Fishing Gear Buyer’s Guide: 10 Choices For Last Minute Gifting

Brad Fitzpatrick, OUTDOORS.COM Contributor

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The weather outside may be frightful, but true anglers are always thinking about being on the water. Here’s a look at ten of the best fishing gifts for the fishing fanatic in your family, everything from the latest baits to waterproof bags and high-tech fish finders. No matter their budget or their target species, there’s an item in this Fishing Gear Buyer’s Guide that they’ll be excited to unwrap this Christmas.

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Field & Stream Inferno Reel

Who doesn’t need another reel? The lightweight Inferno from Field & Stream is a durable, feature-loaded reel that is a great bargain, too. It features seven ball bearings and an Infinite Anti-Reverse roller bearing for maximum smoothness with each cast. The lightweight graphite body reduces bulk yet is durable enough for years of hard use and the Even Line Wrap oscillation system prevents bind-ups. Other key features include a ported aluminum spool and a tough rubber handle. They are available in three reel sizes (10, 20 and 30) and weights vary from 8.3 to 12.2 ounces. Both the 10 and 20 size reels feature a 5.5:1 gear ratio and the 30 comes with a 5.2:1 ratio. All models offer interchangeable retrieve. These durably built, smooth spinning reels would be a welcome addition to anyone’s tackle locker. MSRP: $34.99.

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Photo courtesy of Field & Stream

Buck Abyss Fillet Knife

At the end of each fishing trip you hope you’ll need a fillet knife, and when you do there are few better than Buck’s Abyss. They feature corrosion-resistant, durable 420HC stainless steel blades that maintain a fine edge and contoured handle is easy to grasp when your hands are wet and offer maximum control for making very fine cuts. There are two Kryptek handle color options — Neptune and Pontus — and each of these knives comes with a leather sheath for easy transport. Serious anglers will appreciate the flexible fine-tip blade, which is useful for detailed trimming operations. Blade length is 6″ and these versatile knives weigh just 3 oz. MSRP: $65.

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Photo courtesy of Buck Knives

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Bomber Jointed Wake Minnow

The new Jointed Wake Minnow creates a V-wake that mimics swimming baitfish and entices predatory fish to strike. This 5 3/8″, ¾ oz. bait is outfitted with #2 black nickel hooks and comes in 10 different color patterns to match natural prey species where you fish. Why is it so effective? With a medium speed retrieve and the rod held up the Jointed Wake Minnow creates that V-wake just below the water’s surface, or you can switch to a faster, tip-down retrieve to create the illusion of a bait fish swimming just below the surface. Additionally, you can make darting retrieves that trigger sudden strikes like a jerk bait, so there are multiple methods of presentation depending on the conditions and the target species. The Jointed Wake Minnow is a great addition to the tackle box of an angler who targets large and smallmouth bass, striped bass, redfish, speckled trout, pike or muskie. MSRP: $8.99.

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Photo courtesy of Bomber

Work Sharp Combo Knife Sharpener

It’s much simpler to filet fish or cut bait when you have a sharp blade, and putting an edge on your filet knives is simpler than ever thanks to the Work Sharp Combo Knife Sharpener. This electric sharpener has a 120V single speed motor and offers both a powered sharpening option that utilizes ½” flexible abrasive belts and an angle-guided ceramic rod so you can put a fine edge on your blade in minutes. 25-degree angle guides allow for maximum precision and this unit will even sharpen serrated fillet knives. This lightweight sharpener is also easy to carry and comes with two 3M abrasive belts (additional belts are available from Work Sharp at a cost of $8). It’s also great for hunting and kitchen knives, too. Purchase includes a one-year warranty. MSRP: $59.95.

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Photo courtesy of Work Sharp

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Lowrance HOOK2-5 with TripleShot Transducer

High-tech fishing is at your fingertips with the new Lowrance HOOK 2-5 with TripleShot Transducer. The menu layout is easy to navigate and simple to use, and you’ll be free to fish thanks to the new Autotuning Sonar that actively adjusts sonar settings as the fishing conditions change. You concentrate on fishing while the HOOK2 takes care of sonar performance. The TripleShot features wide-angle, high CHIRP sonar that effectively doubles the coverage areas of most competing models. And with SideScan and DownScan Imaging technology you’ll have a better understanding of what’s happening under the water than with previous systems.

Additionally, the Hook2-5 makes it easy to find your favorite fishing spot since it includes a built-in, high-detail US map with 1-foot contours of more than 3,000 lakes. Other key features are a 5″ SolarMAX display, automated sonar settings, and a micro-SD card slot. MSRP: $399.

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Photo courtesy of Lowrance

Canyon Coolers 25-Quart Quest Backpack Cooler

If you (or someone on your gift list) need a hands-free, durable, waterproof cooler then the newly redesigned quest is ideal. It features a tough raft-grade 800 denier RF welded PVC shell with closed-cell AirCore insulation to keep your materials hot or cold. A 25-quart capacity offers plenty of space and the thickly padded shoulder straps make it comfortable to carry this cooler all day. Best of all, you’ll have all your supplies available while still keeping both hands free. It works great for out-of-the-way adventuring but this is also a great option for anyone who simply needs a tough, easy-to-carry cooler for boating, rafting or camping activities. It measures 20″ tall when closed and its self-standing design makes it simple to use. There’s also a water-resistant zippered pouch that protects items like your cell phone, keys and wallet and prevents you from accidentally dropping these items in the water. There’s also an external drawstring to hold items like fly and tackle boxes, spare clothes, and even a first aid kit. And, like other Canyon products, it’s backed by their no-hassle VIP lifetime warranty. Available in Arctic White or Sage Green. MSRP: $99.00

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Photo courtesy of Canyon Coolers

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Cabela’s Guidewear Men’s Advance Parka and Bibs with GORE-TEX

Chances are when the angler on your list gets new fishing gear for Christmas they’ll want to try it out right away, and that won’t be a problem with Cabela’s new Guidewear Men’s Advance Parka and Bibs. Both of these garments feature fully seam-sealed GORE-TEX laminated fabric that sheds precipitation, blocks wind and yet remains breathable. The parka comes with neoprene cuffs with hook-and-loop cinching to prevent water from down the wrists and a vented three-piece hood offers a secure fit to keep your head warm and dry. The bibs feature extra abrasion resistance in the seat and knees and pass-through pockets that allow you to access important items while keeping them protected under a waterproof zipper. With all these features and so much more Cabela’s Guidewear bibs and parkas allow anglers to face just about any conditions. MSRP for the parka: $399.99-$419.99. MSRP for the bibs is $399.99 to $419.99.

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Photo courtesy of Cabela’s

Wiley-X Valor Kryptek Typhon Sunglasses

High-quality polarized glasses are an essential piece of fishing gear. They not only allow you to see objects underwater but they also protect your eyes from the glare of the sun, errant hooks, and rod tips. Wiley-X’s Valor glasses offer Selenite polycarbonate lenses that are shatterproof and meet ANSI high velocity and mass impact standards, which make them great for shooters, too. The T-shell lens coating resists damage from abrasive materials and the nearly indestructible polymer frames are comfortable and feature the Kryptek Typhon camo pattern. Wiley-X glasses offer interchangeable lenses for any conditions and they are prescription-ready (prescription lenses are not interchangeable). The wraparound design offers a full range of view and maximum protection against damaging UV rays. These comfortable, lightweight glasses come with Polarized Smoke Gray lenses, a durable carrying case, a microfiber lens cloth and a leash cord. You only have one set of eyes, and Wiley-X glasses offer maximum protection in a stylish, lightweight, durable package that every angler will want. MSRP: $140.

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Photo courtesy of Wiley-X

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Field & Stream Pro Fishing Vest

Keeping all your gear organized is critical when fishing, especially if you are wading and any dropped items might be swept away forever. The Field & Stream Pro Fishing Vest is one of the best ways to keep your gear organized, with 20 pockets that offer both inside and outside storage of essential items. Dual front zip-down workstations also feature fly patches and the large rear mesh pocket is an ideal place to keep larger items. The vest itself is constructed of 1280D and Ripstop nylon for years of service and there’s a hydration-compatible rear mesh storage pocket so you don’t have to carry drinks in cans or bottles. Exterior D-rings and Molle web construction allow you to securely fasten all essential items to the vest itself, and the wide, padded, adjustable shoulder and waist straps help you comfortably carry your load. Other features include a High-Viz lining and hemostat docking station. MSRP: $89.99.

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Photo courtesy of Field & Stream

BOOYAH Bait Company Prank

When you glance at the Prank it appears to be a typical topwater plug, but take a closer look. The small lip that extends from the front of the bait allows it to be retrieved not only on the surface but also as a shallow-diving crankbait, making this a true hybrid lure. You can leisurely pop the plug on the surface to draw a predatory fish’s attention, and you can instantly speed up your retrieve to make the bait dive below the surface to prompt a follow-up bite. The Prank’s mouth design causes it to spit, chug, splash, and pop, mimicking a shad on the surface, and the mouth itself is specifically angled to create the most disturbance for an instant reactionary strike. The feather-dressed treble hook and thin profile create lifelike movement in underwater retrieves and the Prank dives down as deep as two feet when retrieved, making this one of the most versatile topwater baits ever designed. The Prank measures just over 2″ long, weighs 5/16 oz., has two #6 treble hooks and is available in eight different colors. MSRP: $9.99.

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Photo courtesy of Booyah Baits

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