Finding the best gifts for fishermen is never easy. Fishers are not like other mortal humans. They are rugged individualists who bend the power of the sea to their will. They face hostile hordes of horror-stricken sea creatures with grit and resolve. They cast lines, they haul in bass, they serve tilapia in a light Béarnaise sauce. What fishing gifts can these briny, kelp-addled Adonis’s and Adonia’s possibly need that they don’t have already?
Don’t get your lures all in a knot. We’ve collected some of the best gift ideas for fishing lovers, whether they’re in the middle of a fevered hunt for seafood, relaxing on a placid day bobbing bait in a lake, or sitting at home daydreaming or remembering fishing expeditions of the past. These fishing gifts will, as the carefully crafted pun in the title of this piece promises, keep them hooked.
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Unique Fishing Gifts That Help Fishers Fish
The art of fishing has come a long way from the days of tying a dead worm to the end of a tree branch and dangling it over a creek. Modern fishing fans have a whole arsenal of tools at their disposal, all of which can turn them from quaint, unthreatening amateurs out of a Mark Twain novel into savage angling monsters. Here are some of the best gifts for fishermen that will, when used as directed, help them catch fish.
Electric Fish Scaler (under $50)
Scaling fish is one of the most annoying parts of fishing. It entails lengthy periods of scraping the poor suckers with a rough-edged instrument, getting your hands and clothes covered in fish skin fragments that are somehow both rigid and gelatinous. Kiss that burden goodbye with this electric tool that runs through fish scales like they were lobster butter. It’s cordless, so you can scale fish right there on the boat before they have time to protest.
Classic Accessories Colorado Pontoon Boat
Pontoon boats are great fishing gifts and surprisingly cheaper than you would think. They’re the recliners of the sea. This contemporary model comes with an insane amount of storage room for your bait, beverages, food, gear, or inspirational literature. It’s got a comfortable plastic seat, conveniently placed armrests, and a holder for your fishing rod so you don’t wear your arms out. It’s also got a set of oars in case you decide to move around or give your fish a bit of unnecessary discipline.
GoFish Cam Wireless Underwater Camera
This is one of those gifts for fishermen that we wish we had thought of first. Seriously, it’s genius. You attach it to your line, cast, and watch the action of the fish as they swim around and take your bait. You will learn the eating habits of fish and learn how to maneuver your rod to get their attention. It also saves the videos in case you want to bore your family with hours of video footage or start your own Youtube fishing channel. If you can’t catch fish with this, then perhaps you should fish in at the grocery store.
Lucky Tackle Box Subscription
If you’re having trouble deciding on unique gifts for fishermen, throw up your hands and give up. Just get them a subscription that delivers several different fishing gifts every month, like the Lucky Tackle Box. A typical package contains lures, tackle, bait, accessories, and an educational magazine they’ll pore through with abandon. They’ll also have access to videos that help fishers use all their new equipment safely and sanely.
Bass Baits Monthly Subscription ($35 per month)
Alternately, you can get the Bass Baits Monthly subscription box, also stuffed to the gills with unique bass fishing gifts. It’s also got lures a-plenty, along with targets, accessories, and items with funny names like “punchin” and “ned rigs.” There are very few gifts this monthly box omits, that’s for sure, so it makes the perfect gift for bass fishermen.
Freestone Fly Fishing Company Subscription Box ($37.50 per month)
This is another subscription box with yet more fly fishing gifts and it specializes in fly fishing gear. Look, we’re trying to say something sexy and different about each of these boxes, but when you get right down to it, they’re all pretty much loaded with lures and flies so you can pick which fits your fishing style. A bit of a no-brainer, really. When you get a fishing subscription box, you don’t expect to get farm tools or classic literature. You’re going to get a sampling of some exceptionally good lures and flies. For what it’s worth, the Freestone box occasionally includes some stickers and towelettes for good measure.
PLUSINNO Telescopic Fishing Rod and Reel Combos Full Kit (under $75)
We were hoping that a “telescopic fishing rod” was a device with a telescopic sight, so fishers could hunt down fish the same way S.W.A.T. teams target kidnappers through skyscraper windows. Alas, it’s not. But a telescopic fishing rod is still very handy: It’s a fishing rod that folds onto itself for easy transport. This rod-and-reel combo is a state-of-the-art fishing pole that shrinks down to about 17 inches when you need to move it. The full kit comes with a line, lures, and a carrier bag that also makes moving your rod laughably simple.
LED Flashlight Glove (under $20)
This is more than just one of the most unique gifts for fishermen you can buy. This flashlight glove transforms your fingers into mythical wielders of light. Slip a pair of these gloves onto your hands, press a button, and voila: Four beams of light protrude from your fingertips. This glove is good for changing bait during night fishing, working on car engines, or moving around dark places without a cumbersome flashlight. But to be honest, when we get our hands on these puppies, we’re just going to stand in the driveway after midnight and thrust light out of our fingers, the way Zeus does with lightning bolts. That’ll show ya.
Guided Fishing Experience
One of the best gifts for fishermen is fishing itself. There’s nothing like a fishing trip with a professional angler at your side, guiding you through every step and pointing out parts of your fishing game that need improvement. Cloud 9 offers a variety of fishing expeditions in hot travel destinations like Denver and Indianapolis, or somewhere even more exotic. You, the fishing student, will receive top-of-the-line instruction from real, live fishing experts who promise not to laugh at you until you’ve left the immediate area.
Hook-Eze Fishing Knot Tying Tool (under $15)
Clinch knots! Double-blood knots! Bimini twists! Snell knots! Yucatan twists! Who doesn’t love these knots for fishing hooks? Nobody! But especially with wet fishing lines, they can be difficult to execute. Kiss your knot woes goodbye with this small contraption that holds the hook in place and guides you through the threading and attachment of your fishing line. It works with small hooks, big hooks, mid-sized hooks, hooks with attitude, hooks that are a little over-confident, and hooks that could use an authority figure in their lives.
Wetfly Deluxe Fly Tying Kit (under $70)
Look at that fly you just made up. Is it a bit lackluster? Boring, even? Does it lack that elusive pizzazz and colorful exuberance? Don’t settle for it. This fly-fishing kit promises to “release the creative angler inside of you!” by giving you all the tools you need to construct a dazzling, super-sexy fly. It’s got grey dubbing, olive dubbing, a bobbin, a bobbin threader, a vise, and some scissors. Does it have peacock herl and elk hair? Yes to both. Does it have chenille, marabou, and grizzly hackle flies? You bet your worm does. With this most supreme of fishing gifts, the only thing standing between you and an eye-popping, reality-changing fly is morbid fear.
Personalized Trout Fish Net (under $50)
You’ve just caught some trout at the end of your line. You think your job is done. You could not be more wrong. That trout isn’t going to give up easily. It’s going to writhe, wrangle, squirm to avoid capture. It’s going to level a hostile gaze in your direction. It may try to sass or negotiate itself out of its destiny. Your rod isn’t going to be enough. You’ll have to scoop up this marine miscreant with a net. Only then will you subdue the trout’s physical unpredictability and desperate attitude. Use a net like this one, which comes with your own personalized message, epitaph, or thinly veiled threat inscribed on the handle.
Piscifun Fishing Line Winder Spooler (under $60)
Have you ever tried to spool a line onto the reel of a fishing rod? It’s a recipe for embarrassment. One minute you’re in a relatively untroubled, peaceful mindset, and the next you’re draped in wasted fishing line, just because you had no means of holding the spool steady. Escape this cesspool of shame with this magnificent winding and spooling device, which loads up your empty reel quickly, cleaning, without tears.
Fish Bite Alarms (under $20)
When you’re lost in the lazy haze of fishing, it can be hard to gauge whether you’re having any success. You could hold a rod all day long and never feel the tug of a fish on the line. You begin to doubt yourself. You question the whole enterprise. If only there was some fishing rod attachment that blared an alarm whenever a hapless creature bites your bait. Stop dreaming: there is! This set of fishing gifts contains three bite alarms that make distinct squeals and flash LED lights when it’s time to put down the beer and start the historic tug-of-war between man and fish.
Dr.meter Electronic Balance Digital Hook Scale (under $15)
No more guessing a fish’s weight once you’ve caught it. Doing so is inexact, confusing, and obviously rude. Instead, hang your quarry on the hook of this electronic device. Its LCD display will reveal your fish’s weight with astonishing accuracy, but don’t worry because you can always lie about it later. The Dr.meter scale gives good readings for fish weighing a skinny 0.2 pounds to a gut-busting 110 pounds. It’s also got a tape measure in case you’re fitting the fish for a tuxedo rental.
Deeper PRO+ Smart Sonar Fish Finder
This is one of the craziest, most unique gifts for fishermen we’ve ever seen. It’s a sonar detector that you use with your smartphone — no internet required — to create bathymetric maps of fishing areas, which show the deepest and shallowest points of the river, stream, or lake you’re about to fish. It scans depths up to 260 feet. Now you too can find heavy fish populations with all the power of an FBI narcotics surveillance team, just like grandpa used to do.
Fisherman Multitool (under $30)
This handheld, foreboding device does everything. Absolutely everything. There’s nothing it doesn’t do. It removes hooks. It scrapes scales. It measures your catch. It cuts bait. It opens bottles. It’s a flashlight. It’s a pair of scissors. It’s a notary public. It’s a circular saw. It’s a hostage negotiator. It has 241 different recipes for fettuccine alfredo. It gets rid of embarrassing age spots. It does everything. When it’s done doing everything, it levitates toward the sky and bathes the universe in healing, vaporous light. (Your results, as always, may vary.)
Unique Gifts for Fishermen That Improve the Fishing Experience
Strictly speaking, none of the gifts for fishermen in this section will help them seek, catch, or subdue fish. They won’t help them cast lines, weigh their catch, or attach bait to the end of hooks. But they can make the fishing experience much easier to enjoy through the simple acts of holding things, reading things, and keeping beer within reach. Here are some gift ideas for fishing lovers that make the overall fishing encounter more fun than a root canal.
Asobu Frosty Beer 2 Go Beer Can and Bottle Cooler(under $30)
This versatile can and beer cooler is a testament to the awesome power of stainless steel. It keeps your favorite fishing beverage, which we’re sure in your case is chocolate milk, at an absolutely frigid temperature while you’re on the boat. It also has a built-in bottle opener right there in the top, so you don’t have to use a shark tooth.
AMCO 8402 Rub-a-Way Bar Stainless Steel Odor Absorber (under $10)
One thing all fish have in common is that they stink. After you’ve spent an afternoon hauling fish to their demise, their odor tends to linger on all your exposed extremities, especially your hands. That’s when this powerful, magical steel bar works its wonders. Use it on your hands exactly as you’d use a bar of soap. With just a few dedicated strokes — with or without water — your hands will smell as fresh as a Victorian garden, with no trace of the briny apocalypse you’ve just enacted left behind. This is one of our favorite gifts for fishermen because it keeps them from stinking up the joint.
Anglatech Fly Fishing Backpack (under $70)
Fly fishers are the renegades of the fishing community. They don’t need boats. They don’t need smooth or calm waters. They stand up in oceans and lakes like the badasses they are, flinging lightweight lures into the waters with confidence and intent. Like others, though, fly fishers need to store their stuff, and this frighteningly comprehensive, vest-style backpack comes with all the pockets they’ll need for their supplies. It also has a 2-liter “water bladder,” a somewhat unfortunately worded phrase for “bags that hold water.” Although it is a great fly fishing gift, we are pretty sure you could also use it for fishing for sharks.
Wowelife Fishing Rod Carrier Fishing Reel Organizer Pole Storage Bag (under $20)
When you’re a hardcore fisherman or fisherwoman, sometimes one rod just won’t do. You may need two rods. You may need five rods. It’s best not to question why you’d need so many rods, you just do. That’s why this shoulder-strapped organizer is one of the best gift ideas for fishing lovers. It can hold up to five rods and reels along the outside and contains added capacity for storing bait, lures, lifejackets, hand cream, or anything else you might need. Don’t play favorites with your rods — take ’em all.
GreatGadgets Classic Beer Holster (under $20)
Turn your hip pocket into a semi-lethal beer weapon with this leather holster, designed to carry a 12-ounce bottle or can of your favorite bubbly right at your side. It’s one of the ideal fly fishing gifts since it stands up firmly and stoutly for as long as the fisher does. It’s also great for barbecue enthusiasts, power walkers, soccer moms, and traffic cops who need an on-the-go drink-holding solution.
Personalized Leather Fly Fishing Wallet (under $50)
“Wallet” is a bit of a deceptive word for this nonetheless excellent carrying pouch. It’s actually a device for storing fishing flies. You can’t put credit cards or money in it, at least not securely. You can’t put business cards or family photos in it either. You know what you can put in it? Fishing flies. It holds fishing flies. Holding fishing flies is its business, and business is good. It’s made from genuine leather and can be monogrammed with the recipient’s initials, so they won’t lose it in a random pile of fishing fly wallets.
Elkton Outdoors Rolling Fishing Tackle Box Backpack
This mobile, wheeled tackle and supply box is one of the best gifts for fishermen who find themselves scurrying through airports — or any planed walkway, really, but the vision of hauling fishing tackle like luggage was too curious to pass up. You can roll it or carry it as a backpack or purse. The top part unzips for easy storage of small items, but the real piece de resistance of this waterproof case is the side panel that opens to reveal five stackable tackle trays. You’ll have no excuse to keep your fishing supplies disorganized, except lack of motivation.
YETI Hopper Backflip 24 Cooler/Backpack
Tell hunger and thirst to go jump off a cliff on your next fishing trip with this massive cooler backpack from the helpful folks at YETI. It’s waterproof, mold-resistant, UV-safe, and downright hostile to punctures. Its unique closed-cell insulation keeps all your food and beverages so cold and chilly they’ll have problems showing empathy. It straps right on your back, so you don’t have to carry it around like a purse. What will they think of next?
Fishing Journal (under $60)
If only Captain Ahab had taken the time to write his thoughts down while chasing Moby Dick, he may not have been so high-strung and psychologically unbalanced. It’s too bad he didn’t have this leather-bound fishing journal, with a docile fish and personalized message engraved on the cover, and plenty of paper for keeping detailed notes about every fishing trip the writer takes. The journal includes a 100-page fishing log, with 2 pages per fishing entry. There are spots to record details of the trip, weather conditions, and the day’s catch. Maybe Ahab would have found an acceptable outlet for expressing his emotions, which could have prevented a lot of hurt feelings and sunken ships. Or, you know, not.
The Total Fishing Manual (under $20)
When it comes to magazines about fishing, nobody beats the intrepid journalists of Field & Stream. They are ruthless investigators of the hunting and fishing rackets, exposing controversies and demanding justice with every flip of the page. They also provide tips and advice. Joe Cermele has collected 317 essential fishing skills from the F&S brain trust and published them in this single volume. The best thing about it is that fish can’t read, so they’ll never know what you’re up to.
Walnut Personalized Fly Fishing Case
Carry your fly-fishing reel onto the scene like a swaggering pool player does with their cue with this walnut fly-fishing case. It keeps all the sections of your reel safe and secure. Imagine the “oohs” and “aahs” that will emerge from the crowd as you dramatically remove your reel from its darkened slumber, brandishing it as confidently as you would Excalibur, Crocodile Dundee’s knife, or a really expensive power drill. Watch minnows cower in fear. See bass shrink away from your mighty sword. Send trout screaming in panic, swimming madly away from your destructive countenance. It’s amazing what a fly-fishing case can do.
Unique Gifts for Fishermen When They’re Not Actually Fishing
The fishing lifestyle is a 24/7 grind, man. You don’t shed it once you’re away from the lake or off the dinghy. You can’t keep it locked up in a cabinet like a Tupperware bowl or an aunt. Once fishing gets in your blood, it stays in your blood. You live it. And it’s much easier to deal with when your immediate surroundings follow suit. Here are some gift ideas for fishing lovers that remind them of their unhealthy obsession when they’re not actually doing it.
Custom Cartoon Portrait (prices start at $30)
Commemorate the intense personal joy you (or whoever you like) receive from fishing with a customized portrait from a talented artist. Send a photo of yourself (or whoever you like) via instructions on this Etsy page. Within a certain amount of time, they’ll send you a very Simpsons-esque picture, showing the subject of your photo engaged in the placid act of fishing. It’s charming, clever, and well-drawn, and avoids the gratuitous depictions of blood and fish guts you get from photorealism. If you are looking for unique gifts for fishermen, then this is it because it is truly one of a kind.
Personalized Fishing Name Alphabet Art (under $50)
Like other novelty alphabet art sets of its ilk, this collection of fishing-centric photographs features some common angling artifacts arranged in a way that resembles a letter. You choose which letters you need — those that spell out names seem popular — your intended recipient receives them and then, theoretically, hangs them up on the wall to display a simple message festooned in fishing paraphernalia. There’s an 11-letter limit, so “LOOK OUT FOR THAT SHARK” or “IS THIS A FISH OR A SPONGE” are not options at this time.
Salt: Coastal and Flats Fishing Photography (under $60)
Written by Andy Anderson, this coffee table book feature photographs of the world’s greatest coastal fly fishing destinations. The photos are breathtaking and they will make you want to pack up your bags and visit every destination. You will be drooling in envy.
Fifty Places to Fly Fish Before You Die
Before you decide to move on to the pearly gates, you need to read this book to make sure you have fished in all of these places. Otherwise, you may be sent back home to earth to complete your journey. The author, Chris Santella, takes you on a journey from Mongolia, to Cuba, to Brazil, and more. Get your passport ready because you will be wanting to hop on a plane as soon as you crack open this book.
The MeatEater Fish and Game Cookbook (under $40)
What do you do after you’ve caught yourself a pile of salmon, trout, or other fish? You have options. You can hang the fish on a wall. You can use it as a projectile. You could probably make a nice blouse-and-skirt ensemble. But one of the most popular things to do with a fish you’ve caught is to eat it. Don’t look so stunned; it happens. This cookbook by Steven Rinella contains many recipes and ideas for preparing fish, as well as wild game if your fishing trip went a little haywire and turned into a deer hunt.
Fly Fishing Reel Coaster Set and Holder (under $60)
When fly fishers aren’t fly-fishing, they’re often found relaxing around a table enjoying a beverage. It’s one of the perks of fly-fishing. But if the table they’re resting their drinks on is susceptible to water stains, they could be held responsible for millions of dollars in permanent damage to the table. Thankfully, there’s a way to forestall this disaster: By resting their drinks on the coasters provided in this super gift package. The coasters are made of wood and are kept from scattering hither and thither by an enclosure that looks like a fly-fishing reel. #WriteCoasterDescriptions4Cash.
Fishing Pole Picture Frame (under $75)
Don’t use this fishing pole for fishing. It’s completely unsuitable. The uptake reel is stationary, the rod is permanently bent, and fish are going to laugh you right off the lake if you try to catch them with it. What you can do with this fishing pole is suspend some picture frames from the rod. Said frames come included with the overall package, to allay any confusion about whether to use this fishing rod in fishing applications. Which, and we can’t emphasize this enough, you can’t.
Personalized Fly Fishing Whiskey Glasses & Decanter Set (prices start at $85)
When the long fly-fishing day is at its end and the sun alights across the dusky horizon of the stream, it’s a perfect time for a fly fisher to reflect upon the solace and placidity of their craft by drinking themselves into a tizzy. That makes these glasses and their accompanying decanter such perfect fly fishing gifts. All the glass items in this set come etched with the personalized name of your choice, along with depictions of a deconstructed reel, a particularly fetching lure, and a trout that looks absolutely terrified.
Fish Hook Tie Clip (under $20)
When fishers must attend a formal occasion, many of them wear neckties. These neckties are prone to flailing around with excessive movement, making the wearer look as if they’ve just escaped a wind tunnel and haven’t yet centered themselves. That’s where tie clips come in: They hold all the dangling aspects of a necktie in order. If you haven’t seen one of these babies in action, you need to get out more. These particular tie clips are shaped like fishhooks and can be engraved with the fisher’s name or some other terse message, possibly one about the importance of keeping ties together.
Personalized Fly Fishing USA Push Pin Travel Map (prices start at $80)
Life can become a blur when you’re a touring fly-fisher. An endless parade of one-night stands in nameless, faceless rivers and oceans. A tough slough through aisles of lures, flies, reels, ashtrays, and scalers. It’s easy to forget who you are and where you’ve been. Keep track of the fly-fishing byways you’ve traversed and the casual acquaintances you’ve made along the way with this USA map that comes with 100 push pins. After you’ve conquered the fly-fishing circus in a given US town, stick a pin in its place on the map and ramble over to the next one.
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