Fishermen have a reputation for being gear junkies. And there’s no group that fits this bill better than bass anglers. Just take a look at any of their boats, whether it’s a $400 or $40,000 rig, and you’ll see sonar, a variety of rods, and a massive supply of lures. It can be daunting to find a Father’s Day gift for a bass fishing dad who seems to already have it all. So, I checked out the hottest new gear for 2018, giving you the best shot at finding a gift that’s not already in his boat or tackle box. Here are my picks.
Costa Del Mar Pescador
Costadelmar.com; $269 Costa Del Mar
The “Pescador” is Costa’s newest set of shades, and part of the growing “Kick Plastic Campaign.” In addition to providing 100 percent UV protection, polarization, and Costa’s 580 color-enhancing lens technology, the frames are made entirely from recycled fishing nets. Not only are you getting a great-looking and top-performing pair of sunglasses, but you’re helping the future of our fisheries. Also, these shades just hit the market, so your favorite angler is sure to be surprised.
Minn Kota Portable Digital Battery Charger
Minnkotamotors.com; $60 (5-AMP) to $85 (10-AMP) Minn Kota
Battery chargers are an essential component for every bass angler. And while all battery chargers do the same thing, not all are created equal. New, innovative chargers can adapt to newer batteries and increase battery life, cranking up the power and the longevity of the battery itself. Minn Kota’s “Portable Digital Battery Charger” accomplishes all of those goals in a compact unit that can be easily transported. It generates a precise charge every time, making sure your electronics are working all day.
Humminbird.com; $2000-$2300 Humminbird
If it’s a first Father’s Day or maybe you want to splurge for a special Dad, this is the way to do it. The Humminbird Solix 10 line is the absolute zenith of fishing electronics. Both versions feature GPS and CHIRP sonar but the pricier model includes Humminbird’s exclusive MEGA imaging. The huge display on the Solix and crystal clear image are jaw-dropping, while its functionality instantly ups the game of any angler.
Cabela’s Prodigy Auto PFD
Cabelas.com; $120 Cabela’s
Whether you’re running at 90mph between spots or fishing early/late season with 40-below water temps, PFD’s are an essential part of bass fishing. The best PFD’s self-inflate with superior safety features in addition to being lightweight and ergonomic, which allows anglers to freely move. Cabela’s “Prodigy Autu PFD” hits all those sweet spots. If you want to go that extra mile to make sure that special father comes home safely, this is the gift for you.
St. Croix Legend Tournament Mega Swimbait
Stcroixrods.com; $290 St. Croix
St. Croix’s “Legend Tournament” rods have long been a preferred choice among bass anglers who demand high-performing gear. This year, the entire line got a makeover with a new guide train, better reel seats and split grip cork handles. One of the eight new models is the “Mega Swimbait” rod. Its 8’11” blank easily tosses big baits ranging from 3- to 8-ounces. And weighing in at a mere 5.6 ounces itself, you’ll be hard pressed to find a swimbait rod that is easier to use all day.
Flambeau Ike 400 Tackle Bag
Flambeauoutdoors.com; $29.88 Flambeau
The Flambeau “Ike Series 400 Tackle Bag” is the perfect size for bass anglers to stow a large assortment of their favorite baits. Named for BASS Elite Series Pro Mike “Ike” Iaconelli, these bags are built with tough, water resistant fabric, a rain flap and plenty of pockets. And with the meat of the bag holding four 4007-series boxes, your dad will have plenty of room to pack all his best lures, no matter how many that is.
Shimano Curado K
Shimano.com; $180 Shimano
If Pops has been bass fishing for a while, chances are he has one of the older models of Shimano’s Curado in his box. The legendary reputation of these reels took another step forward this year as Shimano released its new “Curado K.” The new baitcaster has taken the solid, reliable foundation of its predecessor and upgraded it. The Curado K took honors for the best new baitcaster at ICAST last year, so if you’re looking to buy the best reel possible on Father’s Day, this is it.
Jackall Dowzswimmer 220SF
Jackall-Lures.com; $50 Jackall
The most prized asset of any bass angler’s arsenal is their lure collection. Buying him a new lure is a great idea, but a bag of soft plastics or a crankbait just isn’t going to cut it. Glide baits can cost a few hundred dollars, but Jackall’s new “Dowzswimmer 220SF” is a stunning, high-quality swimbait that won’t break the bank. The Dowzswimmer can produce a variety of actions at different retrieves, and with six beautiful paint jobs, its looks just as good as it fishes.
Thermacell.com; $50 Thermacell
Here’s a perfect gift that he probably hasn’t thought of yet. Keeping insects away is crucial especially early in the morning and right after dusk when the mosquitoes are feeding, and so are the bass. Traditional bug repellents (at least the ones that actually work) can damage baits, the boat and the lenses on sunglasses. The Thermacell Radius creates a mosquito-free zone of 110 square feet and runs on a rechargeable lithium battery. It will run for more than six hours on a charge and will keep your Dad bug-free and on the water all day and all night.