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Over the years, I’ve received my fair share of fly fishing gifts. Many of which I love and use every time I hit the water—and others, well, not so much. There isn’t a secret to finding the best gift for fly anglers other than looking for effective, useful, and durable equipment. At the end of the day, if the gear isn’t going to aid the fisherman on the water, what is the point of having it?
I went through an array of fly fishing paraphernalia to find some awesome products that I think all fly fishers will love. Many of these recommendations are from my own arsenal of gear, and I stand by their performance. Stick to this gift guide, and you won’t go wrong with finding the best fly fishing gifts of this season.
Best Fly Fishing Sunglasses: Bajio Bales Beach Sunglasses
Bajio sunglasses are built for anglers by anglers and use sustainable practices and recycled materials. Bajio
When it comes to the best fishing sunglasses, anglers look for lightweight frames and clear lenses. The Bajio Bales Beach glasses do just that. Bajio is one of the newer companies in the fly fishing space and they strive to give back to the fisheries we all love. I use these glasses daily and have put them through more abuse than an ordinary pair of glasses would withstand. They are conservation-minded and make their glasses out of recycled materials. They even go as far as using recycled packaging and leather cases. The Bales Beach line of sunglasses offer lightweight frames with a large fit and a wraparound design to block as much light as possible. Both glass and plastic lenses are available with some unique color options, such as the pink drum lens, making them the perfect fly fishing gift.
Best Cooler for Fly Fishing: Yeti Flip 12
A great day trip cooler to keep your lunch dry and cold all day. YETI
Packing a lunch for a long day on the water is often tricky. You don’t want to put a sandwich in your pack to be crushed, and you don’t want to lug around a big heavy cooler. The Yeti Hopper Flip 12 is the perfect solution to that problem. Whether it be a day trip to the local stream or a ride around town, the Yeti Hopper Flip 12 is ideal for a day out. The Flip 12 excels as a lightweight and easy-to-carry cooler, making it perfect for the boat or a hike to the river. It has a waterproof zipper that keeps water out and can also serve as storage for valuable items such as phones or electronics.
Best Fly Fishing Waders: Orvis Ultralight Convertible Wader
Versatile waders that fish comfortably through the dog days of summer and into the coldest winter months. Orvis
Having a pair of the best fishing waders that can do it all is crucial for fly anglers. The Orvis Ultralight Convertible Wader is my go-to pair for any situation. They are breathable, lightweight, and best of all, convertible from full chest waders to hip waders. This ingenious system works with shoulder straps that have built in clips that allow you to quickly convert them from chest to hip waders. I’ve used these waders extensively. Even in the freezing steelhead rivers of the Northeast, it’s warm enough to fish all day with the right layers on. The large front pocket has ample storage for fly boxes, and an internal pocket keeps your valuables out of harm’s way. These waders will make a great fly fishing gift. At $329, they are a bargain in the world of premium waders.
Read next: Best Camping Gifts of 2023
Best Unique Gift for Fly Anglers: Sight Line Provisions Bracelet
A thoughtful gift that’s made to wear on and off the water with options for any angler. Sight Line Provisions
Fly fishermen can be particularly hard to shop for. We are notorious for buying the gear we want and not leaving room for gifts. Sight Line Provisions Bracelets offer a great solution to the angler that already has it all. Their leather bracelets are designed with a metal badge in the shape of a fish mounted on it. You can personalize this fly fishing gift by choosing your angler’s favorite species of fish to catch. They have everything from trout and bass to tarpon and redfish.
Best Fly Fishing Line: Airflo Superflo Universal Taper
It can be confusing trying to figure out which fly lines are worth it and which are media hype. Airflo fly lines have consistently delivered quality products designed to perform and last. Under proper care, I have had Airflo lines perform admirably for four to five years of rigorous fishing. They are a prime example of durable gear. Airflo lines are PVC free which is environmentally friendly, but the alternative polyurethane they use makes them that much better. The polyurethane is slicker and lasts longer while making it incredibly easy to fire off long casts.
The Universal Taper is a great all-around line for trout anglers, featuring a 39-foot shooting head and 12-foot haul zone. It is just as easy to cast at long distances as it is short distances. Not to mention the running line is ultra-thin, allowing that much more line to shoot through the guides when targeting that hard-to-reach rising fish. As the name suggests, the Universal Taper is extremely versatile. Whether it be dry flies, nymphs, or streamers, this line does it all.
Best Sun Protection for Fly Fishers: Buff Coolnet UV
Made out of a lightweight cooling fabric, you can fish in comfort all day. BUFF
If your angler is on the water and in the sun for long days, a Coolnet UV Buff is a perfect fly fishing gift. They are made from 95% REPREVE polyester, which is sourced from recycled water bottles. The Coolnet technology is designed to keep you cool and comfortable even on the hottest day. With a UPF of 50, you can be sure that it will protect your angler from harmful rays. All Buffs feature a 4-way stretch technology and can be worn in 12 different styles, from a cap to a neck gaiter. Buffs come in all colors and patterns, so you can personalize the gift as well.
Best Rod Vault for Fly Fishing: Thule RodVault
A great way to protect rod and reel combos and keep them ready to go for easy access. Amazon
Diehard anglers are notorious for leaving rods and reels everywhere. The Thule RodVault is the perfect answer for keeping your angler organized and ready to fish. Available in 2 or 4 rod configurations, the RodVault is designed to safely enclose and protect rods and reels while still remaining easily accessible. With the ability to keep fully rigged rods ready to go, your angler will spend more time on the water and less time getting ready. The vaults fit rods up to 10 feet long and reels up to 4.25 inches. With polypropylene liners inside the tubes, the rod guides will be safe, even in the roughest terrain. Every RodVault comes with a built-in locking mechanism and a matching set of keys to keep your valuable possessions secure.
Best Fly Tying Gift: Loon Complete Fly Tying Tool Kit
A complete tool kit that has everything you need to get started tying flies. Amazon
The Loon complete fly tying tool kit has everything a fly tyer needs to get started or improve on their existing kit. The set has ten tools, including scissors, a bobbin, whip finisher, and many more accessories any fly tyer would be happy to have. Loon tools are durable and offer innovative solutions to many common problems. Their Gator Grip Dubbing Spinner makes building dubbing loops incredibly simple, and their Zippy Hair Stacker makes stacking hair a breeze. I think you’ll quickly find your angler will be switching out their old tools for this eye-catching and functional set.
Best Fly Reel: Abel Vaya
When form and function meet, the result is something to behold—the Abel Vaya. It is an instant classic in the Abel lineup of reels by combining a sleek design with a flawless carbon/stainless multi-disc drag system. Available in over 80 different finish options, there is something for every angler. The Vaya comes in three sizes to cover all trout fishing needs and is even suited for smaller saltwater setups. I have extensively fished the larger 5/6 size for tailing reds and aggressive snook and I am thoroughly impressed. This reel has a buttery smooth drag system and an irresistible sound to it. Starting at $550, you get what you pay for. By no means is this a budget pick, but when it comes to quality reels, Abel Vaya is hard to beat.
Best Fly Rod: Orvis Clearwater
The new Orvis Clearwater lineup offers superb rods at an affordable price point. Orvis
Looking to give a new fly rod as a fly fishing gift and not sure where to start? The Orvis Clearwater has something for every angler. The line carries rods ranging from a 2 weight, all the way up to a 12 weight. Even at $229, the quality of this rod makes it a true value pick. Not to mention it comes with the legendary Orvis 25 year warranty. The standard 9-foot, 5 weight model is a great all-around trout rod, but several others stand out as well. The 9-foot, 4-inch, 11 weight is a great musky fishing setup, and the 10-foot 3 weight is the perfect euro nymphing stick. You can’t go wrong with any rod in this lineup, especially if you want a new twig that can do it all.
Best Fly Fishing Hat: Rep Your Water State Collection
Fly anglers might not admit it, but most of us like to look good while we are making a cast. Sharp merch just comes with the territory in the fly community and Rep Your Water has always stood among the best in fishing apparel. Not only will your angler look good on the water, but you will also be donating to conservation. Part of each sale that Rep Your Water makes goes back towards conservation. The company donates 3% of every sale to conservation and has contributed more than $312,000 to their conservation partners so far. They have numerous designs including different states, fish species, and artwork. They are durable and a great stocking stuffer for the obsessed fly fisher.