box. To see what types of tackle boxes or tackle systems are available, go on line to either www.basspro.com or www.cabelas.com. Both company's also provide online product information assistance in case your having trouble deciding.
- Weigh Scale - For those anglers who may be somewhat prone to exaggeration, a new weigh scale will take all of the guesswork out of determining just how big that fish really is. Rapala/Normark - www.rapala.com make a good digital scale, and for the more serious angler a scale by Chatillon - www.chatillon.com may be in order. These quality scales are International Gamefish Association certifiable, and come in a variety of sizes.
- Tales from Cabin 14 and/or the Cabin 14 Cook Book - Hey, I had to get a plug in! Both are an excellent read (if I do say so myself) and can be purchased through the Cabin 14 Store.
- A Fishing or Hunting Trip - Just watch their face when they open this one. While hunting trips tend to run several days or a week, fishing trips tend to give you a few more options. You can book them a day trip or one that lasts a few days or a full week. One good choice would be a trip to Esnagami Wilderness Lodge - www.esnagami.com, but if you really want to leave them slack jawed, consider booking them the fishing or hunting adventure of a lifetime through Plummer's Arctic Lodges at www.plummerslodges.com. . For a listing of lodges and outfitters within Ontario go to www.fishingontario.com or www.huntinginontario.ca. Another good source of information is iWantToFish - www.iwanttofish.com - an international sport fishing destination-planning site.
- Tim Horton's Gift Card - These will come in real handy on the trip to and from their favorite fishing hole or hunt camp.
- Boat Accessories - There are all manner of accessories available for the boater. For example, consider replacing their old bulky life jacket with a comfortable inflatable PFD, or get them some new padded seats. Both Cabela's - www.cabelas.com - and Bass Pro Shops - www.basspro.com - carry a large selection of boating accessories.
- Field Journal - Give them something they can use to record their outdoor experiences. Journals are available in many styles at any stationary store, and some specialty sporting goods stores do carry versions that are fishing and hunting specific.
- Multi Tool - A must for any outdoors person. These versatile tools are great for doing any type of small repairs while out in the field. Both Leatherman - www.leatherman.com - and Gerber - www.gerber-tools.com have a wide selection to choose from. The Swiss Army folks also have a multi tool called a Swiss Tool Plus, or if you really want to go over the top check out the Swiss Champ XANT. While technically considered a knife, it features 80 implements, including a digital clock! For more information on Swiss Army Products go to www.swissarmy.com
- Yeti Cooler - If keeping things either cold or frozen for an extended period of time at the fish or hunt camp is important, then you cannot find a better cooler than a Yeti. While fairly expensive when compared to other coolers, they are built to last, dry ice compatible and some models are even bear proof. I have two of them, and when using dry ice they keep my food frozen for up to a week. For more information go to www.yeticoolers.com or Cabin 14 Yeti Cooler Review.
- Knife Sharpening System - There is nothing worse than tying to fillet a fish or dress your game with a dull knife. While there are a number of good sharpeners available, you may want to consider those offered by Chef's Choice - www.edgecraft.com - Gatco - www.gatcosharpeners.com or Lansky - www.lansky.com.
- Fishing Accessories - Even fishermen have to accessorize, and by accessories I mean things like, hook removers, jig eye busters and line nippers to name just a few. The folks at Normark/Rapala have some neat accessory kits, but if you are buying for a fly fisherman, then the gadgets and gizmos available know no bounds. Both Cabela's and Bass Pro (see links above) have a good selection as does Sail - www.sail.ca. If you have a fly fisherman on your list and prefer a specialty store, Wilson's - www.canadasflyfishingoutfitter.com - is worth a visit.
- Shore Lunch Kit - This can be a great gift to get the kids working on. None of the items suggested are terribly expensive, and everything can be found either at a dollar, grocery or sporting goods store.
- Items to Include: 2 - 12" cast iron frying pans, medium size pot with lid, plastic egg holder, plastic bottles with screw tops in assorted sizes for oil and spices, cutting board, fillet knife, coffee pot, zip lock bags in various sizes, clean up kit (soap pads, j-cloths, small bottle of dish soap and a couple of dish towels) four each of plates, bowls, coffee mugs, knives, forks and spoons (consider buying ones made out of lexan plastic as they are light and durable), a set of tongs, egg flipper, can opener, medium size metal spoon, paper towels, a can of beans and a can of corn, a couple of different types of fish coating, salt /pepper, assorted spices, roll of aluminum foil, grilling basket, steel cooking grate or propane burner, Cabin 14 Cook Book, garbage bags including some smaller ones to store the frying pans in, matches in a waterproof container and, a good quality plastic tub to put everything in - well most everything - because it's unlikely the grate or propane burner will fit, unless you come up with a box that is too large to carry!
- Waterproof Camera - Never leave home without one! Some good quality compact, point and shoot waterproof cameras include the Canon PowerShot SX 230 HS - www.canon.ca, Fujifilm Finepix XP20 - www.fujifilm.ca, Olympus, Stylus Tough series - www.olympuscanada.com, Lumix TS3 - by Panasonic - www.lumix.com and the Pentax, Optio WGI series - www.pentaximaging.com. While some of these cameras do allow you to take HD videos, another option is the Kodak Playsport Waterproof Video Camera, which you can check out at www.store.kodak.com, or the GoPro at www.gopro.com
- Waterproof/Shockproof Equipment Case - It always amazes me how many people go out in their boat or into the field with their expensive optics and other equipment in a plastic bag or just stuffed into their pocket, and while the equipment may be waterproof, they are never drop proof. If the person on your list is prone to do just that, then consider buying them a waterproof/shockproof equipment case. Hands down the best available are those made by Pelican. Many quality sporting goods and camera stores carry them, and to see their entire line up go to www.pelican.com or www.pelican.ca. The Custom Case Company in Ottawa, ON - www.customcaseco.com/pelican_ca.html - carries a full line of Pelican cases and has very fast delivery.
- ThermaCELL Heated Insoles - Do you know someone who is always getting cold feet? Then these wireless, re-chargeable, and remote controlled foot warmers, will keep their feet warm and toasty. www.thermacell.com/
- Hand Held Bug Zapper - Tired of being pestered by bugs? Well, this is the opportunity to exact your revenge on all of those nasty critters. While there are several zappers on the market, the best, hands down is the Executioner - Makes a great stocking stuffer! To find out more go to Cabin 14 Executioner Review.
- Camp Chef Expedition Stove - If you have someone on your holiday list that loves to camp, the Camp Chef Expedition stove will be a welcome addition to they're camp kitchen. Each burner generates 30,000 BTU's of power, and with the available 3 burner model, you can prepare a full meal in no time for just about any size group. For more information, please go to: Camp Chef Expedition Review.
- Minn Kota iPilot - Without a doubt this is one of the most innovative and useful fishing products to come along in many years. Available either as an add on to certain Minn Kota electric trolling motors, or factory installed on a new motor, the angler on your shopping list will not be able to thank you enough should he or she find one of these under the tree. Check it out Minn Kota iPilot Review.